About half of Americans think that colleges and universities make a positive contribution to the country, while 38% say institutions have a negative impact, a Pew Research Center survey shows. The differing opinions are divided along partisan lines, with 59% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents saying higher education has a negative effect and 67% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning respondents maintaining a positive view.
A project, led by the International Council for Open and Distance Education, recommends that guidelines and standards be developed to improve consistency in online and distance education worldwide. The report, which examined education in seven broad regions, finds that a lack of uniform quality standards is hampering online education efforts in all regions.
Many colleges and universities, such as the University of Alabama, are increasingly recruiting students from out of state as a strategy to boost enrollment as well as increase the diversity of the student body, among other reasons. Some of the schools have seen a sharp decline in in-state enrollment, including Tennessee State University and the University of Maryland University College, data shows.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse has awarded a $3 million grant to Indiana University to study how cannabis use affects the brains of users between the ages of 18 and 38, with a focus on younger people. "When you consider that 40% of all 19- to 22-year-olds in the US used marijuana in the past year, it behooves us to understand how it affects its users," study leader William Hetrick said.
Online course provider MasterClass has partnered with the University of Pittsburgh to produce the Outlier program to offer credit-eligible online classes. MasterClass co-founder Aaron Rasmussen says he hopes the affiliation will persuade other institutions to count the courses toward transfer credits.
A program of upper-level online and hybrid humanities courses, created by the Consortium for Online Humanities Instruction, saw broadened student participation and efficiency as the courses were shared, according to a new study. However, faculty found it took longer to create the classes and reported that it was more difficult for them to form personal relationships with students.
The number of graduates from non-college boot camps is expected to increase by 50% in 2019, and growth at online programs is expected to increase three times that rate, according to an annual survey from Course Report. Many boot-camp providers are partnering with colleges and universities to provide credit-bearing courses, says Liz Eggleston, co-founder of Course Report.
Google has expanded its year-old college search function to include data on not just four-year colleges but also two-year programs and institutions and certificate programs. The search provides such data as graduation rates and tuition as well as location and potential areas of study.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has appointed former student loan industry executive Robert Cameron as the new ombudsman to oversee private education loans. The move narrows the focus of the office away from also overseeing complaints from borrowers with federal student loans, which make up more than 90% of the market.
Higher education leaders can ensure the safety of their networks by educating users to spot and report scams, work across departments to analyze risks and practice incident response strategies, writes Dan Tynan. Universities report nine times as many cyberattacks per user on average than other industries, according to a recent Mimecast report.
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