Welcome to the Tuesday, May 22nd edition of the Weekly Dose of Higher Education for BreakDrink.com; I’m Shawn Brackett bringing you this week’s news.
“Unclear direction from Homeland Security may force institutional English language programs to cease admitting international students”
The US Department of Homeland Security has issued a bulletin requiring English language programs to prove accreditation or risk losing the ability to enroll international students. Under the Accreditation Act of 2010, stand-alone English language programs, such as ELS Language Centers, and “combined programs,” such as those administered by colleges and universities, are responsible for proving accreditation. Until now, institutions of higher education and professional organizations (including NAFSA) have interpreted this to mean regional accreditation would suffice. Homeland Security has indicated this is no longer the case, but has not given additional guidance on how to proceed. For more information from NAFSA on the issue, go their website: http://www.nafsa.org/resourcelibrary/default.aspx?id=32224.
“Québec National Assembly tables bill to suspend semester and impose strict rules on student demonstrations”
Québec’s National Assembly (the provincial legislative body) has put forth Bill 78: a law restricting student demonstrations, introducing steep fines for both individuals and student groups, and suspending the current academic term. Student protestors, including the presidents of several major student federations in the province, have criticized the bill as violating the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. In addition, student federations have questioned the Premier’s unwillingness to meet in person for negotiations. Continuing demonstrations have negatively impacted the economy and “social peace” of Montréal, leading to increasing tensions over funding higher education in the province. For the text of Bill 78, go the National Assembly’s website: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/357492-quebec-education-special-law.html.
“US State Department issues new directive potentially disrupting campus Confucius Institutes”
The US Department of State issued a new directive on May 17th indicating instructors affiliated with Confucius Institutes on J-1 visas who are teaching at elementary or secondary schools are violating the terms of their visas and must leave the country by June. The Confucius Institutes are part of China’s diplomatic and cultural outreach program, being found on nearly 60 campuses in the US. Decried by some as propaganda machines, the Institutes are also heralded for increasing cultural understanding among nations. Faculty and staff at affected institutions are “considering [their] options” and seeking clarification from the the Department.
That’s it for today! Have a good week and I’ll see you next week.