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A record number of American college students are studying abroad - 289,000, according to the most recent data released Monday by the Institute of International Education.

Educators say that’s good, since international education promotes critical relationship building and cross cultural understanding. But many in the field worry the influx of technology and social media may be hampering the ability of American students to fully immerse themselves abroad.

A national organization representing thousands of university professors is criticizing program cuts and faculty layoffs at the University of Southern Maine in Portland.

In a letter addressed to President David Flanagan, the American Association of University Professors questions the severity of the university’s financial woes. AAUP says the actions being taken are in “blatant disregard” for tenured faculty.

Employers today want workers who are prepared to work in a global economy. One way students are gaining that exposure is by studying abroad. Today more than 289,000 American students go overseas during college. Still, that's just 10 percent of all students. Now, there’s a national push to make studying abroad more affordable and accessible.

Loss of jobs, underemployment, and hard-to-fill positions are issues that have plagued the American economy since the recession in 2008.

Joe Fuller is a researcher at Harvard Business School and the author of a recent report on closing America's middle-skills gap.

Harvard is significantly boosting its computer science faculty at a time when increased demand for the major continues to reshape higher education.

On this Veterans Day, WGBH's On Campus takes a closer look at what more colleges and universities can learn from the military.

Simmons College in Boston is the third U.S. women’s college – and the second in Massachusetts - to officially accept applications from transgender students. 

Simmons has long admitted gender nonconforming students, but is now formalizing its admissions policy and accepting students born female, regardless of their current gender identity, as well as those who were born male and now identify as female.

The U.S. Education Department is cracking down on for-profit colleges whose graduates can't find jobs that let them pay off their federal loans.

Under a new rule, career programs will have to show that their graduates are finding gainful employment and have manageable debt loads. If graduates from career programs aren't making enough money to pay off their loans, the government will hold the school responsible and cut off access to federal student aid dollars.

Since the Great Recession, the amount of money states invest in public higher education has dropped dramatically. That, coupled with a steep drop in enrollment, has led some state university systems to cut faculty and academic programs altogether. In Maine, where Republican Paul LePage secured a second term as governor on Tuesday, those cuts are unlikely to be restored.

Traditional colleges and universities face a host of challenges: rising costs, skyrocketing student debt and, increasingly, shifting demographics. In New England, the number of high school graduates will decrease in the next two decades, and at risk, higher ed experts say, are high-priced, four-year liberal-arts institutions, schools like Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts.

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