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global competitiveness

Boston is one of four US cities – along with Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. – vying to host the 2024 Summer Olympics.  Business and civic leaders planning the effort tout the benefits and rosy forecasts – increased global stature for Boston, economic boom in jobs and revenue for local business before, during and after the games, and improved infrastructure and facilities, etc.  The price tag? Recent analysis by The Boston Globe pegs it at approximately $15 billion. 

But here’s another idea altogether: to spur similar investment and excitement in Boston and other cities for education by borrowing this same blueprint. 

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.

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.

The number of adults in Massachusetts with a college degree will decline beginning in 2020. That's according to a new report released Monday from MassINC, an independent Boston think tank. 

Ben Forman is research director at MassINC. For decades, says Forman, Massachusetts has been adding thousands of college graduates to the workforce. But, over the next decade, that increase is going to slow down and eventually decline.

What does the newly-elected President of Afghanistan and President Obama’s mother have in common?  Answer: anthropology.  Both Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai and Ann Dunham earned PhDs in Anthropology—she from the University of Hawaii at Manoa in 1992, he a decade earlier at Columbia University.  And while this factoid might seem like the lead-in for the opening monologue on late-night television, it actually suggests something rather important for the future of global leadership.

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Three years ago, sociologists Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa found that college students learn little while in school. Their book, Academically Adrift, shocked the academy and provoked angry responses. 

Now, the two provocateurs are back. Their sequel is called Aspiring Adults AdriftIt follows the same students after graduation and concludes that schools focus on social life rather than academics, and that levies a high tariff on young adults. WGBH's On Campus recently sat down with Arum, and asked him why he wanted to track these young adults as they attempt to enter the working world.

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It's summer break, and for many college students, that means a dive into real work experience through internships. That can mean anything from boring days answering phones, to exciting opportunities leading to future employment. At WGBH's On Campus, we were curious about how college students approach internships today, so we asked our own intern to do some research.

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At a time when more students are going straight to college without any work experience, there’s pressure to get that experience through internships. To get a better sense of the rise of the internship, WGBH'sOn Campus spoke with Anthony Carnevale, director of Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce

International students are enrolling in American colleges in huge numbers, boosting the U.S. economy with tuition dollars and diversifying classrooms. But many of those students don't end up staying and working. Critics say that's because the U.S. isn't handing out enough work visas, which sends these talented grads home. 

Growing up in Colombia, Felipe Spinel got a bachelor's degree and then worked for ten years in Bogota's struggling tech sector, saving enough money to study abroad. In 2010, Spinel was accepted into Boston University's two-year MBA program.

It's eight in the morning, and Debra Zhang is heading to work. She grabs her keys and umbrella, slips on her shoes, and steps on to Boylston Street in Boston's Fenway neighborhood.

Zhang is one of the more than 800,000 international students that attended American colleges and universities last year -- more than 46,000 of them in Massachusetts. And schools are expecting a spike this fall. This trend has implications both for international and domestic students.

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