Tag: America

Can an American liberal arts approach improve the British higher education system?

“In the best of circumstances, an American liberal arts education… focuses on how to ask the right questions”

As an American, I’ve been immersed in the liberal arts all my life, so I’m always surprised when I’m asked by colleagues in the UK about its benefits, and how it could improve British higher education.

The breadth of a US liberal arts education is truly remarkable. Generally a four-year programme for undergraduates, it encompasses studies in the humanities, arts and sciences and increasingly stresses the informing interaction of the disciplines to prepare students for ever-changing life and work.

The UK understanding of liberal arts is arguably restricted to the humanities and does not include the sciences, thus limiting the flexibility of thought that comes from mixing academic disciplines often thought mutually exclusive.

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Zero-Sum Thinking: Why Trump Risks Zeroing Out America’s International Education Sector

“The colleges and universities that will be hurt most deeply by the flight of international students will be those in states that voted for President Trump”

The Trump administration policies are having a notable effect on the number of international students studying in the United States. Managing Director of University Ventures Ryan Craig writes about the impact of “zero-sum thinking” and the effect it could have on American universities and colleges that depend on international students for their survival.

Ever since I read The Art of the Deal in the 1980s, I’ve not been a fan of Donald Trump. In August of 2015, writing in Forbes, I marvelled that he was leading the pack of Republican candidates for President, calling him “untrustworthy,” “fickle,” and an “entertainer playing a businessman.” Nonetheless, I never expected him to be economically illiterate as well.

Many have commented that Trump’s approach to civil liberties appears to be that freedom from discrimination for one group doesn’t result in a net gain for society because “their gain is your loss.” This “zero-sum” thinking is equally clear in his approach to immigration. In Trump’s view – at least as played to his steadfast base – every immigrant is taking a job that would otherwise go to a native-born American.
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How does duty of care extend to American higher education international offices?

“Many students understand that it is expensive in the US, but they struggle to understand how their insurance plan does not protect against the cost of that system”

As students become more mobile, the concept of ‘duty of care’ becomes all the more important. Jeff Foot, executive director of international student insurance provider LewerMark, says educators need a critical eye to assess what plans they have in place when international students face risks they are not accustomed to.

The #youarewelcomehere campaign attempts to soften the swirling rhetoric around the recent executive order travel bans, removal of DACA, increased nationalism, and unease generally around immigration issues. I think international education voices are correct to share competing messages, but a more proactive risk management approach is needed to offer a level of real comfort to current and potential international students.
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