Edu Alliance News Update January 30, 2019

In this edition of Edu Alliance Weekly articles on overseas branch campuses, Green Mountain College closing, and rural colleges challenge to support rural business and agriculture. Also the United States Distance Learning Association Conference are seeking Proposals for the May Annual Conference.

wonkhe­.com – Overseas campuses have been in the news again. Garnering most of the headlines is University College London with the announcement that it will close its Qatar campus in 2020. UCL has become the lates
Green Mountain College tried numerous strategies but is still closing

Inside Higher Education – Draw up a list of characteristics putting a college at risk of shutting down, and Green Mountain College would check almost every box. 

Rural colleges aren’t supplying the workers rural businesses and agriculture need

The Hechinger Report – Farris Beasley, a retired large-animal veterinarian in Fayetteville, Tenn., has a barn full of agricultural machinery dating back to 1939. It’s the newer stuff he can’t find anyone to fix. 

USDLA 2019 Annual Conference Call for Proposals

The United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) is pleased to announce the 2019 Annual Conference Call for Proposals. Proposals are now being accepted based on the conference theme, “In Tune with the Future of Digital & Distance Learning” and will be taking place May 20 – 23, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee! We welcome proposals from all: corporate, education (higher and K-12), telehealth, government, and military. 

Scholars or Spies: Foreign Plots Targeting America’s Research and Development?

Two House Science subcommittees held a hearing in April titled Scholars or Spies: Foreign Plots Targeting America’s Research and Development. The purpose of the hearing was to explore espionage at US research universities.

The four witnesses were:

  • Hon. Michael Wessel, commissioner, U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission
  • Hon. Michelle Van Cleave, former national counterintelligence executive, Office of National Counterintelligence Executive
  • Mr. Daniel Golden, author, “Spy Schools”
  • Mr. Crane Hassold, director of threat intelligence, PhishLabs

It can be taken by some as the down side of attracting foreign students, particularly from China, to study in the US. In his opening statement, the Oversight Sub Committee Chairman Ralph Abraham (R) of Louisiana said, in part:

The Chinese government has been very clear about its long-range plans for achieving global domination in critical areas of science and technology. China, however, has been less forthright about its methods, which include theft of confidential information and technological secrets from U.S. companies, cyber-attacks and other forms of spying to undermine our national security and putting sleeper agents at our research universities to steal our scientific breakthroughs. *** But many in academia have been unwilling to accept reality and unwilling to take any defensive measures to protect their researchers’ work, their universities’ scientific assets and taxpayers’ investments.

The complete video and written testimony can be found at Subcommittee on Oversight and Subcommittee on Research and Technology Hearing: Scholars or Spies: Foreign Plots Targeting America’s Research and Development.

On May 30th the Trump administration sent strong indications they will restrict the ability of Chinese grad students to get jobs at American companies after they are out of school. Reports say graduate students may be issued visas good for just a year at a time, rather than the multi-year type that are common now. This no doubt will have an adverse effect in the recruitment by American universities of Chinese students.


cropped-edu-alliance-logo-square1.jpgEdu Alliance is a higher education consultancy firm with offices in the United States and the United Arab Emirates. The founders and its advisory members have assisted higher education institutions on a variety of projects, and many have held senior positions in higher education in the United States and internationally.

Our specific mission is to assist universities, colleges and educational institutions to develop capacity and enhance their effectiveness.

Thank you to Advisory Council member Ken Salomon for making Edu Alliance aware of the hearing.