Education May 30, 2018: Harvard remains CWUR World Ranking’s top university in 2018/2019

HEADLINE NEWS

Headline_News

EDUCATION

Harvard remains CWUR World Ranking’s top university in 2018/2019

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

Photo: Harvard.edu

The first major university ranking of the year released is the Center for World University Rankings (CWUR), who publishes their list way before the start of the new academic year. On Monday, May 28, 2018, CWUR released their ranking of the Top 1000 Universities in the world, where once again Harvard remained the top university, now for the seventh year running.

The CWUR is one of only two major rankings that are not published by a western country in either the United States or the United Kingdom. CWUR is centered in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Although the top schools remained the same, the ranking saw a lot of movement especially in the ranking of the countries and their individual top schools representing a changing landscape in the best global universities.

The 2018 edition is the seventh year CWUR has released their rankings; the relatively new listing first started in 2012. It includes their ranking of the Top 1000 Universities and 61 countries, the largest number. After Harvard, the rest of the top three remains the same as last year with Stanford second and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) third. Two British universities round out the top five as last year, with the University of Cambridge in fourth place closely followed by the University of Oxford rounding out the top five.

The second half of the top ten had a lot of movement, the University of California, Berkeley moved up one spot from seventh to sit at the sixth position. Princeton University also moved up, two spots from the ninth to the seventh position. Columbia University moved down two places to the eighth position. Only one university entered the top ten the California Institute of Technology, Caltech moving up from number 11 to the ninth place. While the University of Chicago fell two spot to round out the top ten. Yale University dropped out of the top ten this year to number 11.

The US dominated the CWUR rankings as it does with most other world university rankings; however, there are less American schools in the top 1000, last year there were 225 this year there are only 213. The CWUR ranking shows how preeminent Asian schools are becoming globally, here they follow the US in the most school represented an honor usually reserved for the United Kingdom. This year’s edition there are more schools that are Asian represented, there are 108 schools from China listed, the number keep rising, with 97 in 2017 and 90 in 2016.

The United Kingdom has improved their standing, but and have lowered the number of universities represented, they have 62 schools listed down from 65, but now have the third most schools in the ranking. The UK has consistently two universities in the top ten, and they are the only other country to break American dominance. Only four universities from the 24 that are part of the Russell Group fell in the ranking.

The UK rise in the country ranking has more to do with Japan losing ground that any improvement in their standing. In the past three ranking Japan’s number of schools represented has dwindled. Currently Japan has 56 schools in the list down from 71 in 2017 and 74 in 2016. Still, Japan has the first school to make the global list outside of the US and the UK with the University of Tokyo up one to at number 12, which also the top ranking Asian school.

France this year takes third place in the world with 58 schools featured, and the Sorbonne University as their top school coming in the top 30 at 29 and replacing École Polytechnique for the honor.

CWUR also includes rankings by country, with lists of the best universities in the major countries in all the world’s regions and they correspond to the rankings on the international list. Therefore, Harvard also tops the USA list, while the number four University of Cambridge is the United Kingdom’s top school. The first university ranking from the European continent is Switzerland’s Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, which ranks at 28th down one from last year. In Oceania, Australia has the top school with the University of Melbourne at 57, replacing the University of Sydney for the top place.

Canada is only the fourth country to reach the top 20, with the University of Toronto at 17th place moving up from 28 last year. Overall, Canada is in 10th place with 28 universities on the list, but all their top school moving up; the University of Toronto also remains Canada’ top school again this year. McGill retains their position in second place ranking at 37th up from 41 last year. At their heels is third place the University of British Columbia at number 38 up from 55 in the last edition.

In the Middle East, the Weizmann Institute of Science replaces the Hebrew University of Jerusalem as the Middle East and Israel’s highest-ranking university. The title is hardly a victory, the Weizmann Institute ranks at number 45 down from 39 last year. Hebrew University fell over 30 places from 27th last year to just 61st this year. Hebrew U usually ranks as Israel’s top university. Israel has one other school in the top 100 is the Tel Aviv University at 85. Israel has seven schools represented in the ranking.

The key to their methodology is objectivity; all the seven indicators are backed by solid, quantifiable statistics emphasizing graduate success and faculty research. The seven factors are “quality of teaching, alumni employment, quality of faculty, research output, quality publications, influence, and citations.” This year CWUR revised their methodology with “research now accounting for 70% of the total score.” According to the description of their methodology, “The Centre for World University Rankings (CWUR) publishes the only global university ranking that measures the quality of education and training of students along with the prestige of the faculty members and the quality of their research without relying on surveys and university data submissions.”

Center for World University Rankings (CWUR) top 10:

1. Harvard University (1)

2. Stanford University (2)

3. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (3)

4. University of Cambridge (4)

5. University of Oxford (5)

6. University of California, Berkeley (7)

7. Princeton University (9)

8. Columbia University (6)

9. California Institute of Technology (11)

10. University of Chicago (8)

Bonnie K. Goodman BA, MLIS (McGill University), is a journalist, librarian, historian & editor. She is a former Features Editor at the History News Network & reporter at Examiner.com where she covered politics, universities, religion and news. She has over a dozen years experience in education & political journalism.

Advertisements

Education May 11, 2018: London tops QS best cities for students in 2018

HEADLINE NEWS

Headline_News

EDUCATION

London tops QS best cities for students in 2018

By Bonnie K. Goodman BA, MLIS

University College London, Flickr

Brexit is no longer a liability for British universities. Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), the company behind the World University Rankings, released their fifth annual QS Best Student Cities index on Wednesday, May 9, 2018, with London, England at the top for the first time. London replaces Montreal, Canada, who was the top city in 2017, while in the previous ranking Paris, France was the best city. This year sees a decline in North American cities, especially American ones, where President Donald Trump and his anti-immigrant policies have become a bigger issue than Brexit, Britain’s exit from the European Union.

London is home to 17 universities including high ranking top universities; the Imperial College, University College London, the London School of Economics and King’s College. A cultural and historical city, London has a high concentration of “museums, theatres, restaurants, and cinemas.” The rich cultural aspect is inviting for students but also increases the opportunities for research. Job opportunities are plentiful and as a diverse international city, foreign students feel welcome. Although London ranked high in all factors except one affordability; the city has a high cost of living but one worth for students.

Ben Sowter, Research Director at QS, commented on their new top city, saying, “The 2018 ranking highlights the enduring quality of the student experience available in London. The city benefits from outstanding employment prospects, more world-class universities than any other city, and enviable lifestyle opportunities. These factors mean that the capital remains a great place to study despite eye-watering costs – as more than 50,000 student respondents to QS’s survey have made clear.”

Last year’s best city, Montreal, Quebec fell to fourth place this year but still remains the top and only North American city in the top ten. Montreal is still tops for “best overall in student experience, and best city in which to remain after graduation.” Montreal has four universities and 150,000 students. The Canadian city has consistently been in QS’ top eight cities since the ranking started.

In second place is Tokyo, Japan as Asian universities continue to rank higher in world university rankings; Japan moves up from seven. In third place is Melbourne, Australia, moving up two from fifth place the first of two Australian cities in the top ten. In fifth place is former top student city, Paris; the city of lights continues its descent, where last year it was in second place.

In the second half of the top ten is Munich, German one of two German cities in the top 10. Munich moves up to sixth from ninth. The second top 10 German city is Berlin coming in seventh down only one from last year. In eight place is Zurich, Switzerland, who enters the top ten from number 15, along with ninth place Sydney, Australia, moving up from number 13. Rounding out the top 10 is Seoul, South Korea, which moves down from fourth place in 2017.

Despite only ranking at number 13, Toronto, Canada ranks the best in terms of desirability which consists of safety, pollution, and quality of living. Toronto ranks second in Canadian student cities, behind Montreal. Meanwhile, Vancouver, British Columbia falls even out if the top ten to number 17.

American cities fare the worst, with none in the top ten. This is despite the fact that in QS World University Rankings American universities capture nearly all of the top ten including the top four spots. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) topped the ranking, followed by Stanford University, Harvard University in third and the California Institute for Technology (Caltech) in fourth. Although MIT and Harvard are in Boston, Massachusetts, the only American school in the 2017 ranking it falls this year to 14, while the only other American city in the top 30 is New York at number 18. American cities saw declines across the board in “Affordability, Employer Activity, and Student Mix.”

The methodology to determine the list looks at six factors, university rankings, student mix, desirability, employer activity, affordability. A seventh factor was added in 2017, student view, a global “survey of students and recent graduates.” QS surveys 50,000 students, and looks past 489 universities cities, ranking only the top 100.

QS World University Rankings was originally a collaboration between the education and career company Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) with the Times Higher Education (THE) to create a world university ranking in 2003. For five years their World University Rankings list was published on THE, with QS supplying the data. In 2010, Times Higher Education decided to break off the partnership and pair up with Thomson Reuters to produce their ranking list. The decision was mostly because of the heavy reliance on using peer reviews to determine the rankings. The QS World University Rankings first appeared in its present format in 2010.

Best Student Cities 2018

1. London 3
2. Tokyo 7
3. Melbourne 5
4. Montreal 1
5. Paris 2
6. Munich 9
7. Berlin 6
8. Zurich 15
9. Sydney 13
10. Seoul 4

Bonnie K. Goodman BA, MLIS (McGill University), is a journalist, librarian, historian & editor. She is a former Features Editor at the History News Network & reporter at Examiner.com where she covered politics, universities, religion and news. She has a dozen years experience in education & political journalism.

Education April 17, 2018: McGill professors sign an open letter supporting students over complaints of sexual misconduct

HEADLINE NEWS

Headline_News

EDUCATION

McGill professors sign an open letter supporting students over complaints of sexual misconduct

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

McGill University students are getting some support from their professors in their fight with the administration over sexual misconduct by professors in the Faculty of Arts. About 150 professors signed an open letter and sent it to administration officials on Monday, April 16, 2018, supporting the students’ grievances against the administration. The letter comes after the Student Society of McGill University (SSMU) published an open letter demanding an external investigation, and staged a walkout protesting the administrations’ inaction over the misconduct of five professors in the Faculty of Arts. Tomorrow, Tuesday April 17, McGill students will be hosting a town hall meeting to discuss the issue.

The 148 professors made it clear that they support the SSMU’s call for an external investigation, their timeline to have it completed by June and the establishment of a single sexual violence policy covering both misconducts by students and faculty. The professors, who signed came from all the university’s faculties, not just Arts. They declared, “We stand in support of the students who have come forward with their experiences and with the student representatives and advocates who have supported these students.”

The professors wrote in the letter, “As teachers, we have a commitment to upholding a learning environment where students feel safe, supported and able to challenge themselves. It would be in violation of this duty for us not to add our voices to those of the students.” The professors also acknowledged that professor-student relationships should be prohibited. They wrote, “We believe that sexual relationships between students and faculty who are in a position to influence their academic and professional progress should be banned.”

The professors also reminded the administration that the issue affects the entire McGill community and the universities reputation. The professors pointed out to the administration, they have to “publicly acknowledge the fact that this issue affects the entire McGill community and the university’s reputation.”

The professors claim that the university has to keep in check professors that abuse their power because it also affects other faculty members. They indicated, “The lack of transparency concerning how complaints are handled against faculty members, who abuse their positions of power in this way, creates a toxic work and learning environment, and often places an invisible burden on other faculty members.”

History professor Shannon Fitzpatrick spoke to CBC News about the faculty’s open letter. Fitzpatrick finds it troubling that the administration is ignoring students complaints. Fitzpatrick told CBC, the administration is “actively shutting down a line of communication. That to me goes against the university’s mission of critical inquiry into social problems.”

Last Wednesday, April 11, 2018, a week after publishing an open letter to the university administration, students staged a walkout over the administration ignoring repeated calls over professors’ inappropriate and sexually violating behavior in the Faculty of Arts. McGill students were joined by neighboring Concordia University students, who have been dealing with complaints against professors in their Creating Writing program, which go back nearly 20 years. Around 1,000 students walked out of their classes at 2 p.m. and protested in front of the James Administration Building at McGill’s downtown campus in community square. The joint protest was organized by both schools students societies; Concordia Student Union and Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU).

Two weeks ago, on Wednesday, April 4, 2018, the SSMU published an open letter addressed to the administration calling for an investigation into the way the university and Faculty of Arts have been dealing sexual violence and harassment complaints against professors. The letter has been signed by over 2000 students and over 85 clubs and other student societies. The letter accuses administration officials of ignoring complaints against professors in the Faculty of Arts.

McGill students want an investigation conducted by a third-party investigation into the method McGill deals with complaints. They want the third-party to review and interview students who made informal and formal complaints to the Dean of Arts against professors for the last five years and review if tenure committees are aware of any complaints. The SSMU wants the findings by this June. They are also demanding McGill to have an inclusive sexual violence policy that addresses professor-student relationships and misconduct complaints against professors. Now the SSMU has added a threat to motivate the administration; they act by Monday, April 23, or the SSMU will file a complaint at the Quebec Ministry of Education that McGill is in violation of Bill 151, the law requiring a single sexual assault policy for Quebec universities.

For the past few years, there have been rumblings about five professors that have misused their positions among both the students and faculty. The professors are in five different departments in the Faculty of Arts; history, philosophy, political science, psychology and the Institute of Islamic Studies. Among the offenses are “holding office hours in bars with underage students, to routinely sleeping with students who are in their classes, to being in abusive relationships with students they’re supervising.” Additionally, the professors would “make sexually suggestive comments in person and in e-mails.”

Apparently, the situation with these professors is an “open secret” everyone knows what is happening, but nothing is being done to stop these professors from running amok. The McGill Daily in their article, “We have always known about McGill’s predatory professors” wrote that the survey they conducted confirmed decades of sexual misconduct and that students have used a word-of-mouth system. The Daily sent out this survey April 9, receiving “dozens” of testimonies from the word-of-mouth system going back to 2008 according to the article. Unfortunately, professors have been blurring the lines for many years before at McGill, and there have been more than the five at the heart of students’ protests now.

Students have been writing anonymous accounts of the misconduct for years in the Daily. This past year, however, the protests are louder because one of the accused professors are up for tenure, which led to student letters to his department and a grassroots protest movement this past fall semester.

Despite the knowledge of the misconduct, students, however, are and have been discouraged from filing complaints by the Faculty of Arts. The complaints process at McGill has not and still does not deal with complaints against professors, especially those who engage in relationships with students, despite a revised sexual violence policy passed in 2016.

McGill students have been looking to Concordia for inspiration and to show McGill, an investigation is needed and a policy enforced to address professor-student relationships. Seeing the quick action at Concordia, made McGill’s students take an active and official stand against the administration’s lax treatment of professors who abuse their power.

Tomorrow students are going to continue their protest with a town hall meeting at 6 p.m. The meeting will allow students “to share stories, concerns, thoughts and questions” and to discuss what else the SSMU can do to convince the administration to act. The event is closed to the public and the media, and can only be attended by current McGill undergraduate and graduate students.

Bonnie K. Goodman BA, MLIS (McGill University), is a journalist, librarian, historian & editor. She is a former Features Editor at the History News Network & reporter at Examiner.com where she covered politics, universities, religion and news. She has a dozen years experience in education & political journalism.

Education April 11, 2018: McGill students protest enough is enough to the administration in walk-out over professors’ sexual misconduct

HEADLINE NEWS

Headline_News

EDUCATION

McGill students protest enough is enough to the administration in walk-out over professors’ sexual misconduct

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

McGill University students are taking their protest to professors’ inappropriate behavior going unchecked to the next level. On Wednesday, April 11, 2018, a week after publishing an open letter to the university administration, students staged a walkout over the administration ignoring repeated calls over professors’ inappropriate and sexual violating behavior in the Faculty of Arts. McGill students were joined by neighboring Concordia University students, who have been dealing with complaints against professors in their Creating Writing program, which go back nearly 20 years. Around 1,000 students walked out of their classes at 2 p.m. and protested in front of the James Administration Building at McGill’s downtown campus in community square. The joint protest was organized by both schools students societies; Concordia Student Union and Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU).

The Facebook event entitled, “McGill and Concordia Student Walk-Out over Handling Complaints” stated the united protest’s purpose, “We all demand an acknowledgment of the extent of the problem. And we demand change.” The hashtags for the walkout was #EnoughisEnough and #NoMoreOpenSecrets, referring to the five professors, whose misconduct is called an open secret among students and other faculty members. Students chanted, “we will not be silenced” and “this will not blow over.”

The students also held up eye-catching signs, which read, “Who are you protecting?” and “Do you care about survivors?” Many had common taglines from the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements against sexual violence and harassment including, “Enough is enough,” “Time’s up,” and “No More Secrets.” Other signs eluded to the professors’ misconduct, saying, “No I don’t want to go office hours at Gerts,” the bar in McGill’s student society building, where one of the accused professors holds his office hours.

Connor Spencer, vice-president of external affairs for the Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU) has been leading the calls and protests against the professors’ misconduct. Spencer spoke to the crowd and asked them, “Can everyone here who has been warned or heard of an abusive professor during their time here please raise their hand.” Practically everyone present raised their hands, to which she replied: “That, is why we are here today.”

Last Wednesday, April 4, 2018, the SSMU published a letter addressed to the administration calling for an investigation into the way the university and Faculty of Arts have been dealing sexual violence and harassment complaints against professors. The letter has been signed by over 2000 students and over 85 clubs and other student societies. The letter accuses administration officials of ignoring complaints against professors in the Faculty of Arts and they are demanding a third-party investigation to look at complaints for there past five years and for McGill to have an inclusive sexual violence policy that addresses professor-student relationships and misconduct complaints against professors.

For the past few years, there have been rumblings about five professors that have misused their positions. The professors are in five different departments in the Faculty of Arts; history, philosophy, political science, psychology and the Institute of Islamic Studies. Among the offenses are “holding office hours in bars with underage students, to routinely sleeping with students who are in their classes, to being in abusive relationships with students they’re supervising.” Additionally, the professors would “make sexually suggestive comments in person and in e-mails.”
Apparently, the situation with these professors is an “open secret” everyone knows what is happening, but nothing is being done to stop these professors from running amok, while students are being discouraged from filing complaints. The complaints process at McGill has not and still does not deal with complaints against professors, especially those who engage in relationships with students, despite a revised sexual violence policy passed in 2016.

McGill students have been looking to Concordia for inspiration and to show McGill, an investigation is needed and a policy enforced to address professor-student relationships, Seeing the quick action at Concordia, made McGill’s students take an active and official stand against the administration’s lax treatment of professors who abuse their power. This past January at Concordia University, former students, and graduates of the school’s creative writing program came forward against four professors without tenure with allegations going back two decades. The university acted swiftly and dismissed three of the living professors, then launched an investigation. Within two weeks the university issued guidelines on how to deal with professor-student relationships acknowledging there is a “conflict of interest” and an “imbalance of power.” Despite decisive action now, Concordia students have been complaining for years, writing a letter in 2015, that the administration ignored, while students feared these professors harassment and predatory behavior.

Spencer told CBC’s Daybreak why the SSMU wanted Concordia students involved. Speaking to host Mike Finnerty, Spencer said, “I think McGill is trying to work within its own bubble. That’s why it’s important we bring Concordia, and what happened on their campus, to our campus.” Asma Mushtaq, academic and advocacy coordinator for the Concordia Student Union spoke to the Montreal Gazette why it was important to get involved. Mushtaq told them, “Concordia has allowed for open secrets to persist and fester for too long.”

The two universities’ students have different requests of their respective administrations. At McGill, students want an investigation conducted by a third-party investigation into the method McGill deals with complaints. They want the third-party to review and interview students who made informal and formal complaints to the Dean of Arts against professors for the last five years and review if tenure committees are aware of any complaints. The SSMU wants the findings by this June. Now the SSMU has added a threat to motivate the administration; the act or they will ask the Quebec Ministry of Education to intervene.

At Concordia, where an investigation is already underway, the students want to be involved and their voices heard. They also wanted recommendations from the independent Our Turn Report included in Concordia’s revised sexual violence policy. The report graded the sexual assault policies at different campuses with recommendations.

McGill’s administration has yet to respond to the SSMU’s latest tactics. Concordia’s officials were quicker to comment. The statement claimed that they do want student input in the investigation, and wants them to participate “through any avenues open to them,” saying their “Their input is vital to the work we are doing.” McGill’s Spencer, however, said it best in thanking students, who walked out today, declaring, “This is not over,” as much as professors and administration officials want, the students are not going to continue to live in fear as certain professors continue their abuse of power and hunt for their next victim among the student body.

Bonnie K. Goodman BA, MLIS (McGill University), is a journalist, librarian, historian & editor. She is a former Features Editor at the History News Network & reporter at Examiner.com where she covered politics, universities, religion, and news. She has a dozen years experience in education & political journalism.

Education April 8, 2018: McGill University now has their #MeToo movement moment as students protest lothario professors 

HEADLINE NEWS

Headline_News

EDUCATION

McGill University now has their #MeToo movement moment as students protest lothario professors

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

Montreal universities are now being drawn into the #MeToo movement forced to confront years of sexual harassment and assault that was pushed under the table. First, it was Concordia University, now McGill University is getting barraged for their handling of complaints. On Thursday, April 4, 2018, the Student Society of McGill University (SSMU) published an open letter calling for an investigation into the way the university and Faculty of Arts have dealing sexual violence complaints against professors. The letter has been signed by nearly 1,500 students and over 50 clubs and other student societies. The letter accuses administration officials of ignoring complaints against professors in the Faculty of Arts and they are demanding a third-party investigation. The letter and calls are a long time in the making as students and professors have been writing and commenting about the actions of these professors in the Faculty of Arts, who engaged in so-called consensual and unwanted inappropriate behavior against students for years.

The president of SSMU and its societies and five vice presidents addressed the letter to Principal Suzanne Fortier, Provost Christopher Manfredi, and Dean of Students Chris Buddle. The letter recounted the situation at the university but did not name any professors, although students have been naming the professors in unofficial capacities for years. Neither does the letter describe the professors’ actions, although the chatter is quite loud on online forums, personal blogs, and the student press, everyone on campus knows who these offenders are.

The letter claims, “These professors continue to teach and to supervise, in some cases teaching mandatory first-year courses, leaving vulnerable the students who have not yet been warned about the predatory behaviors of certain professors. It has also been the case that student representatives over this past year have brought up these concerns multiple times to many different members of the administration. It was clear that the majority of the administration who were met with knew which professors students are concerned about. And despite our expressing anxiety over the safety and well being of a particular student in one case – no action was taken.”

Connor Spencer, vice-president of external affairs for the Students’ Society of McGill University had a press conference on Thursday, April 5, clarifying the allegations. According to Spencer, there are five professors that have misused their positions. The professors are in five different departments in the Faculty of Arts; history, philosophy, political science, psychology and the Institute of Islamic Studies. Among the offenses are “holding office hours in bars with underage students, to routinely sleeping with students who are in their classes, to being in abusive relationships with students they’re supervising.” Additionally, the professors would “make sexually suggestive comments in person and in e-mails.”

Apparently, the situation with these professors is an “open secret” everyone knows what is happening, but nothing is being done to stop these professors from running amok, while students are being discouraged from filing complaints. Spencer told CBC News, “Everyone’s aware of where the problems are, and no one’s doing anything to address it, year after year.” Spencer explained to the Globe and Mail, “Everyone knows the names of the professors and it’s shared among students.” The problem has been happening for at least five years with these specific professors. Spencer recounted that female students have been warning incoming students with a list of professors “whose classes I was not to take.” Female students were warned to never be alone with these professors. Spencer told the Globe and Mail, “If she did take their courses, she was told never to go to their offices ‘if I wanted to keep myself safe.’”

Despite everyone in the university, from the students to the administration know about the problems, the administration refuses to take any actions, because of the lack of formal complaints. Spencer recounted to the Globe and Mail, “We’ve spoken about specific cases with administrators in meetings and still nothing has been done, even though they know that these are reoccurring issues.” Spencer told the Montreal Gazette the SSMU wants the university to take the problem seriously, “We are hoping with this open letter to change the culture of understanding and show (the administration) they need to investigate when there are serious problems that compromise the safety and well being of students … whether or not there are official complaints.”

The SSMU’s letter is a means to force the administration to launch an investigation. The SSMU letter also asked for a remedy to the ongoing problem, their solution a third-party investigation into the method McGill deals with complaints. They want the third-party to review and interview students who made informal and formal complaints to the Dean of Arts against professors for the last five years and review if tenure committees are aware of any complaints. The SSMU wants the findings by this June.

The SSMU made the request in their letter, “We understand that the Faculty of Arts is not the only faculty that has a problem with professors who abuse their power, and we hope that an external investigation into Arts will set a precedent so that in the future McGill will act when they become aware of departmental issues and that above all they will begin to prioritize the safety of their students before the legal liability or reputation of the institution.”

When asked to respond by the press Vice-Principal Louis Arseneault (Communications and External Relations) declined to comment. Arseneault only gave a generic politically correct response in a statement, saying, “McGill University has put in place staff, resources, policies, and opportunities for individuals and groups to come forward with their concerns and complaints. These are matters we take very seriously. Every report or complaint of sexual misconduct, abuse of authority through sexual misconduct or ‘predatory behavior’ that contains sufficiently detailed facts is investigated. If there are findings of sexual misconduct of any kind, appropriate measures are taken, following due process.” Arseneault cited privacy laws in the investigation, stating, “Because of Quebec law concerning privacy, the University cannot disclose when it is conducting investigations, nor reveal any results. Thus, the fact that results are not disclosed is not evidence that investigations did not occur or that they were faulty.”

Provost and Vice-Principal Manfredi also sent a personal response to Spencer, insisting, “Every report and complaint of misconduct that contains sufficient details is investigated.” Manfredi told Spencer, “As you know from your own work on the Sexual Violence Policy Implementation Committee and from McGill administrators’ ongoing, direct engagement with SSMU executives – yourself included – McGill has in place extensive resources, skilled staff, and robust policies to address matters of sexual violence and to support survivors.”

Despite the university being on defensive as to investigating sexual misconduct complaints, the process deters students from filing a complaint or if they start they usually stop. As Spencer pointed out, “it’s so labor-intensive and retraumatizing.” As with women who file complaints against men in positions of power many are worried they would not be believed. The university has also in past situations attempted to discredit claims that are filed as a deterrent for students filing complaints. The complaints process is also steeped in confidentiality, it is meant to help the students, but does more to protect an accused faculty member.

Student Geneviève Mercier-Dalphond writing in a March 2016, McGill Daily article entitled, “The vicious circle of professor-student relationships A follow-up investigation of McGill’s policies on sexual harassment” discussed the problems confidentiality in the process causes. Mercier-Dalphond explained, “On a broader level, it sends a message that normalizes student-professor relations, and sets an example for other professors that they can get away with this kind of inappropriate behavior.”

In December 2016, McGill revised their sexual violence policy, Policy against Sexual Violence, to comply with Quebec’s new Bill 151, requiring schools to have a consolidated sexual violence policy (SVP) including addressing professor-student relationships by 2019. The new SVP deals with violence by the whole McGill community, especially students and operates under the Student Code of Conduct. The policy can “reprimand, expel or suspend a student.” The new policy was three years in the making, and was supposed to have a “survivor-centered approach.” Additionally, the policy “establishes measures that McGill will adopt with respect to prevention, education, support, and response to sexual violence.” The university also created a new sexual assault center, “dedicated to sexual violence education and response.”

At the time the new policy was passed by the university senate; the students still had misgivings about how complaints would be handled under the new rules. Erin Sobat, the vice-president of university affairs for the SSMU during the 2016-17 academic year commented at the time to CBC News, “What it doesn’t do is address the disciplinary process past the process of filing a report.” Labour laws in Quebec, prohibit the publication of the procedures.

The new policy also failed to address professor-student relationships, and complains against professors; a central problem at the heart of the complaints against one of the professors the open letter is directed. The new SVP says very little about these relationships, writing, “an abuse of a relationship of trust, power or authority, such as the relationship between a professor and their student,” and agreeing they cannot be consensual. The only way to file a complaint against a professor is by filing a complaint about “harassment, the violence of coercion.” The complaints are then processed through the Regulations Relating to Employment of Tenure-Track and Tenured Academic Staff. Labour laws in Quebec, prohibit the publication of the procedures. The process is so complicated that it dissuades students from filing. Connor explained to the Montreal Gazette, “You have to consult at least six documents full of policy jargon after you’ve just experienced a trauma, and you are not really sure about wanting to do this, anyway. That would discourage anyone from coming forward.”

In December 2017, the McGill Tribune editorial board wrote an opinion piece opposing the lack of policy for such complaints entitled, “McGill’s sexual violence policy lacking on professor-student relationships.” They emphasized what an important gap this is in policy since these relationships cannot be consensual. The board pointed to the conflict of interest with such relationships and indicated why. The board expressed, “Of more dire ethical concern is the question of consent in these relationships. The power differential between students and professors is enormous—whether acting as an intro-course lecturer or a master’s research supervisor, a professor has substantial control over their students’ success at McGill, and, by extension, their career prospects upon graduation. Given this compromised capacity to object to unwanted sexual advances, it is unethical for a professor to initiate any relationship with a student directly beneath them.”

The #MeToo movement is altering the definition of consent, especially there is a difference power between the two parties in evolved, such as professors getting involved in relationships, and sexually with their students. Students who believe they are getting involved consensually with professors seem to forget, with such a power difference, these relationships can never truly be consensual, because there is no equality. Mercier-Dolphand in the McGill Daily explained, “The student’s power in this dynamic is not comparable, and talking of equality between consenting adults, in this case, ignores the power differential on which the relationship is built.”

Recently, even former White House intern Monica Lewinsky in a March 2018, Vanity Fair article entitled, “Emerging from the ‘House of Gaslight’ in the age of #metoo” re-examined her relationship with former President Bill Clinton. Lewinsky persistently claimed it was consensual and she was not a victim, but she is currently reconsidering it in light of the #MeToo movement. Lewinsky expressed, “I now see how problematic it was that the two of us even got to a place where there was a question of consent. Instead, the road that led there was littered with inappropriate abuse of authority, station, and privilege. (Full stop.)”

A former Associate Dean of Arts at York University, Shirley Katz wrote a policy paper on the very issue published in University Affairs in 2000, entitled “Sexual Relations Between Students and Faculty.” To Katz, there cannot be consent because of professors’ “power over students” as the nature of the role. Katz concludes the power difference is always there making consent in the traditional way impossible for students. Katz wrote, “because the professor’s powers affect the student’s life in a significant way, […] the student cannot say no to the relationship, so her consent is actually coerced compliance.”

Jason M. Opal, associate professor in the Department of History and Classical Studies at McGill commented in the 2015 McGill Daily article, “Let’s talk about teacher,” a student’s anonymous recount of her sexual relationship with one of the professors accused of inappropriate behavior. Opal concurred the power dynamic affects consent. Opal wrote there are “profound inadequacies of ‘consent’ as a moral and social category.” Continuing, he said, “consent is better than coercion: that is the best thing we can say about it. Opal concluded that the professor-student relationship is “inherently problematic, usually exploitative, and often predatory.” The unequal predatory nature is the reason professors involved have to face sanctions and punishments from the university because they have an obligation to protect their students.

Some of the accounts coming from McGill describe sexual relationships, but they are not the only inappropriate ones. Others blur the line, friendships and emotional relationships that can tether on sexual harassment or impropriety but avoid the messy sexual dynamic that is easier to prove crossed a line. Even if broken boundaries are easily proved, the university has not been kind to students filing complaints against professors after such relationships. They are not given the same weight as unwanted and forced sexual harassment and assault committed by other students. Universities have been enacting policies that prohibit any personal relationships between students and professors, especially if they are in a position to grade them for some timer already. McGill has yet to address the issue even after revising their sexual assault policy.

Students had a right to be concerned about the revised SVP seeing what is transpiring with the five Arts professors and the way complaints have been brushed aside. The SSMU has been working on an additional policy covering misconduct from students in McGill’s clubs and societies. Closing the “loophole” would make students more comfortable making complaints against fellow students. It would allow the SSMU clubs and societies to remove or sanction someone that has a complaint filed against them, even banning them from the SSMU building. Additionally, it would provide mandatory training in defining and preventing sexual assault for all SSMU associated university clubs and societies.

For over two years there have been rumblings of complaints of transgressions by professors in the Faculty of Arts, particularly, the Department of Political Science, incidentally Provost Manfredi’s old department and the Institute of Islamic Studies. Apparently, there are claims that there is a serial sexual harasser in the department of political science and a serial lothario in the Institute of Islamic Studies. This professor in the Islamic Studies is a central reason for the students and SSMU’s uproar over the university’s mishandlings of professors’ inappropriate behavior.

Former McGill political science professor Stephen Saideman, who taught at the department from 2002 to 2012 wrote about the actions of a professor in his department. Saideman repeatedly wrote about this particular professor in a number of blog posts. In his blog post entitled, “McGill’s Shame Continues” from March 2016, he specifically revealed that this professor was teaching Middle East and peacebuilding studies in the department. Saideman explained in his post why he did not expose the name of the professor. The former McGill professor commented, “I have repeatedly referred to a particular serial sexual harasser […] but obliquely so. Why obliquely so? Because I am not sure what the consequences are for me of violating the confidentiality agreements of a place I used to work and because I didn’t want people to speculate about who received this guy’s unwanted attention.”

A student did successfully file a complaint this particular professor; however, the so-called punishment was hardly enough to deter him from continuing harassing students. Saideman recounted, “[the University] did find in favor of the student, and the provost found that something inappropriate happened at the time, but that it did not fit the definition at the time of sexual harassment. I do believe this is a failure on the part of that provost.” All the university did be change the professor’s office to one where he can be monitored and prevented him from taking on graduate students. In barely any time, the department lapsed, he was back in his old office and supervising graduate students, even female ones.

In 2016, Saidemen claimed the major problem with the complaints process was confidentiality and the university refusing to name guilty professors. During his time at McGill Saideman used to discourage students from studying that area, as the only means of deterrence he could do. Saideman told the McGill Daily, “The core problem is how McGill has handled it. It was all treated confidentially, which has the effect of protecting the perpetrator…. the job of the University is to protect students.” Saideman was surprised that he was still teaching, saying, “I simply don’t understand why McGill has not fired him yet.”

Another story that brought out the problem of the professor accused of sleeping with his students was an anonymous article in the McGill Daily of a student recounting her nearly two-year affair with this professor, the one supposedly from the Institute of Islamic Studies The article published in September 2015 was entitled, “Let’s talk about teacher I slept with my professor and here’s why it shouldn’t have happened in the first place.” The explicit article described how this professor-student relationship developed from office-hour meetings to a working and sexual relationship that tore this student apart with the conflicting roles they played. In her recount, the working relationship played a prominent role in their developing relationship. The working relationship was the legitimate way for them to spend time in his office behind closed doors; a common excuse professors use to justify publicly their inappropriate involvement with a student. After the second year, the student discovered he had been sleeping with other students as well she was not the only one, but one of many.

The student described this professor as she saw him after everything ended, “He was a predator. He was a manipulator. He was a liar. He was using young women as vessels for self-validation. He was abusing his power, and he had no intention of stopping.” She also discovered this professor, “slept with, propositioned, sent inappropriate emails to, or generally made uncomfortable” other female students. The complaints process was daunting and these students feared retribution and reprisals that are so common so they did file. The article published nearly three-years-ago indicated that at that time there were problems also with five professors in different departments, “who had reputations of either serially harassing or sleeping with their students.” The student recounted, “Where some professors were concerned, students spoke of the incidents like they were common knowledge.”

At that point, there were no formal complaints filed against that professor. This fall the students were fed up with this Islamic Studies’ professor at the heart of this scandal as he was up for tenure this academic year, so they initiated their own grassroots protest. At the start of this academic year, stickers were posted in the women’s bathrooms with the Islamic Studies professor’s name, warning other female students. According to the McGill Daily, “Noting that the professor is up for tenure this semester, the stickers urged students to send testimonies of abusive behavior from faculty and staff to zerotolerance@riseup.net.” The professor in question responded with a denial, saying, “Anonymous accusations have been posted around campus about me that is categorically untrue and constitute defamation. I am deeply committed to doing my part to make every student feel safe in my classroom and on McGill’s campus.”

The university administration seemed to have backed up the professor with Angela Campbell, the Associate Provost (Policies, Procedures, and Equity) writing a defending statement that admonished the students who revealed the professor publicly. Campbell stated, “The University takes all complaints of misconduct seriously.” Continuing Campbell expressed, “Survivors can and should report through the appropriate channels,” and “McGill’s administration disapproves of attempts to address such matters through anonymous posters such as [the stickers] found on campus and is taking measures to remove these.”

Additionally, in the Winter 2017 semester the 2016-2017 executive leaders of the World Islamic and Middle East Studies Student Association (WIMESSA) Sent an open letter objecting to the professor to Robert Wisnovsky, Director of the Institute of Islamic Studies. The letter read, “We (WIMESSA execs) believe that the department is partially not taking this seriously, because they don’t think many undergrads personally care,” read the preamble to the open letter. “There is also no ‘paper trail’ of student concern which makes the department less accountable to the university.” WIMESSA asked the department not to grant the professor tenure, writing, “It is disconcerting that such an abuse of power appears to be going unreprimanded. As it stands, women are at a disadvantage within the Islamic Studies department, and this inequality needs to be corrected. For these reasons, WIMESSA vehemently encourages the impending tenure committee to deny [the professor] tenure.”

The program director never publicly responded, and this year’s WIMESSA executives issued a statement. The statement backtracked and avoided mentioning the particular professor. The executives wrote, “In light of recent events regarding the Islamic Studies Institute, we want to extend our services to the community and support our students in any way we can. […] Sexual violence is a serious issue that we do not tolerate and we recognize the institutional violence that this inherently causes. […] This is a matter that we are taking very seriously and we are working as much as we can within our power to ensure transparency and accountability.”

It is too easy for the lines to be blurred in academia. For professors they are presented with wide-eyed naive students in awe, many enamored with the professors’ charm, sophistication, and brilliance, and they easily take advantage of the situation. Many of the young faculty members are often less than then ten years older than the students they teach, for others they never want to see themselves as older than the students. They behave as friends, buddies cross the line into sexual harassment, sexual relationships, but the power dynamic is always there. Professors and students never equal and it is inappropriate for them to think it is even possible.

Research has proven that power alters the minds of men, making them believe they have the right to behave in the controlling manner that leads to sexual harassment and assault. They believe they have a privilege to behave the way they do and many fail to see how wrong they are. The #MeToo movement in a short six months has swept through the entertainment industry, politics, business, and journalism. The movement gave a voice and credibility to women who for years had experienced harassment, abuse, and assault in the hands of men in positions of power and then suffered in silence fearing reprisals.

Now it is sweeping academia, but there are setbacks. Tenure has always given professors an extra boost in their power, giving them an air of invincibility. Tenure has and is still protecting professors preventing universities from firing professors who behave inappropriately with students. Professors, however, believe universities owe their students to deal with the accused professors, not just fire them, which would allow them to continue their behavior elsewhere. The SSMU’s open letter wants an investigator to examine tenure and tenure-track professors as well, to see if complaints against professors are presented to the tenure committee and to see whether tenure status “can be reassessed following formal complaints against a faculty member.”

The students realize tenure cannot be overturned and the system changed overnight, but they do believe there should be consequences for tenured professors. Spencer commented to the Montreal Gazette, “Right now if a prof has tenure, they are untouchable. Some of the profs (who are the subjects of repeated complaints) have tenure and some don’t. For the ones who do have tenure, why would anyone bring a complaint forward? … It’s not about, one complaint, therefore fire them, but we need to explore what a procedure for processing complaints against a tenured prof looks like.”

In Montreal, there have already been cracks in that invincibility. This past January at neighboring Concordia University, former students, and graduates of the school’s creative writing program came forward against four professors without tenure with allegations going back two decades. The university acted swiftly and dismissed three of the living professors, then launched an investigation. Within two weeks the university issued guidelines on how to deal with professor-student relationships acknowledging there is a “conflict of interest” and an “imbalance of power.”

The events at Concordia inspired SSMU to take action now, and force the university to confront the way they have been dealing or not dealing with complaints against these five repeat offending professors. Spencer commented the press, “We were told that it couldn’t happen, and then we looked over at our neighbor and they were doing it, so we didn’t accept that anymore…I thought, ’If not now, then when,’ If something doesn’t happen now, I don’t know when it’s going to happen.”

Bonnie K. Goodman BA, MLIS (McGill University), is a journalist, librarian, historian & editor. She is a former Features Editor at the History News Network & reporter at Examiner.com where she covered politics, universities, religion, and news. She has a dozen years experience in education & political journalism.

Education April 4, 2018: Too many Ph.Ds not enough jobs why academia needs to be more selective

HEADLINE NEWS

Headline_News

EDUCATIO

Too many Ph.Ds, not enough jobs, why academia needs to be more selective

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

As students receive in their acceptance letters and notifications for the upcoming academic year, and universities post a high number of applications and lower acceptance rates for undergraduate study, how do these trends affect graduate studies? For years already there have been reports on the oversupply of doctoral students while tenure-track university jobs shrink. Is it time for graduate studies to take a page from undergraduate trends and accept fewer students at the graduate level?

There are widespread problems with both the way these programs are run and with the students enrolled. Former Harvard University president Derek Bok lamented on the problems in doctoral study in the United States in a November 2013 article published in the Chronicle of Higher Education entitled, “We Must Prepare Ph.D. Students for the Complicated Art of Teaching.” Bok described the worst offenses, “Graduate schools can justly be condemned as the worst-designed and worst-administered of any major academic program in our research universities. There are far too many Ph.D. programs, many of them of mediocre quality. Dropout rates are embarrassingly high. More than 40 percent of graduate students fail to earn doctorates within 10 years, a number far greater than in other advanced degree programs. Students take too long to finish, with almost 30 percent in the social sciences and 40 percent in the humanities lingering for more than seven years before earning their degrees.”

Doctoral students have a great dissatisfaction with the problems plaguing the Ph.D. process. An article in the Economist in 2010, entitled “Why doing a PhD is often a waste of time The disposable academic” claims, “Some describe their work as “slave labor”. Seven-day weeks, ten-hour days, low pay and uncertain prospects are widespread.”

The article claims that there is a problem with the research doctorate education that is creating an unneeded oversupply. Written in 2010, it claims that in the United States, 64,000 students graduated with doctorates. From 2005 to 2009, 100,000 received doctorates, but there were only 16,000 professorship positions open. The Economist writes, “an oversupply of PhDs. Although a doctorate is designed as training for a job in academia, the number of Ph.D. positions is unrelated to the number of job openings. Meanwhile, business leaders complain about shortages of high-level skills, suggesting PhDs are not teaching the right things. The fiercest critics compare research doctorates to Ponzi or pyramid schemes.”

The article claims one of the reasons universities continue these programs is because they provide cheap labor in the university, in research and teaching. “Universities have discovered that Ph.D. students are cheap, highly motivated and disposable labor. With more Ph.D. students they can do more research, and in some countries more teaching, with less money.” Money is the prime motivator for most universities when it comes their doctoral students, from tuition and the cheap labor they provide. The process is disheartening, especially among students that should not be in the programs, to begin with.

One of the main problems is attrition, the longer students take to complete the degree, the more likely they are to drop out. According to the Economist, “Only 57% of doctoral students will have a Ph.D. ten years after their first date of enrolment. In the humanities, where most students pay for their own PhDs, the figure is 49%.” The Economist points out that of those that drop of their doctoral program, most do so early on, but in the humanities, they linger for years, before stopping their degree. The main reasons for stopping include, “Poor supervision, bad job prospects or lack of money cause them to run out of steam.”

Leonard Cassuto also looked at the problem and reasons for attrition. In his Chronicle of Higher Education commentary published in July 2013, entitled, “Ph.D. Attrition: How Much Is Too Much?” Cassuto points out that “A disturbing 50 percent of doctoral students leave graduate school without finishing.” Cassuto indicates there are three types of doctoral students. The first type is “those who can’t get it done because they’re not up to the demands of the task.” The second type is “those who have the ability to finish but choose not to,” while the third type completes their degree. Cassuto believes if an academic committee keeps up to standards very few would not complete their degree due to lack of ability, because those accepted would have the skills to do so. He also believes a “well run department” matters in admitting students that are up to the task. The problem is in many lower-tier schools the desperation for students often hinders committees and departments’ admission decisions.

The Economist also had solutions to the attrition problem, mostly incentives and penalties against the professors. According to the Economist, “Measurements and incentives might be changed, too. Some university departments and academics regard numbers of Ph.D. graduates as an indicator of success and compete to produce more. For the students, a measure of how quickly those students get a permanent job, to what they earn, would be more useful. Where penalties are levied on academics who allow PhDs to overrun, the number of students who complete rises abruptly, suggesting that students were previously allowed to fester.”

Lowering the number of graduate student at lower-tier schools might also be an answer. While elite and top-tier universities only accept the students that would be the most successful for the rigors of graduate education, those at lower-tier schools are often not. Despite the overcrowding mostly from lower-ranked schools, they continue accepting too many underqualified students, because if they would not they would go out of business.

On a personal note, recently I had the chance to read the writings of a graduate student at a college whose Political Science department where they were studying did not even rank according to US News and World Report’s graduate school rankings. The writing was hardly graduate-level caliber, the essays were riddled with grammatical and sentence structure errors, and they did not even know the basics of constructing a thesis statement. The student’s work was not even up to the standards expectant of undergraduates at most top-tier colleges and universities. Why were they then in a masters program and had applied for doctoral study for the upcoming year? Why had nobody stopped their studies before? Because the college needed the students and tuition money to continue offering their program. The situation is not unique, it symptomatic of many lower-tier schools and graduate programs.

Doctoral graduates from lower ranked schools face more employment setbacks that their peers at elite top schools and graduate departments. The problem is now years in the making. A December 2012 report proved that graduate of the top doctoral programs is their ones getting the bulk of the available tenure-track positions. The study conducted by Robert Oprisko of Butler University, and published in the Georgetown Public Policy Review entitled, “Superpowers: The American Academic Elite” looked specifically at doctoral graduates from political science programs using 2009 program rankings.

Oprisko determined that only students graduating from top 11 programs where benefitting career-wise after completing their doctorate. The study found that just 20 percent of those receiving tenure-track posts come from the top four schools Harvard, Princeton, and Stanford and top public school and number four, the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. Oprisko points out in this study that even lower-ranked universities want to hire graduates of the top programs, which Oprisko says, “This practice reinforces the perceived inferiority of their current institution.”

Audrey Williams June writing in a December 2012, Chronicle of Higher Education article entitled “Ph.D.’s From Top Political-Science Programs Dominate Hiring, Research Finds” explained the findings. Williams June wrote, “The median institutional ranking of institutions in the study is 11, which Mr. Oprisko said implies that 11 institutions contributed half of the political scientists who filled tenured or tenure-track positions at research-intensive universities in the United States. That means that graduates of the more than 100 other political-science programs competed for the remaining 50 percent of job openings.” Oprisko finds “Students who come from less-prestigious institutions don’t really get a chance.”

Oprisko notes, according to Diane Rubenstein of Cornell “the perception is that good students only come from a handful of schools.” Justice Clarence Thomas takes issue with this perception, holding that graduates from schools ranked lower are not “third-tier trash.” Sometimes, however, lower standards from these schools both at the school and program level fosters third-rate doctorate.

Leonard Cassuto also looked at the academic prestige of doctorate graduate at top-tier schools and program then questioned “What Are Low-Ranked Graduate Programs Good For?” in the Chronicle of Higher Education in January 2013. To Cassuto it is graduating from the top 40 ranked programs which matter, writing “Political scientists, like AM-radio disc jockeys of old, prize the top 40.” Cassuto indicates programs outside the elite are defensive and he had an email from a director at a regionals school that argued, “As a Research, I University, our students, for the most part, are very much interested in continuing to do research.” At that point, she blamed the economy for their graduates being overlooked in the job market.

Many graduates of lower-tier programs often end up in jobs outside of academia or as teachers in community colleges or other teaching-only institutions. The problem is most of the lower -tier schools are in denial as to the prospects of their students’ careers and do not emphasize teaching in their programs. Cassuto also notes that programs outside the top 40 who should be emphasizing teaching for their doctoral students but do not, instead they follow the top 40 model to the detriment of their doctoral students. Schools outside the top 100 are usually teaching intensive and realize it, favoring graduates, who are generalists focused on teaching as opposed to research. As Cassuto recounts one graduate director at a lower-ranked regional school confessed their programs emphasized teaching, “because we know our place.”

Bok notes the problems undergraduate are having with learning basic skills and remaining engaged. Bok recounts “Among the recent discoveries, investigators have found that college students are not making as much progress as most people have assumed in mastering essential skills such as writing and critical thinking.” For Bok, the problem could be solved by teaching doctoral students how to teach.

As academia and critics look to teaching as an answer to the overflow of doctorates, the question remains how can doctorates who barely were qualified at the onset teach the next generation of students in a field. If desperate universities populate their graduate programs with unqualified students, how can these same people after completing a doctorate rectify the writing and critical thinking problems undergraduates face.

Cassuto believes part of the solution involves accepting less doctoral students, but not so few that it again breeds elitism from the top universities and program as in the past. In his December 2012, Chronicle of Higher Education article entitled “What If We Made Fewer Ph.D.’s?” he believes programs need to find the “right size” and altering their instruction for alternative jobs for doctorates outside academia.

Academia at any level is still a business, and they are operating as such ignoring the perpetual problem they are creating, so-called experts, where many had inferior marks, writing and analytical skills as they entered their programs. The myriad of problems graduate students face during their doctoral could be eliminated if lower-tier graduate program filled their classes not just with students who fulfilled the basic requirements, but by having the same standards as top-tier students. They need to be either be more selective or eliminate their programs if they can not fill them with qualified students, that it’s the only way to end the oversupply of mediocre doctorates. A graduate degree needs to go back to being awarded to the best and brightest because a degree at that level is not a right, but a privilege.

Bonnie K. Goodman BA, MLIS (McGill University), is a journalist, librarian, historian & editor. She is a former Features Editor at the History News Network & reporter at Examiner.com where she covered politics, universities, religion, and news. She has a dozen years experience in education & political journalism.

Education April 2, 2018: Stanford remains most selective elite university for Class of 2022 with record-low 4.3 percent acceptance rate 

HEADLINE NEWS

Headline_News

EDUCATION

Stanford remains most selective elite university for Class of 2022 with record-low 4.3 percent acceptance rate

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

Stanford University remains the most coveted and selective school for the Class of 2022. Stanford is beating their own records, having both the lowest acceptance rate and the highest number of applications in the school’s history. On Friday, March 30, 2018, at 4 p.m. Stanford sent out acceptances to 1,290 students for their regular admission cycle. The university accepted a total of 2,040 students out of a record 47,450 applications, making the acceptance rate only 4.3 percent.

This year Stanford received 3000 more applications than they did for the Class of 2021. Previously, on Dec. 8, 2017, Stanford had sent out acceptance to 750 students as part of their restrictive early action program. Stanford’s was not only the lowest in the school’s history but also the lowest of all colleges and universities. Stanford easily beat rival Harvard, the Ivy League’s most selective school; this year Harvard’s acceptance rate was a record 4.59 percent.

Richard H. Shaw, dean of admission and financial aid remarked on the application pool this year. Shaw told the Stanford News “We continue to be awed and humbled by the interest Stanford receives from outstanding young people around the world. Indeed, the incredible strength of the students applying to Stanford is simply awesome, and all candidates who applied will have wonderful choices in higher education.”

This year’s acceptance rate was a third of percentage point less than last year’s rate. Last year, Stanford admitted only 2,050 students to the Class of 2021, 1,329 in the regular admission cycle and 721 during the restrictive early admission cycle. The university received a “record” 44,073 applications vying for a spot at Stanford. The acceptance rate for the Class of 2021 was only 4.65 percent hailed also as “the lowest in Stanford’s history.”

The Class of 2022 is one of the university’s most diverse both geographically and socio-economically. Shaw commended the incoming class, saying “We are proud of the intellectual strength and incredible diversity represented by the Class of 2022. Overall, the admitted students reflect the broad diversity of our country and the world. These students already have had an incredible impact on their communities, and we know they will contribute to the world in immeasurable ways.”

Geographically, the incoming class has students coming from all 50 states and the territories. The class consists of 11.4 percent of international students coming from 63 countries. Socio-economically, the class attracted the largest number of first-generation college students of all the Ivy League and elite universities, with 18.3 percent. Where the school still needs to make strides is gender parity, although close, there are still men accepted than women, 50.8 to 49.2 percent.

Stanford, however, has one of the best financial aid programs of all the elite schools, attracting many deserving lower-income students. For students coming from families with an annual income of less than $125,000, tuition is covered through “need-based scholarships, federal and state grants and/or outside scholarship funds.” Parents still, however, have to pay room and board. Students coming from families, who only earn 65,000 a year have everything covered.

Stanford also released the majors most of the incoming freshmen are planning on taking. According to Stanford News, “65 percent expressing interest in Humanities and Sciences programs, 30 percent in Engineering, and 3.5 percent in Earth, Energy and Environmental Sciences.” Students have until May 1, to notify the University of their decision.

Bonnie K. Goodman BA, MLIS (McGill University), is a journalist, librarian, historian & editor. She is a former Features Editor at the History News Network & reporter at Examiner.com where she covered politics, universities, religion, and news. She has a dozen years experience in education & political journalism.

Education March 29, 2018: Cornell has record-low acceptance rate of 10.3 percent for the Class of 2022

HEADLINE NEWS

Headline_News

EDUCATION

Cornell has record-low acceptance rate of 10.3 percent for the Class of 2022

Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

(Source: Cornell Admissions Twitter)

It’s Ivy League decision day, on Wednesday evening, March 28, 2018, at 7 p.m. Cornell University notified the Class of 2022 of their admission decisions. This year Cornell admitted 5,288 students out of 51,328 applications; a new record high for the college. Additionally, Cornell waitlisted 6,684 students. The acceptance was also the college’s lowest at 10.3 percent, while it might be a new low for Cornell, but it is one of the highest in the Ivy League.

For the Class of 2021, Cornell University had one of the largest acceptance rates of all the Ivies with 12.5 percent. Cornell admitted 5,889 students from a record number of 47,038 applicants. An additional 5,713 students were placed on a waitlist. For the Class of 2020, Cornell had a 13.96% acceptance rate with 6,277 students accepted out of 44,966 applicants. In December 2016, Cornell accepted approximately 1,350 applicants out of 5,384 early applications for an acceptance rate of 25.6 percent.

Jason C. Locke, associate vice provost for enrollment commended the incoming freshman. Locke told the Cornell Sun, “The exceptionally large applicant pool this year produced a most remarkable class. No doubt Ezra would be proud of the Class of 2022!” While Barbara Knuth, senior vice provost commented, “We have admitted a highly talented and accomplished Class of 2022 who will flourish as Cornellians. We look forward to welcoming them into our campus community.”

Cornell is hailing the incoming class as the “most diverse class in university history.” Students that identify as “underrepresented minorities” constitute 33 percent of the class, a number that has been rising for the last four years. With students of color and Asian-American students, the number jumps to a majority of 54 percent. As with most other of the Ivies, there is a large number of first-generation college students, this year’s class welcomes 700 more to Cornell. Additionally, 60 students will commence their studies in the Spring 2019 semester as part of the colleges First-Year Spring Admission program.

“Geographically,” the class is equally diverse, with students accepted from all 50 states and the territories. Internationally, students are coming from 93 countries and represent 9 percent of the class. The most predominant countries include, “Canada, China, India, South Korea, Singapore and the United Kingdom.” Students have until May 1, to accept the offers of admission.

Bonnie K. Goodman BA, MLIS (McGill University), is a journalist, librarian, historian & editor. She is a former Features Editor at the History News Network & reporter at Examiner.com where she covered politics, universities, religion, and news. She has a dozen years experience in education & political journalism.

Education March 29, 2018: Brown admits record-low for the Class of 2022, 7.2 percent acceptance rate

HEADLINE NEWS

Headline_News

EDUCATION

Brown admits record-low for the Class of 2022, 7.2 percent acceptance rate

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

It’s Ivy League decision day, on Wednesday evening, March 28, 2018, at 7 p.m. Brown University notified the Class of 2022 of their admission decisions. Brown sent out only 1,742 offers of admissions out a historic high of 35,438 applications to the Class of 2022.Their acceptance rate was 7.2 percent overall, while the regular admission cycles rate was only 5.5 percent.

Brown also saw record number of applications for the Class of 2022, they received 35,368 applications, up 8 percent from the previous year, and the highest increase in the last five years. Dean of Admission Logan Powell lauded the applicants in a statement to the Brown Daily Herald. Powell called those vying to be apart of the Class of 2022 “ as strong as any pool in our history.” Powell commended the students, saying, “We continue to be humbled by the incredible talent and diversity of perspective represented in the applicant pool.”

On Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017, at 5 p.m. Brown University admitted 738 students as part of their binding early decision program to the Class of 2022. This year the Ivy League school saw their largest number of applications for the early admission cycle, with 3502 high school seniors applying, 10 percent more than last year. Although Brown has, a higher acceptance rate than the Ivy League schools, it was a low for them, and Brown’s acceptance rate was only 21 percent for the Class of 2022.

Brown set a record low for the Class of 2021 admissions. Last year, Brown had a “record-low” 8.3 acceptance rate, admitting 2,027 applicants for their new freshmen class with just a 6.5 acceptance rate for regular decision. Brown saw a record 32,724 applications. In December 2016 as part of early decision admission for the Class of 2021, Brown accepted 695 applicants out of 3,170 applications for an acceptance rate of 21.9 percent.

Dean Powell praised the incoming class’ qualifications. Powell told the Brown Daily Herald, “There were just so many incredibly qualified students in the applicant pool. We could probably admit three classes of students who are enormously academically qualified from the group of applicants we had.” Powell attributes the high number of applications and the lower acceptance rate to “the Brown Promise initiative, the addition of another A Day on College Hill program and the doubling of travel grants.”

For the Class of 2022, Brown revamped their financial aid now calling it the Brown Promise Initiative. As of the next academic year, students will no longer have loans, but grants for financial aid, making Brown more affordable. In the past two years, 65 percent of the Classes of 2021 and 2022 have or intend to apply for aid.

The incoming class will also be the most diverse socio-economically and geographically. Nearly half 49 percent “identify as students of color,” last year only 47 identified. Unlike the rest of the Ivies there will actually be less first generation college students than the previous year, with 13 percent of the class.

Geographically, the admitted students come from only 48 states, predominantly “California, New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Texas.” There is an increase in international students up to 11 percent, coming fro 76 countries, with the most coming from “China, India, the United Kingdom, Canada and Singapore.” Students have until May 1, to accept the offers of admission.

Bonnie K. Goodman BA, MLIS (McGill University), is a journalist, librarian, historian & editor. She is a former Features Editor at the History News Network & reporter at Examiner.com where she covered politics, universities, religion, and news. She has a dozen years experience in education & political journalism.

Education March 29, 2018: Princeton accepts record-low for the Class of 2022, 5.5 percent acceptance rate

HEADLINE NEWS

Headline_News

EDUCATION

Princeton accepts record-low for the Class of 2022, 5.5 percent acceptance rate

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

It’s Ivy League decision day, on Wednesday evening, March 28, 2018, at 7 p.m. Princeton University notified the Class of 2022 of their admission decisions. Princeton has the second lowest acceptance of the Ivies, only behind Harvard College. The rate of 5.5 percent is a record-low and more than half percentage point less than for the Class of 2021.

Princeton admitted a total of 1,941 students, 1,142 just this regular admission cycle out of the a record 35,370 applications, 14 percent higher than applied for the Class of 2021. Additionally, 1,125 students were wait listed, normally the university accepts between 18 to 101 students from that list.

Of all the Ivies, Princeton saw the greatest increase in applications and the only one above 10 percent. There were 35,386 high school seniors vying a place in Princeton’s Class of 2022, an increase of 14 percent than from the previous year. To demonstrate just how many more applications Princeton received this cycle the Daily Princetonian noted that in 2008, when students applied for the Class of 2012 there were only 13,695 applications, making a 158 percent increase in applications in the past 10 years.

On Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017, at 3 pm, Princeton University sent out early action admission offers to 799 lucky school seniors to the Class of 2022. Princeton had a record number of applications this early action cycle with 5,402 applications with 8 percent more than last year and 57 percent more applications than six years ago in 2011. Because of the number of applicants, Princeton’s acceptance rate was a record low with only 14.7 percent of student accepted down from last year’s 15.4 percent.

Princeton’s acceptance rate for the Class of 2021 was at that point “the lowest in school history.” The University invited just 6.1 percent of applicants to join the University, 1,890 students out of a “record” 31,056 applicants. In December 2016, Princeton accepted 770 applicants out of 5,003 applications for an acceptance rate of 15.4 percent as part of the “single-choice early action” program.

Princeton first offered early action admission seven years ago. Students can only apply to Princeton in the early admission cycle, but they can notify the college of their decision by May 1. As Princeton points out the landscape now is radically different from 2011 when the college accepted 21.1 percent of early action applicants.

Dean of Admission Janet Rapelye commended the incoming class and all the applicants. Rapelye told the Daily Princetonian, “The Admissions Committee was extremely impressed with the academic quality of all the candidates [for admission], especially those who were admitted.”

Princeton was the only Ivy to indicate the academic profile of the students that applied. As the Princetonian explained, “The applicant pool included 14,273 students had high school GPAs of 4.0, and 17,692 — 50 percent of the total applicant pool — had combined SAT scores of 1400 or higher out of a possible 1600.” Most of the applicants took either the ACT or new SAT, including the writing component, which is still required for applying.

The class is diverse both geographically and socio-economically. Those accepted, however, come from only 48 states, but also the territories, the majority of those accepted come from “New Jersey, California and New York.” The number of international students also increased, with 77 countries represented.

Princeton, like the Ivy League schools, are increasing their financial aid initiatives to appeal to low-income students. Rapelye contributes it to the reason behind the large recording breaking number of applications. Rapelye told the Daily Princetonian, “[That growth] exceeded our expectations. Our outreach to low income backgrounds, students who may be working with community-based organizations, and to schools we haven’t had applicants from before may have contributed. Our financial aid process is generous, and, we believe, second to none.”

There were more first generation college students, representing 17 percent of the incoming class, and 64.5 percent came from public schools. Additionally, Princeton accepted 11.2 percent of students who are “legacy” the children of Princeton graduates, and recruited athletes compromise 11.6 percent of those accepted. Princeton hopes to enroll 1,296 freshmen in the fall semester. Students have until May 1, to accept the offers of admission.

Bonnie K. Goodman BA, MLIS (McGill University), is a journalist, librarian, historian & editor. She is a former Features Editor at the History News Network & reporter at Examiner.com where she covered politics, universities, religion and news. She has a dozen years experience in education & political journalism.

Education March 29, 2018: Yale admits fewer students to the Class of 2022, lowers acceptance rate to 6.31 percent 

HEADLINE NEWS

Headline_News

EDUCATION

Yale admits fewer students to the Class of 2022, lowers acceptance rate to 6.31 percent

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

It’s Ivy League decision day, on Wednesday evening, March 28, 2018, at 7 p.m. Yale College notified the Class of 2022 of the admission decisions. After last year when Yale became the only Ivy to increase their acceptance rate, now Yale is reversing the trend and their rate was lowered to 6.31 percent. Yale’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions announced that it accepted 2,229 students from a “record” 35,306 applications they received this year. Additionally, 1,102 applicants were wait listed, however, the college is uncertain whether any on the list will be offered admission.

For the Class of 2022, Yale saw the largest increase in applications for their college in the last five years, with 35,305 applications and rising 7.3 percent since the Class of 2021. As the Yale Daily News explains, “Last year, the number of applications rose around 5 percent from 31,439 for the Class of 2020 to 32,891 for the Class of 2021. Before that, the number of applications rose by 4 percent, from 30,227 for the Class of 2019.” In the five years applications have increased by 19 percent.

On Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017, at 5 p.m. Yale notified the Class of 2022 of their decisions on their early action admissions. This year Yale admitted only 842 students, the least out of all the Ivies, out of a record number 5,733 applications.

Yale admitted 1,550 students to the Class of 2021 regular cycle. Yale accepted 2,272 students out of “record” 32,900 applicants, making a 6.9 percent acceptance rate. Yale admitted fewer students than last year’s early admission. In December 2016, as part of early admission, Yale accepted 871 applicants out of 5,086 applications for an acceptance rate of 17.1 percent.

Additionally, 1,181 students were placed on the waitlist. In previous years, Yale used to receive only about 4,700 applications each early admission cycle. Of all the Ivies, only Yale University increased the number of students they accepted for the Class of 2021, because of the two new residential colleges that opened this fall.

Dean of Undergraduate Admissions and Financial Aid Jeremiah Quinlan commented on the quality and diversity of the incoming class. Quinlan told the Yale Daily News, “All of our admissions officers continue to be impressed with and humbled by the number of highly qualified applicants in our pool. We’re thrilled that the expansion of Yale College has allowed us to offer admission to such a large number of students from such a variety of backgrounds.”

This past fall the college opened to new residential colleges, Pauli Murray and Benjamin Franklin and plan to accept more students each year as a result. Yale hopes to have 800 more students attending by the time the Class of 2024 is admitted. The college’s expansion goes against the trend of the other Ivies, who are accepting less students and having lowering acceptance rates. Yale plans on having 1,550 freshman enroll in the fall.

Yale is also touting the incoming class as more diverse, with more minorities and lower-income students accepted. Geographically, it also as diverse with students coming from all 50 states and the territories and internationally from 64 countries.

Scott Wallace-Juedes, director of undergraduate financial aid told the Daily News, “Last year Yale was able to offer need-based financial aid awards to more incoming first years than ever before with the expansion of Yale College. My colleagues and I look forward to working with the admitted students to the class of 2022 to ensure that cost of attendance is not a barrier for any admitted student when considering Yale.” Students have until May 1, to notify the college of their decision.

Bonnie K. Goodman BA, MLIS (McGill University), is a journalist, librarian, historian & editor. She is a former Features Editor at the History News Network & reporter at Examiner.com where she covered politics, universities, religion and news. She has a dozen years experience in education & political journalism.

Education March 28, 2018: University of Pennsylvania sets record-low acceptance rate for Class of 2022 of 8.39 percent

HEADLINE NEWS

Headline_News

EDUCATION

University of Pennsylvania sets record-low acceptance rate for Class of 2022 of 8.39 percent

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

It’s Ivy League admissions day, on Wednesday, March 28, 2018, at 7 p.m. the University of Pennsylvania notified the Class of 2022 of their admission decisions. As with other Ivies, Penn saw their number of applications rise and their acceptance rate plummet. Penn had a record 44,482 applicants, but only accepted 3,371 students. The acceptance rate was 8.39 percent a new low for the university, but a higher rate than most of the other Ivies

On Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017, at 7 p.m. Ivy League school the University of Pennsylvania sent out 1,312 early decision offers of admission for the Class of 2022. This year Penn received a record number of applications, 7,074 students applied, and 15 percent more to the early decision program for the Class of 2021. As result, the college has its record lowest early admission rate in history at just 18.5 percent down from last year’s 23.2 percent.

The acceptance rate for the Class of 2022 early admission is the lowest in the school’s history, still, the university did not actually admit that much fewer students than last year. Penn admitted 1,312 students this year and last year they accepted 1,354 students. Penn admits over half of the freshmen class through their early decision program. As the student paper, the Daily Pennsylvanian noted, “Last year approximately 55 percent of the total 2,445 spots available were filled by Early Decision applicants.”

Last year, Penn hailed their Class of 2021 acceptance rate as the lowest in history, accepting 3,699 students from 40,413 applicants for “a record-low 9.15 percent acceptance rate.” In December 2016, Penn sent notifications to 1,364 students that they were accepted as part of the early decision program with a 22 percent acceptance rate.

Dean of Admissions Eric Furda commented on the incoming Class of 2022, saying “We are thrilled about the possibility of these students joining our community, brining their intellectual curiosities, analytical minds and collaborative spirits to enrich our campus. We can’t wait to meet them.”

With the rise in applications, there is an increase in acceptances in every demographic group. The Daily Pennsylvanian reported that “one in seven admitted students” are first-generation college students, last year it was one in eight. There is also an increase in the number of low-income students, as the university’s “Board of Trustees increased the financial aid budget by 5.3 percent,” giving Penn their “largest financial aid budget in history.”

The students come from all fifty states and the territories. As the Daily Pennsylvanian notes they come predominantly from “Washington D.C. Puerto Rico and Guam. Pennsylvania, New York, California, New Jersey, Florida, and Texas.” More international students were accepted as well up 6 percent and representing 104 countries. Students have until May 1, to accept the offers of admission.

Bonnie K. Goodman BA, MLIS (McGill University), is a journalist, librarian, historian & editor. She is a former Features Editor at the History News Network & reporter at Examiner.com where she covered politics, universities, religion and news. She has a dozen years experience in education & political journalism.

Education March 28, 2018: Columbia accepts record-low for the Class of 2022 just 5.5 percent acceptance rate

HEADLINE NEWS

Headline_News

EDUCATION

Columbia accepts record-low for the Class of 2022 just 5.5 percent acceptance rate

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

It’s Ivy League acceptance day, and on Wednesday afternoon at 3 p.m., March 28, 2018, the admissions office at Columbia College and the School of Engineering and Applied Science mailed out their decisions for the regular cycle to the Class of 2022. This year Columbia’s acceptance rate fell nearly a third of a percentage point from last year to 5.5 percent. The college admitted only 2,214 applicants. Like the rest of the Ivy League, Columbia received a record number of applications this year, 40,203 combined, early and regular admission cycles. According to the Columbia Spectator that is 8 percent more than for the Class of 2021. Columbia did not release any demographic data for the incoming freshman class.

On Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017, instead of releasing their early decision data, Columbia College only released the number of applications they received this cycle. That evening at 7 p.m. Columbia notified high school seniors whether they would be joining the Class of 2022. This year Columbia received 4,085 early decision applications to Columbia College and the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, just one less than for the Class of 2021.

For the Class of 2021, Columbia College had a lower acceptance rate, representing just 5.8 percent of their applicant pool. Columbia admitted just 2,185 from a record 37,389 applicants. For the Class of 2020, Columbia had a 6.04% acceptance rate, with 2,193 students accepted out of 36,292 applicants. Columbia is notorious for divulging the least information of all the Ivies about their incoming freshmen class only releasing more data for the upcoming application year. Students have until May 1, to accept the offers of admission.

Bonnie K. Goodman BA, MLIS (McGill University), is a journalist, librarian, historian & editor. She is a former Features Editor at the History News Network & reporter at Examiner.com where she covered politics, universities, religion and news. She has a dozen years experience in education & political journalism.

Education March 27, 2018: Ivy League colleges Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Brown and Dartmouth see record number of applications for Class of 2022 

HEADLINE NEWS

Headline_News

EDUCATION

Ivy League colleges Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Brown and Dartmouth see record number of applications for Class of 2022

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

More high school seniors are taking a chance at their dream of attending an Ivy League university. Five of the Ivies released their application data for the Class of 2022; Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Brown and Dartmouth. All saw application increases between 7 and 14 percent, pushing them to all break their previous records. Harvard had 42,742 applications, up 8.2 percent, Yale had 35,305 applications, up 7.3 percent, Brown had 35,368 applications, up 8 percent and Dartmouth with 22,005 applications up 9.8 percent. Princeton, however, saw the biggest increase in applications with up 14 percent. Three of the Ivies; Cornell, Columbia and the University of Pennsylvania did not release their data. Increase in financial aid packages at the Ivies are attracting the record number of applicants with more minority and low-income students.

Harvard University

This past cycle, Harvard saw a record number of applications with 42,742 students applying. The college credits the increase on their financial aid packages and consideration for more low-income students applying. For the Class of 2022, there was as the Harvard Gazette notes, an “increase of 8.2 percent from the 39,506 applicants for the Class of 2021.”
Harvard’s dean of admissions and financial aid, William R. Fitzsimmons explained how unique their aid program is for students. The dean said, “Harvard’s revolutionary financial aid initiative (HFAI), begun 15 years ago and enhanced since then, led the way again this year in attracting students of excellence from throughout the nation and around the world.

Applications have doubled since the inception of the program — and each year more and more students are excited to learn that Harvard is open to outstanding students from all economic backgrounds.”
For the majority, Harvard’s cost of tuition and fees is almost the same as public universities, because of their financial aid program. As the Gazette indicates, “More than half of Harvard students receive need-based financial aid, and the average grant is $53,000.” Students with families that make up to $150,000, pay only “10 percent or less of their annual incomes.” There are even allowances in certain cases for students whose families annual incomes are above that amount.

Students coming from the lower income brackets earning less than $65,000 a year can now access a “start-up” grant of $2,000 to help them as they start their studies. The Gazette pointed out for the Class of 2022, “Preliminary measures of economic diversity among applicants rose, with 75.5 percent applying for aid and 25.9 percent requesting an application fee waiver.”

This year’s applicant pool is the most diverse demographically for the college, 50.3 percent are women, there is also a 18.7 percent increase of African-American students, and 14.9 percent more Asian-American student applications. There was also an increase in the number of American students applying from all four regions of the country, but the biggest increase was from the South. International student applications, however, remain the same level as from the Class of 2021.

Yale University

Yale saw the largest increase in applications for their college in the last five years, with 35,305 applications and rising 7.3 percent since the Class of 2021. As the Yale Daily News explains, “Last year, the number of applications rose around 5 percent from 31,439 for the Class of 2020 to 32,891 for the Class of 2021. Before that, the number of applications rose by 4 percent, from 30,227 for the Class of 2019.” In the five years applications have increased by 19 percent.

Yale is trying to “emphasize” that it is not the number of applications, but the calibre and achievements of their applicants That matters. Dean of Undergraduate Admissions and Financial Aid Jeremiah Quinlan, commented to the Daily News, “As always, we do not measure success simply by the number of applications we receive. Quality matters much more to the admissions committee.”

The increase in applicants has been across all demographics especially minority groups. In the last five years, 40 percent more racial and ethnic minorities, who are American citizens and residents applied, and there were 37 percent first-generation college students applying. The number that pleases Associate Director of Admissions Mark Dunn the most is the increase of low-income students, whose numbers have increased by 113 percent. Yale has campaigned to reach out to these “high achieving” students, and this past summer mailed 30,000 incoming high school students emphasizing Yale’s “affordability” with financial aid.

Financial-aid is predominately behind the increase of applications at all the Ivies sand elite universities, but Yale has an additional attraction; two new residential colleges that opened at that start of the academic year. The college accepted 200 more students to the Class of 2021. Dunn commented, “I think this helped inspire more high school students who looked to their graduating peers to consider Yale.”

Brown University

Brown also saw record number of applications for the Class of 2022, they received 35,368 applications, up 8 percent from the previous year.
Dean of Admission Logan Powell lauded the applicants in a statement to the Brown Daily Herald. Powell called those vying to be apart of the Class of 2022 “ as strong as any pool in our history.” Powell commended the students, saying, “We continue to be humbled by the incredible talent and diversity of perspective represented in the applicant pool.”

Although application numbers increased from the Class of 2021 across all demographics they’re was a rise in minorities, first generation and low-income students applying. The largest increase was in the number of students of color applying, with a 16 percent increase, representing 45 percent of all applicants up from 42 percent for the Class of 2021.

There was a 13 percent increase in the number of first generation students applying with 18 percent in total up from 17 percent the previous cycle.
The applicants come from “all 50 states” predominantly “California, New York and Massachusetts.” There it’s also a large international contingent, with applicants from “149 other nations” with the biggest share applying from “China, India, and Canada.” The majority of applicants, 60 percent are women.

Dartmouth College

Dartmouth College had a larger increase in applications than most of the Ivies, jumping 9.8 percent to 22,005 high school senior applying. Lee Coffin, vice provost for enrollment and dean of admissions and financial aid remarked, “The big increases in this year’s pools reflect the early success of our expanded recruitment and the new communications plan we have adopted. We have refocused our message to emphasize excellence in teaching and undergraduate access to outstanding teacher-scholars—and students are responding. While the quantity has risen, so has the quality of this year’s applicant pool.”

Princeton University

Of all the Ivies, Princeton saw the greatest increasein applications and the only one above 10 percent. There were 35,386 high school seniors vying a place in Princeton’s Class of 2022, an increase of 14 percent than from the previous year. To demonstrate just how many more applications Princeton received this cycle the Daily Princetonian noted that in 2008, when students applied for the Class of 2012 there were only 13,695 applications, making a 158 percent increase in applications in the past 10 years.

Dean of Admission Janet Rapelye believes the “University’s expanded outreach” is the reason for the larger numbers. Rapelye told the Princetonian, “We have certainly done more outreach to students in this country and traveled widely throughout the world to make sure that we are reaching qualified students.” As with the other Ivies generous financial aid packages are attracting more lower-income students. Rapelye recounted, “We are working more closely with community-based organizations in cities and national organizations that are working with low-income students.”

The was an increase in applications in all demographic groups, but it was most notable among first generation college students, with 16 percent more applying. This is also the first time since 1990, that Princeton is accepting transfer students; another attempt to reach minorities and low-income students, however only 10 to 12 will accepted. The Class of 2022, however, will be smaller 1296 versus the 1306 accepted last year.

All the Ivy League colleges will notify students of the regular cycle decisions on Wednesday, March 28, 2018, and students will have until May 1, to accept or decline the offer of admission. The colleges will still only accept the roughly the same number of students they do each year , and the record high number of applications will only contribute to record low acceptance rates.

Bonnie K. Goodman BA, MLIS (McGill University), is a journalist, librarian, historian & editor. She is a former Features Editor at the History News Network & reporter at Examiner.com where she covered politics, universities, religion and news. She has a dozen years experience in education & political journalism.

Education March 26, 2018: Harvard to stop requiring SAT and ACT writing section for Class of 2023 Admissions

HEADLINE NEWS

Headline_News

EDUCATION

Harvard to stop requiring SAT and ACT writing section for Class of 2023 Admissions

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

Harvard College will no longer require students applying to the college to take the SAT and ACT writing section. Harvard College

It just became easier to apply to Harvard College. Harvard announced on Tuesday, March 20, 2018, that it will no longer require students applying to the college to take the writing section of the SAT and ACT standardized exams used for college admissions. Harvard will look for students applying to submit other forms of writing samples with their applications. Now a majority of Ivy League colleges do not require the writing section.

College spokesperson Rachel Dane told the Harvard Crimson in an emailed statement about the policy change. Dane explained, “Harvard will accept the ACT/SAT with or without writing, starting with the Class of 2023, entering in August 2019. This change will add an additional component to the comprehensive outreach of the Harvard Financial Aid Initiative (HFAI), which seeks outstanding students from all economic backgrounds.”

The majority of high school students taking the exam opt for completing the writing portion. More universities, however, are not requiring the essay section. Only 28 schools want the section completed among them three Ivies; Brown, Dartmouth, and Yale. While Ivies, Columbia, Cornell and the University of Pennsylvania cease to require the section in 2015. Among the other elite universities the Massachusetts Institute of Technology does not require it, but Stanford, the most coveted and selective university still wants applicants to take the writing component.

Removing the exam element is meant to attract more diverse and economically challenged students. The section is an additional cost as the Crimson reports it costs “$14 for the SAT and $16.50 for the ACT, though fee waivers are available for both.”

When the College Board revised the SAT exam they commented on the optional writing section in their official statement. Even the College Board diminished the importance of the section. The Board expressed, “One single essay historically has not contributed significantly to the overall predictive power of the exam. Feedback from hundreds of member admission officers was divided: some respondents found the essay useful, but many did not. The College Board remains steadfast in its commitment to the importance of analytic writing for all students.”

Removing another hurdle with no doubt increase the number of applicants to the most popular Ivy. This past cycle, Harvard saw a record number of applications with 42,742 students applying. The college credits the increase on their financial aid packages and consideration for more low-income students applying. For the Class of 2022, there was as the Harvard Gazette notes, an “increase of 8.2 percent from the 39,506 applicants for the Class of 2021.”

Harvard’s dean of admissions and financial aid, William R. Fitzsimmons explained how unique their aid program is for students. The dean said, “Harvard’s revolutionary financial aid initiative (HFAI), begun 15 years ago and enhanced since then, led the way again this year in attracting students of excellence from throughout the nation and around the world. Applications have doubled since the inception of the program — and each year more and more students are excited to learn that Harvard is open to outstanding students from all economic backgrounds.”

For the majority, Harvard’s cost of tuition and fees is almost the same as public universities, because of their financial aid program. As the Gazette indicates, “More than half of Harvard students receive need-based financial aid, and the average grant is $53,000.” Students with families that make up to $150,000, pay only “10 percent or less of their annual incomes.” There are even allowances in certain cases for students whose families annual incomes are above that amount.

Students coming from the lower income brackets earning less than $65,000 a year can now access a “start-up” grant of $2,000 to help them as they start their studies. The Gazette pointed out for the Class of 2022, “Preliminary measures of economic diversity among applicants rose, with 75.5 percent applying for aid and 25.9 percent requesting an application fee waiver.”

Removing the writing requirement will only continue the trend of helping students reach their potential and attend Harvard regardless of their economic situation. This year’s applicant pool is the most diverse for the college, 50.3 percent are women, a 18.7 percent increase of African-American students, and 14.9 percent more Asian-American student applications. Harvard will notify the Class of 2022 of their admission decisions on March 28.

Bonnie K. Goodman BA, MLIS (McGill University), is a journalist, librarian, historian & editor. She is a former Features Editor at the History News Network & reporter at Examiner.com where she covered politics, universities, religion and news. She has a dozen years experience in education & political journalism.

Education December 19, 2017: Ivy League, elite schools’ early admission acceptance rates for Class of 2022 MIT has lowest on record, Dartmouth the highest

HEADLINE NEWS

Headline_News

EDUCATION

Ivy League, elite schools’ early admission acceptance rates for Class of 2022 MIT has lowest on record, Dartmouth the highest

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

(Source: Harvard Admissions Twitter)

As universities and colleges completed sending out their early admissions offers for the Class of 2022 to hopeful high school seniors let us look at the continuing trend of record low acceptance rates among the Ivy League and most elite universities. Only six of the eight Ivy League universities released data on their early decision and early action cycle. Of the Ivies, Cornell University and Columbia University chose to withhold their data; however, Columbia released the number of applications they received. For the second year in a row, Stanford University, the country’s most selective college refused to release any early admission data. Like last year, they will release their data only after the regular admission cycle when they have finalized all their offers for admission to the Class of 2022.

As has been the trend, Ivy League, and elite universities are becoming more selective, and their early admission rates are falling after receiving a record number of applications. This year is no different the Ivy League and elite universities are continuing the trend and are on track for their most selective year as they choose the Class of 2022. Harvard was the most selective Ivy this early admission cycle, with a 14.5 percent acceptance rate. However, another elite university beat Harvard’s selectivity this early admission cycle. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) had the lowest rate, with a record low 6.9 percent of applicants accepted to the Class of 2022. Dartmouth College on the opposite end had the highest acceptance rate with 24.9 percent.

The Ivy League:

Brown University

On Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017, at 5 p.m. Brown University admitted 738 students as part of their binding early decision program to the Class of 2022. This year the Ivy League school saw their largest number of applications for the early admission cycle, with 3502 high school seniors applying, 10 percent more than last year. Although Brown has, a higher acceptance rate than the Ivy League schools, it was a low for them, and Brown’s acceptance rate was only 21 percent for the Class of 2022.

In December 2016 as part of early decision admission for the Class of 2021, Brown accepted 695 applicants out of 3,170 applications for an acceptance rate of 21.9 percent. Brown set a record low for the Class of 2021 admissions. Last year Brown had a “record-low” 8.3 acceptance rate, admitting 2,027 applicants for their new freshmen class with just a 6.5 acceptance rate for regular decision. Brown saw a record 32,724 applications.

Columbia University

On Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017, instead of releasing their early decision data, Columbia University only released the number of applications they received this cycle. That evening at 7 p.m. Columbia notified high school seniors whether they would be joining the Class of 2022. This year Columbia received 4,085 early decision applications to Columbia College and the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, just one less than for the Class of 2021.

For the Class of 2021, Columbia College had a lower acceptance rate, representing just 5.8 percent of their applicant pool. Columbia admitted just 2,185 from a record 37,389 applicants. For the Class of 2020, Columbia had a 6.04% acceptance rate, with 2,193 students accepted out of 36,292 applicants. Columbia is notorious for divulging the least information of all the Ivies about their incoming freshmen class only releasing more data for the upcoming application year.

Dartmouth College

On Thursday, Dec. 14, Dartmouth College sent out binding early decision acceptance notifications to 565 high school seniors, the smallest number of students of all the Ivy League schools. The college received a record number of applications, 2,270 applications, the first time the school had over 2,000 applications for the early admissions cycle. The college also had their lowest acceptance rate since the 2010 cycle with 24.9 percent; still, that percentage was the largest of all the Ivies. Dartmouth has filled up 47 percent of the Class of 2022 with those accepted for early decision.

In December 2016 as part of the early decision program for the Class of 2021, Dartmouth accepted 555 applicants out of 1,999 applications for an acceptance rate of 27.8 percent. Dartmouth College had one of their most selective years, accepting 2,092 students into the Class of 2021 out of 20,034 applications with an acceptance rate 10.4 percent, the second largest in the Ivy League. Dartmouth called last year’s class “the most academically accomplished and globally diverse class the College has ever accepted.”

Harvard University

Harvard College notified students by email on Tuesday afternoon, Dec. 12, 2017, at 5 p.m. if they were accepted to the Class of 2022, rejected or waitlisted. Harvard admitted just 964 students to early action out of 6,630 applicants, an admission rate of just 14.5 percent to their early admissions program. Harvard is the most selective Ivy League college, and the elite Stanford University only beats it in the country.

In December 2016, Harvard admitted their lowest number of early applicants, accepting just 938 students out of 6,473 applications to their early admissions program for the Class of 2021. Their admissions represented just 14.5 percent of the applicant pool down only 0.3 percent from 2015. In total for the Class of 2021, Harvard admitted 2,056 students out of a record of 39,506 applicants, to have a 5.2 percent acceptance rate. Harvard admitted nearly the same percentage of early applicants as last year a 14.53 acceptance rate this year versus a 14.49 percent rate last year an addition of less than a half percentage point.

Princeton University

On Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017, at 3 pm, Princeton University sent out early action admission offers to 799 lucky school seniors to the Class of 2022. Princeton had a record number of applications this early action cycle with 5,402 applications with 8 percent more than last year and 57 percent more applications than six years ago in 2011. Because of the number of applicants, Princeton’s acceptance rate was a record low with only 14.7 percent of student accepted down from last year’s 15.4 percent.

In December 2016, Princeton accepted 770 applicants out of 5,003 applications for an acceptance rate of 15.4 percent as part of the “single-choice early action” program. Princeton first offered early action admission seven years ago. Students can only apply to Princeton in the early admission cycle, but they can notify the college of their decision by May 1. As Princeton points out the landscape now is radically different from 2011 when the college accepted 21.1 percent of early action applicants. Princeton’s acceptance rate for the Class of 2021 was “the lowest in school history.” The University invited just 6.1 percent of applicants to join the University, 1,890 students out of a “record” 31,056 applicants.

University of Pennsylvania

On Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017, at 7 p.m. Ivy League school the University of Pennsylvania sent out 1,312 early decision offers of admission for the Class of 2022. This year Penn received a record number of applications, 7,074 students applied, and 15 percent more to the early decision program for the Class of 2021. As result, the college has its record lowest early admission rate in history at just 18.5 percent down from last year’s 23.2 percent.

The acceptance rate for the Class of 2022 is the lowest in the school’s history, still, the university did not actually admit that much fewer students than last year. Penn admitted 1,312 students this year and last year they accepted 1,354 students. Penn admits over half of the freshmen class through their early decision program. As the student paper, the Daily Pennsylvanian noted, “Last year approximately 55 percent of the total 2,445 spots available were filled by Early Decision applicants.”

In December 2016, Penn sent notifications to 1,364 students that they were accepted as part of the early decision program with a nearly 24 percent acceptance rate. The university targeted goal of 2,445 students enrolling in the fall. Last year, Penn hailed their Class of 2021 acceptance rate as the lowest in history, accepting 3,699 students from 40,413 applicants for “a record-low 9.15 percent acceptance rate.”

Yale University

On Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017, at 5 p.m. Yale notified the Class of 2022their decisions on their early action admissions. This year Yale admitted only 842 students, the least out of all the Ivies, out of a record number 5,733 applications. The acceptance rate this early admission cycle was the second lowest of all the Ivies at only 14.7 percent behind Harvard’s 14.5 percent and the same as Princeton’s 14.7 percent.

Yale admitted fewer students than last year’s early admission. In December 2016, as part of early admission, Yale accepted 871 applicants out of 5,086 applications for an acceptance rate of 17.1 percent. Additionally, 1,181 students were placed on the waitlist. In previous years, Yale used to receive only about 4,700 applications each early admission cycle. Of all the Ivies, only Yale University increased the number of students they accepted for the Class of 2021, because of the two new residential colleges that are opening this fall. Yale admitted 1550 students to the Class of 2021 regular cycle. Yale accepted 2,272 students out of “record” 32,900 applicants, making a 6.9 percent acceptance rate.

Elite Universities:

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Of all the elite and Ivy League universities that released their early admission data, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) had the lowest acceptance rate for the second year in a row. On Thursday, Dec. 14, MIT sent out 664 early action offers of admission to high school seniors for a place in the Class of 2022. This year MIT received a record 9,557 applications, and their acceptance rate was a record low as well at only 6.9 percent. Of those that applied 65 percent, 6,210 students were deferred for the regular cycle, 26.1 percent, 2498 students were rejected; the remaining applicants withdrew from consideration.

For the Class of 2021, In December 2016, MIT had an acceptance rate of 7.8 percent after receiving a then-record 8,394 applications, which had been up 13.9 percent from the previous year. At the regular admission cycle, MIT admitted at 1,438 students out of 20,247 applications received. MIT is one of the most selective colleges, with corresponding acceptance rates. This was the third year MIT opened their early action admissions to international applicants.

Early decision is binding, meaning a student who applies and then is accepted is required to attend the university or college, while early action is non-binding, a student can be accepted and then decide against going to that particular school and can turn down their admission offer. Applying for early admission is not without its risks either, some schools have policies where if a student is rejected in the early admission cycle, cannot reapply for regular admission, however, some universities who do not accept students that applied for early admission, automatically consider them for regular admission.

Bonnie K. Goodman BA, MLIS (McGill University), is a journalist, librarian, historian & editor. She is a former Features Editor at the History News Network & reporter at Examiner.com where she covered politics, universities, religion, and news. She has a dozen years experience in education & political journalism.

Education December 15, 2017: Brown sets early decision admission low for the Class of 2022

HEADLINE NEWS

Headline_News

EDUCATION

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

Medium, 12-15-17

Brown University admitted 738 students as part of their binding early decision program to the Class of 2022 out of a record 3,502 applications making for a 21 percent acceptance rate, the highest among the Ivy League schools. (Source: Brown University Twitter) 

On the last day of early admission decisions from the Ivy League students found out if they were accepted from their coveted school. On Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017, at 5 p.m. Brown University admitted 738 students as part of their binding early decision program to the Class of 2022. This year the Ivy League school saw their largest number of applications for the early admission cycle, with 3502 high school seniors applying, 10 percent more than last year. Although Brown has, a higher acceptance rate than the Ivy League schools, it was a low for them, and Brown’s acceptance rate was only 21 percent for the Class of 2022.

Previously, Brown set a record low for the Class of 2021 admissions. Last year Brown had a “record-low” 8.3 acceptance rate, admitting 2,027 applicants for their new freshmen class with just a 6.5 acceptance rate for regular decision. Brown saw a record 32,724 applications. Brown also waited listed 1,000 high school seniors. In December as part of early decision admission for the Class of 2021, Brown accepted 695 applicants out of 3,170 applications for an acceptance rate of 21.9 percent.

In addition to the 738 lucky students that were admitted, 2318 were deferred to the regular admission cycle for reconsideration, 429 were denied admission, there were 14 incomplete applications, and three students withdrew from consideration. The accepted students come from “33 nations and 43 states,” last year they came from “39 nations and 41 U.S. states.” This year a majority of the students come from New York (110), California, and Massachusetts. Most international students are coming from China, the United Kingdom, and India.

This year’s class is the most diverse accepted by Brown during the early decision cycle. As the Brown Daily Herald indicated, “Over 38 percent of the early decision admits — 283 students — identify as people of color, which marks the highest percentage in the University’s history.” Last year, Brown accepted 36 percent of the early decision class that considered themselves people of color, which is “African American, Latino/a Native American, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, or Asian.” The trend continues that more women are accepted than men are to Brown’s early decision. This year “430 students were female and only 308 were male. Last year, “411 accepted students were female and 284 were male.”

Half the students accepted as part of early decision applied for financial aid. This year as part of $30 million Brown Promise Campaign, undergraduate students will not receive loans but grants. Dean of Admission Logan Powell commented, “We couldn’t be happier because it’s a great opportunity for those students offered admission, and obviously a wonderful opportunity for Brown to have those students.” There was, however, a decrease in the number of students accepted who would be the first generation attending college, with only 10 percent, down from 13 percent last year.

Powell said the same type of students accepted in the early decision cycle would be accepted during the regular cycle. Powell said, “Every early decision student who was admitted is exceptional, and would have been admitted in our regular decision round.” The same can be same for the rest of students admitted to the other Ivy League universities this past week. On Tuesday, Dec. 12, Harvard University admitted just 964 students out of 6,630 applicants, an admission rate of just 14.5 percent to their early admissions program. Harvard is the most selective Ivy League college.

Earlier on Wednesday, Princeton University sent out early action admissionoffers to 799 lucky school seniors to the Class of 2022, out of a record 5,402 applications. Princeton’s acceptance rate was a record low with only 14.7 percent of student accepted. Also on Wednesday, the University of Pennsylvania sent out 1,312 early decision offers of admission for the Class of 2022, out of record number 7,074 applications, the college has its record lowest early admission rate in history at just 18.5 percent. Also on Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017, at 5 p.m. Yale University notified the Class of 2022 their decisions on their early action admissions. This year Yale admitted only 842 students, out of a record number 5,733 applications, with a 14.7 percent acceptance rate.

Bonnie K. Goodman BA, MLIS (McGill University), is a journalist, librarian, historian & editor. She is a former Features Editor at the History News Network & reporter at Examiner.com where she covered politics, universities, religion, and news. She has a dozen years experience in education & political journalism.

 

 

Education December 14, 2017: Yale admits record low for early action admission to Class of 2022

HEADLINE NEWS

Headline_News

EDUCATION

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

Yale University’s acceptance rate this early admission cycle was the second lowest of all the Ivies at only 14.7 percent behind Harvard’s 14.5 percent and the same as Princeton’s 14.7 percent. (Source: Yale University News)

On the last day of early admission decisions from the Ivy League students found out if they were accepted from their coveted school. On Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017, at 5 p.m. Yale notified the Class of 2022 their decisions on their early action admissions. This year Yale admitted only 842 students, the least out of all the Ivies, out of a record number 5,733 applications. The acceptance rate this early admission cycle was the second lowest of all the Ivies at only 14.7 percent behind Harvard’s 14.5 percent and the same as Princeton’s 14.7 percent.

Yale admitted fewer students than last year’s early admission. Of all the Ivies, only Yale University increased the number of students they accepted for the Class of 2021, because of the two new residential colleges that are opening this fall. Yale admitted 1550 students to the Class of 2021 regular cycle. Yale accepted 2,272 students out of “record” 32,900 applicants, making a 6.9 percent acceptance rate. In December, as part of early admission, Yale accepted 871 applicants out of 5,086 applications for an acceptance rate of 17.1 percent. Additionally, 1,181 students were placed on the waitlist. In previous years, Yale used to receive only about 4,700 applications each early admission cycle.

Of the record 5,733 applications, aside from the 842 accepted high school seniors, 55 percent of the applicants were deferred to the regular admission cycle, 29 percent were downright refused and “2 percent either withdrew or submitted incomplete forms.” Yale has a single-choice early action admission, meaning students can only apply to Yale in the early admission cycle, however it is non-binding and students have until May 1 to notify Yale of their decision.

Dean of Undergraduate Admissions and Financial Aid Jeremiah Quinlan made a statement to the college’s student paper the Yale Daily News. Quinlan commented on the incoming class, saying, “The Admissions Committee was very impressed with this year’s early applicant pool across every dimension. We are pleased to offer admission to this first group of students in the Class of 2022, and look forward to admitting a much larger group of students through our Regular Decision process this spring.”

Quinlan also commented that Yale is continuing their trend to increase the number of students admitted due to the new residential colleges. The Dean of Admissions said, “The addition of Benjamin Franklin and Pauli Murray colleges enables us to bring to Yale more students from a more diverse collection of backgrounds. The combination of expanding enrollment and greater representation of students from under-resourced backgrounds means more opportunity for more students.”

Yale provided very little information about the pool of those accepted to early action. Director of Outreach and Communications Mark Dunn only commented in November about the applications to early action admission. Dunn said they included “virtually every subgroup of applicants that the admissions office tracks.” Yale has enhanced their financial packages for those coming from “lower-income backgrounds,” in an effort to increase diversity. Yale received applications from “49 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and 98 foreign countries.” Dean of Admissions Quinlan wants the final Class of 2022 to be 1,550 students enrolled.

On Tuesday, Dec. 12, Harvard University admitted just 964 students out of 6,630 applicants, an admission rate of just 14.5 percent to their early admissions program. Harvard is the most selective Ivy League college. Earlier on Wednesday, Princeton University sent out early action admission offers to 799 lucky school seniors to the Class of 2022, out of a record 5,402 applications. Princeton’s acceptance rate was a record low with only 14.7 percent of student accepted. Also on Wednesday, the University of Pennsylvania sent out 1,312 early decision offers of admission for the Class of 2022, out of record number 7,074 applications, the college has its record lowest early admission rate in history at just 18.5 percent.

Bonnie K. Goodman BA, MLIS (McGill University), is a journalist, librarian, historian & editor. She is a former Features Editor at the History News Network & reporter at Examiner.com where she covered politics, universities, religion and news. She has a dozen years experience in education & political journalism.

Education December 14, 2017: University of Pennsylvania has record low early admission acceptance rate to the Class of 2022

HEADLINE NEWS

Headline_News

EDUCATION

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

Medium, 12-14-17

The University of Pennsylvania received a record number of application to the Class of 2022 leading to their lowest early decision acceptance rate in history. Source: Wikipedia Commons

Mid-December is early admission decision time and almost every other day anxious high school seniors await an email from the school of their dreams that will determine their future. On Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017, at 7 p.m. Ivy League school the University of Pennsylvania sent out 1,312 early decision offers of admission for the Class of 2022. This year Penn received a record number of applications, 7,074 students applied, and 15 percent more to the early decision program for the Class of 2021. As result, the college has its record lowest early admission rate in history at just 18.5 percent down from last year’s 23.2 percent.

The acceptance rate for the Class of 2022 is the lowest in the school’s history, still, the university did not actually admit that much fewer students than last year. Penn admitted 1,312 students this year and last year they accepted 1,354 students. UPenn admits over half of the freshmen class through their early decision program. As the student paper, the Daily Pennsylvanian noted: “Last year approximately 55 percent of the total 2,445 spots available were filled by Early Decision applicants.”

Last year, Penn hailed their Class of 2021 acceptance rate as the lowest in history, accepting 3,699 students from 40,413 applicants for “a record-low 9.15 percent acceptance rate.” In December 2016, Penn sent notifications to 1,364 students that they were accepted as part of the early decision program with a nearly 24 percent acceptance rate. The university targeted goal of 2,445 students enrolling in the fall.

The sheer increase in the number of applications received is the only reason for Penn’s significantly smaller acceptance rate. More high school seniors are applying for early admission programs giving schools more quality applicants to choose from for their incoming class. This year Penn saw an increase of 9.5 percent from last year in the number of early decision applications they received, that number is 38 percent more from when the Class of 2018 applied in 2013. For the Class of 2021, Penn received what was then a record 6,147 applications.

Penn released, however, very little demographic data about the early decision Class of 2022. This year’s class comes 54 countries and 45 states and Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, while last year, they came from 44 countries and 46 states. Additionally, despite only 16 percent of their applications coming from legacies, “the children or grandchildren of Penn alumni,” the school admitted a whopping 25 percent to their early decision program. Meanwhile, only “11 percent of student accepted are first-generation college students,” the same as last year. This year’s Penn applicants included as the Daily Pennsylvanian pointed out, “47 percent are women, 11 percent are first-generation college students, 40 percent self-identify as students of color, 16.5 percent were educated outside of the United States, and 16 percent are legacies.”

Dean of Admissions Eric Furda released an email statement commenting on the early decision Class of 2022. Furda noted, “It does not appear that travel bans and immigration legislation has impacted Penn’s applicant pool.” Furda believes the new SAT positively affected the students applying to the school. The Dean of Admissions said, “With changes to format and scoring instituted by The College Board in 2016, most students received higher scores on the rSAT than what they would have received in the older SAT format. The rSAT represents a significant change within the larger college application landscape that may have impacted college search, choice, and application behavior on the part of individual students.”

Early decision is binding, meaning a student who applies and then is accepted is required to attend the university or college, while early action is non-binding, a student can be accepted and then decide against going to that particular school and can turn down their admission offer. Applying for early admission is not without its risks either, some schools have policies where if a student is rejected in the early admission cycle, cannot reapply for regular admission, however, some universities who do not accept students that applied for early admission, automatically consider them for regular admission.

Despite having the lowest acceptance rate in their school’s history, so far, Penn has the highest acceptance rate among the Ivy League schools that released their data. On Tuesday, Dec. 12, Harvard University admitted just 964 students out of 6,630 applicants, an admission rate of just 14.5 percent to their early admissions program. Harvard is the most selective Ivy League college. Earlier on Wednesday, Princeton University sent out early action admission offers to 799 lucky school seniors to the Class of 2022, out of a record 5,402 applications. Princeton’s acceptance rate was a record low with only 14.7 percent of student accepted.

Bonnie K. Goodman BA, MLIS (McGill University), is a journalist, librarian, historian & editor. She is a former Features Editor at the History News Network & reporter at Examiner.com where she covered politics, universities, religion and news. She has a dozen years experience in education & political journalism.

Education December 13, 2017: Princeton hits new early action admission record low with Class of 2022

HEADLINE NEWS

Headline_News

EDUCATION

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

Medium, 12-13-17

Princeton admitted a record low acceptance rate to their early action admissions for the Class of 2022, only 14.7 percent of applicants. Source: Princeton Admissions Twitter)

Another day in December another Ivy League university sends out their early admission decision to high school seniors. On Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017, at 3 pm, Princeton University sent out early action admission offers to 799 lucky school seniors to the Class of 2022. Princeton had a record number of applications this early action cycle with 5,402 applications with 8 percent more than last year and 57 percent more applications than six years ago in 2011. Because of the number of applicants, Princeton’s acceptance rate was a record low with only 14.7 percent of student accepted down from last year’s 15.4 percent.

Princeton’s acceptance rate for the Class of 2021 was “the lowest in school history.” The University invited just 6.1 percent of applicants to join the University, 1,890 students out of a “record” 31,056 applicants. In December 2016, Princeton accepted 770 applicants out of 5,003 applications for an acceptance rate of 15.4 percent as part of the “single-choice early action” program. Princeton first offered early action admission seven years ago. Students can only apply to Princeton in the early admission cycle, but they can notify the college of their decision by May 1. As Princeton points out the landscape now is radically different from 2011 when the college accepted 21.1 percent of early action applicants.

Those accepted to the Class of 2022 early action come from “48 countries and 44 states plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.” Last year to the Class of 2021, Princeton accepted students from 45 countries and 42 states plus DC and Puerto Rico. The university says that 44 percent of the accepted students this year are minorities, up from 43 percent last year. This year 11 percent are international students, the same as last year. Both this year’s class and last year’s is evenly balance by gender, 50 percent are women and 50 percent are men.

For the Class of 2022 fewer students come from public or charter schools, with 56 percent versus 57 percent for the Class of 2021. The same amount of students who are the first in their family to attend college were accepted as last year, with 14 percent. This year Princeton accepted more legacy students, the children of alumni, with 17 percent of the Class of 2022, whereas they represented 16 percent of the Class of 2021 early action admissions.

Dean of Admission Janet Rapelye commented on this year’s class. Rapelye said, “The admission committee was impressed with the strength and depth of the pool this year. Our admission officers worked long hours reading the applications of the candidates, and we had to make difficult choices. The admitted students have demonstrated extraordinary academic achievements as well as extracurricular talents throughout high school. We are thrilled with the quality of these students and their commitments to their communities. We look forward to all the ways they will contribute to Princeton.”

Bonnie K. Goodman BA, MLIS (McGill University), is a journalist, librarian, historian & editor. She is a former Features Editor at the History News Network & reporter at Examiner.com where she covered politics, universities, religion and news. She has a dozen years experience in education & political journalism.

Education December 12, 2017: Harvard continues trend of accepting record low early admissions applicants to Class of 2022

HEADLINE NEWS

Headline_News

EDUCATION

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

Medium, 12-12-17

Harvard is continuing the trend of accepting a record low percentage of applicants to early admissions. (Source: Harvard Admissions Twitter)

Harvard College shattered many high school seniors’ dreams admitting their one of their lowest rate of early admission applicants to the Class of 2022. Harvard is one of the first of the Ivy League universities to notify students if they were accepted for early admission. Harvard College notified students by email on Tuesday afternoon, Dec. 12, 2017, at 5 p.m. if they were accepted to the Class of 2022, rejected or waitlisted. Harvard admitted just 964 studentsout of 6,630 applicants, an admission rate of just 14.5 percent to their early admissions program. Harvard is the most selective Ivy League college, and the elite Stanford University only beats it in the country.

As has been the trend, Ivy League, and elite universities are becoming more selective, and their early action admission rates are falling after receiving a record number of applications. This year is no different if Harvard’s numbers are an indication the Ivy League and elite universities are continuing the trend and are on track for their most selective year as they choose the Class of 2022.

Although 964 lucky seniors were accepted to the holy grail of Ivy League universities, others were not as lucky. Among the remaining applicants, 73 percent or 4,882 students have another opportunity and they were deferred to the regular admission cycle. However, for 9.2 percent or 611 students the dream is over, they were outright rejected. There were an additional 173 students who did not properly complete their applications and they also have the opportunity to complete them for regular cycle consideration.

Harvard admitted nearly the same percentage of early applicants as last year a 14.53 acceptance rate this year versus a 14.49 percent rate last year an addition of less than a half percentage point. In December 2016, Harvard admitted their lowest number of early applicants, accepting just 938 students out of 6,473 applications to their early admissions program for the Class of 2021. Their admissions represented just 14.5 percent of the applicant pool down only 0.3 percent from 2015. In total for the Class of 2021, Harvard admitted 2,056 students out of a record of 39,506 applicants, to have a 5.2 percent acceptance rate.

William R. Fitzsimmons, the dean of admissions and financial aid, commented to student paper The Harvard Crimson on the record number of early admissions’ applicants for the Class of 2022. Fitzsimmons expressed, “The one thing we can say with certainty is that the numbers rose this year. In general terms, it appears that more institutions had increases than the reverse… Early admission, in one form or another, is the new normal.”

Harvard’s Class of 2022 is even more diverse than last year, partially due to legal scrutiny. More minorities were admitted with 13.9 percent of early African-American applicants being accepted up from 12.6 percent of were admitted last year. This year saw a slight rise in Hispanic students accepted with 9.8 percent, up from 9.5 percent last year. Native American and Native Hawaiian applicants made in-roads with 1.8 percent accepted early up from last year’s paltry 1.1 percent. Of all groups, women saw their numbers decrease down one percent from 48 percent to 47 percent.

The minority group with the largest early acceptance rate was Asian-Americans with 24.2 percent accepted this year up from 21.1 percent in last year’s early admissions cycle. Harvard is facing an investigation into their admission rates of Asian Americans by the Department of Justice and a private lawsuit by former applicants. The DOJ began investigating Harvard’s affirmative action practices this past summer. The DOJ wanted the college to hand over is applications and student records and threatened to sue if they would not comply with Dec. 1. The DOJ is now contemplating Harvard’s counteroffer to allow the review of redacted student records

Harvard is also facing a separate private lawsuit by rejected Asian American applicants, who are accusing the college of discriminatory admission practices. The lawsuit is ongoing from 2014 where the college was accused of “employing racially and ethnically discriminatory policies” and that “Harvard’s undergraduate admissions policies and procedures have injured and continue to injure Plaintiff’s members by intentionally and improperly discriminating against them on the basis of their race and ethnicity in violation of Title VI.” The college is providing hundreds of thousands of former applications to comply with that lawsuit.

Harvard is also making an effort to accept more economically disadvantaged students. Among those admitted to early admission, 58 percent are asking for financial aid, and 13 percent needed application fee waivers, while last year only 10.7 percent made that request. More First-generation college students were admitted with 10.6 percent to the Class of 2022 up from 8.7 percent for the Class of 2021. Despite concerns about attracting international students, the rate admitted remains steady with 10.2 percent, and 2.3 percent from northern neighbor Canada.

Fitzsimmons noted early admissions usually see less diversity, but this year was an exception. Fitzsimmons told the Crimson, “Traditionally, early programs have tended not to reflect the excellence and diversity that you see out in the world, so one of the real pushes over the past decade or so-and part of it was giving it up and then bringing it back-is to make certain that people from all of those backgrounds do consider early. We’re delighted to see that we had greater economic and ethnic diversity not just in the pool, but in the admitted group.”

For the Class of 2022, Harvard intends to admit fewer students than to the Class of 2021. Fitzsimmons cited overcrowding in the Class of 2021 freshman as the reason for accepting fewer students this upcoming year. For the Class of 2021 much, more students accepted admission offers, leading to “twenty-eight freshmen living in DeWolfe, overflow housing typically reserved for upperclassmen.” The Dean of Admissions wants to admit also students off the waitlist this year. Last year they were unable to able to accept any students off the list. Fitzsimmons said in September his goal to accept “40 to 50 to maybe 100 people” off the waitlist. Now the Dean of Admissions says the college “will certainly be mindful of coming in on target” when it deciding admissions in the regular cycle.

Early decision is binding, meaning a student who applies and then is accepted is required to attend the university or college, while early action is non-binding, a student can be accepted and then decide against going to that particular school and can turn down their admission offer. Applying for early admission is not without its risks either, some schools have policies where if a student is rejected in the early admission cycle, cannot reapply for regular admission, however, some universities who do not accept students that applied for early admission, automatically consider them for regular admission.

Bonnie K. Goodman BA, MLIS (McGill University), is a journalist, librarian, historian & editor. She is a former Features Editor at the History News Network & reporter at Examiner.com where she covered politics, universities, religion and news. She has a dozen years experience in education & political journalism.

Education November 23, 2017: Will American universities continue losing international students to Canada?

HEADLINE NEWS

Headline_News

EDUCATION

Will American universities continue losing international students to Canada?

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

The University of Toronto in Canada saw the largest increase in international student enrollment this academic year, benefiting the most from the decline to American schools.

With the application period in full swing for the 2018–19 academic year and incoming Class of 2022 freshman class, the question remains if American universities will continue the trend of losing international students. Last year the drop in applications and enrollment was attributed to Donald Trump’s election as president and his immigration policies. Canadian universities benefited from the American loss and received a bump in international applications and enrollments for the 2017–18 academic years. New surveys and reports released by IIE Center for Academic Mobility Research and Impact on Nov. 13, 2017, and Universities Canada on Nov. 22 indicate American universities loss seven percent of their international students, while Canadian schools saw an increase in the double digits. The two studies remained on the opposite ends when came to blaming Trump’s presidency for the differing numbers, with American reports downplaying the factor, while Canadian surveys saw a direct correlation.

A new report by the IIE Center for Academic Mobility Research and Impact and the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairsreleased on Monday, Nov. 13, entitled the “2017 Open Doors® Report on International Educational Exchange” examined at the changing international student rates. The report indicated that just the year prior, the 2016–17 academic year, American universities saw an increase in the peak of total international student enrollment, but a decrease in new international students coming to the US to study.

The 2017 Open Doors report indicates that the US saw a “record” number of international students with 1.08 million studying, the second academic year with over a million students. Open Doors claimed, “This also marks the eleventh consecutive year of continued expansion of the total number of international students in U.S. higher education.” Despite the good news, there were plenty of negatives when looking at the number of new students enrolling; there was a three percent drop from the previous academic year, 10,000 students less to 281,000 new enrollees.

The 2016–17 academic years had only a three percent increase in international students compared to the previous year, the smallest increase since the 2009–10 academic years. Open Door pointed out, “This is the first time that these numbers have declined in the twelve years since Open Doors has reported new enrollments.” The decreases primarily come from two countries Saudi Arabia and Brazil because of the decrease of scholarships. Although the report claims, economic factors trump any political reasons for the decline.

The Open Door gave a glimpse at the present academic year, which shows that the trend is continuing with an additional seven percent loss in new international student enrollees. Although this is the national trend, the results are much different at different universities and colleges. According to IIE, “45 percent of the campuses reported declines in new enrollments for fall 2017, while 31 percent reported increases in new enrollments and 24 percent reported no change from last year.”

International students contribute the most in the STEM fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, serving as support faculty as research and teaching assistants. IIE President and CEO Allan E. Goodman commented on the decline, “Students continue to be attracted to the high quality and diverse opportunities offered by U.S. colleges and universities. But it is critical for U.S. institutions to set strategic goals and be proactive in reaching out to students and families in a wide range of countries in the coming year, and for the United States to keep its academic doors open to students from all over the world.”

IIE released another report at the start of the academic year entitled “Shifting Tides: Understanding International Student Yield for Fall 2017.” The study conducted in March 2017, was created in collaboration with the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admission Officers (AACRAO). The study examined the international enrollment rates at 165 colleges and universities in the different regions of the country.

The results proved that President Trump’s policies had little effect on attracting international undergraduate students going from 26 percent in 2016 to just a two percent drop and 24 percent in 2017. Graduate students, however, were more deterred from studying in the US. Colleges and universities saw a 7 percent drop in international students for Masters’ degrees. Last year the number was 26 percent down to 19 percent of graduate student population this year. According to IIE “38 percent of surveyed institutions indicating a decrease in international student applications, 36 percent seeing an increase and 26 percent seeing no change compared to the prior year.”

The decline happened at 46 percent of the schools that participated, but the results varied in the four regions of the country. The South saw the largest drop in international students, with 5 percent from 35 to 30 percent; however, the Northeast did not see any difference remaining at 24 percent. Regional differences have to do with the politics of the areas and schools. The South is the country’s most conservative area, while the Northeast is the most liberal and home of the Ivy League universities that continually attract international students. Four states attract the most international students, California, New York, Texas, and Massachusetts, but only Texas deep in Trump country saw a decline. Texas’ decline was a huge 18 percent loss in international students this year from the 2016 year, 44 percent down to 35 percent.

The United Kingdom’s Times Higher Education sees the decline in international students enrolling at American schools a trend that is longtime in the making and independent of Trump. Analyst Marguerite Dennis wrote an op-ed last January 2017 entitled, “Dwindling US international student numbers? Don’t blame Trump!” On the eve of Trump inauguration as the 45th president of the United States, 60 percent of international students from 118 countries said a Trump presidency would deter their enrollment in US schools a number that never materialized. Canadian saw a surge in American students visiting their perspective and future student websites. The University of Toronto saw 10,000 visitors the day after Trump’s election, up from only 1,000 the day before when the news predicted democratic nominee Hillary Clinton would win the election.

Dennis looked at historical data and found that the decline is a trend 17-year trend in the making commencing in 2001. At that point, the year of the terror attack on the World Trade Center “28 per cent of all international students enrolled” in American schools, by 2014 that number decreased to 22 percent. Dennis attributes two reasons for the decline, less Chinese students enrolling and rising tuition costs. Dennis claims, “In 2014–15, there were 304,040 Chinese studying in the US, 10.8 per cent more than the previous year. However, in 2013–14 the increase was 21.4 per cent.” Additionally, since 2008 tuition at American schools has increased by 28 percent.

IIE claimed that students from the Middle East and India were the most reluctant to enroll in the US because of Trump’s travel ban and were the most concerned about their ability to obtain a student visa. Indian students are fearful of enrolling because an Indian engineering student studying in the Midwest was killed in a hate crime. IIE agrees with Dennis that affordability is a major concern for students coming from “sub-Saharan Africa, Europe, Canada, Oceania, Latin America and Asia,” except China.

Canadian universities are benefitting the most from international students’ reluctance to study in the US and a lesser extent in Great Britain. This academic year, Canadian universities saw a “record number” of international students enrolled in their institutions. In Canada, they attribute to the growing number of international applicants directly to Trump’s election and his presidency, and Britain’s Brexit vote to leave the European Union, but they are not certain how to maintain their growing student population and translate it into permanent Canadian residents. The major wave of applications commenced with Trump election, with Canadian schools seeing a bump of 20 percent more international applicants.

Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada, IRCC claims there was a 17.5 percent increase in international students from the fall of 2015 to the fall of 2016. According to the Pie News, “the number of new students entering Canada for the first time reached nearly 270,000 — up 22% from 2015 figures.” Universities Canada released data for the fall 2017 enrollment on Nov. 22, calculating only the number of overseas international students. They determined that there was an 11 percent increase of overseas students in 2017 from 2016. As The Times Higher Education reports “the total number of full- and part-time overseas university students in the country to 192,000.”

Universities Canada took their information from Regional university associations, which include, “The Association of Atlantic Universities, the Bureau de Coopération Interuniversitaire (representing Quebec universities), the Council of Ontario Universities and Universities Canada.” In total 96 institutions shared their data for the survey. British Columbia is the province attracting the most international students with a 15.6 percent increase; the province is the home of one of the country’s top three schools, the University of British Columbia. The Canadian government wants to continue to capitalize on the trend and increase the number of international students to 450,000 by 2022.

Canada’s top schools The University of Toronto, the University of British Columbia and McGill University are attracting the brunt of the students. This year the U of Toronto had 17,452 international students at the undergraduate and graduate level representing 20 percent of the student population. The numbers are double than those of ten years ago, wherein 2007 they had 7,380 international students compromising only 10 percent of the student population.

The University of Toronto has the most international students on the continent, followed by the US’ New York University, while the UBC is third. UBC had 14,433 international students in 2016 up from 9,144 in 2012. McGill’s numbers are equally impressive, this academic year their international student population hit 30 percent and is over 12,000 out of 41,000 students. McGill noted that the number represents an “over 10 percent increase from last year and 45 percent from 5 years ago.”

The students are coming from 150 countries, the majority from China, India, South Korea, France, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Japan, Brazil, to a lesser extent Turkey. There is also an increase in American students enrolling in Canadian schools. China has the most students in Canada representing 34 percent of the international student population 57,000 students in 2014, followed by India with 14 percent; only three percent of American students come to Canada for a university education.

Applications to Canadian schools surged last fall and winter from American students distraught by Trump’s electoral victory, but those numbers never materialized in enrollments. The U of Toronto saw an increase of 70 percent from American students, McGill had a 30 percent increase from the US and 16 percent internationally, while UBC saw a 26 percent increase in applications from American students. In 2014, Canada hosted 9,000 American students in their universities.

Paul Davidson, president of Universities Canada claims the increase in international students can be attributed to the country being “known worldwide as a nation that values diversity and inclusion, and our universities are a big part of that.” Davison continued praising the country to the THE, saying, “Students around the globe are increasingly choosing the internationally recognised quality of a Canadian university education, and the benefits for Canada are tremendous.”

In contrast, Richard Levin, executive director of enrolment services and university registrar at the University of Toronto see the enrollment bump being because of the backlash in the US and the UK. Levin told CBC News “Clearly there are things about the international situation — worries about stability, Brexit and the U.S. political environment — that have changed or increased international students’ interest in looking beyond their own countries and beyond the U.S..” Continuing Levin expressed, “Now in places like that, students are looking for alternatives and Canada is presenting as a good one in terms of stability, safety, and inclusiveness.”

Bonnie K. Goodman BA, MLIS (McGill University), is a journalist, librarian, historian & editor. She is a former Features Editor at the History News Network & reporter at Examiner.com where she covered politics, universities, religion and news. She has a dozen years experience in education & political journalism.

 

Education October 29, 2017: Harvard tops US News 2018 Best Global Universities

HEADLINE NEWS

Headline_News

EDUCATION

Harvard tops US News 2018 Best Global Universities

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

This was Harvard’s year, the oldest Ivy League university reigns over another ranking US News and World Report’s fourth annual Best Global Universities Rankings. Harvard.edu

Harvard University remains the top university in the world according to the US News and World Report’s fourth annual Best Global Universities Rankings. US News released the 2018 ranking on Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2017. The biggest international university ranking looked at the best universities by “region, country, and subject” based on “academic research and reputation.” This year’s ranking again grew and increased the number of schools represented from 1000 to 1250 from 74 countries in the world up from 65, with each one receiving a score out of 100.

The top four overall remains the same as last year, but a lot more movement in the rest of the top ten with three new entries. As for the rest of the top three, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) remained second, and Stanford University remains third. The top public school on the list the University of California-Berkeley remains at fourth. Rounding out the top five is the best school outside of the US, the University of Oxford, which is back up to fifth place after a year hiatus.

In the second half of the top ten, the California Institute of Technology, Caltech moved down one to number six. The number two British university the University of Cambridge remains in the seventh spot. Columbia University moves up to eighth place switching with Princeton University, who moves down one to ninth. The tenth spot is busy this year with three universities entering the top 10 at that spot. Johns Hopkins University, the University of Washington, and Yale University are all tied for tenth place. The University of Washington replaces top ten departing the University of California-Los Angeles as the second-placed public school at the top of the ranking.

American universities dominated the entire ranking as they did the top 10 with 221 institutions, followed by China with 136 schools and Japan with 76 schools represented continuing the rise of Asian schools. The UK fell to fourth place with 73 schools, in continental Europe Germany had 58 institutions in the ranking. The United Kingdom is the only country to pierce the top ten universities with Oxford University at №5 and the University of Cambridge at №7.

Robert Morse, chief data strategist at U.S. News, explained the reason behind American domination, “The schools that rank the highest in the Best Global Universities rankings are those that emphasize academic research, including by partnering with international scholars to produce highly cited articles. This is different from the Best Colleges rankings, which measure the overall quality of undergraduate institutions in the U.S. and focus on student outcomes such as graduation and retention rates.”

Meanwhile, Anita Narayan, managing editor of Education at U.S. News commented on the ranking. Narayan expressed, “For more than 30 years, U.S. News has been committed to making higher education data more accessible to prospective students choosing a U.S. university. The Best Global Universities rankings similarly allow consumers to accurately evaluate and compare international schools to find the right fit for them, based on available data.”

The first university that made the list outside of the US and the UK was Canada with the University of Toronto at №20 up from 21 last year. The University of British Columbia came in second as it has been for most of this year’s international lists at №27 up from 31 last year, followed by McGill University in third who also climbed up, but just one to 49 from 50th place last year.

US News’ global universities list covers five regions including African universities. US News’ added to their country-specific rankings four additional countries moving the number up from 38 to 42. The countries added were Argentina, Mexico, Pakistan, and Romania. Among the regions, most of the universities from last year remained their region’s top school with one exception. The University of Oxford is the top school in Europe.

The top European university outside of the UK is the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich at number 25 up from 35 last year. In Oceania, the University of Melbourne in Australia took the highest spot for that area at №26 up from 36. The Universidade de São Paulo in Brazil is the best in Latin America, and the top school in Africa is the University of Cape Town. The only change was in Asia, where the National University of Singapore replaced the University of Tokyo as the top school coming at №43.

The ranking also includes subject rankings looking at the top school for research in the field solely. There are 22 subject rankings in all. The subject rankings are dominated by STEM subjects; science, technology, engineering and mathematics with the addition of the arts and humanities. The US again dominates the subject rankings, topping the lists in all but six subjects. The six subjects the US does not rank first are computer science, engineering, mathematics, agricultural sciences, materials science, and arts and humanities. Harvard excels in the most subject fields, with 11; other multiple toppers include the University of California — Berkeley and China’s Tsinghua University both with two subjects.

China is moving up with Tsinghua University replacing MIT in the computer science ranking and tops the engineering field in research. The methodology for the subject rankings differs from the university rankings because it looks at academic research in the individual subject. The subject rankings have more schools represented, 125 that are not included in the university rankings. Additionally, 600 schools, 200 more from last year were included in the subjects of chemistry, clinical medicine, engineering, and physics.

US News utilizes data from Clarivate Analytics InCitesTM research analytics solutions, and citations data taken from the Web of Science database. The data “measures a university’s global and regional reputation; academic research performance using bibliometric indicators such as publications, citations and international collaboration; and school-level data on faculty and Ph.D. graduates.” Last year US News’ altered their methodology “to further emphasize excellence in academic research by factoring in the total number of highly cited papers in the top 1 percent of their respective fields and the percentage of a university’s total papers that are among the top 1 percent of most-cited papers.” This year US News again changed their methodology giving marks for universities where their professors collaborated with professors from other countries in authoring research articles.

U.S. News 2018 Best Global Universities Rankings top 10:

Overall Best Global Universities

1. Harvard University (U.S.) (1)
2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (U.S.) (2)
3. Stanford University (U.S.) (3)
4. University of California-Berkeley (U.S.) (4)
5. University of Oxford (U.K.) (6)
6. California Institute of Technology (U.S.) (5)
7. University of Cambridge (U.K.) (7)
8. Columbia University (U.S.) (9)
9. Princeton University (U.S.) (8)
10. Johns Hopkins University (U.S.) (tie)
10. University of Washington (U.S.) (tie)
10. Yale University (U.S.) (tie)

Subject Rankings

Agricultural Sciences: Wageningen University and Research Center Netherlands (88 tied)
Arts and Humanities: University of Oxford United Kingdom (5)
Biology and Biochemistry: Harvard University United States Cambridge, MA (1)
Chemistry: University of California — Berkeley United States Berkeley, CA (4)
Clinical Medicine: Harvard University United States Cambridge, MA (1)
Computer Science: Tsinghua University China Beijing (64)
Economics and Business: Harvard University United States Cambridge, MA (1)
Engineering: Tsinghua University China Beijing (64)
Environment/Ecology: University of California — Berkeley United States Berkeley, CA (4)
Geosciences: California Institute of Technology United States Pasadena, CA (6)
Immunology: Harvard University United States Cambridge, MA (1)
Materials Science: Nanyang Technological University Singapore (55)
Mathematics: Pierre and Marie Curie University France Paris (38)
Microbiology: Harvard University United States Cambridge, MA (1)
Molecular Biology and Genetics: Harvard University United States Cambridge, MA (1)
Neuroscience and Behavior: Harvard University United States Cambridge, MA (1)
Pharmacology and Toxicology: Harvard University United States Cambridge, MA (1)
Physics: Massachusetts Institute of Technology United States Cambridge, MA (2)
Plant and Animal Science: University of California — Davis United States Davis, CA (52)
Psychiatry/Psychology: Harvard University United States Cambridge, MA (1)
Social Sciences and Public Health: Harvard University United States Cambridge, MA (1)
Space Science: California Institute of Technology United States Pasadena, CA (6)

Bonnie K. Goodman BA, MLIS (McGill University), is a journalist, librarian, historian & editor. She is a former Features Editor at the History News Network & reporter at Examiner.com where she covered politics, universities, religion and news. She has a dozen years experience in education & political journalism.

Education October 20, 2017: McGill remains on top of Maclean’s University Rankings for 2018

HEADLINE NEWS

Headline_News

EDUCATION

McGill remains on top of Maclean’s University Rankings for 2018

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

McGill again topped Maclean’s Magazine University Ranking in 2018 and has retained the number one spot for the past 13 years. Wikipedia Commnons

It is lucky number 13 for McGill University, as the Montreal school tops Maclean’s Magazine University Ranking in 2018 for the 13th straight year. Maclean’s Magazine released their 2018 University Ranking on Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017, again giving Canada’s most prestigious university their top honors. Simon Fraser University remained number one in the Comprehensive category for the fourth year in a row, while the Mount Allison University regained the top spot in the Primarily Undergraduate category. The University of Toronto took the №1 spot in the reputation survey again this year, and Bishop’s University is the Top School by Student Satisfaction.

The most significant of the Maclean’s ranking lists is their Medical/Doctoral category, focusing on the major research universities. Maclean’s explains universities in this category include “a medical school and a wide range of research and Ph.D. programs.” McGill again topped the list this year and has retained the number one spot for the past 13 years. Maclean’s boasts McGill’s illustrious alumni of “change-makers,” its doctorate programs, and ‘groundbreaking and innovative” research.

Maclean’s notes, McGill “has also produced more Rhodes Scholars (142) and Nobel laureates (12) than any other university in Canada.” McGill has an addition being located in Montreal, the QS World University Rankings the best student city in the world for 2017. McGill was able to beat the competition despite funding problems that have been plaguing the university in the past couple of years. McGill also was in the bottom quarter of universities ranked when it came to “per-student operating budget,” as the McGill Reported noted. McGill’s libraries, however, were lauded for their “stellar performance.”

The top six of the category remained the same for the second year in third year in a row with Toronto in second, UBC in third, followed by Queen’s in fourth, Alberta in fifth and McMaster Universities in sixth place. There was, however, a lot of movement in the last four spots of the top 10. Western Ontario moved up to seventh after tying for eighth last year. Dalhousie moved down again from seventh back to eighth. Ottawa moved down one again back to tie for ninth place this time with the University of Calgary, who was in last year’s tenth place position.

Maclean’s explains the reason for their three main ranking lists saying they “place universities into three categories to recognize the differences in levels of research funding, the diversity of offerings and the breadth and depth of graduate and professional programs.” McGill has a reputation as the Harvard of the North and rightfully keeps its spot as the nation’s best at the top of the Medical Doctoral category.

McGill’s Principal Suzanne Fortier was pleased with Maclean’s ranking results. Fortier issued a statement saying, “We are delighted to see McGill recognized once again as Canada’s leading university according to the Maclean’s yardstick. All members of our McGill community can take pride in this accomplishment. I salute our alumni for the solid foundation of excellence they have built in our great university and congratulate all the students, professors and staff for their commitment to the values of McGill.”

The Comprehensive category is described as universities “with significant research, undergraduate, and graduate programs as well as professional schools,” but are not as research focused, and do not have Medical schools. This year Simon Fraser University again topped the category for “the fourth year in a row” and now 14 times in the ranking’s history. Only three other schools have ever topped the comprehensive category, the University of Victoria, which moves up again to the second place, University of Waterloo, who again drops one back to third place. The University of Guelph remains in fourth place and Carleton University stays at fifth place.

There was a lot of movement in the bottom half of the top ten. Although the University of New Brunswick remains in sixth place, it is now tied with Wilfrid Laurier University, which has moved up three from ninth. Both Memorial and York University, who last year had been tied for seventh place moved down and are now tied for eighth. While Concordia stays at tenth place rounding out the top ten.

The Primarily Undergraduate category features universities who focus on their undergraduate program. The biggest changes in this year’s rankings come from the primarily undergraduate category. Mount Allison University catapults back to the top moving up one. Previously Mount Allison topped the list for eight years until UNB dethroned the school. The University of Northern British Columbia (UNB) now trades places with Mount Allison and moves down to the second spot after two years assuming the top position. Trent and Lethbridge Universities trade places as well, with Trent moving up one to third and Lethbridge down one to fourth.

The middle of the top ten remained the same as last year. Acadia, St. Francis Xavier, and Saint Mary’s Universities each stayed in the fifth, sixth and seventh positions respectively, that they were in last year. Two universities reentered the top ten after a year hiatus, the University of Ontario Institute of Technology and Lakehead University where both last year tied for the eleventh spot, now they moved up, UOIT to eighth and Lakehead into the ninth slot. Rounding out the top ten is the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI), who drops two spots to tenth.

Macleans’ rankings do not have drastic changes from year to year because of the methodology they use, relying on as the magazine explains, “research funding and university spending don’t vary wildly from year to year, and student and faculty awards, as well as publications and citations, are counted over a five-year period. Twelve of the 14 ranking indicators are derived from data from third-party sources, such as the three major federal granting councils (SSHRC, NSERC, and CIHR) and Statistics Canada. The other two indicators are based on a reputational survey and a student survey. These surveys are subjective, and people criticize them-or praise them-for that very reason.”

The Maclean’s Reputation Ranking is the most controversial list in their annual rankings, because it is subjective, taking their results from a survey completed by “university faculty and senior administrators, high school guidance counselors, and a variety of businesspeople.” The list looks at the universities’ quality and innovation. This year, Maclean’s assembled one list, the National reputational ranking with all 49 universities represented from the Primarily Undergraduate, Comprehensive and Medical/Doctoral categories.

The national reputation ranking is similar to last year’s Best Overall Reputation ranking. Maclean’s Reputation Survey has the University of Toronto again on top, followed by Waterloo remaining in second, then the University of British Columbia staying third, and McGill remains in fourth. Rounding out the top five is the University of Alberta. Maclean’s still has separate reputation surveys for each category under their overall lists. The University of Toronto is also the top under the Medical/Doctoral categories, the University of Waterloo tops the Comprehensive category, while Mount Allison tops the Primarily Undergraduate reputation survey.

Maclean’s shook up their rankings two years when they added a student survey called “Students Favorite Schools.” Since then the name has changed to the Student Satisfaction survey and is now combined to rank the schools in all the three categories. This year Bishop’s University topped the list, last year Bishop’s was the student’s chosen school in the Primarily Undergraduate category. Each category still maintains their individual ranking, under their category’s overall ranking. This year, the top Medical/Doctoral school among students was the Université de Sherbrooke, who was number 13 in their category overall, Wilfrid Laurier was the top comprehensive school, but tied for sixth in their category, and Bishop’s was also the top choice also in the Primarily Undergraduate category, although it was only tied for eleventh in its category.

Maclean’s three major rankings Medical Doctoral, Comprehensive, and Primarily Undergraduate use the same methodology to determine the lists’ rankings. There are six performance indicators; students and classes account for 20 percent of the grade, Faculty also 20 percent, Resources account for 12 percent, Student Support at 13 percent, Library at 15 percent, and Reputation weigh heavily at 20 percent.

Here is Maclean’s top 10 in their Medical/Doctoral category and includes the university’s 2017 positions:

1 McGill [1]
1 Toronto [2]
3 UBC [3]
4 Queen’s [4]
5 Alberta [5]
6 McMaster [6]
7 Western [*8]
8 Dalhousie [7]
*9 Calgary [10]
*9 Ottawa [*8]

Comprehensive category’s top 10:

1 Simon Fraser [1]
2 Victoria [3]
3 Waterloo [2]
4 Guelph [4]
5 Carleton [5]
*6 New Brunswick [6]
*6 Wilfrid Laurier [9]
*8 Memorial [*7]
*8 York [*7]
10 Concordia [10]

Primarily Undergraduate category’s top 10:

1 Mount Allison [2]
2 UNBC [1]
3 Trent [4]
4 Lethbridge [3]
5 Acadia [5]
6 St. Francis Xavier [6]
7 Saint Mary’s [7]
8 UOIT [*11]
9 Lakehead [*11]
10 UPEI [8]

National reputational ranking top 10:

1 Toronto [1]
2 Waterloo [2]
3 UBC [3]
4 McGill [4]
5 Alberta [5]
6 McMaster [7]
7 Western [8]
8 Queen’s [6]
9 Simon Fraser [10]
10 Calgary

Bonnie K. Goodman BA, MLIS (McGill University), is a journalist, librarian, historian & editor. She is a former Features Editor at the History News Network & reporter at Examiner.com where she covered politics, universities, religion and news. She has a dozen years experience in education & political journalism.

History September 29, 2017: McGill University announces tenth annual Cundill History Book Prize finalists

HEADLINE NEWS

Headline_News

HISTORY

McGill University announces tenth annual Cundill History Book Prize finalists

Bonnie K. Goodman BA, MLIS

McGill University is celebrating the 10th anniversary of world’s richest history book prize, the Cundill Prize in Historical Literature. The university announced the 2017 long list finalists on Sept. 26, will announce the top three on Oct. 26, and the winner on Nov. 16. McGill University 

The richest history book prize in the world just announced their long list finalists for the tenth annual award. Canada’s McGill University announced on Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017, ten long list finalists for their $75,000 American annual international Cundill Prize in Historical Literature for history non-fiction books published in the last year. This year’s finalists include historians from five countries including one from Montreal on a variety of topics, areas and periods, although religious history is prominent among the finalists chosen.

The prize is open to any authored history book across the globe. For the tenth anniversary, the university “rebranded” the prize to “illuminate the truth at a time in world affairs when informed, factual debate is increasingly losing out to populism and retrenchment is on the rise.” A jury of five historiansdetermines who wins the book prize. Canadian historian and Oxford University professor Margaret MacMillan is chairing this year’s jury. The jury is predominantly British, with Oxford University professors Roy Foster and Rana Mitter, but includes one American British-American historian and columnist Amanda Foreman and one Canadian, journalist Jeffrey Simpson. The Cundill Prize also has a committee of McGill faculty members.

This year’s long list was shortened from a record 330 submissions, double the amount McGill received for their 2016 prize. Jury Chair MacMillan remarked about the quantity and quality of the books under consideration. MacMillan said, “Our long list reflects the exciting and varied state of history today. The books on it cover subjects from Vietnam to Native American history and range in time from prehistory to the present. Their outstanding men and women authors come from around the world. It certainly wasn’t easy for our jury to whittle down over 300 entries into 10 but I am happy that we have come up with such a strong and interesting selection.”

The long list heavily features religious history with three books included, Christopher de Ballaigue’s The Islamic Enlightenment: The Struggle Between Faith and Reason, 1798 to Modern Times (WW Norton), Lyndal Roper’s Martin Luther (Bodley Head), and Frances FitzGerald In The Evangelicals (S&S US). This year’s finalists include one book by an academic at neighboring Université du Québec à Montréal, Christopher Goscha’s Vietnam: A New History. American published books dominate the list with six, four published in Britain, and only one from Canada.

Jury member Mitter counters saying the list is varied and global. Mitter commented, “As a historian of China I’m particularly delighted at how wide the geographical range of these books are. All are outstanding in quality. I note in terms of range that we have a long study of Vietnam, a major country in Southeast Asia that is little understood in the west; an examination of Islam over several centuries; and an analysis of inequality that draws on material from China as well as the west. In addition, North America and Europe are richly represented. This is a very global list.”

The long list will be further narrowed down to three short finalists on October 26. MacMillan will announce the finalists at a “press conference at Canada House in London.” McGill will then announce the winner at a gala in Montreal on Nov. 16 after a lecture by the top three on Nov. 15. All three finalists will be winners as each runner-up receives a Recognition of Excellence Award and $10,000 American. Qualifying and winning books have to include “historical scholarship, originality, literary quality and broad appeal.” The prize was “founded by McGill alumnus F. Peter Cundill,” with the first prize was announced in 2008.

Cundill Prize Finalists

Black Elk by Joe Jackson, Farrar, Strauss & Giroux
Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and its Legacy by Heather Thompson, Pantheon Books
Martin Luther by Lyndal Roper, Bodley Head
Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts by Christopher de Hamel, Allen Lane
The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America by Frances FitzGerald, Simon & Schuster US
The House of the Dead: Siberian Exile Under the Tsar by Daniel Beer, Allen Lane
The Islamic Enlightenment: The Struggle Between Faith and Reason, 1798 to Modern Times by Christopher de Bellaigue, W. W. Norton & Company
Vietnam: A New History by Christopher Goscha, Basic Books
Russia in Revolution: An Empire in Crisis, 1890 to 1928 by Stephen Smith, Oxford University Press
The Great Leveler: Violence and the History of Inequality from the Stone Age to the Twenty-First Century by Walter Schneidel, Princeton University Press

Bonnie K. Goodman BA, MLIS (McGill University), is a journalist, librarian, historian & editor. She is a former Features Editor at the History News Network & reporter at Examiner.com where she covered politics, universities, religion and news. She has a dozen years experience in education & political journalism.