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Highlights from Higher Ed: Kansas Reexamines College Prerequisites and Institutions Experience a Decrease in Chinese Student Enrollment

Kansas reexamines college prerequisites

In hope of increasing college enrollment, public colleges in the state of Kansas are proposing the elimination of the required completion of certain high school classes such as chemistry and physics. Board members believe that the elimination of these course requirements “would increase enrollment of Kansas high school graduates at state universities and colleges to 87%.” Kansas state universities’ full-time enrollment has been on a decline since 2010; most recently the state experienced a sharp drop with a 4.2% decrease in enrollment between 2018-2019. 

This new proposal would remove the current requirement that students with scores of less than 22 on the ACT take a fourth math course during their senior year. Instead, high schools will recommend classes to students who plan on attending a university within Kansas.

Source: Inside Higher Ed

A decrease in Chinese enrollment

American universities are experiencing a steep decline in foreign student enrollment, particularly in the enrollment of Chinese students. To combat this drop, many colleges are expanding their recruiting to include other parts of the world. The drop in Chinese student enrollment has affected colleges around the U.S., such as Bentley University in Massachusetts where “the number of new Chinese graduate students arriving on campus dropped from 110 last fall to 70 this year. The University of Vermont experienced a 23% decline in Chinese student enrollment, and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln had a 20% decrease. This is especially concerning considering international students contribute an estimated $39 billion to the U.S. economy. Only time will tell if measures like conducting freshmen orientation overseas to address students’ and parents’ concerns will make a difference. 

Source: The Christian Science Monitor

Postsecondary institutions and unique credentials

There are now more than 738,000 unique credentials offered at U.S. schools, including “traditional degrees as well as badges, certificates, boot camps and other short-term credential types.” This number has doubled from 2018 according to Credential Engine, a nonprofit that tracks the credential marketplace. Although not much is known about their impact regarding “social mobility or whether they’re effective in closing skills gaps,” early research suggests “short-term programs can boost earnings and help students land a job.” As part of their efforts to embed or tie in short-term programs with traditional course offerings, some colleges and universities are launching “shared credentials” that are recognized by employers so students are better prepared for the workplace.

Source: Education Dive

Europe launches its first tech MBA

Madrid’s IE Business school has announced the launch of Europe’s first “Tech MBA.” The one-year program is designed for those “with strong STEM backgrounds who want to work in technology companies or seek tech-related positions in other sectors.” Madrid’s IE school follows in the footsteps of numerous U.S. schools that have launched tech- and/or STEM-centered MBAs, including Rochester University’s Simon Business School, Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management, Duke’s Fuqua School of Business and more. Programs like these bridge the gap between business and STEM for students who may have interests in both.

Source: Poets & Quants