Weekly News Round-Up: March 23, 2023

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By Shorelight Team
Published on March 23, 2023

Each week the Shorelight team rounds up trusted headlines on the latest in international education and all things impacting students and universities.

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India Companies Selling US Student Visa Slots For $1,000

We first learned of this happening in April 2022 when the Consul General and NIV Chief in New Delhi raised the problem as a systemic concern for them and the education sector.  They are struggling to operationalize a process on their web scheduling platform (like a “Captcha” screen) that can weed out the automated scripts/bots. This practice makes it very challenging for students and other applicants to get the needed appointments.

Shorelight does not support or condone this practice, and we work every day to support students fairly and through the proper channels. As you all can imagine, given the consular backlogs and shortage of appointments in mission India as it is, this further complicates the problem. If we learned that any specific organization we worked with was involved, we would terminate our relationship and report the abuse.

Speaking in April 2022, Don Heflin, minister counselor for consular affairs, said, “We’re trying to defeat these fellows who book a lot of appointments and then sell them for more money. That’s been a real problem for us because not all of the appointments that they book result in people showing up, so we’ll think we’re going to do so many interviews in a week and it turns out we’re doing five, ten, twenty percent less than that. Those are slots that could have gone to good applicants.”

Get the full story on The PIE News >

Which Countries’ Students Are Getting Most Involved In STEM?

Graduates in STEM are sought after globally but are often in short supply. Many countries including the US have tried to bolster enrollment in STEM to aid important high-skilled companies. In the US, we have more international students studying STEM than domestic students.

According to numbers collected by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, tertiary students in Malaysia and Tunisia are among the most likely to graduate in a STEM field, with between 43.5 and almost 40 percent of students there receiving a respective degree, out of all countries where recent data was available. India, with a still high share of 34 percent of students picking STEM, is however producing the most graduates in total in the field due to its population of around 1.4 billion people - the largest in the world.”

Get the full story on the World Economic Forum >

Critics Wary Of Ohio Senate Higher-Ed Bill That Would Bar Professors From Striking, Specify Content Of American History Class, Among Other Changes

Florida is not the only state working to drastically change higher education throughout that state. Ohio and Texas are introducing different versions of bills that would have an impact on public and private institutions. This bill in Ohio is just one example. 

Senate Bill 83 called the “Higher Education Enhancement Act,” would prohibit favoritism or discrimination of certain ideas in classrooms; bar “political and ideological litmus tests” in hiring and promoting faculty; ban diversity, equity and inclusion training of employees and students; and require “syllabus transparency” with the public, among other proposed mandates.”

Get the full story on cleveland.com >