University News

Higher Ed news roundup

Senior Staff Writer
Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Professors support Occupy movement

Occupy Wall Street has gained new support with the announcement of “solidarity” from the American Association of University Professors, according to a press release posted on the association’s website Oct. 7. National wealth disparities, rising costs of education amid budget cuts and faltering support for collective bargaining were among the main reasons the association voiced its support. Both the group’s Bargaining Congress and national Council announced support for the movement, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education.

California adopts Dream Act

In-state university tuition and state-sponsored scholarships are now open to illegal immigrants in California. Gov. Jerry Brown signed the second half of the California Dream Act into law Oct. 8. The law is the second half of a “legislative package” first signed in July that also allows undocumented students to apply for loans and private scholarships, according to the New York Times. To qualify, students must prove residency and be on track to obtain legal immigration status, according to the Times.

Several students at the University of California at Los Angeles told the Daily Bruin, UCLA’s student newspaper, that the new law will allow them to return to college or pursue graduate school. The California Dream Act “will make it more likely that I will not have to take a quarter off,” UCLA student Mariana Vega told the Daily Bruin.

But groups like the Federation for American Immigration Reform have voiced concern over the “misuse of California taxpayer funds,” spokesperson Kristen Williamson told the Daily Bruin.

France aims for its own Ivy League

Three universities in France have begun receiving money from a national investment scheme aimed at raising select universities to an internationally competitive level, according to Inside Higher Ed. The 7.7 billion euro Initiatives d’Excellence fund, which will eventually be awarded to five to seven “Sorbonne League” schools, is part of an effort driven by French President Nicolas Sarkozy to create a hierarchical system of education.

The plan signals a change in the relationship between universities and businesses. Funded universities must “work more closely with business to commercialize research and form spin-off companies,” according to Inside Higher Ed. The plan is “vital” for French universities to be top players in international education, Edouard Husson, vice chancellor of the universities of Paris, told Inside Higher Ed.

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