Incomplete Grade? Columbia Loses Ranking over Dubious Data

U.S. News & World Report has unranked Columbia University from its 2022 edition of Best Colleges, saying in a statement that the Ivy League institution failed to substantiate certain 2021 data it previously submitted, including student-faculty ratios and class size. The decision to rescind the school’s No. 2 rating among national universities in the 2022…

US Visa Called Too Expensive for Afghan Students

For Breshna Salaam, the Taliban’s return to power in Afghanistan last year meant a return to the same extreme poverty she and her mother had experienced under the Taliban’s first time in control of the country.   In 1996, the Taliban fired Salaam’s mother from a public service job, denying the widow and her daughter…

US to Cancel $6 Billion in Student Loans for 200,000 Defrauded Borrowers

The United States will cancel $6 billion in student loans for 200,000 borrowers who claimed they were defrauded by their colleges, the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden said. A settlement agreement between the borrowers and the U.S. Department of Education was filed with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on…

Cornell University Event Calls for School’s Disentanglement With Chinese Partners

   The tweeted invitation for a teach-in at Cornell University featured a photograph of “Pillar of Shame,” a sculpture that commemorates the deadly 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, which authorities removed from Hong Kong University last year. The topic: “Academic Freedom, Global Hubs and Cornell Involvement in the People’s Republic of China.” The speakers: Three Cornell…

Muslim Students at Princeton University Break Ramadan Fast Together

For many students, living and studying at one of the most prestigious schools in the United States can be stressful and sometimes a little lonely. But some Muslim students at Princeton University can find comfort in their community during the month of Ramadan. VOA’s Nida Samir reports. …

Harvard Pledges $100 Million to Atone for Role in Slavery

Harvard University is vowing to spend $100 million to research and atone for its extensive ties with slavery, the school’s president announced Tuesday, with plans to identify and support direct descendants of dozens of enslaved people who labored at the Ivy League campus. President Lawrence Bacow announced the funding as Harvard released a new report…

Struggling Marymount California University to Close

Marymount California University, a half-century-old private Catholic institution, will close this summer, its board of trustees announced. The liberal arts school located on the Palos Verdes Peninsula south of Los Angeles has been struggling in recent years due to declining enrollment, rising costs and the coronavirus pandemic, the university said in a statement Friday. “This…

Mask Mandates Return to US College Campuses as Cases Rise

The final weeks of the college school year have been disrupted yet again by COVID-19 as universities bring back mask mandates, switch to online classes and scale back large gatherings in response to upticks in coronavirus infections. Colleges in Washington, D.C., New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Texas have reimposed a range of virus measures,…

Azerbaijani Student Held in Russian Captivity in Mariupol, Ukraine Describes Torture

A 20-year-old Azerbaijani university student is describing near-daily beatings during his time as a prisoner of Russian forces near Mariupol, Ukraine last month. Huseyn Abdullayev, who was studying at Mariupol State University when Russia invaded Ukraine, tells VOA Azerbaijani he was held from March 17 until April 12 after Russian military personnel kidnapped him at…

New Mexico Hails Expanded Free College, but Some Remain Wary

Even after failing a test that set her back a semester, Maribel Rodriguez will be heading back to nursing school this fall with a generous new state scholarship that abandons eligibility criteria to help more working adults get a college degree. New Mexico is expanding its “Opportunity Scholarship,” which has already paid for Rodriguez’s tuition…

Biden to Extend Student Loan Repayment 3 More Months

The Biden administration is set to extend the moratorium on repayment of student loans until August 31. The payments were scheduled to resume May 1 after the moratorium went into effect early in the pandemic when the economy contracted sharply, and many Americans lost their jobs. Now, some lawmakers say the extensions are needed because…

Ukrainian Students Overseas Fret About Relatives, the Future

At a boarding school in the Rocky Mountains, a group of Eastern European teenagers made crepes to raise money for the millions of people whose lives have been uprooted by Russia’s war on Ukraine. The students, studying at a pine-dotted campus in northern New Mexico, worry from a world away about their relatives in the…

Campus Ministries Soothe, Rally Students Shaken Over Ukraine

Entering Yale University’s St. Thomas More Catholic Chapel, Oksana Goroshchuk spotted sunflowers adorning a candlelit altar and thought of the fields full of her country’s national blossom near her grandmother’s home in Ukraine. A mezzo-soprano launched into a traditional folk tune that Goroshchuk used to sing growing up, and the postdoctoral medical researcher broke down…

California Lawmakers Vote to Increase UC Berkeley Enrollment

The California Legislature voted unanimously Monday to overturn a recent court ruling that would have forced one of the nation’s most prestigious universities to turn away thousands of students from its incoming freshman class. If signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom, the bill will ensure that about 2,600 freshmen admissions slots for this that…

Advocates Urge Protected Status for Ukrainians in US 

As Russian troops march through Ukraine, Ukrainians in the U.S. are anxious about their future and that of their homeland. Roman Korol, a graduate student at California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, is concerned for his family’s safety here in the U.S. when his visa expires and his extended family in Ukraine. “They’re all in…

Battles Erupt Over Banning LGBTQ Topics From US Classrooms

Does a teacher’s ability to mention sexual orientation and gender identity in the classroom pose a threat to primary school students or further a well-rounded, inclusive educational experience? Americans are confronting the question as initiatives advance in several states that would muzzle public school teachers on LGBTQ-related topics. In Florida, a state legislative panel recently…

From Campus to Congress, Colleges Urged to End Legacy Boost

America’s elite colleges are facing growing calls to end the decades-old tradition of giving an admissions boost to the children of alumni — a practice that critics say is rooted in racism and bestows an unfair advantage to students who need it least. Fueled by the national reckoning with racial injustice, opponents say they are…

Police Arrest Man in Colorado Over Alleged Threats to UCLA 

A man who allegedly threatened the University of California, Los Angeles, and detailed potential violence against the prominent university over hundreds of pages has been taken into custody in Colorado following a standoff Tuesday.  The man — identified as Matthew Christopher Harris, 31 — was taken into custody Tuesday morning and is being held in…

Several Black Colleges Receive Bomb Threats for Second Day

Several historically Black colleges and universities, known as HBCUs, received a second round of bomb threats Tuesday following similar threats on Monday. Among those receiving threats Tuesday were Howard University and the University of the District of Columbia in Washington; Edward Waters University in Jacksonville, Florida; Kentucky State University in Frankfort, Kentucky; Fort Valley State…

Bomb Threats Made to Historically Black Schools Across US 

At least a half-dozen historically Black universities in five states and the District of Columbia were responding to bomb threats Monday, with many of them locking down their campuses for a time.  In warnings to students, school officials say some of the threats were directed at academic buildings.  The FBI “is aware of bomb threats…

US Supreme Court to Hear Challenges to Race-Based College Admissions 

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday said it will hear two cases that could determine if race can be used as a factor for college admission.  The cases, brought by the conservative group Students for Fair Admissions, targets Harvard, the country’s oldest private school, and the University of North Carolina, one of the nation’s oldest…

Afghan Students in the US Face Uncertain Future

Afghan students studying at universities in the U.S. through scholarship programs face a more uncertain future since the Taliban took over and many say they cannot return to their home country because of concerns for their safety.   More than 100 Afghan students came to the United States through the Fulbright program last academic year,…

Arkansas Professor Pleads Guilty to Lying About China Patents

A University of Arkansas professor pleaded guilty Friday to lying to the FBI about patents he had for inventions in mainland China. Simon Saw-Teong Ang pleaded guilty in federal court in Fayetteville, Arkansas, to one count from a 58-count federal indictment. Prosecutors say that 24 patents bearing Ang’s name were filed with the Beijing government…

Biden Admin Unveils Changes to Attract Foreign STEM Students

The Biden administration on Friday announced policy changes to attract international students specializing in science, technology, engineering and math — part of the broader effort to make the U.S. economy more competitive. The State Department will let eligible visiting students in those fields, known as STEM, complete up to 36 months of academic training, according…

US Drops Case Against MIT Professor Accused of Ties to China

The Justice Department dropped charges Thursday against a Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor accused of concealing ties to the Chinese government, a further setback to a federal initiative that was set up to prevent economic espionage and theft by Beijing of trade secrets and academic research. The department revealed its decision in the case against…