DC Shuttle …
International Student Data. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement released new data detailing the number of international students studying science, technology, engineering and math fields in the U.S. The data suggests that international STEM students jumped a full 10% over the past year alone. There are 1.23 million international students with F (academic) or M (vocational) status studying at 8,697 schools in the U.S., according to the latest “SEVIS by the Numbers” data. Nearly 42% of those students were studying STEM—a 10% increase from last year.
Congress Passes Veterans Bill with Student Provisions. The House unanimously passed a sweeping bipartisan veterans bill (H.R. 6416) with education-focused provisions, including a requirement that colleges and universities submit an annual report on how well GI Bill-receiving students are doing. It would also require a non-accredited course to be approved only if the school submits a written application that is approved by a state approving agency. The bill passed the Senate Saturday.
University of Phoenix Sale. The U.S. Education Department said that it will approve the sale of the University of Phoenix, the nation’s largest for-profit college, only if certain conditions are met. There is a proposed $1.1 billion acquisition of the University of Phoenix’s parent company. The Education Department says it will approve the deal only if the new buyers set aside more than $385 million in collateral, cap enrollment and accept a prohibition on any new programs.
Energy Efficiency. Lawmakers passed legislation by voice vote that aims to disseminate information to schools about federal energy-efficiency programs and financing mechanisms. House members also unanimously cleared a bill from Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) that provides an exemption from energy-use restrictions for equipment that need to be on at all times.
Continuing Resolution. The stopgap government funding bill passed by the House and Senate includes a new requirement that the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program make use of unspent money carried over from previous years. The continuing resolution includes language that requires the scholarship program’s carryover money to be spent on additional school vouchers or increasing the amount of vouchers. The stopgap funding measure does not include the increase in funding for federal student loan servicing that the Obama administration had sought.
Education Leadership. U.S. Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA) has been re-elected by the Democratic caucus to serve as the ranking member of the Committee on Education and the Workforce.
Office for Civil Rights Work. The Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights is celebrating its work over the last eight years. The department released two new reports highlighting its work under the Obama administration.
We publish the DC Shuttle each week featuring higher ed news from Washington collected by the New England Council, of which NEBHE is a member. This edition is drawn from the Higher Education Update in the Council’s Weekly Washington Report of Dec. 12, 2016. For more information, please visit: www.newenglandcouncil.com.