Sep 19, 2019

Education Department scrutinizes universities for anti-Israel bias

Betsy DeVos. Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

The Education Department told Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to restructure their joint Middle East studies program, claiming there was not enough “positive imagery of Judaism and Christianity in the region," the New York Times reports.

The state of play: In a letter assistant Secretary for postsecondary education Robert King wrote that the Duke-UNC program "appears to lack balance," alleging that it failed to abide by the standards of Title VI of the Higher Education Act, which grants college funding for international studies and foreign language programs.

The big picture: The Education Department's probe was, per the Times, part of a sweeping investigation. Under Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, the department has grown more forceful in tackling perceived anti-Israel bias.

  • Kenneth Marcus, assistant secretary for civil rights at the Department of Education, has, per the Times, "waged a yearslong campaign to delegitimize and defund Middle East studies programs that he has criticized as rife with anti-Israel bias."

What's next: The universities have been asked to submit a modified list of events it intends to support and a full list of course offerings in its Middle East studies program.

  • The department also requested the consortium to show it has “effective institutional controls” to comply with the administration’s interpretation of the Higher Education Act. The consortium has a Sept. 22 deadline before the department is expected to approve funding Sept. 30.

Go deeper: Report: The political left and the right feed "the new wave of anti-Semitism"

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Exclusive: Where skills anxiety is highest

Reproduced from Strada-Gallup Education Consumer Survey; Graphic: Axios Visuals

Nearly half of Americans think they need more education to move up in their careers, with younger, non-white and urban residents feeling a greater need for additional skills than their peers, according to the Strada-Gallup Education Consumer Survey of 350,000 people to be released next week.

Between the lines: Whether people believe they need more education to advance their careers reflects the needs of the local labor market where they live. The tighter the job market, the higher the perceived need for more training.

Go deeperArrowSep 21, 2019

Deep Dive: Higher education's existential crisis

Photo Illustration: Sarah Grillo. Photos via Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images

U.S. colleges and universities — historically cornerstones of society — are wrestling with a wave of rapid changes coming at the U.S.

The big picture: Higher education institutions — private, public, for-profit and not — are buckling in the face of demographic shifts, the arrival of automation, declining enrollment, political headwinds and faltering faith in the system.

The shift in higher education funding since the Great Recession

Photo: Silas Stein/picture alliance via Getty Images

The federal government has had to shoulder more of the country's higher education costs as state investments have declined the past 20 years — and especially after 2008's Great Recession — an analysis from the Pew Charitable Trusts shows.

The state of play: Education funding has experienced a large shift as federal funding programs based on student need surged while state funding for research and public universities withered.

Go deeperArrowOct 15, 2019