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The War Against Students Is Pushing Us Toward a Global Education Crisis

For Miranda Mendoza Flores, age 18.

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Here's What Today’s Campus Scolds Get All Wrong about College 'Snowflakes'

Wondering last week why the last few years’ public hoopla over college "snowflakes" and "cry-bullies" has abated, I tried what the writer Walter Benjamin called literary pearl diving: I plunged into submerged origins of today’s public sentiment and found an early instance of opinion-formation about stressed-out college kids that crystallized in obscurity with the passage of time. When a buried artifact of opinion-formation is retrieved from layers of sediment, brought to the surface and turned over in the light, it can illuminate forgotten truths about ourselves and deepen – or disrupt — our sense of who we are and what we can do.

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Here Are the Ways to Tell How Much Your University Education Is Actually Worth

Editor’s note: Today we begin a new series in which we ask the leaders of our country’s colleges and universities to address some of the most pressing issues in higher education.

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Mental Illness Is a Real Issue on College Campuses - We Need to Take It Seriously

Unlike his former classmates, Alex isn’t writing final exams right now, or searching for a summer job, or choosing electives for next year. Alex is no longer a student at all.

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A Big Part of Fixing Our Education System Is Simply About Its Price Tag

If you want a higher education in the United States, you need to have money. The average cost of a college education at a public university in the USA is over $20,000. That number balloons to nearly $35,000 for out-of-state students. With unpaid U.S. student debt topping $1.4 trillion, it’s easy to see how the price of college is out of control.

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College in the U.S. Is More Expensive Than in Any Other Country in the World

The price of a college degree is more expensive in America than anywhere else in the world, according to a new report from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. The OECD looked at public and private college costs in its 35 member countries and found that higher education is priciest in the United States by a significant margin. Business Insider notes that while “one-third of countries do not charge tuition for public institutions,” and 10 countries have public tuition costs that average less than $4,000 annually, getting a diploma from a public institution in the U.S. generally runs about $8,202 a year. The closest competitor on that front is Chile, where public college costs average $7,654 annually.

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The University of Pittsburgh Is Using Taxpayer Dollars to Conduct Cruel and Unnecessary Animal Experiments

Here's a thought experiment: You sit on an oversight committee at a respected university. A faculty member wants approval for experiments that he'd like to conduct. He explains that the animals in these taxpayer-funded studies will suffer a degree of pain that is considered extreme even by animal experimentation standards. You then find out that the results will not be applicable to human health. In other words, sick people won't be helped by them.

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The First American College to Divest From Fossil Fuels Has Outperformed the Average Investment Return of Hundreds of U.S. Schools

Students on major campuses nationwide have been campaigning for their colleges to divest from fossil fuels, hoping to force action on climate change. Too often the first response of administrators and trustees in rejecting divestment is that investment decisions must be made solely on financial considerations and never subject to moral and political questions. That argument—making money is too important to allow talk of morality, social well-being or the future of the students for whom the institution exists—is discordant for a mission-driven institution.

Organizations can align their investment strategy with their educational and social mission, without forfeiting financial returns. 

The Daoist philosopher Lao Tzu observed that “the best way to teach is to be.” Students learn not just from professors, but from the entire culture of their school. Every decision by faculty and administrators—whether on standards for free speech, curriculum, design of buildings or how to invest endowment funds—has an impact. 

About five years ago, environmentalist Bill McKibben, a friend of our college, timed a campus visit to challenge us to join his 350.org campaign and divest from fossil fuels. When we checked, we found our policy had already led us away from these investments. Our students celebrated this finding, and as a result, we were widely credited as the first college to be divested from fossil fuels. 

Why were we naturally divested? Since 2011, Hampshire College has published an Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Investment Policy to manage its investments using positive screens—a strategy of choosing investments based on positive attributes aligned with our values, rather than having to later divest from those that are not.

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Billionaire Betsy DeVos Wants to Scrap Student Debt Forgiveness - Surprised?

When Donald Trump appointed Betsy DeVos secretary of education, America’s school-going people worried it was only a matter of time before she brought back debtors’ prison for student loan defaulters and subcontracted out K-12 education to Nickelodeon. 

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How Universities Are Increasingly Choosing Capitalism Over Education

The following is an excerpt from the new book The Capitalist University: The Transformations of Higher Education in the United States since 1945 by Henry Heller (Pluto Press, December 2016):

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In First 100 Hours of Trump Administration, Students Nationwide Walk-Out of Class

New York, NY -- Within 100 hours of Donald Trump’s inauguration, in the first and largest youth-led mobilization of 2017, thousands of students across the country walked-out of class in protest of Trump and his corrupt fossil fuel billionaire cabinet. This comes just two days after nearly 3 million people mobilized in Women’s Marches around the world. Students on dozens of campuses across the country are demanding administrations resist and reject Trump’s climate denial cabinet by divesting from fossil fuels and reinvesting in solutions to the climate crisis.

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