EDU news curated by Kiosk: Student hunger and other higher ed news

Communicating about Food Insecurity in Higher Education

From Kiosk: Food insecurity is a reality on university campuses across student populations from first-year community college students to graduate students. While the reasons vary by population, the impact on student well-being and performance has been documented. Prospective students may be worried about their own ability to fund their education, succeed academically and feed themselves.


The Biden Administration’s National Strategy on Hunger Is a Big Deal for College Students

From New America: “The Biden Administration’s newly announced National Strategy on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health … highlights how food insecurity is a substantial problem for college students, and aims to address this by permanently reforming SNAP–the largest federal nutrition assistance program–to better meet the needs of college students. Given how widespread food insecurity is among college students and how detrimental food insecurity is for their academic and mental wellbeing, this is a critical step towards advancing educational equity and increasing higher education attainment.”


Report: Addressing the Roots of Food Insecurity in Higher Ed

From Inside Higher Education: “A new Tennessee Higher Education Commission and Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation report highlights the ways institutions can support students facing basic needs insecurity. … Students experience food insecurity at higher rates than the general population, with estimates putting students between 33 to 51 percent food insecure and all U.S. adults at 9.8 percent. … The report found eight solutions or practices … Food pantries … Meal swipe donation/transfer programs … Food recovery programs … Community and shared gardens … Cooking & meal preparation demonstrations … financial literacy programming … connecting students to resources and benefits … financial assistance.”


Post-Affirmative Action, Views on Admissions Differ by Race

From Gallup: “A Gallup Center on Black Voices survey finds that about two in three Americans (68%) say the Supreme Court’s June 2023 ruling to end the use of race and ethnicity in university admission decisions is ‘mostly a good thing.’ Black Americans are divided in their assessment of the decision, while majorities of Asian, White and Hispanic adults view the ruling mostly positively. … About half of Black adults say the ruling will negatively impact higher education in the U.S. (50%) and the ability of applicants of their own race to attend college (52%). However, 33% of Black adults view the decision as a positive development, saying it will positively impact higher education, while 27% say it will make it easier for Black applicants.”


Amid National Backlash, Colleges Brace for Fresh Wave of Anti-DEI Legislation

From the Chronicle: “At least 14 states this year will consider legislation that could dismantle the ways college administrators attempt to correct historical and structural gender and racial disparities and make campus climates more inclusive, according to a Chronicle of Higher Education analysis. … So far this year, new bills have been filed in Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri and South Carolina.”


For Some Young People, a College Degree Is Not Worth the Debt

From The New York Times: “Alex’s financial aid package included $5,500 in federal student loans — the maximum that freshmen can take out. The rest was designated to me in the form of Parent PLUS loans. … After filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, my expected family contribution was zero. How could the school and the loan carrier know I didn’t have money and still approve me for a debt of $40,000 over four years? By researching Parent PLUS loans, I learned that the parent alone carries the debt, there are fewer forgiveness options than other federal student loans and the loans carry a current interest rate of 8.05 percent. There was no way I could sign.”


Arizona State Joins ChatGPT in First Higher Ed Partnership

From Inside Higher Education: “Arizona State University is slated to become the first higher education institution to partner with the artificial intelligence company OpenAI, which will give ASU students and faculty access to its most advanced iteration of ChatGPT. … The deal, for an undisclosed sum, aims to bolster research and coursework at ASU through the use of ChatGPT Enterprise, which focuses on larger entities instead of individual use. … With the new access come lofty plans. Among other things, ASU wants to create AI avatars that can serve as study buddies for students. The university also plans to create a personalized AI tutor with a focus on STEM topics.”


Enrollments Rise After Pandemic-Related Declines

From Inside Higher Education: “Undergraduate enrollment rose in fall 2023 for the first time since the pandemic, according to the latest report from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. The report, released today, found that undergraduate enrollment grew 1.2 percent in fall 2023 compared to the prior year, adding roughly 176,000 students to college enrollment rolls nationally. The new data contained especially good news for community colleges. Enrollment at these institutions increased 2.6 percent, a gain of about 118,000 students, signaling the continuation of a welcome turnaround after staggering enrollment losses during the pandemic.”


These are the skills employers are looking for as AI use expands, according to leaders at Davos

From Business Insider: “Have a learning mindset, and don’t be afraid to experiment. Katy George, senior partner and chief people officer at McKinsey, said that the company would be looking for people who aren’t just capable when it comes to generative AI but are innovative, flexible, and able to evolve quickly. … Use AI to augment your job, not just automate it. ‘A lot of the things that the technology is really good at are the kinds of things that people don’t like to do,’ says Jeff Maggioncalda, CEO of Coursera. ‘Figure out how these tools might help you enjoy your job more, be more productive,’ Maggioncalda said.


A Small Pennsylvania College’s Big Investment in the Humanities

From Inside Higher Education: “As humanities programs face continued cuts and public skepticism of their value, a small Pennsylvania liberal arts college is setting itself apart by investing and creating more opportunities for its humanities majors. Lycoming spent about $75,000 to launch the Humanities Research Center in 2022, which connects students with related experiential learning opportunities and supports undergraduate research. The college also received a $150,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to advance a digital project about the history of the college, which is meant to be a pilot for possible future projects. … the college hopes this initiative will help grow its humanities enrollment by 20 percent in the next five years.”


Oxford v-c’s course seeks to bridge science-humanities ‘divide’

From Times Higher Education: “The University of Oxford has launched a cross-disciplinary course that aims to bridge the ‘divide’ between science and humanities students. The Vice-Chancellor’s Colloquium seeks to help students develop skills relating to numeracy, data analysis, critical thinking, curiosity, imagination and communication, and has been developed by the institution’s department for continuing education. Over the next eight weeks, 200 undergraduates from across the university will join keynote lectures bringing together two professors from different disciplines to respond to a big question and illustrate how their respective fields and research methodologies provide insights.”

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