The College Bubble: A Higher Ed Round-Up

The recent news that a Wesleyan student is suing Psi  U due to rape allegations has sparked debate over the role of fraternities in sexual assault, and their presence on college campuses. Zach Schonfeld ’13 has written two in-depth articles on the matter. The first explores the history of various universities that have decided to get rid of their fraternities, and the follow-up wondering if Wesleyan will be the next to do the same.

A recent piece in The Nation explores the worrying fate of publically engaged academic intellectuals in the university system, reflecting on the recent firings of two Columbia professors.

An Associated Press article examines how the ever-increasing student loan debts across the country are contributing to the growing wealth gap. It seems the proposed solutions to such a problem never really seem to end, including various suggestions for increased access to free public higher education, and even a proposal for an equity financing system, from Forbes.

A recent piece for the New York Times delves into campus racism and the rise of a dialogue on microaggressions, including many intriguing examples of student movements to highlight these issues.

In the rising wave of online academia, the ex-president of Yale is set to become the chief executive of Coursera, a major player in the world of massive open online courses (MOOCs), an organization with which Wesleyan is affiliated. In the world of private online universities, there has been a huge increase in degrees in the past few years. The question still remains, is this kind of education a replacement for traditional university programs; and does this democratize higher education, or just expand the privatized structures?

While college athletes, especially at Division 1 schools, often receive athletic scholarships, salaries have never been a part of the equation. This structure is being called into question with a recent decision in which student athletes may be considered employees, and as such, have the right to form unions and bargain collectively. The New York Times has a fascinating analysis of the development, exploring how the decision is merely part of the growing trend of the business of higher education, in which the student-university relationship is transaction-based.

It seems the idea of all-women’s colleges is fading out of fashion. A USA Today article examines the struggles of women’s colleges in maintaining identity and enrollment and an Atlantic article explores the ongoing debate over the merits of single-sex education. It should be noted that no confusion for Wesleyan as Wellesley was made in these articles.

The Nation’s StudentNation blog continues to highlight student activism across the country, covering, amongst other things, the recent controversy over the suspension of Northeastern‘s suspension of the school’s Students for Justice in Palestine chapter.