Screening university students could reduce community COVID-19 burden

Researchers in Canada and the United States report that screening students for infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) as universities re-open this fall could reduce the burden of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the broader community.

The team conducted a model-based analysis to estimate the impact that the return of a relatively large student population would have on the rate of COVID-19 infections in a mid-sized city, where the number of cases was relatively few, prior to students returning.

Lauren Cipriano (University of Western Ontario) and colleagues from the London Health Sciences Centre and the University of Minnesota School of Public Health say the findings suggest that the return of such a student population would significantly increase the number of COVID-19 cases in the community.

The study also suggests that routine testing of students would prevent the number of infections in this population and provide significant public

Read More

University of Michigan staff continue demanding change after grad students end strike

A strike over conditions during the coronavirus pandemic at the University of Michigan ended this week after two proposals and legal action from the institution. But students and staff are continuing to demand change.

GEO, the union representing over 2,000 graduate student instructors and graduate staff assistants at the school’s three campuses, went on strike Sept. 8, with a list of demands including the right to work remotely and increasing COVID-19 testing. On Wednesday, after extending the four-day strike, it announced it had accepted a second offer from the university.

PHOTO: Members of the Graduate Employees’ Organization Local 3550 protest outside of Angell Hall on the University of Michigan campus in Ann Arbor, Mich., Sept. 11, 2020. (Kimberly P. Mitchell/Detroit Free Press via USA Today Network)

The move came two days after the University of Michigan authorized seeking a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction against the union strike.

Read More

Thailand’s ‘Bad Students’ Demand Education Reform | World News

By Jiraporn Kuhakan and Chayut Setboonsarng

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thailand’s “Bad Student” campaigners toured Bangkok high schools in a truck on Friday in a protest cheered on by pupils to demand education reform and an end to the harassment of students and of school rules they say are outdated.

The school demonstrations are part of an anti-government protest movement that has been growing since July and is also demanding greater democracy. Some campaigners seek reforms to the powerful monarchy too.

“Stop the harassment of students, cancel outdated rules, and give us comprehensive education reform,” said Laponpat Wangpaisit, an activist from the group that calls itself “Bad Student” outside one Bangkok school.

From behind school gates, pupils cheered the protesters, sang songs mocking school rules and gave the three-finger salute of pro-democracy campaigners. At one school, pupils put a sign on the gate saying: “Teachers at this school harass students.”


Read More

Newcastle University students’ data held to ransom by cyber criminals | Science & Tech News

Newcastle University is being held to ransom by cyber criminals in an attack which has been disrupting IT systems since the beginning of the month.

The cyber crime group behind the attack – known as DoppelPaymer – previously leaked documents online relating to Elon Musk’s companies SpaceX and Tesla.

The criminals have posted stolen files from the university online and are threatening to release more, exposing student and staff data unless they receive a ransom payment, according to a post on Twitter and their darkweb site.

Newcastle University has alerted the UK’s data watchdog, the Information Commissioner’s Office, as well as the police.

In a statement on its website, the university said “it will take several weeks” to address the issues, and that many IT services will not be operating during this period.

A third party has been brought in to conduct an incident response investigation into the cyber attack,

Read More

From COVID testing to cops, University of Michigan graduate students explain why they’re striking

ANN ARBOR, MI – While more than 70% of the University of Michigan’s classes are being taught online this fall, Kathleen Brown was quick to question which types of instructors would feel the pressure to teach in-person.

The second-year PhD student in UM’s American Culture Department said it’s natural to assume graduate student instructors have been more greatly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic financially than their faculty counterparts, putting more stress on them to teach the classes the university is offering in-person.

It also has forced graduate employees to apply pressure on the university by striking Tuesday, Sept. 8, marching and chanting at five different locations on the UM campus, asking the university for more transparency in its plans related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including randomized testing.

A universal right to work remotely was one of the union’s demands. They also want a universal right to work remotely, childcare subsidies,

Read More

Oakwood University uses CARES Act money to help community through students

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – One of Governor Ivey’s CARES Act allocations was a $72 million check towards higher education.

Oakwood University in Huntsville received $1.4 million of those funds. Oakwood University President Dr. Leslie Pollard said they were fortunate to be one of the schools that received a larger grant.

Pollard assigned three of his top administrators to apply the funds in Oakwood’s main areas of need, including technology, cyber technology, and community engagement.

The money for community engagement, Pollard said, will be used for a Community Health Clinic to help not only students to learn, but help community members as well.

“And of course education for them around health, around health preservation, around health maintenance, around healthy dieting and healthy eating, all of the things that they can do to actually help protect themselves against the virus,” Pollard said.

Pollard said this new endeavor is going to take community engagement

Read More

What a U.S. Liberal Arts Education Can Provide International Students | Best Colleges

German national Tim Steinebach says he was interested in almost everything related to philosophy, but never really considered applying to a U.S. liberal arts college. That is, until an admissions officer from this type of college visited his school.

“I learned about St. John’s and immediately fell in love with the idea of reading 200 of the greatest books of the West and discussing them without the authoritative interpretations of secondary literature or lecturing professors,” says Steinebach, now a sophomore at St. John’s College in New Mexico, which along with its Maryland location, has a single academic program called the Great Books program.

Liberal arts colleges offer four-year degrees that are broad in breadth – providing the ability to explore other interests beyond an academic major – and are focused on the humanities, sciences and social sciences.

“The U.S. is the home of this style of education – it originated

Read More

New Haven to reopen classrooms for some special education students

NEW HAVEN — The school district will reopen 11 special education classrooms for in-person learning despite the rest of the buildings remaining closed for the first 10 weeks of the semester.

The Board of Education’s vote to allow schools to reopen for 11 special education classrooms is a step toward loosening its directive to keep schools closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Director of Student Services Typhanie Jackson appealed to the board for the change as the state mandates specific evaluations for special education students and the state Department of Education has not granted waivers, so

Read More

Indonesia’s education minister on Covid’s effect on students’ learning

SINGAPORE — There’s not enough discussion globally about the coronavirus pandemic’s effect on students’ learning as schools are closed to prevent further spread of the virus, Indonesia’s Education Minister Nadiem Anwar Makarim told CNBC on Monday.

“A lot of people keep mentioning about the health crisis and about the economic crisis that’s caused by the pandemic but not enough people are talking about the educational crisis, the learning crisis that is happening all around the world, not just in Indonesia,” the minister told CNBC’s “Street Signs Asia.”

“So we really have to find the right balance between … the health crisis as well as the educational crisis as leaders,” he said ahead of the virtual Singapore Summit happening this week.

Students from a school in Surabaya, Indonesia’s East Java province, attend in-person lessons under strict health protocols during the coronavirus pandemic.

Budiono | Sijori images | Barcroft Media via Getty

Read More

Northeastern University Dismisses 11 Students for Breaking Virus Rules but Keeps Their Tuition

In one of the harshest punishments imposed to date against students for violations of coronavirus safety protocols, Northeastern University dismissed 11 first-year students this week and declined to refund their $36,500 tuition after they were discovered crowded into a room at a Boston hotel serving as a temporary dormitory.

About 800 students are staying in two-person rooms at the hotel, the Westin, which is less than a mile from Northeastern’s Boston campus.

Two university staff members making rounds on Wednesday evening discovered the gathering, which violated university rules against any “guests, visitors or additional occupants,” the university said in a news release.

In addition, the students were not wearing masks or practicing social distancing, in defiance of university requirements, a university spokeswoman, Renata Nyul, said.

Northeastern’s move comes as colleges across the country are struggling to figure

Read More