November 19, 2013—While APLU continues to press congressional leaders during the ongoing budget negotiations, many other key issues are being pushed before the end of the calendar year. Two reports on international education were recently released, as well as reports on reducing the deficit and the impacts of sequestration on non-defense programs. Also, for those who use THOMAS to track legislation, the government has begun to transition from the site to the new Congress.gov.
Following a meeting with the Department of Education in which the Department expressed concern that Title VI programs were not sufficiently contributing to global competencies of a large number of students, APLU, AAU, and ACE initiated a survey of APLU and AAU members with Title VI programs. The results of the survey demonstrate that Title VI programs not only ensure capacities of excellence in less commonly taught languages and cultures and preserve the domestic pipeline of experts prepared to enter the field, but also greatly contribute to “global competencies” of a broad array of students. Universities with Title VI funding are conducting outreach to K-12 and community college students and educators to share resources and inspire the next generation. APLU, AAU, and ACE response to the Department with examples of the results from the survey can be found here. APLU thanks the universities that participated.
The Institute for International Education (IIE), in partnership with the U.S. Department of State, released the 2013 results of the Open Doors Survey. The number of international students attending U.S. universities increased by 7 percent, while the number of U.S. students studying abroad for credit increased by 3 percent. IIE’s quick facts document provides a breakdown of the origin of international students and of the top study abroad destinations.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released the report, Options for Reducing the Deficit: 2014-2023, to offer a compendium of policy options to Congress that would affect the federal budget, as well as separate reports that include policy options in particular areas. The report offers 103 options that would decrease spending or increase federal revenues over the next decade. There are several options of interest to the higher education community, including reducing/eliminating subsidized undergraduate loans, eliminating the mandatory Pell Grant “add-on,” restricting Pell eligibility further, reducing funding for the arts and humanities, curtailing the charitable deduction, and eliminating higher education tax credits, among others.
According to the CBO, these options are “based on proposed legislation or on the budget proposals of various Administrations; others came from Congressional offices or from entities in the federal government or in the private sector.” These are “intended to reflect a range of possibilities, not a ranking of priorities or an exhaustive list. Inclusion or exclusion of any particular option does not imply endorsement or disapproval by CBO, and the report makes no recommendations.”
The non-defense discretionary advocacy coalition, NDD United, released their report, Faces of Austerity: How Budget Cuts Have Made Us Sicker, Poorer, and Less Secure, last week highlighting stories of how the budget sequester is having an impact across sectors—education, job, training, public health, safety and security, housing, science, natural resources, infrastructure, and international affairs. Details are available at www.nddunited.org.
For those who use the THOMAS website at the Library of Congress to track legislation, THOMAS was replaced this week with the free legislative information website, Congress.gov. Congress.gov is transitioning into its permanent role as the official site for federal legislative information from the U.S. Congress and related agencies. THOMAS.gov will remain accessible from the Congress.gov homepage through late 2014 before it is retired.