U.S. Losing Its Grip On Elite Higher Education, Rankings Show

Forbes – Nick Morrison

“New university rankings published today show that the U.S. is losing its grip on the global elite higher education market. While the U.S. still retains the top spot, in the form of California Institute of Technology, it now has fewer universities in both the top 10 and the top 100. And the seemingly unstoppable rise of China and the Far East appears to have come to a halt – at least temporarily…And instead it is Europe, a continent wracked by internal strife and seemingly a busted flush, that appears to be undergoing something of a resurgence. The rankings are based on 13 performance indicators, covering teaching, research, citations, international outlook and industry income. And they make sobering reading for nations that had taken their traditional dominance for granted.”(more)

Learning a foreign language a ‘must’ in Europe, not so in America

The Pew Research Center – Kat Devlin

“A popular stereotype of Americans traveling abroad is the tourist who is at a loss when it comes to coping with any language other than English. Fair or not, the fact is that while the U.S. does not have a national requirement for students to learn a foreign language in school, the typical European pupil must study multiple languages in the classroom before becoming a teen. Studying a second foreign language for at least one year is compulsory in more than 20 European countries. In most European countries, students begin studying their first foreign language as a compulsory school subject between the ages of 6 and 9, according to a 2012 report from Eurostat, the statistics arm of the European Commission. This varies by country and sometimes within a country, with the German-speaking Community of Belgium – one of the three federal communities of Belgium– starting its 3-year-olds on a foreign language, but parts of the United Kingdom (excluding Scotland) waiting until age 11.”(more)

School-wide prevention program lowers teen suicide risk

Reuters – Madeline Kennedy

“(Reuters Health) – After a school-based prevention program, European teenagers were about half as likely to attempt suicide or to feel suicidal, a new study shows. Danuta Wasserman, a professor of psychiatry at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, said the program was likely successful because students “felt that the power of mastering their feelings, coping with stress and choosing solutions was in their hands and not decided or forced by adults.” Suicide is the third leading cause of death between the ages of 10 and 24, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Suicide attempts are even more common, with some research suggesting that 4 to 8 percent of high school students try to kill themselves each year, the CDC says.”(more)

The American Dream Is Leaving America

The New York Times – Nicholas Kristof

“THE best escalator to opportunity in America is education. But a new study underscores that the escalator is broken. We expect each generation to do better, but, currently, more young American men have less education (29 percent) than their parents than have more education (20 percent).” (more)

September 26 is European Day of Languages

Panorama.am – Staff Writer

“The European Day of Languages is 26 September, as proclaimed by the Council of Europe…The general objectives of the European Day of Languages are to: alert the public to the importance of language learning and diversify the range of languages learned in order to increase plurilingualism and intercultural understanding; promote the rich linguistic and cultural diversity…” (more)