Stack of books on bench

In this week's roundup:

rising COVID-19 cases lead to reinstated mask mandates, students push back on the end of hybrid learning and international applications are on the rise. 

April 7-13 

  • Some institutions are reinstating mask mandates as a result of outbreaks of the Omicron subvariant known as BA.2. The U.S. has seen increases in COVID-19 cases in New York City and Washington, D.C., and the city of Philadelphia has already reinstated an indoor mask mandate. 
  • Applications to “prominent” colleges and universities from international students have risen 34% since 2020. This surge is thought to be due to pandemic restrictions easing and SAT scores no longer being required. 
  • A new study from the Journal of Affective Disorders reveals that students of color are less likely to receive mental health treatment. The study found that the number of Black and Latinx students seeking treatment for mental health reasons was much lower than the number of white students. 
  • The University of North Carolina system has adopted a new budget model that will be based on student success instead of enrollment numbers. UNC System President Peter Hans says this model will emphasize the core responsibility of undergraduate education. 
  • Harvard University has ended its undergraduate teacher education program, citing low enrollment. The University will now only be offering a master’s program for training future teachers. 
  • Restaurant chain Chick-fil-A will be awarding $24 million in scholarships to over 12,000 employees. These scholarships can be applied to any area of study at any college or university. 
  • A whistle-blower lawsuit against Rutgers University’s Business School claims the university created fake jobs for graduates to inflate its rankings and show that graduates had no trouble finding jobs. According to the lawsuit, there was a false impression that “postgraduation employment is virtually guaranteed.” 
  • Unpaid internships have received criticism for being unfair to lower-income students and less likely to lead to a full-time job, which is leading more institutions to create programs to subsidize unpaid interns. Alumni at the University of Wisconsin at Madison fund the SuccessWorks at the College of Letters and Science Internship Fund, which awards up to $5,000 to students seeking internships. 
  • Students are pushing back at institutions ending hybrid learning. Accessibility is a main concern of students who have health conditions that make in-person learning a challenge. 
  • The development of the first COVID-19 vaccine patch comes from research at the University of Texas. The patch has the “potential to be used very broadly and very simply, and we think that it’s going to have opportunities not just in high-income countries, but in emerging markets and low and middle-income countries to extend the reach of vaccines,” says David Hoey, CEO of Vaxxas. 

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