Weekly Round-Up: June 14, 2013

Happy Friday, everyone, and welcome to the Weekly Round-Up!

If you’ve got stories or links that you think ought to be shared for next week, you can email us at unidiversityblog@gmail.com, or tweet us @uni_di_versity.

Start your weekend off right with an unexpected chart about Sweden: despite post-secondary education being free there, average student debt in Sweden is almost as high as it is in the US. But despite the high debt load, Swedish students are still getting a head-start on starting adult life independent of their parents. Go read the article – Sweden, as usual, will blow your mind.

Centre Forum isn’t mincing words in its report on universities: apparently, in the UK, getting into postgraduate education is like getting membership in an exclusive golf club. A wildly insufficient student loan structure means that postgraduate degrees end up limited to those students who can afford to pay fees up front.

As Amy noted in her post this week, overhead costs are pushing some universities to increase the amount of online education on offer. On the one hand, this may help make education more accessible; on the other hand, putting more courses online could end up shrinking and homogenizing the academic community.

Here’s an article that will make you feel great, then ragey, then pretty good again. The communications director for the company that provides a standardized application to over 400 US schools announced a new initiative to reduce discrimination against undocumented university applicants. Except that the policy isn’t happening, and the communications director who made the announcement isn’t actually the communications director. But it’s still awesome? (It’s complicated, just go read it.)

Lastly, I am a total podcast fiend. I listen to at least 1-2 hours of podcasts every day, so when I tell you that this is one of the best episodes of any podcast I have ever heard, I promise you can trust me. “This American Life” sent reporters into a Chicago high school for five months, and tell the story of how the students, teachers, and administration cope with gun violence, gangs, and trying to teach kids when there just aren’t enough resources to go around.

That’s it for this week! Enjoy your weekend, and we’ll see y’all back on Monday!


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