Notes in the Margins: Big data, gay material and foreign students

Colleges Need to Act Like Startups — Or Risk Becoming Obsolete It’s clear that universities will have to figure out the balance between commercial relevance and basic research, as well as how to prove their value beyond being vehicles for delivering content. But lost in the shuffle of commentary here is something arguably more important than and yet containing all of these factors: culture. (Wired via NAICU)

How big data will haunt you forever: your high school transcript Parents and education experts have long worried about protecting the privacy of minors. Also, people have fretted over the consequences of academically “tracking” students, which potentially narrows their opportunities in life. Big data doesn’t simply magnify both of these problems: it changes their very nature. Here, as elsewhere, the change in scale leads to a change in state. (Quartz)

Universities Try a Cultural Bridge to Lure Foreign Students English is just one of numerous challenges for the foreigners that must be addressed in the transition year. Many say they are used to classes in which only the teachers speak, they do not call on students, students have few choices about what work they will do, and grades are based entirely on a few written exams. (The New York Times)

SC legislators to state universities: Assign gay material, see your money cut The legislators want to reduce funding for the College of Charleston and the University of South Carolina Upstate because the schools assigned materials to students that dealt with homosexual themes. (CNN via University Business)

Report: State higher education cuts fuel student debt crisis A new report argues that tighter state budgets have triggered higher tuitions. (Al Jazeera America via NAICU)