Notes in the Margins: Foreign students, Four Loko and a push for the humanities

Florida University System Leaders OK Block-Tuition Option A state board gave universities the choice of offering a flat tuition rate or charging by the credit. (

URI bars alcohol-caffeine drink from campus The University of Rhode Island has become the latest college to ban Four Loko, a new drink that packs a powerful combination of alcohol and caffeine. It has been linked to numerous alcohol-related incidents at colleges across the country. At least two other colleges have banned the sweet drink. (Boston Globe)

U.S. Institutions See Modest Increases in Foreign Graduate Enrollments After flat-lining a year ago, the number of new foreign students in American graduate schools climbed 3 percent this fall, according to a report released today by the Council of Graduate Schools. The latest figures should come as a relief to educators, after last year’s stagnant showing led to worries about the reliance of U.S. institutions on foreign talent at the graduate level. (

For College Students, Mobile Web Is the Norm While most children and teens still rely on feature phones, college students have graduated to the world of mobile internet devices—including smartphones, tablets and mobile game consoles. (

ND president: School responsible in student death The president of the University of Notre Dame has said that the school is responsible for a student videographer’s death because it failed to protect him. Declan Sullivan, 20, was killed Oct. 27 when a hydraulic lift he was on toppled over while he was filming football practice. The National Weather Service reported a gusts of up to 51 mph at the time. The school and state regulators are investigating the accident. (Boston Globe)

College leaders work to increase interest in humanities At college campuses around the world, the humanities are hurting. In response, the leaders of many prestigious universities — including Cornell, Dartmouth, and Harvard — are increasingly espousing the virtues of the humanities in speeches on campus and abroad. Some are pledging to spend more money beefing up their literature and arts departments; others have begun erecting buildings dedicated solely to the besieged disciplines. (Boston Globe)

U.S. Officials to Press India on Education A delegation of U.S. education officials visiting India alongside President Barack Obama is trying to push India to speed up its acceptance of foreign universities. India, with more than half of its 1.1 billion people under the age of 30, represents a vast new market for U.S. universities. (Wall Street Journal)