Should sex ed include fertility information?

Exactly what sort of safe sex should be taught to our young students is always a topic of debate. As we recently saw in Texas, abstinence-only programs don’t seem to work and can even lead to higher rates of sexually transmitted diseases. Telling kids too much about how to have sex bothers many parents, educators and lawmakers, though. It seems that the jury is still out on the best way to empower students with sex-ed knowledge. One topic that is never debated, or even discussed, as it relates to sex education is fertility itself and that needs to change, according to some experts.

In a story that ran in The Guardian, reproductive specialist Dr. Geeta Nargund says that schools are spending so much time trying to prevent pregnancy that young people are missing out on important knowledge about their own fertility. In her own practice Nargund counsels many women who did not have the facts about their own ability to conceive children until it was too late for it to happen naturally.

That, argues Nargund, is grounded in the misconception that women who wait to have children until they are financially and emotionally ready can do so later in life. The real science is much starker and fertility drops dramatically after women hit their 30s, and continues to fall with each passing year.

I think Nargund has a valid point. If we want students to have all the facts about sex, then let’s not just present one side of the story. Women who want to wait to have children should certainly be able to make that choice but should have all of the information in front of them.

What’s your stance on sex education as it relates to fertility?

2023 Top Research Universities in the World

Are you a postgraduate looking for a research home? Maybe you’re a keen undergraduate hoping to get on the right track for graduate school.

There are some incredible opportunities waiting for you at research universities. You just need to find the right one. Here are five of our favorite top research universities.

1. MIT

MIT is the holy grail of research universities. The funding and faculty alone set it apart from most other schools. But what’s great about MIT is that research isn’t limited to staff or graduates; the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program provides opportunities to get involved with projects before you’ve even graduated.

2. University of Oxford

Oxford is one of the world’s oldest universities and it provides both an undergraduate and postgraduate tradition steeped in history and incredible connections for research.

Oxford provides an opportunity to access not only world-class research resources but are likely to rub shoulders with the best and brightest in their fields as the home of the Rhodes Scholarship.

3. Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich

The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology is the best research university on the European continent. Founded in 1854, it was designed to be a center for excellence in science and technology.

While it’s still a national center of excellence, it personifies the global focus offered by Zurich and Switzerland as a whole and is home to an impressive number of international students and researchers.

The university regularly partners with international institutions, both universities and companies, to trade both information and resources for even stronger research programs.

4. University of Toronto

The University of Toronto is Canada’s premier research university with research funding that outpaces every other university in the country. It has also made a name for itself as one of the world’s best universities not only in research but overall.

Whether you’re interested in science or the arts, the University of Toronto is an excellent school for current and future researchers.

5. The University of Tokyo

The University of Tokyo is recognized as being the best university in Japan and one of the best research universities in Asia and the world.

It’s a unique university in the sense that it is home to as many undergraduate students as postgraduates and more so when you count doctoral students. Those students benefit from Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research as Tokyo receives 40% more in fund than the university with the second largest grants.

Are you attending one of these research institutions? Did we mention your favorite university? Let us know in the comments below.

Click here to learn more about the ranking methodology that we used to compile this list.

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2023 The 5 Most Expensive Colleges in America

Elite and expensive describe some of America’s top universities. In 2022, students matriculating at these colleges can expect to pay nearly $70,000 a year in tuition Room and board.

Considering that many students take four to six years to complete their college degrees, their education costs a hefty sum.

These five universities are the most expensive colleges in America.

  1. Claremont McKenna College

As the fifth most expensive college in America, Claremont McKenna costs a paltry $54,405 for tuition and another $16,705 for room and board. Average aid packages of $46,324 make this college more affordable for students seeking an education from a private liberal arts school.

  1. Sarah Lawrence College

Students at this private liberal arts college located just outside New York City pay $52,550 for tuition and another $14,440 for room and board. The school is small, with an undergraduate enrollment of fewer than 1500 students. The acceptance rate here is 53%.

The school is known for having top-notch faculty members.

  1. University of Chicago

A private school, the University of Chicago is the third most expensive school in the country, with a combined total cost of $73,356. Tuition is $57,006, and room and board costs $16,350. The university is well-known for its research, and it consistently ranks in the top for the best in education.

  1. Columbia University

The tuition at Columbia University is $59,430 per year. Room and board costs $14,016 , bringing the total annual cost to $73,446. Most students pay an average of $20,000 a year after receiving their financial aid packages. Before you begin packing your bags, however, keep in mind that Columbia turns down 94% of their applicants.

  1. Harvey Mudd College

Harvey Mudd College is a private liberal arts school that focuses on science, technology, engineering, and math.

Located in Claremont, California, the most expensive college in America costs $75,003 annually. Tuition here is $56,876, and room and board costs $18,127. Almost three-fourths of the students attending this university receive financial aid, but know they’ll be offered top jobs in STEM fields.

In Summary

Many of the students enrolled at these universities aren’t paying the full amount for their tuition. Estimates suggest that anywhere from 25% to 70% of the students attending these colleges receive financial aid to assuage the pain of the high cost of a university education.

Even if students had to pay full price, they consider the investment well worthwhile. Many of them enter the workforce making six-figure salaries.

The most expensive colleges in America in 2020 will continue to attract hopeful candidates for admission.

 Click here to learn more about the ranking methodology that we used to compile this list.

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2023 The World’s Most Affordable Universities

High school graduates often dream about accomplishing two essential goals once their diploma is in hand. They want to travel to foreign countries and obtain their college degrees.

“How much is THAT going to cost,” ask concerned parents. Travel and college studies may seem mutually exclusive, but some students may find that a willingness to travel abroad to get a college degree will cost them far less than studying at a U.S. School.

The least expensive university in the U.S. is Brigham Young University – Provo with an annual tuition rate of less than $6,000. That includes room and board, too. Small class sizes and plenty of available financial aid make this school a top choice for affordability in the U.S.

How surprised would you be to know that you have even more affordable choices around the world? Here are some of the world’s most affordable universities:

University of Bergen

Although the cost of living in Bergen is higher than in New York City, students may find that the price justifies the means. Annual living expenses average $17,000. Tuition at Norwegian universities is free, which means that the only expenses you’ll occur while studying abroad is your living costs.

Tecnológico de Monterrey

This university is anchored in beautiful Monterrey, Mexico, but it has satellite campuses throughout the country. Tuition costs average $5,000 annually, and room and board will set you back $6,000 a year. Prices for getting a college degree in Mexico are similar throughout the country, although you may find it more expensive to live in Mexico City.

Universiti Malaya (UM)

If you’ve wanted to attend school in Asia, consider Malaysia as your number one choice for value and affordability. Tuition is less than $4000 annually, and you can expect to pay less than $4300 a year for living costs. The University of Malaysia continuously improves its rankings among colleges in the world, but there are other universities here to consider as well, such as the University of Nottingham (UK) and University of Southern California – School of the Cinematic Arts (US).

Options for Graduate School

Affordability isn’t limited to just undergrads. Graduate students seeking options that are easy on the wallet can find plenty of affordable universities around the world. Many of them offer online courses, as well.

Students interested in an MBA program in the U.S., for example, can find plenty of colleges with annual tuition rates of less than $8,000 annually. Living expenses are additional, of course.

Candidates interested in studying abroad can find more affordable options, though. King Abdullah University of Science & Technology in Saudi Arabia (KAUST), provides a free education (including tuition, living expenses and medical care) through subsidized financial aid.

Thanks to some of the most affordable universities in the world, you can live abroad and get your degree at the same time, more economically than studying in the states.

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2023 Best and Worst Colleges for Free Speech

Free speech is a treasured right granted by the Constitution of the United States. Taking this right for granted or allowing it to be usurped puts our country and especially citizens in danger of losing not only their First Amendment Rights but other rights as well.

In his fable “The Bear Who Let It Alone,” humorist James Thurber said, “You might as well fall on your face as lean too far backwards.” Good universities can make bad decisions that have them leaning too far backward, especially when silencing free speech.

Worst colleges for free speech

Colleges and universities should uphold and encourage free speech, but three schools have earned a place among the worst for free speech according to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). Each university mishandled a situation involving free speech.

  • Georgetown University – This school has earned notoriety for clamping down on free speech several times. Most recently, the school preventing students from campaigning for presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, citing their tax-exempt status as the reason. Perhaps more egregious is that the university ignores its free speech policies.
  • California State University, Long Beach – University leaders clamped down on free speech when they forced the closure of a play that made fun of racial stereotypes and showed how race defines a person. The actors in the play were minorities themselves, but the university refused to allow for artistic expression that mentioned race.
  • California State University, Los Angeles – Not to be outdone by a sister school in the same system, the university mishandled a speaking engagement by conservative Ben Shapiro by offsetting the cost of security on students, requesting a panel of opposing speakers, and imposing a tax on controversial speech.

Best colleges for free speech

Other universities serve as best examples of how free speech rights can be an integral part of the higher education experience. These schools include:

What sets apart the best colleges for free speech?

The best colleges for free speech develop clear policies and follow them. Schools that remain true to their founder’s ideas regarding free speech have had the best success in handling divergent thought and its expression.

Universities have long encouraged diverse thinking, and they must continue to do so. Students enrolled in institutions of higher education should learn how to listen to uncomfortable ideas and develop their own worldviews. The caveat is that college students are becoming less open-minded toward free speech, according to a Brookings Institute study.

Helping these students accept and encourage free speech is something to which every university should aspire.

2023 The Best U.S. Colleges and Universities to Work For

Every year the Chronicle of Education ranks the best U.S. colleges and universities in the country. Where will you work? With 2021 nearly at the halfway mark and 2022 not far away, it’s time to look ahead to the best choices in higher education employment.

Here are my top picks for 2022, in no particular order:

Stanford University

Considered one of the most innovative universities in the country, Stanford University outperforms similarly innovative schools by offering employees cross-departmental communications, open-mindedness and free food. The university assists faculty with housing options, encourages research and scholarship, and promotes diversity and development.

Glassdoor rankings indicate that eight out ten employees would recommend the university to friends looking for work, and 90% of the employees approve of how the school is run.

Abilene Christian University

Abilene Christian University is a faith-based school that make it one of the best colleges and universities to work for in 2020 because of its passion for creating a balance between work and life.

Those who have worked at the Texas-based campus cite collaboration, trust and campus safety as their primary reasons for rating this school with high marks. The university culture promotes critical thinking and positivity. Reviewers report enjoying national exposure in a small-town atmosphere.

University of Michigan 

The University of Michigan offers some of the best compensation plans of any school in the country. The focus is on creating community, and this school has 200 years of experience in doing just that. Every department is service-oriented, and it shows in how the employees go out of their way to help others.

Reviews from former employees indicate that 90% of them would recommend this school to friends seeking employment in higher education.

University of Mississippi 

The University of Mississippi attracts top faculty members because of its ability to engage employees in the mission and vision of the school. Faculty members report experiencing high levels of job satisfaction, excellent working relationships with department chairs, a strong focus on diversity, and attention to fostering career trajectories.

What’s more, 97% of the employees at Ole Miss approve of the way the university is run.

Illinois State University

Illinois State University garners excellent reviews from the employees who have worked there. University leadership has a 100% approval rating, and 98% of the employees would recommend this institution to others.

Illinois State prides itself on its collaboration, and the willingness to work with each other manifests itself in every department. If you are looking for a tenure-track position, this university offers a focused and transparent approach to career planning.

My top five choices for best U.S. colleges and universities to work for in 2020 represent diverse parts of the country, and each offers distinctly appealing characteristics. There’s something for everyone in higher education.

 Click here to learn more about the ranking methodology that we used to compile this list.

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2023 Best and Worst Colleges for Minorities

Going to college is about expanding your worldview. You’ll have four to six years to immerse yourself in other cultures and ideas, and the best way to do that is by attending a college that encourages minority enrollment.

If you are a minority, you may want to find a university that will address your needs and help you grow. You want to know that you will be safe wherever you choose to go to school.

2022 Worst Colleges for Minorities

The worst colleges for minorities may be among the best if you’re looking for an experience that places you among ethnically similar peers.

University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley

This school at the southern tip of Texas boasts a student population that is 88.9% Hispanic/Latino, 3.7% white, and .7% Black/African American. The university celebrates its Hispanic culture but will be focusing on increasing their minority enrollments thanks to a half million dollar grant.

Howard University

This private school in Washington, D.C. is a long-standing member of Historically Black Colleges or Universities (HBCU). Student demographics reveal that 95% of the enrollment is Black/African American, 1.9% is white, and 1.4% is Asian.

Although this college is one of the least diverse schools for minorities in the United States, it has a tremendous reputation for academics. Also, it has one of the best graduation rates in the country.

2022 Best Colleges for Minorities

Don’t think that opportunities for diversity are bleak. If you’re looking for a college experience that encourages minority inclusion, consider attending one of these top three higher education choices.

Harvey Mudd College

This liberal arts school focuses on innovation in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines. It also prides itself on attracting some of the best minds from diverse backgrounds. Harvey Mudd College values minority students for their unique perspectives.

University of Hawaii – Hilo

Attend the University of Hawaii, and you’ll be immersed in cultural diversity. The school encourages minorities to share their perspectives through artistic expression. With a student population that is 22% white, 17% Asian, 14% Hispanic/Latino, 11% Native American-Pacific Islander, and the rest “ethnicity unknown,” minorities find their Ohana, what islanders call “family.”

Swarthmore College

With a student population that is 17% Asian 13% Hispanic/Latino, 6% Black or African American, and 42% white you may wonder if this school addresses the needs of minorities. The answer is a resounding YES. Swarthmore College offers tremendous opportunities for minorities to share their backgrounds and learn about others through the Black Cultural Center, the Intercultural Center, and the Student Government Organization Diversity Center.

Minority students who want a homo-ethnic educational experience can find it; for some students, attending a college with peers of similar backgrounds may be the right choice. Students seeking to expand their horizons among ethnically diverse populations can find that, too.

2023 The World’s Most International Universities

Students interested in attending international universities often have a different educational focus than their peers who will be studying in the states.

If you are seeking an international educational experience where you can approach your degree with a laser-like focus, find learning a new culture inspiring rather than overwhelming, and you want a global advantage upon graduation, you may want to consider attending one of the world’s most international universities.

My top three choices are as follows:

Imperial College London

This prestigious college offers degrees in business, engineering, medicine and science. Students attending Imperial College London come from more than 100 different countries, and their international enrollment drives their commitment to globalization and international partnerships.

While many of the students hail from other European countries, the largest international population comes from China. For all these students, its makes sense to study in London, where they can apply their learning in real situations. For example, if you want to learn how the stock exchange at Paternoster Square works, earning a business degree from Imperial College London could be a smart move.

National University of Singapore

The National University of Singapore began as a medical college, and today this school attracts denizens of international students who study in 17 programs culminating in degrees or in taking certificate courses for continuing education. The university offers nearly six dozen concurrent and double courses in collaboration with universities around the world.

Undergrads can participate in internships in most major countries in the world, including China, Israel, France, Germany, Sweden and the USA. NUS believes in collaborating around the globe, and their reach proves it.

ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich

Perhaps the most international university is also the most popular. The ETH Zurich — Swiss Federal Institute of Technology focuses on medicine, data, sustainability, manufacturing technologies, and a critical thinking initiative. Their goal is to contribute globally, to “politics, the economy and society.”

More than one-third of the student body is international, and the professors encourage international alliances and bilateral programs. Two of the university’s most notable students were Albert Einstein and his wife, Mileva Maric.

Surrounded by Germany, Austria, Italy and France, the university is located in northern Switzerland, making travel to nearby countries convenient for students wishing to explore Europe or who are seeking authentic learning experiences.

Not everyone is a candidate for international study. For those students considering taking the international stage, attending one of these three most international universities can be the start of a brilliant career.

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2023 The World’s Most Beautiful Universities

University campuses aren’t only sites of incredible learning, they are also sites of incredible beauty.

Here are five of the world’s most beautiful universities for the year 2022.

University of Cambridge

No list of the most beautiful universities in the world can fail to mention the University of Cambridge, one of the most recognizable universities in the world.

Not only is the university housed in old, gothic stone buildings, but the whole city of Cambridge is picture perfect.

What is more, kings, popes, and some of the world’s greatest thinkers have wandered these incredible halls.

Peking University

Peking University is situated near the Qing dynasty Summer Palace and former imperial gardens, providing it a rich template for creating a beautiful university grounds.

The design included traditional architecture and played on the original landscaping of the area, creating a look of a university fit for Chinese royalty.

Peking University isn’t just a pretty face. It’s also an excellent research university and is situated in the Beijing, one of the most cosmopolitan places on earth.

Leiden University

Only half an hour from the hustle and bustle of Amsterdam, Leiden University is situated in the small Dutch town of Leiden.

Leiden University is quintessentially Dutch in the best way. It is home to beautiful gardens, historic gatehouses, and the walk between classes includes traveling down the same cobblestone streets that once inspired the likes of Rembrandt van Rijn, who resided in the city.

Flagler College

Flagler College is located in the center of St. Augustine, Florida. Compared to other listed universities, it is both relatively small and new. However, its campus is incredibly unique.

The buildings were created in the Spanish colonial style of the town, which is the oldest city in America and founded in 1565. Palm trees sway in the wind and old streets, houses, and the Atlantic Ocean is only a short walk away.

Trinity College Dublin

Trinity College Dublin is a major attraction not only for the brightest pupils in Ireland and around the world but for tourists as well.

The campus, set in Dublin’s city center, features gorgeous greens perfect for lazing around in with fellow classmates on days when it isn’t raining. When the weather isn’t right, the Old Library is potentially the most beautiful place in the world to settle in for a long day of studying.

Is your college a contender for the world’s most beautiful university? Tell us about your schools beauty in the comments below.

Congratulations! If you represent a college or university that is included in this list, please collect your seal below.

Why Are So Many Colleges in Danger of Closing?

According to a study by Vanderbilt University, an average of five non-profit colleges and universities closed every year between 2003 and 2013.

This is a disturbing trend and it is likely to continue and even accelerate over the next few years. But how could so many universities be closing when it’s the students who are drowning in debt?

According to Moody’s, it’s because one-third of all American higher education institutions are on a path of financial instability – and that path is not projected to be sustainable over time.

There’s no one reason that American school’s finances have reached this state. Rather, it’s a whole list of reasons and each impacts individual colleges differently.

Declining Enrolment

College enrolment is declining and this is impacting colleges across the board – both big and small.

Part of this is caused by the fact that high school graduation rates have flat-lined. But the lackluster graduation rate isn’t the only cause of enrolment woes.

Enrolment began declining during and after the 2008 crash, but it also hasn’t recovered in part because tuition and student loan debt have both grown at rates that create for wary prospective students.

Students are looking for a return on such a large investment and many of them aren’t seeing it in the marketplace.

While all colleges are affected by declining enrolment, it’s the smallest colleges that struggle the most with these figures, particularly if they don’t have trusts to rely on and must navigate their financial woes.

Smaller Market Shares

Small private colleges have traditionally held a unique place in the higher education landscape of the United States.

But that landscape is changing dramatically, and those colleges have failed to keep up with what students now want and need from colleges, particularly for the price demanded by these institutions.

New, online institutions and traditional universities deploying online programs are tuning in to what students want, and smaller colleges struggle to gather the finances to compete. Combined with dwindling college enrolment, small private colleges are struggling to maintain a piece of a shrinking market.

Will Small Colleges Go Extinct?

Small colleges may suffer financially over the next few years, but the idea of extinction remains alarmist.

First, the Moody’s report considers closures and mergers of small colleges to be the same thing, but they derive from very different natures. In fact, mergers can be positive for both parties because they drive what is most important – providing students what they want in a small setting.

Indeed, if one considers that small colleges are changing – not closing completely – the landscape looks slightly more positive.

The higher education landscape will continue to be challenged by new trends and just as in any sector, those institutions that fail to adapt risk failure. Learning lessons from the schools failing now will only make them stronger in the future.