Learning At Scale | July 2020: Trump Vs Colleges, Microsoft, Harvard, MIT, Microsoft, Intel…

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JULY 2020  –  NEWSLETTER #35  |  Breaking news at IBL News  |  Noticias en Español


Trump vs Colleges

• “Virtual Learning Has Proven to Be Terrible,” Says President Trump Contradicting DeVos

• UC and Other Institutions Join Harvard and MIT Against the Trump Administration Over the International Student Ban

• The Ban to Foreign Students to Stay for Online Classes Sparks Confusion in Higher Ed

• Harvard and Princeton Will Deliver Their Classes Online This Fall; Backlash for Keeping Full Tuition



• Microsoft Will Offer Free Learning Paths for Digital Jobs In-Demand to 25 Million Facing Unemployment

• Intel Launches an Associate Degree Program on AI with the Largest Community College

• WeWork Sells Its Boot Camp Flatiron School to an Investment Firm



• The University of California Paid Over $1 Million to Cybercriminals Who Stole Sensitive Data

• The Catholic Polytechnic University Will Start The Fall With Two Certificate Courses

• The Wealthiest African-American in the U.S. Presents an Alternative Finance Initiative for Black Colleges

2020 Top 50 Business Schools Ranking, According to Study.com



• Report: Nearly 260 Million Children Are Still Excluded from Education; Pandemic Exacerbates the Breach

• The Global Pandemic Accelerates the Inequalities in Education; 1.1 Billion Children Still Out of School


2020 Events 

• Education Calendar  –   JULY – DEC  |  Conferences in Latin America & Spain


This newsletter is created in collaboration with IBL Education, a New York City-based company specialized in AI and credential-driven learning platforms. Read the latest IBL Newsletter   |  Archive of Open edX Newsletters

“Virtual Learning Has Proven to Be Terrible,” Says President Trump Contradicting DeVos

IBL News | New York

As the Trump administration pushes campuses to reopen schools in the fall semester, the President himself issued his view on the online education delivered by institutions yesterday. He tweeted yesterday:

“Virtual Learning has proven to be TERRIBLE compared to In School, or On Campus, Learning. Not even close! Schools must be open in the Fall. If not open, why would the Federal Government give Funding? It won’t!!!”


This view directly contradicts Secretary Betsy DeVos’ positioning. In April, DeVos said: “It’s very clear that we have an opportunity to embrace distance learning and remote education in a way that two months ago would not have been thought possible.”  “And it’s happening very well in many places and — out of necessity — many others are getting up to speed.”

Moreover, the Trump administration backed recently for-profit, largely online universities as the University of Phoenix, accused of deceptive practices.

As reported, Harvard University and MIT filed a suit against the administration over the proposed visa restrictions. Additionally, nearly 100 members of Congress have written to the administration demanding the removal of the restrictions.

Also yesterday, President Trump blamed higher education institutions of indoctrinating students. These were his two tweets on the subject:


UC and Other Institutions Join Harvard and MIT Against the Trump Administration Over the International Student Ban

IBL News | New York

The University of California (UC) will sue the Trump administration over the international student ban, joining Harvard University and MIT.

The announcement came yesterday, a day after Harvard and MIT filed a lawsuit against Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Department of Homeland Security in federal court in Boston. The suit seeks a temporary restraining order preventing the government from enforcing the policy because it violates the Administrative Procedure Act.

On Monday, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) issued guidelines banning foreign students from staying in the U.S. if they attend a university that offers only online courses during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Federal immigration authorities said that students who are enrolled in online programs “must depart the country or take other measures, such as transferring to a school with in-person instruction.”

Like Harvard, UC had previously determined that all students, enrolled on 23 campuses, will take fall classes online.

Several other education groups, such as The American Council on Education, said that they plan to join the legal battle.  Some 25 higher education associations, including Northeastern University, the American Association of Community Colleges, the Association of American Universities and the Association of Land Grant Universities, were expected to join. In addition, the Massachusetts attorney general vowed to support Harvard and M.I.T.’s efforts to block the rules.

The universities argued that the policy was politically motivated and would throw higher education into chaos.

Harvard’s president, Lawrence S. Bacow, called the administration’s action reckless and said in a statement that it appeared to have been designed to pressure universities to hold in-person classes “without regard to concerns for the health and safety of students, instructors and others.”

The two universities said that the new directive would prevent many of their 9,000 combined international students — and hundreds of thousands of students at other universities across the country — from staying in the United States.

White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany condemned a lawsuit filed by Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


SUSE Acquires Kubernetes Management Platform Rancher Labs

IBL News | New York

London-based SUSE, a Linux distribution company controlled by private equity firm EQT, today announced that it has acquired Rancher Labs, a market leader in Kubernetes container management.

The price of the acquisition was not disclosed. The deal is expected to close before the end of October 2020, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.

Cupertino, California-based Rancher is a well-funded company with a total of $95 million in investments. It reports having over 30,000 active users and 100 million downloads.

Rancher’s core software draws on the Kubernetes container management software that Google released under an open-source license in 2014. People have downloaded it over 100 million times, the company said in March, and it claimed annualized revenue growth of 169% in 2019 without specifying a dollar amount. Rancher also offers its own small distribution of the Linux operating system.

“This is an incredible moment for our industry, as two open source leaders are joining forces. The merger of a leader in Enterprise Linux, Edge Computing and AI with a leader in Enterprise Kubernetes Management will disrupt the market to help customers accelerate their digital transformation journeys,” said SUSE CEO Melissa Di Donato in today’s announcement.

“Only the combination of SUSE and Rancher will have the depth of a globally supported and 100% true open source portfolio, including cloud-native technologies, to help our customers seamlessly innovate across their business from the edge to the core to the cloud.”

SUSE, specialized in Enterprise Linux, Edge Computing and AI, described the acquisition as the first step in its “inorganic growth strategy”. “It also follows SUSE’s strong fiscal momentum, with ACV (annual contract value) bookings increase 30% year over year and global cloud revenue skyrocket 70% year over year.

“Rancher and SUSE will help organizations control their cloud-native futures,” said Sheng Liang, Rancher CEO. “Our leading Kubernetes platform with SUSE’s broad open-source software solutions creates a powerful combination, enabling IT and Operations leaders worldwide to best meet the needs of their customers wherever they are on their digital transformation journey from the data center to cloud to edge.”

Gartner predicts that the growing adoption of cloud-native applications and infrastructure will increase the use of container management to over 75% of large enterprises in mature economies by 2024 (up from less than 35% in 2020).

Kubernetes is a container management software that Google released under an open-source license in 2014. People have downloaded it over 100 million times. Rancher also offers its own small distribution of the Linux operating system.

Last May, Rancher Labs launched an online certification program through the newly created Rancher Academy. The first available course was a free, self-paced, 5-week class, “Certified Rancher Operator: Level 1”.  The class was designed to teach developers with a basic understanding of Docker and Kubernetes how to deploy and use Rancher, RKE, along with how to work with downstream clusters. This learning ecosystem was powered by IBL Education.


The Ban to Foreign Students to Stay for Online Classes Sparks Confusion in Higher Ed

IBL News | New York

The ultimatum given by ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) to foreign students, of departing the U.S. or transferring to a school with in-person classes-has sparked confusion and anger in the higher-ed industry.

The guidance comes on heels of college debating on how safely reopen for the fall semester amid of the pandemic.

The new temporary rule, issued Monday afternoon by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, prohibits students on international F-1 visas from returning to or remaining in the country this fall semester if the colleges they attend adopt online-only instruction models.

A growing number of colleges, including Harvard and Princeton University, have announced that they will only conduct classes online. In this case, foreign students would be banned from studying in the United States under the rule.

This is a shift away from the exceptions put in place during the spring and summer terms, which allowed international students residents in the U.S. to take fully online courses as colleges were transitioning.

The Trump Administration is pressing colleges to reopen for the semester. Yesterday, President Trump tweeted: “SCHOOLS MUST OPEN IN THE FALL!!!.”

Universities might try to work around the rule by adding hybrid programs.


Harvard and Princeton Will Deliver Their Classes Online This Fall; Backlash for Keeping Full Tuition

IBL News | New York

All Harvard University undergraduate and graduate students for the 2020-21 academic year will take their classes online due to the COVID pandemic–the university announced on Monday. Tuition won’t be affected.

“Students will learn remotely, whether or not they live on campus,” the institution said.

Only 40% of its undergraduates, including all first-year students, will live on campus –in single bedrooms with a shared bathroom.

“This will enable first-year students to benefit from a supported transition to college-level academic work and to begin to build their Harvard relationships with faculty and peers,” the officials wrote.

“Both online and dorm-based programs will be in place to meet these needs. Over the last few weeks, there has been frequent communication with our first-year students about their transition to Harvard and this will continue as we approach the start of the academic year.”

“We also will invite back to campus those students who may not be able to learn successfully in their current home learning environment.”

Harvard University faced backlash on Twitter for keeping its annual tuition prices of $49,653 per year despite the Ivy League institution’s decision to continue with online coursework. Fox Business collected tweets protesting for Harvard’s full-tuition.


Also, Princeton University announced that most academic instruction will remain online.

“Based on the information now available to us, we believe Princeton will be able to offer all of our undergraduate students at least one semester of on-campus education this academic year, but we will need to do much of our teaching online and remotely,” Princeton President Christopher L. Eisgruber said in his message to the university community.

First-year students and juniors will be allowed to return to campus for the fall semester, while sophomores and seniors will be welcomed back in the spring semester.

Princeton is offering 10% discounted tuition for the school year.

Last week, Yale University announced a similar plan to limit the number of people on campus. Yale will reopen in the fall without sophomores living on campus and then will be open in the spring without freshmen living on campus.

The University of Southern California announced it is dropping plans to have undergraduate students back in the classroom and instead will offer most classes online.

Intel Launches an Associate Degree Program on AI with the Largest Community College

IBL News | New York

Intel announced this month the launch of its first company-designed Artificial Intelligence Associate Degree in the U.S. The program will enable tens of thousands of students to land careers in high-tech, healthcare, automotive, industrial, and aerospace fields, according to the company.

For the initiative, the semiconductor giant partnered with Tempe, Arizona-based Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD), the largest community college district in the country, with over 100,000 students and 10,000 faculty and staff members.

“Community colleges offer the opportunity to expand and diversify AI since they attract a diverse array of students with a variety of backgrounds and expertise,” said Gregory Bryant, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Client Computing Group at Intel.

The AI degree will consist of courses that have been developed by MCCCD’s faculty and Intel leaders based on Intel software and tools such as OpenVINO toolkit and Intel Python.

The Silicon Valley company will also contribute technical advice, faculty training, summer internships, and Intel mentors for both students and faculty members.

Students will learn fundamental skills such as data collection, AI model training, coding, and exploration of AI technology’s societal impact.

The program will include a social impact AI project that is developed with guidance from teachers and Intel mentors. Upon completion, MCCCD will offer an Associate Degree in artificial intelligence that can be transferred to a four-year college.

The program will be piloted online at Estrella Mountain Community College and Chandler-Gilbert Community College in fall 2020. As physical distancing requirements are lifted and the concerns of the COVID-19 pandemic decrease, classes will begin in-person at both campuses.

Intel’s AI associate degree expands on its AI for Youth program, which provides AI curriculum and resources to over 100,000 high school and vocational students in nine countries to date.

Intel recently collaborated with Udacity to create the Intel Edge AI for IoT Developers Nanodegree Program.

The 2020 Top 50 Business Schools Ranking, According to Study.com

IBL News | New York

Study.com–a Mountain View-based educational platform–released its 2020 Top Business Schools ranking, showcasing institutions that “provide a high-value education, while still being accessible and affordable,” according to the company.

Variables like tuition cost, admittance and graduation rates, career resources, and job placement have been major determining factors on the selection.

Northwood University took the overall spot for two categories. Schools such as University of Oregon, University of South CarolinaFlorida International University and Louisiana State University, Shreveport all ranked in the top-10 in at least two of the categories.

Top schools for each 2020 ranking included:

  • Top Business School: Northwood University
  • Top Economics School: Virginia Military Institute
  • Top Human Resources School: Webster University
  • Top Business Management School: Northwood University
  • Top Marketing School: Georgia College and State University
  • Top Public Relations School: University of Oregon
  • Top Hospitality Management School: University of Nevada, Las Vegas
  • Top MBA School: Louisiana State University, Shreveport
  • Top Supply Chain Management School: University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • Top Finance School: Goldey-Beacom College
  • Top Accounting School: CUNY Bernard, Baruch College
  • Top International Business School: Florida International University


The University of California Paid Over $1 Million to Cybercriminals Who Stole Sensitive Data

IBL News | New York

The University of California San Francisco (UCSF) admitted that it paid a ransom of $1.14 million to cybercriminals who threatened to release sensitive data stolen from UCSF School of Medicine.

“We made the difficult decision to pay some portion of the ransom, approximately $1.14 million, to the individuals behind the malware attack in exchange for a tool to unlock the encrypted data and the return of the data they obtained,” the institution said on a recent news release. “The data that was encrypted is important to some of the academic work we pursue as a university serving the public good.”

This attack reflects the growing use of malware–specifically, a software called Netwalker– by international hackers seeking monetary gain from U.S. universities.

Michigan State University and Columbia College Chicago were also affected. Michigan State announced last month that it decided not to pay the ransom.

The hackers initially demanded $3 million to UCSF. The ransom amount was settled on 116.4 Bitcoin ($1.14 million). A BBC Newes reporter, Joe Tidy, acceded the live chat room where UCSF negotiated with the cybercriminals and posted the terms of extortion.

Europol advised victims not to pay the ransom, as this finances criminals and encourages them to continue their illegal activities. “Instead, they should report it to the police so law enforcement can disrupt the criminal enterprise.”


WeWork Sells Its Boot Camp Flatiron School to an Investment Firm

IBL News | New York

WeWork, the co-working real-estate giant announced this week the sale of its code of boot camp firm, Flatiron School, for an undisclosed amount. The buyer is the investment firm Carrick Capital Partners.

Flatiron is one of several assets WeWork has sold recently as the company tries to stabilize its finances after last year’s aborted attempt to go public. Recently, it also sold WeGrow, too.

WeWork, valued once over $45 billion, paid $28 million for Flatiron School in 2017.

Flatiron School’s co-founder, Adam Enbar, will remain CEO of the company.

Founded in 2012, the educational firm raised $14 million in venture capital before it was acquired by WeWork.

As part of the transaction, Flatiron School will continue to operate face-to-face programs in software engineering, data science, UX/UI design, and cybersecurity at WeWork locations, once COVD-19 restrictions have been lifted.

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