Hello everyone! My name is Karin Fischer, and I write about international education. Here are some of the developments I'm keeping an eye on this week:
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Graduate Student Freed in Prisoner Swap With Iran
A Princeton University graduate student held in Iran for three years has been released. Xiyue Wang was doing archival research in August 2016 when he was arrested and charged with espionage; he was sentenced to 10 years in prison. American officials have denied that he was a spy. Wang was freed in exchange for an Iranian scientist who had been convicted of violating American trade sanctions on Iran.
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New Executive Order Involves Anti-Semitism on Campus
President Trump signed an executive order today aimed at what he sees as anti-Semitism on campuses by threatening to cut federal funding to colleges that don't act to combat discrimination. The order is, in part, a response to movements to boycott Israel that have roiled some campuses in recent years. And it gives the Education Department greater authority in cases like one in which it took action against alleged religious bias in a Middle Eastern-studies program run jointly by Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The president's order reclassifies Judaism as a race or nationality, which would allow officials to penalize colleges under civil-rights law for not fostering an open climate. Critics say it would stifle free speech on campus.
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