In an unusual partnership that began last fall, Northeastern University is using Kaplan Inc., a for-profit education company, to find students for—and help run—an academic program for international students to spend a year on campus, improving their English and acclimating to American higher education, before starting one of Northeastern’s degree programs, the New York Times reports. Although Northeastern is the first American university with such a partnership, the model, now common in Britain, is gaining interest in the United States. Some critics worry that if such partnerships catch on widely, the quest for lucrative international students could undermine academic standards, if the profit motive leads programs to admit unqualified students or use low-paid, poorly trained instructors…

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