Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Talent Pipeline Management - business and education partnership

Adding to the continuing conversation related to how education can more strategically align with businesses and communities, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has launched the Talent Pipeline Management Academy. The TPM applies concepts derived from supply chain management to the process of talent development through education. The ultimate end of the supply chain in TPM is workers prepared for the workplaces as defined by employers.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Testing international students

Access, fraud, and fairness of comparison are all dynamics that compromise testing of international students. The National (U.S.) Association of College Admission Counseling is proposing that admissions officials should rely less on the tests and look at other criteria for admission. In the face of declining international enrollment, perhaps tests should be seen less as hurdles to clear than diagnostics to help place and support international (and all) students in their pursuit of learning.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

STEM Grad programs dominated by international students

The presence of international students isn't only useful but essential in many STEM graduate programs in the U.S.A. With 81% international enrollment in electrical and petroleum engineering and 79% in computer science, many programs could not exist if it were not for international students. The report, compiling data from 1995 to 2015, also concluded that international student enrollment has no impact on the number of domestic students in these programs. The issue is that domestic numbers have increased but at a much slower pace than for international students.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Higher education in Hungary under attack

Internationalization of higher education is inevitable if an institution or nation wishes to remain at the center of the advancement of knowledge. Yet, various versions of conservative and nationalistic backlash against internationalization have resulted in higher education being attacked by government officials. Hungary is one European country to follow carefully due to its earlier successes with student mobility and other forms of internationalization. Most of the advances are now being undermined. One can only hope that other countries do not go as far to punish and marginalize higher education for helping to bring citizens into the reality of a connected and cross-border world.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Global Innovation Exchange (GIX) inverts educational transfer

In its reported first of its kind initiative, Washington University (U.S.A.) AND Tsinghua University (China) have opened a joint university about 10 minutes from WU's Bellevue location.  The programs are starting small, with 43 students in the entry 15-month master of science in technology and innovation program. Generously supported by a 40 million dollar grant from Microsoft, the idea appears to have considerable appeal for learners (the term used instead of students), institutions, industry, and cross-national partners.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Linguistically inclusive student experiences

With the growing diversity of languages that Americans speak as well as the diversity of languages spoken at many campuses around the world, it's important to understand the privilege those who command English as their first language have over other students. Most U.S. colleges/universities conduct instruction in English and many international institutions offer a portion if not all of their instruction in English. The reason - English has emerged as the dominant language of academia.

Engaging in or out of class in a language that is not your first, or most proficient, language is challenging. Yet, many students are willing to take it on because they value the degree, with most subjects including reading, lectures, and discussion all in English. This is a type of privilege that is not readily recognized by those who are first-language English speakers.

A doctoral student at the University of Massachusetts, Florianne Jimenez, offers wise advice on how to modify classrooms so that they are inclusive of students who speak many languages. She makes the point that, although faculty may perceive that discussions in class are open and inviting, they are intimidating to multilingual students. Starting discussion with something students wrote, slowing the pace by writing something on the board, or asking students to reflect for a moment, are all ways to provide space for all students to participate. When it comes to grading written assignments, faculty should focus on what they understand from a student's writing rather than the grammar, punctuation, and other problems.

Linguistic inclusion is also important outside of class and student affairs staff could adapt Jimenez' advice by slowing down discussions in student organizations, encouraging students to actually express in their first language, or simply slowing down enough to listen carefully so the perspective of others is really understood.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

U.K. conservative pushes for increased higher education access

In a move to influence conservative U.K. politicians, Nick Hillman, a conservative himself, published A New Blue Book that advocates 70% attendance of young people in British universities. The reasoning includes the decline of incoming highly educated talent resulting from Brexit, increases in life expectancy of Brits, and a shift in workforce needs requiring more highly educated workers. Recognizing the push-back by conservatives when Tony Blair advocated 50% attendance, Hillman indicated, "at its worst, right-wing politics can sink into a 'them and us' attitude." Constructing the argument as a win-lose proposition is not unlike the political struggles in other countries, a sad reality that undermines the shared need of most countries for a more highly educated talent pool in a rapidly changing 21st century environment.