Monday, December 10, 2012

Branch campuses as contribution or exploitation?

I recently read Farrugia and Lane’s "Legitimacy in Cross-Border Higher Education: Identifying Stakeholders of International Branch Campuses" (Farrugia and Lane, Journal of Students in International Education, 2012, Sage Publications, DOI: 10.1177/1028315312363279).  I was more than a little bemused by the finding that on-line mission statements of branch campuses indicates that the donor campuses are primarily using the branch to legitimize their position of “global” influence and that few of the statements even reference responsiveness and service to the host country.  A particularly telling statement from the article indicates, “Although stakeholders in the home country environment may not evaluate branch campus legitimacy on the basis of service to host country needs, host country stakeholders may use this as the primary criteria on which they base their evaluations of the IBC legitimacy.”

If donor institutions are using the international branch campus to extend and legitimize their brands, while the purpose of the host country is to build capacity related to local and regional needs, how are these two divergent views to be aligned?  One approach to this is to not allow differing motivations to result in zero-sum interactions.  Instead, could donor aspirations to spread their global influence and legitimize themselves as international players be reformulated in ways to insist on a depth of commitment in serving the host needs?  From my perspective, and seeking to serve the vision of Qatar as host to its partner universities, I see alignment of motivations as essential to sustainable and productive relationships.  The impact of alignment could then be seen in such things as enrollment mix, adaptation of classroom pedagogy and content, research agenda of faculty, and a number of others things that would serve both donor and host.

New resource on internationalization/globalization of Higher Education

A new resource that is reviewed in the Review of Higher Education could be of interest to those following the emergence of a connected, international, and global higher education community.  Different strategies to bring international exposure to campus are described, offering the reader a picture of the possible futures for us all.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Controversy over Yale in Singapore - AAUP joins in

The AAUP issued a letter of concern regarding Yale University's plan to establish a program in Singapore.  The essence of the question is summarized in a recent Inside Higher Education piece.  For those interested in international higher education and establishing branches of western universities in other cultural and political contexts, it is important to understand the trade-offs, opportunities, and evolution of freedom to learn around the world.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Hamad bin Khalifa University Student Center - model for the GCC

A recent Arab News article singled out the Hamad bin Khalifa University's Student Center as an example of what is needed in the region to enhance students' experience.  It's great to see that the idea is perhaps catching on; our hope at Qatar Foundation is that this is one more way we've made a difference for Qatar and the region.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Spread of branch campuses

It's interesting to see where branch campuses are being established, especially when you look at the donor and recipient dynamics of Western institutions to Eastern locations reflected in this map.  Another interesting comparison is the types of institutions that are serving as donors.  Looking at this list, it would be fascinating to analyze the motivations behind each relationship.

I attended the recent WISE conference in Doha, with over 1,000 educators and policy makers present from around the world.  Much of the conversation was focused on how to make sure that all children have access to education.  There are a reported 61,000,000 children who don't even have access to a basic primary education due to poverty, conflict, or neglect.  Two of the primary issues touted as having the potential to invite more young people into education were technology and experience-based learning.  These two are the potential great levelers of educational opportunity.

It will be interesting to see how branch campuses open opportunity for tertiary education across borders.  Will student affairs be part of the conversation?

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

South Korea's expansion of U.S. higher education

Inside Higher Education carried an interesting piece on South Korea's expansion of higher education by hosting U.S.A. branches - particularly George Mason University whose branch in the United Arab Emirates recently failed.  The question is how these campuses will reflect student affairs practices and if the South Korean government has any idea that students affairs is an important part of the U.S. higher education model.

The George Mason University faculty vote supported trying it again in South Korean on the conditions that 1) the academic offerings be comparable to those in Virginia and 2) that the branch campus be self-support from a finance perspective.  These two conditions reflect an interesting naivete about what branch campuses can be.  First of all, it is naive to think that the home campus will not have to invest at least time and effort in support of the South Korean campus; it would be inappropriate for there not to be ongoing talent investment in the branch.  Second, the financial question reflects a lack of awareness that branch campuses can bring great value to U.S.A. universities other than just cash flow.  All the U.S. universities with international branch campuses are bursting on the global stage as leaders and innovators and they are serving a critical diplomatic role for their institutions and the U.S.A.  To look at international higher education as only a commodity to balance cheapens what U.S.A. institutions have to offer and to gain.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Yale in Singapore runs into snag

The issue of adopting/adapting North American educational practices in other cultural contexts is beautifully demonstrated in the piece on Yale University's Singapore campus.  As a compromise to the government, a speaker's corner was created where students could express dissent, rather than allowing protests of the sort that sometimes occur at Yale in the U.S.A. and many other campuses.  The question becomes, in order for a North American campus to establish a branch, should it come in exactly the form of the original or should/could it be modified in the local context?  If modified, is there some fundamental aspect of the institution that is then compromised?

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Support to International Student Affairs Educators by the American College Personnel Association

If you have not already seen the Globalization statement issued by the American College Personnel Association, it is worth a browse.  In addition, a blog is now available that solicits input from those working in international student affairs settings.  The first prompt on the blog requests input on the following:

-How would you describe your country’s higher education system to someone who is unfamiliar?
-What do you believe makes your education system unique?
-What are some similarities to other systems from what you have observed?
-How is student affairs/services structured in your country and on your campus?
-What are some of your campus concerns/issues currently?

Unfortunately, in order to respond to these questions, you must be an ACPA member.  If you are not an ACPA member, I would be happy to post comments on your behalf.  Reply to this blog post or send me an e-mail at my QF address and I will post it for you.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Resources to explore Global higher education

I've recently picked up a couple of new resources that could be helpful to those interested in global student affairs. One is the FACEBOOK group for IASAS. There are also two articles that might be worth browsing; they are in separate issues of the University World News - "Internationalization and inclusion - Principles in conflict?" and "The Changing role of leadership in international education." While brief, these articles provide perspectives worth considering.

Friday, April 20, 2012

International Association of Universities issues values statement

The International Association of Universities has issued a statement on the drivers, impact, and concerns about emerging higher education around the globe. One of the most powerful points in my estimation is the following quote - #13 of the document:
The prevailing context for higher education internationalization described in this document requires all institutions to revisit and affirm internationalization’s underlying values, principles and goals, including but not limited to: intercultural learning; inter-institutional cooperation; mutual benefit; solidarity; mutual respect; and fair partnership. Internationalization also requires an active, concerted effort to ensure that institutional practices and programs successfully balance academic, financial, prestige and other goals. It requires institutions everywhere to act as responsible global citizens, committed to help shape a global system of higher education that values academic integrity, quality, equitable access, and reciprocity.

The international higher education movement has great potential. But this potential will go unfulfilled if host countries and exporting universities in these partnerships are not careful in sharpening and explicitly espousing their purpose. After the purpose is clearly clarified, then the challenge becomes attracting the kind of faculty and staff, both local and expatriate, who are dedicated to internationalization that is respectful and focused on building independent capacity.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

University World News on internationalization of higher education

The motivations for universities to pursue internationalization efforts are many and varied. This short University World News article captures why so many universities are rushing to become more international.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

International higher education - Winners and Losers

Another interesting perspective on the "internationalization" of higher education. It raises the question of how Western practices are adapted in service to the host countries as well as the motivation behind Western universities' offering their programs to greater numbers of international students through branch campuses.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Role of higher education in international relations

Here's an interesting piece that reports the findings of a meeting that explored the role of higher education in international relations. This is a crucial and somewhat underappreciated benefit of the U.S.A. continuing to support the expansion of branch campuses around the world.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Branches campuses - replicable or not?

The Chronicle of Higher Education carried a less than flattering article on branch campuses this last week. Fortunately, it was balanced by an article in UWire today. The question is whether the author is correct or not - could Hamad bin Khalifa University be replicated?

Friday, February 24, 2012

75th Anniversary - Student Personnel Point of View

The American Council on Education formed a study group in 1937 that was to draft a pamphlet entitled "The Student Personnel Point of View." The ACE was and is an academic association but it convened the writing group in 1937 to offer a "point of view" about the importance and focus of this work for the many "deans" who were emerging throughout U.S.A. colleges and universities at the time.

Because "The Student Personnel Point of View" (SPPV) is something I've studied and because I was privileged to personally know one of its authors, Dr. Esther Lloyd-Jones, the American College Personnel Association asked me to write an article to commemorate its 75th Anniversary. This article is available in the January/February, 2012, Journal of College Student Development and is entitled, "The Student Personnel Point of View as a Catalyst for dialogue: 75 years and beyond." The approach I chose to take was to focus on the early days immediately following the release of the 1937 SPPV, with particular attention given to the writings of student affairs' earliest and most prolific scholars - Dr. Esther Lloyd-Jones and Dr. E.G. Williamson.

Copies of the JCSD article can be obtained from the American College Personnel Association by joining the organization or by subscribing to the Journal of College Student Development, which is the leading research journal in the student affairs field. For purposes of this post, I have pasted a summary of the points that I included in the article reflecting the core beliefs of "The Student Personnel Point of View" as well as the similarities, differences, and tensions reflected in Lloyd-Jones and Williamson's writings.

Core Beliefs of The Student Personnel Point of View (1937, 1949):
• All students should be viewed holistically
• All students have dignity and worth and should be encouraged to develop to the full limits of their potentiality
• Learning should be recognized as the result of a variety of rich experiences that take place both in and outside the classroom

Additions in the 1949 Revision:
• Fuller realization of democracy
• International understanding and cooperation
• Education for the application of creative imagination and trained intelligence to the solution of social problems

Lloyd-Jones and Williamson Agreements:
• Advance student personnel/affairs by engaging with the faculty
• Utilize evidence to enhance practice

Lloyd-Jones (left) and Williamson (right) Differences:
Strategy - Lloyd Jones = Catalyst and Williamson = Administration and coordination
Expertise - Lloyd Jones = Infused generalists and Williamson = Specialists
Purpose - Lloyd Jones = Enhancing learning and Williamson = Providing services
Target - Lloyd Jones = Community and Williamson = Individual

As the idea of student affairs spreads in many other places around the world, it is important to look at the original 1937 SPPV in order to determine how the original beliefs espoused by the writing group should be contemporized and/or contextualized for the many places where student affairs is spreading as an emphasis around the world. The above summary points from the 1937 and 1949 SPPV statements offer a way for those in the international arena to look carefully at why their work is important, how it relates to the institutional context where they work, and how one can most effectively advocate for the idea of enhancing student learning through the philosophical framework and research/theory that emerged from these important documents.

2012 Qatar Study Tour and Young Professionals Institute

The Qatar Study Tour and Young Professionals Institute was originally conceived and planned during the 2009 year and then offered to the University of Maryland and University of San Diego masters and doctoral programs in student affairs, higher education, and leadership studies. The first experience was so positive that we forged ahead with the 2nd in 2012. Partners in 2012 were the University of Maryland and Colorado State University.

The QST and YPI was birthed partially out of frustration at the amount of time spent in hosting groups from abroad. The Qatar Foundation sometimes feels like a revolving door with visitors - which is good. However, the visitors almost always just observe, ask questions, offer accolades or express skepticism, and they rarely offer anything in return. Thus the QST and YPI was conceived as a very deliberate and different approach to tour or study groups. The QST and YPI is set up to require the visiting graduate student groups to prepare in advance, to deeply explore the local cultural environment, and then to engage with Qatar student affairs educators through Inquiry Teams. The Inquiry Teams are constructed as learning communities with all participants bring something to the table - either content expertise on student affairs and higher education or cultural authority in knowing how things work in Qatar and the Gulf. The inquiry topics are chosen by staff in Qatar who know what areas need further analysis. So, the end result is visiting graduate students engaging with Qatar staff to push the boundaries of knowledge, especially related to culture-centric practice, that can improve the experience of students attending universities throughout Education City and more broadly in Qatar (i.e. Qatar University, CNA-Q, Community College of Qatar, and Calgary).

The 2012 QST and YPI outcomes are available on googledocs. By posting links here, my hope is to make this information readily available to our Qatar colleagues as well as other colleagues around the world. Two folders are:

QST and YPI Inquiry Team Annotated Bibliographies

QST and YPI Inquiry Team Executive Summaries

Please use this information to help you enhance your practice, keeping in mind that the conclusions are focused in the particular context of the Arabian Gulf and with a student population that is almost entirely Muslim and from a number of countries throughout North Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.

International Student Affairs - Please engage

I maintain two blogs - Pursuing Leadership and this one - Global Student Affairs. The Global Student Affairs blog has been slow to catch on but I hope the activity will increase. Four things have happened that revive my interest in posting and interacting here:

1. The 2012 Qatar Study Tour and Young Professionals Institute - First launched in 2010, the QST and YPI was a resounding success in 2012. This particular initiative brought two graduate programs in Student Affairs and Higher Education (University of Maryland and Colorado State University) together with student affairs educators in Qatar for two weeks of immersion and inquiry-based learning.
2. The NASPA/ACPA Arabian Gulf Conference - The Gulf Conference was the 6th in the region and the first to combine sponsorships from the two major U.S.A. student affairs organizations. 180 educators from 10 countries and 29 higher education institutions came together for an extraordinary time of listening to each others' progress in advocating for student affairs as an essential element of higher education in the Gulf.
3. The 75th anniversary of the "Student Personnel Point of View" - After much consideration over the last four years, travel and study of different institutional approaches to student affairs, I wrote a Journal of College Student Development (January/February, 2012) article entitled "The Student Personnel Point of View: Catalyst for 75 years of dialogue."
4. The three above conditions have stimulated interest in Qatar Foundation creating a Certificate in Student Affairs to help our colleagues in Qatar learn about student affairs work and to develop a knowledge community to help us do the best we can do.

So, the time is right to bring more attention to this blog in order to foster some conversation. I will offer comments in subsequent posts about the 2012 Qatar Study Tour and the 75th anniversary of the "Student Personnel Point of View." I invite you to join the conversation with the QF Certificate group who will be invited to read and post on a regular basis. All are welcome, wherever you are. Those of us working in the international arena are all trying to do our best work and we need to be able to converse with and learn from each other.