Thursday, December 5, 2013

Growing and shifting enrollment of students from India

A recent British Council Report indicates continuing growth as well as shifts among students from India studying around the world.  The combination of perceived high costs of some institutions coupled with improving opportunity to study in India contributed to the changes.  The bottom line is that the number of Indian students going on for university work more than tripled from 2000-01 to 2011-12 and graduate enrollment increased 47% in one year from 2009-10 to 2010-11.

This report is consistent with other predictions that, next to Chinese students, Indian students are the world's fastest growing market.  The longer-term prediction is that Indian students will eventually out-number Chinese.  The question is, where and how will these students be served?  There are those institutions who primarily look at this from an economic point of view but, more importantly in my eyes, what about the opportunity to build lasting ties across cultures?

Friday, November 22, 2013

Diplomacy through student exchange

Exciting to see concrete steps being taken to encourage more American students studying in China.  I've commented before about the importance of higher education exchange as a critical form of diplomacy.  Now all educators need to do is help American students learn to be good ambassadors and curious explorers of other cultures.  Time will tell...

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Canadian report of international students

A new report indicates that Canadian international students are up and among the groups that are typical in the U.S.A. (China, S. Korea, India, and Saudi Arabia).  Findings that will likely require consideration are that a large number of the international students want to stay in Canadia to work after graduation and 78% of the respondents report that they would like more interaction with Canadian students.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Studying abroad between U.S. and other countries up - going both ways

The latest data on study abroad of international students coming to the U.S.A. and U.S.A. students going abroad rose this year, with the net annual impact on the American economy at 24 Billion USD.  The summary indicates that China and Saudi Arabia are the fastest growing student populations and that U.S.A. students are primarily studying in Europe, a little in Asia (China, Japan, S. Korea), and a little less in South America.

Cross-border education continues to grow - what about its impact in positive diplomatic relations and trustful cross-cultural cooperation?

Friday, November 8, 2013

New international higher education rankings

As U.S. and British universities continue to dominate university rankings, others may emerge.  The Times Higher Education indicated that there are some who are suspicious of two governments, Russia and Qatar, who are supporting the alternative rankings systems.  Robert J. Morse, who will oversee the rankings for U.S. News, indicated that Qatar Foundation will provide a grant but "they’re playing no part in creating the rankings.”  It's fascinating that those who may resist efforts to create new rankings neglect to recognize the bias that is already part of the existing rankings that are substantially based on peer reviews that keep the current hierarchy in place.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Reinvigorating Arab world science

The call to renew scientific discovery that was so much a part of the Arab/Islamic world 1,000 years ago, was expressed by the British scientist, Jim Al-Khalili.  Having grown up in Iraq, he was educated through rote learning but transcended that in his own scientific discoveries.  Now he advises that the Arab region, noting Saudi Arabia and Qatar, is renewing the commitment to exploratory learning and scientific advancement.  Perhaps the Arab diaspora that has restricted discovery and innovation will reverse in the coming years.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Students' cultural capital

An article on building cultural capital among U.S. students noted the importance of enticing all students to participate in activities or events that they've never experienced.  Examples given vary from fancy dinners to opera and most are portrayed as "high culture" that first-generation students might not have experienced.  A comment at the conclusion of the article by one former student indicated, "I found one of the most important functions of the university experience was to ensure that I became alienated from my working-class family culture."

Three questions that arise for me related to international higher education:
  • Why would increasing cultural exposure/capital mean students would have to become alienated from their own lived experience and would this be desirable?
  • How would an international student view experiences like those described in the article?  Perhaps as an opportunity to explore American culture?  What about the culture that international students bring to their American campuses?  Are international students encouraged to engage with American culture as well as share their own with others?
  • In the extremely diverse cultures of many international institutions, what does cultural capital look like?  In Qatar the typical experiences could include hosting a Majlis disucssion, breaking the fast during Ramadan, camping in the desert, or watching a camel race.
The idea of building cultural capital sounds like it had merit in the U.S. context but I wonder if it would work, or how it might be different, in an international university setting.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

George Mason adopts INTO to help international students

George Mason turned to Into in a private/public partnership amid significant discussion at the Falls Church, Virginia, campus.  A spokesperson said, "having built a successful transition program here we also realize that we face some clear limitations in expanding it to the scale we would like in meeting the university's goals for internationalization."

Friday, October 25, 2013

Views of internationalization in Canada

study of Canadian students' views of internationalization is worthy of consideration for campuses with large numbers of international students or considering expanding international presence.  The findings include two issues, first that the "values of internationalization are still in many ways adopted only superficially by Canadian students, and require strengthening.  And second, that not enough attention is being paid to the dislocations caused by internationalization, particularly with respect to instructors' official language abilities."

Monday, October 21, 2013

China and academic freedom

Inside Higher education described the circumstances behind Peking Professor fired and raised question if the firing was a violation of academic freedom or a reflection of routine review of faculty for continuing employment.  The article also describes a shift in the political atmosphere in China that may indicate a step backward in allowing diverse perspectives among faculty and students.

The New York Times published a later update indicating that the faculty member will leave Peking to work for the Cato Institute, indicating that protests from the West might have influenced the view of the Chinese government about his continuing employment.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Bloomberg comments on reassessing higher education partnership

This articles sounds the alarm bell that some branch campuses or centers have struggled with everything from decision making to construction to enrollment:

Qatar is the only country with which the article did not find fault, except they were able to find a consultant who commented that, “It feels like it’s more of a vanity project” for Qatar."  I wonder if Mr. Assomull has ever visited or talked to the leadership of Qatar Foundation about his views. 

Monday, October 7, 2013

Global Learning conversations

Educators explored the question of how to foster global learning in students at a recent conference in New England (USA).

Discussions at the conference addressed a number of possibilities with Harvey Charles of Northern Arizona University advocating for university presidents to be active and vocal in their support of funding and structures to support a global learning agenda.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Bryant University partnership with China

Bryant Unviersity's journey in establishing student and faculty exchanges in China has led now to the design of buildings and enhanced programs in both countries.

Judy Barrett Litoff, a professor of history who first traveled to China on a professional development trip for Bryant faculty in 2000 and has since traveled to China eight other times said, “For me as an American historian who is now able to branch out and do all this comparative history of China and the United States and women in the United States and women in China in the 20th century, it’s just a gold mine of opportunity."  Litoff's enthusiasm reflects the kind of mutual and expansive scholarship unfolding for those who study and teach abroad.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Deference in the classroom and beyond

A dilemma faced by many faculty and administrators who work in settings where high deference to authority is expected is that the idea of critical thinking, challenging ideas and authorities, is not easy for students.  Particularly in the Arab world where new standards of engagement are now emerging post-Arab Spring, students and faculty may not know how to conduct themselves.  Particularly noting the back-and-forth of political change in Egypt, Inside Higher Education commented, "The common critique of the Muslim Brotherhood is there isn't a single poet, artist or writer in their leadership -- 85 percent of them hold engineering or medical qualifications."
Read more:

This point is especially important to liberal arts faculty and student affairs educators whose purpose is to create settings and conditions where students are free to explore their own views.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

US Admissions Directors change approach to international student recruitment

In a change of mind reported by Inside Higher Education, US Admissions Directors attending NACAC have now decided to permit the use of agents/consultants in recruiting international students,  A complicating issue is that "college officials seem well aware of the challenges of promoting integrity in international admissions. Sixty-one percent of admissions directors answered Yes when asked if they believed that agents play a direct role in helping international applicants fabricate parts of their applications."
Read more:

If 61% believe that their decisions on international students could be flawed by the practice of using agents, what does that mean for the institutions that may find students on their doorsteps who are not really prepared for their studies?

In a subsequent article, Insider Higher Education indicated, "If this passes the Assembly on Saturday we will go from a ban to an allowance with those provisions, and then we can work out the details," Miller continued. "If we don't get it through the Assembly on Saturday, then we've got the ban."

Read more:

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Expanding number of Chinese students in U.S.A.

This Voice of America piece describes the dynamics of the growing number of Chinese students attending university in the U.S.A.  Special challenges come from one-child families, cultural isolation, and cocooning that limits Chinese students' interaction with American and other cultural groups.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

More on China's emering prominence in higher education

"What is undeniable, however, is that through its CIs, China has been able to extend its presence in higher education globally like no other country before."  The Confucius Institutes around the world take China to the world while China sends many of its youth to study in many other countries - not a bad strategy to make sure China is connected to the global community.

Read more:

Inside Higher Ed ."

Monday, September 2, 2013

Liberal arts in non-democratic settings

In the closing lines of this article, the author says, "Universities need to recover a more “missionary,” freedom-seeking approach to their host countries, pedagogically and even politically."  This is a fascinating assertion for an author who I suspect has never tried to teach in another country, let alone the not-so-liberal regions of the U.S.A. (you can name your own as there are several).  So, by James Sleeper's theory, it sounds as if those who espouse liberal arts as learning to free the mind and spirit should restrict their teaching to safe places where these ideas would be welcome.  The question I would ask is, "How did U.S. higher education get where it is now and wasn't their an evolutionary process along the way?"  Isn't this the point of higher education opportunity sweeping across the developing world and wouldn't a passionate educator want to be part of it rather than restrict access to it?

Thursday, August 22, 2013

International graduate student applications down but offers up

It is interesting that the April 22, 2013, Inside Higher Education article reports a decline in applications but admissions offers are up for international graduate students.  Read more here:

If the numbers can be interpretted to reflect trend, the question has to be why?  Where a country's numbers are down or up, is it a reflection of bad or good economic conditions?  Are international students becoming interested in other countries or are more opportunities becoming available in their home countries?  It will be important to watch the trends and to ponder both the cause and what, if anything, can be done to sustain a stream of highly qualified international graduate students in the U.S.A.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

China moves to establish cross-border institutions

Roger Y. Chao’s Inside Higher Education article on July 28, 2013, indicates “Much like its economic development, China has hosted branch campuses, learned from their experience, developed their own higher education sector and institutions, and now ventured into higher education as a new export industry through the establishment of branch campuses offshore.”
Read more:

Inside Higher Ed

This move will no doubt catch the attention of the many U.S.A., UK, Australian and other universities that see cross-border education opportunity as an arena through which to enhance their own brand while generating much needed revenue as well. It will be interesting to see how China articulates its purpose, an issue not addressed in Mr. Chao’s piece.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

India's requirements of foreign universities

An update on India's plans to accommodate foreign universities is reported by Inside Higher Education on September 11, 2013:

The June 27 Inside Higher Education noted that India has approved requirements that foreign universities will have to meet in order to establish branches.  Aside from being non-profit and carrying a minimum account balance, an interesting requirement is that universities "would not be permitted to offer a course that, as the newspaper reported, 'adversely affects the sovereignty and integrity of India or its friendly relations with other countries.'"

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

2013 OECD Education at a Glance implications

The 2013 OECD Education at a Glance report documented the positive impact on employability of receiving a university degree.  However, it also reflected a continuing decline in the proportion of young adults in the U.S.A. completing a university education (43 percent of 25- to 34-year-olds compared to the OECD average of 39 percent), resulting in it being number 12 internationally, significantly below the 64 percent figure boasted by South Korea, the world leader.

In relation to countries hosting internatinoal students for study, the U.S.A. leads with 17% of the total number of 4.3 million in 2011.  The bad news, with no policy or strategies to guide practice in hosting international students, the U.S.A. has slipped 6% from its 2000 high, with the exodus moving to Australia, New Zealand, Russia, Spain, South Korea, and the United Kingdom in small proportional increases for each.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Humanities as a foundation for careers

"The central message must be that thriving long-term in the job market depends on developing 'qualities of mind: inquisitiveness, perceptiveness, the ability to put a received idea to a new purpose, and the ability to share and build ideas with a diverse world of others.'”
Read more:

This statement from the American Academy of Arts & Sciences Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences reasserts the importance of the humanities and liberal arts at a time when learning in the STEM subjects and preparation for careers has reached a fever pitch.  The point is, enhancing learning in STEM and the humanities has to be a both/and conversation.  While this report focused on U.S.A. education, internatinoal educators are remiss to not consider the topic as well.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Predictions on international students' destinations

A recent ScienceGuide article combines evidence from several studies to predict increases in the number of international students who will want to study an English-language curriculum over the rest of the decade.  The countries currently contributing the largest proportion of these study-abroad students are China, India, and South Korea but other students from the Middle East and Africa are increasing as well.

Australia (2nd in line behind the U.S.A. in popularity) is poised to absorb some, Canada wants a bunch, and the UK will accept a modest number.  If the U.S.A. maintained its 18% of all international students, there will still be 265,000 students looking for a good place to study with an English-language core.  The article suggests that branch campuses may be one of the places these students will go.

The question on my mind is not only where will they go but how will they be welcomed and given the best education their resources can buy?

Monday, June 3, 2013

Kofi Annan urges educators to focus on character development

If student affairs educators ever needed a mandate and license for the work they do, Kofi Annan's remark in his keynote at the 2013 NAFSA is as good as it gets:
A good education is about the formation of character and not merely transmission of knowledge.

This kind of impact does not result from student services; it is the impact of deep engagement with students in educational and developmental initiatives.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Studies of Asian Students in Journal of College Student Development

The latest (January/February 2013) Journal of College Student Development provided two articles on Asian students and their experience. One was about Chinese students studying in the U.S.A. and the other was about Malaysian students’ experience across culture in their home country. With Asian students comprising a very large proportion of the emerging international higher education community, these articles are very welcome!

Kun Yan and David C. Berliner’s article (pp. 62-84) reported the results of a qualitative study of Chinese students in a Southwest U.S. campus. While the results may not be a surprise to those who have had the opportunity to work with Chinese students, the documentation and the conclusions are critical for all campuses to consider. The findings indicated that international students from China experience considerable stress during their study. Personal areas such as job opportunities, visa problems, pressure about dating and marriage, and the pressure of financial affairs cause the greatest difficulty. Even though Chinese students are anxious to study in the U.S., they may have underestimated the financial burden, which is only compounded by the inability to work or the further strain of having to take off-record employment that is culturally demeaning to them. Chinese students’ families urging them to find other Chinese nationals to date and perhaps marry while in the U.S. is significant for both males and females; the unfortunate dynamic is that Chinese students report that their peers are undesirable because most are so dedicated to their studies. The second category that causes stress for Chinese students is in the area of sociocultural concerns – specifically, lack of interaction with American students, language and culture deficiency, and clashes in values. Many Chinese students report having minimal contact with Americans, the lack of which results in poor progress in informal English language use as well as isolation from the “American experience.” This research article proposed a number of helpful suggestions for universities to undertake, a good portion of which is in the area of orientation and acculturation and the rest in career and work-related matters. The call is for real advocacy for Chinese students, a call being taken up by some U.S. institutions that are beginning to realize that Chinese students will be more successful and will contribute much if special services are offered to assist them.

Ezhar Tamam’s article (pp. 85-97) on interracial bridging in a multicultural university in Malaysia found that the pattern of self-segregation that can sometimes be observed on U.S. campuses also took place in the case under study – a multicultural campus of 19,000 undergraduate and 10,000 postgraduate students with a 5:3:2 ratio of Malay to Chinese to Indian students. This campus attempted to increase the multicultural interaction through a mandatory course but found after 5 years that is was not working. As a result of the study, the author recommended that, in order to increase positive multicultural interaction that contributes to building social capital, attention be placed on how students interact outside of class. Increasing the representation of minorities in student organizations and extracurricular activities were two strategies recommended as offering both interactional and structural opportunity for relationship building. This article is noteworthy in its use of research that originated in North America but was then tested in a very different cultural context. More of this kind of comparative analysis is needed.

A common issue that may be part of the dynamics described in both of the above is culturally-derived patterns of social interaction. Having recently read Susan Cain’s Quiet (2012), I began to wonder if the cultural pattern that Cain described might be influencing both the way Asian students engage while studying in the U.S. as well as when they study in their home countries or at other regional locations where high numbers of Asian and multicultural students are present. If Cane’s analysis is correct, then Asian students’ engagement with each other, with students of other cultures, and with campus itself may be exacerbated by a reluctance to initiate or stand out. Cane proposes, and perhaps your observation or experience reinforces, that Asian students are more comfortable with a collectivist feel, one where standing out and bringing attention to oneself is a negative attribute. Understanding this, how might student experiences be shaped that encourage interaction but one more focused on the group, group cohesion, and mutual contribution?

Thursday, May 30, 2013

FAFSA Conference program on working with students from Saudi Arabia

It's good to see that the FAFSA conference presently underway had a session on working with students from Saudi Arabia who are studying in the U.S.A.  It's disappointing to see the comment buried in the article:

The university has a newly implemented $300 per-semester sponsored student fee, charged to SACM (Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission), which it used to expand its staff and fund such initiatives.
When has any other cultural group in American higher education been taxed for services to help them be successful?  Those U.S.A. institutions who are comfortable admitting full-pay international students should expect to provide whatever assistance is necessary (without extra charge) for them to be successful.  If the response to the extra fee is that this is a service that no other students require, then what compensation is being provided to international students who add value to American institutions by diversifying and internationalizing the campus community?

Monday, May 20, 2013

International students bring more than money

A student from Pakistan provides insights on his journey in higher education and admonishes those institutions that host internationals to look at the benefits they bring beyond just balancing the budget.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Accreditation threat for not meeting Western standards

The Chronicle of Higher Education carried an article on the potential for branch campuses to lose their accreditation if they cannot guarantee the typical expectations in Western universities about academic freedom.   This is a critical issue for countries where political systems do not provide the same guarantees as the U.S.A. and elsewhere.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The difference investing in education makes...

The New York Times article,"China's ambitious goal for boom in college graduates ," includes the quote:
China is on track to match within seven years the United States’ current high school graduation rate for 18-year-olds of 75 percent — although a higher proportion of Americans than Chinese later go back and finish high school.
Those students completing high school are going on to university in dramatically increasing numbers and higher education is expanding to accommodate them.  The impact of China's investment is not only resulting in a more educated and work-prepared citizenry in China, it is attracting the attention of recruiters from other countries who are increasingly hiring Chinese graduates who can then become the bridge between Western businesses and the world's 2nd most populace country and one of the fastest growing economies.

The question is whether Chinese graduates who graduate from Chinese universities, Western-style universities popping up throughout China, or who studied in America (the largest number of international students studying in the U.S.A. are Chinese students weighing in at 194,000 in 2012) will have the insights, knowledge, and will have acquired the life skills that the best of higher education can offer.  The answer to this question is at least partially up to student affairs educators.  If U.S.A. universities take student affairs principles and practices seriously, finding ways to better respond to the needs of Chinese students, and if the export of Western educational practices to China includes serious attention to what student affairs has to offer, then Chinese students will be well served.

The NYT article goes on to describe the challenges of building the Chinese higher education system, including the difficulty of securing mature and productive scholars to teach the expanding number of students.  Only a tip is made to the importance of outside of class learning when an example is recounted of a young female student who does her studies quickly to get to what she really values - conversational English practice she learns from a student club.  Although question is raised about the relevance of student clubs, there is already a pattern among Chinese students of learning outside of class, albeit on their own and without much of a student affairs support system.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Socioeconomic class and elite university selection

Inside Higher Education covered an issue that has been a perennial problem for U.S. higher education - bright students who should have bright futures often choose less expensive universities where they may have less opportunity both during their university years and afterward.  The U.S. has notable exceptions to the criticism that socioeconomic elitism is perpetuated by "elites" attending elite private (and a few public) universities.  However, Alexandria Radford found in her research on valedictorians, that those from lower SES don't know what the elite institutions do nor do they see themselves as eligible to attend.

This is an exceptionally important issue for student affairs educators who are in international settings.  Many developing higher education systems are very eager to have elite brandnames and these institutions may have a DNA about them that is elitist and, therefore, discouraging to many students who could be capable but just don't see themselves in such settings.

The question is - What can student affairs educators do to buffer this elitism so that the emerging global higher education community does not have the same impact of perpetuating privilege that, at least by this research, has stunted the opportunity of U.S. students over the years?

Friday, April 19, 2013

UAE branch campus update

Inside Higher Education provided an update on branches campuses in the UAE, indicating that some settling out has taken place but that there is stabilization and now anticipated growth.  With the economic decline behind the region and a new resurgence of expatriate workers from Asia, UAE officials believe that enrollments will grow and that new institutions will join the 56 branches already in operation.  Specific reference is made to some students choosing to come to the UAE rather than fight the visa processes of the U.S.A. and U.K.  One has to also wonder if the growing image of gun violence and fear of personal safety in the U.S.A. might not be causing international students to look elsewhere.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

End of the University as we know it?

A very provocative article on the impact of technology, and the democratization of learning through MOOCs, suggests that the current model of residential-based higher education is doomed.  While I am not sure I agree with the dire predictions, anyone involved in higher education, and especially expansion of opportunity around the world, should think about the issues raised in this article.

The prediction is not good for student affairs services/programs under the scenario described by the author, Nathan Harden.  Halfway through the article, he comments:
Along with luxury dorms and dining halls, vast athletic facilities, state of the art game rooms, theaters and student centers have come layers of staff and non-teaching administrators, all of which drives up the cost of the college degree without enhancing student learning.
WITHOUGH ENHANCING STUDENT LEARNING is the key in the statement above.  If you believe that student affairs has something to offer in traditional and the new emerging market of technology-enhanced learning, then the focus will need to be on enhancing learning.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Expatriate ambivalence

Darbi sent me a link to a really interesting blog post on expatriate workers.  I have to admit, the ambivalence reflected in this captured a lot of what I feel from time to time.  Working abroad can be incredibly interesting but it does make you another person and there is always the question this post raises - what you're missing.  I knowing I'm missing a lot with Diane and my family right now.  I also wonder what I will think about what I'm missing when I repatriate back to the U.S.A.  Pondering...

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

New York Times on Gulf higher education

The NYT references both UAE and Qatar efforts to enhance educational opportunity with quality institutions:

Question is raised about the mix in these institutions and Qatar Foundation's Hamad bin Khalifa University partners are portrayed positively.  The numbers are off a bit because enrollment in these elite institutions is closer to 40% Qatari.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Songdo Global University - South Korea

One of the university branch hubs emerging outside the Middle East is Songdo Global University.  Due to high demand among Korean families and youth, providing Western-style education at a more affordable price and in a more convenient and culturally comfortable environment, SGU seems to be only natural and will hopefully lead to success.

Some articles that chart the emergence of the Songdo campus chronicle how the idea is evolving:

Monday, March 11, 2013

NYU's Global University

NYU continues to attract a range of perspectives.  The most recent is:

Newsweek also entered the conversation with its latest article which references Qatar's Education City as well as NYU:

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Back and forth - international students in the U.S. and branch campuses abroad

Insider Higher Education covers three issues of international engagement in articles covering international students' experiences in the U.S. and questions about branch campuses in the Arabian Gulf and elsewhere.  The articles can be accessed at:

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Media and how they see Student Affairs

I was invited to a roundtable discussion hosted by the New York Times/International Herald Tribune yesterday which included about 20 higher education administrative staff who work in Qatar.  The invitation noted that the meeting would include, "Don Guttenplan, the London-based International Education reporter for the IHT and The New York Times, who, with the participation of ThomsonReuters correspondents in Doha, will lead discussions on the current opportunities and challenges in higher education in the region."  As participants waited for the meeting to begin, I spoke informally with two of the NYT/IHT staff who noted that they had just completed the same type of meeting in Dubai the previous day.  Out of curiosity, I asked what kind of issues emerged in the Dubai discussion and was told that the most prominent message was that Dubai higher education claimed to be offering the full "student experience."  I asked what "student experience" meant and the response was, "The social life of the city, bars, clubs, etc."  WOW!

You could have scraped me off the ceiling.  After I regained my composure, I indicated that bars and clubs were certainly not what Hamad bin Khalifa University and our university partners were about and then I went on to extol the benefits of wholistic student engagement advocated in the American model.  The staffers, one Greek and the other British, seemed to only vaguely understand what I was saying as I desperately attempted to explain the research and theory building around issues of student involvement and development and its deeper impact on the "student experience."

Encounters like yesterday continue to amaze me.  I wonder if those involved in the Dubai meeting actually said what was reported.  Or, was it the lens of the NYT/IHT staff who come out of European educational tradition and have never experienced serious student engagement?  We have a lot of work to do in articulating what we do, the importance of it to the educational enterprise, and differentiating the role of student affairs as a serious endeavor in the emerging international higher education community!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Penn's new global strategy

Another institution, this time one of the elite Ivy League, is launching its "Global Strategy" with a commitment to enhancing its global presence through a variety of means including an annual research focus.  The "global solutions program," will involve world leaders and faculty experts in taking on a new problem every year.  Interesting that when asked about the possibilities of establishing a branch campus, Penn's first Vice Provost for Global Affairs, Ezekial Emanuel commented,"That's a crazy idea, we're in the education business. We're not in the real estate business."

With all due respect, isn't it amazing that an elite university in Pennsylvania can convene "world leaders and faculty experts" who will solve the world's problems from afar on a one-year project basis.  And isn't it fascinating that Emanuel equates branch campuses to real estate investments?  Pardon my cynicism because I am sure that Penn will offer something of substance.  The report of their "Global Strategy" unfortunately trivializes both their and others' efforts to internationalize and global higher education.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

FIU - accenting the "I" for International

One of the dilemmas of preparing university graduates for the global world in which they live is offering broad access to students from various socio-economic levels.  Florida INTERNATIONAL University, an institution that has long served a high proportion of Hispanic students, many of them with lower ability to pay for such "add-ons" as study abroad, has initiated a global component to their curriculum.  Part of the strategy includes offering opportunities for student affairs staff to gain a fuller understanding of what is involved in being "global" as well as an assessment strategy to determine if FIU's efforts are working:

"...professional development workshops for faculty and student affairs staff and is working to increase the number and awareness of co-curricular activities that relate to global themes. The office also coordinates assessment: in addition to collecting data from the embedded course assessments, it is using the Global Perspective Inventory and an internally designed Case Response Assessment (CRA) to determine levels of global awareness, perspective and engagement among entering freshmen and transfer students and departing seniors."

Read more:

Inside Higher Ed

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Berkeley - Center for Studies in Higher Education

The Berkeley Center for Studies in Higher Education is conducting research on globalization and its impact on higher education.  Links to select published works are available that could be useful in thinking about, and refining, cross-border education initiatives.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Continuing debate about branch campuses

The discourse over branch campuses continues with the following three perspectives:
  • Reisberg - 1+1 Equals Less than 2 (Insider Higher Education) - Asserts that branch campuses are unsustainable
  • Roberts and Stanfield - Don't Throw Out the Baby (Inside Higher Education) - Responds to the Reisberg assertion by offering contradictory evidence of success and suggestions for making branches sustainable
  • Edelstein - Asking the Right Question (Inside Higher Education) - Replied to the 2 previous posts by indicating that the home campuses providing branches don't adequately integrate the transnational location into their home campus.  Reiterated and supported Roberts and Stanfield perspective of the need for greater cultural understanding and mutuality of purpose.
  • Gibney - A Different World (Times Higher Education) - Explores the emerging international higher education world in light of changing economic conditions

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Trends for 2013

It's always interesting to gaze into a crystal ball to predict what the coming months and years will bring.  One author offers 3 predictions for 2013:

What other predictions would you put on the list?
  • Growth or contraction of international students in the U.S.A.?
  • Increasing focus on quality student learning and development?
  • Adapting best practices in education to a broader range of national and cultural contexts?