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.