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."
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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."
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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."

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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.

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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?