Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Technology for international learning

Striving to increase access to learning about the dynamics of internationalization, the COIL course of Eric Pallant at Alleghany College paired students from his campus and a college in Pakistan.  The course resulted in some surprises when Pakistani students challenged the American students' understanding of foreign policy related to their country.  Pallant commented, "Lest you think this is all negative, what I ended up realizing and saying to my students is, 'You're going to go out there in this globalized world and you need to learn how to negotiate these things' - a different sense of time, accents, technology that doesn't work the way you expect it to, perceptions of Americans overseas."

It's great to see teaching strategies that expand international understanding for American students.  I wonder about the impact on the students in Pakistan or other countries who partner with American universities.  The fact that this was not mentioned in the article is telling and is an example of how internationalization is often conceived in ways that benefit one of the partners while giving little thought to the cost and/or benefit to the other.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Trans-national education as an alternative to study abroad

A report from the Observatory of Borderless Higher Education summarized in an Inside Higher Education article indicated that "TNE (transnational education) allows traditional destination countries to act proactively and position themselves in a fast-changing market by participating in capacity-building efforts in source countries while this opportunity is still available."  The article's market-based language suggests that institutions in the U.S.A., UK and Australia (the most popular destination countries for study abroad) who want to maintain high numbers of students need to offer TNE options.  In expanding the options, the report indicates there are a variety of reasons that students choose TNE alternatives, including "the lower cost, visa restrictions in the destination country, a desire to stay close to family and friends, work commitments, local government policies intended to reduce mobility, the wide range of TNE programs available, and the reputation of the degree-awarding institution."

ACE Center for Internationalization and Global Engagement

All those involved in internationalization of higher education need to be aware of colleagues and initiatives that can complement their ideas and work.  The American Council on Education has launched the Center for Internationalization and Global Engagement which provides resources for how to internationalize the curriculum.  They are beginning to look at how to offer ideas related to offering internationalization opportunities in the cocurriculum as well.