Monday, February 23, 2015

"Going Global" conference focuses on opportunity and challenge in emerging systems

Even with the pressure of restrained economies, the growth of the international higher education sector has continued. The "Going Global" conference particularly focused on cost considerations, inequality of access in higher education systems with large prospective populations, and the mismatch between academic programs and workforce needs. One of the largest emerging systems is India, which has adopted community engagement as one of its priorities. Interestingly, the link between workforce preparation and community engagement is not explicitly made in these articles. A promising aspect of the community engagement model is that it includes 5 dimensions that could clearly help with workforce preparation as well as relating higher education programs more directly to the needs of the community.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Defining international parternships

While it's important to quantify what's involved in a partnership, as was discussed at the Association of International Education Administrators meeting, the bigger question for me is the quality of the relationship and how "partnering" benefits all and builds capacity in ways that achieve partner objectives. Those institutions with numerous partnership agreements are likely to be pressed to demonstrate quality outcomes in their efforts.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Study Abroad critiqued

The Institute for International Education included a program on study abroad, concluding that U.S.A. students who participate in them need to go deeper. One of the issues addressed that, for convenience and expense, some students choose short one or two week experiences that are completed orchestrated for them rather than diving into a longer semester or year-long experience. Another critique was that U.S.A. students are allowed to take their culture with them and are not asked to adopt to their new environment. Study Abroad is a wonderful introduction to engaging or living abroad but the question is how it can be enhanced for greater impact.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

OECD comparison finds U.S.A. millennials lagging

An OECD comparison of U.S.A. students on Educational Testing Service (ETS) scores shows that they lag behind their peers in a number of other countries. A key variable that was not controlled is the cultural and socio-economic diversity of the sample, with Finland, Japan, Sweden, Netherlands, and Norway coming out on top in ETS-measured outcomes. Still, the fact that contemporary U.S.A. students do not have comparable literacy, numeracy, and problem solving skills may present a vulnerability in the workforce of the future.

International students and institutional/personal identity

A study of international students in the U.S.A. (composed primarily of Chinese and Indian participants) indicates that they do not readily identify with the institutions they attend, a key factor often correlated with retention and success among domesticate students. Alternatives may include groups and events that affirm international students' own cultural identity and sharing it with other students from the U.S.A. and elsewhere.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Chinese universities prohibited from using "Western" texts

An announcement that Chinese universities should never use Western texts that denigrate China or Communism may be a slippery slope when it comes to an academic environment. While governments  (including the U.S.A.) may not be pleased at what some academics say or publish, the "free market of ideas" is pivotal in establishing inquiry an innovation.