Monday, March 30, 2015

Taiwan to cut higher education sector

The Taipei Times reported that, due to demographic decline of the number of prospects for higher education study, a number of both public and private institutions would draw down enrollment or close. The process of retrenchment while seeking to maintain quality is a precarious challenge. A core consideration should be positioning higher education in ways that maintains the governmental/public commitment and equally benefits the individual as well as contributing to the public good by preparing workers and citizens who will be productive contributors to their passport country.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

China's looming economic challenges likely to impact education

China's commitment to expanding education opportunity may be influenced by the pressure of national debt. Infettered opportunity may be curtailed as the Chinese government seeks to shape the public's perception of what it has offered to its citizens.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Iran enters branch campus movement

Iran is entering the branch campus movement, so reports University World News. Questions about purposes are raised. When British, US and others do the same, are their purposes questioned as well?

Ignorance of international dynamics a risk for USA

American's (USA) ignorance of the world puts all at risk. In particular, politicians suffer from not having citizens who can understand everything from diplomacy to economics. Lack of awareness of world issues at minimum keeps individuals and organizations from engaging critical issues and at its worst leaves citizens vulnerable to crass manipulation.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

NYU professor barred from return to Abu Dhabi

Another case in the Middle East is sure to raise academic freedom questions - a professor from NYU was denied entry to a flight going to Abu Dhabi. The issue reported by Inside Higher Education was his research on migrant worker conditions in the country.

Qatar's Education City university partners have studied, published about, and intervened to improve the lives of migrant workers yet none, to my knowledge, have ever been threatened or punished in any way. Not knowing the details of Abu Dhabi, I can't compare. However, the key in the examples from Qatar seemed to be that the students and faculty involved in migrant worker research appeared to be very careful in attributing causes and were also engaged in bringing about positive change. The fact is that migrant workers come to the Arabian Gulf in desperation, are often exploited by private or governmental officials in their own countries, and are often employed by multi-national companies with headquarters in Western countries. To intervene sometimes puts migrant workers at risk of losing their jobs, an outcome with devastating consequences for families in poor home countries. Who's at fault and who's responsible for finding a solution is the question - a very complicated issue that requires discerning and sensitive research.

Additional comment and complications were noted in this Inside Higher Education article. The even more interesting twist came when the New York Times reported that a private investigator had begun inquiries into the activities of the NYU professor and NYT reporter who were linked to the articles criticizing NYU and its Abu Dhabi partnership. The NYT implied that the motivation behind the investigations was that both the professor and the reporter were involved in criticizing migrant worker conditions in Abu Dhabi.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

KAUST (Saudi Arabia) faces questions on academic freedom and future

With Saudi Arabia's punishment of a prominent blogger as a backdrop, the Times Higher Education says that pressure is mounting for the President of KAUST to speak out regarding academic freedom. Enrollment numbers, expenses associated with the KAUST project, and the change of Saudi leadership were noted as additional potential concerns.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Attending to international students in the U.S.A.

An article providing examples of what international students need while studying in the U.S.A. and strategies to meet those needs is available in the March 2015 NASPA Leadership Exchange.

Expatriate workers in international higher education - Roberts

One of my persistent concerns related to internationalization of higher education and student affairs is the effective identification, on-boarding, and support of expatriate workers. Expatriates are often needed to help begin student affairs work in places where it has previously not existed but how they are engaged makes a world of difference. I've just published an article on expatriate workers through the Journal of College and Character. The article, titled Expatriate workers in international higher education, is available free to the first 50 people who follow the link. Otherwise, you will need to be a NASPA member or pay the fee to download the article. The contents could be helpful not only to expatriate workers and those working with them; travelers, study tour participants, consultants and others are likely to encounter similar issues to those I note, although to varying degrees.