Friday, January 22, 2016

Opportunities for Female students in China

The proportion of female students attending Chinese universities has increased over time for multiple reasons, one being the government's one-child policy. Now that the policy has been abandoned, some fear that female students may lose opportunities they've previously had. Leta Hong Fincher's Leftover Women: The Resurgence of Gender Inequality in China warned about widespread prioritization of sons over daughters in Chinese families. In relation to higher education, the success of women in their studies has resulted in a backlash against women because their success is seen a s problem for male students.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Measuring internationalization

What distinguishes an institution as more significantly internationalized than another? The International Outlook Ranking (IOR) includes primarily criteria related to the number of international students, international staff, and the number of publications where multiple authors from different nations are listed. Hans de Wit suggested that the IOR rankings are flawed because they do not include broader criteria and because the rankings are more related to an institution's location (small countries that have borders with other countries) than to a deep commitment to internationalization.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

World-Embracing Leadership webinar on January 21, 2016

ACPA's Commissions on Student Involvement and Global Dimensions of education invited me to offer a webinar on Thursday, January 21, 2016, 11 a.m. Central Standard time (GMT-6). This webinar, titled World-Embracing Leadership, will combine ideas that I've discovered in designing and building leadership programs as well as what I've learned more recently about internationalization. You can register here. After the webinar has concluded, come back here to share your reactions and ideas about what you heard. Cultivating World-Embracing Leadership is critical to our futures and I hope you'll join the conversation.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Consternation over international students

Elizabeth Redden covered the consternation among faculty and administrators over the large number of international students (24% of full-time equivalent enrollment) using Green River Community College as a portal to 4-year institutions in the U.S. in an Inside Higher Education piece. Even with Green River struggling to balance its budget and with 1,756 international students paying 2.5 times the amount of tuition charged to students from Washington, some faculty have questioned if international students are given priority over domestic students.

While the question of institutional core mission is important to consider, an institution that benefits so much fiscally might also ask if it is actually delivering the quality experience for international students that they deserve. Green River supports the use of agents in recruitment and continues to rely on the pipeline that has developed since the late 1980s.

William Durden indicated in a separate Inside Higher Education article on international student activism that some U.S. institutions anticipate increasing pressure to provide better services. Particular note is made of the need to support Muslim students who have suffered hostile treatment as an outgrowth of anti-Islam sentiment that has been rising in some communities. Durden notes that, while international student numbers are comparatively small on campuses, they deserve to be heard and are growing impatient with, at minimum, being ignored and, more egregiously, being mistreated by peer students and some faculty and staff. All international students want is to be respected, given credit for contributing to the overall educational purposes of the institutions in which they enroll, and recognized as contributing unique cultural views and insights that can help resolve shared global challenges.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Internationalization policy - taking stock on impact

Helms (ACE's CIGE) and Rumbley (Boston College Center for International Higher Education) reviewed internationalization policies around the world in the five broad areas of; student mobility, scholar mobility and research collaboration, cross-border education, internationalization at home, and comprehensive internationalization policies. There results indicate the emergence of more deliberate internationalization practices but the big question is how impact is measured. The public diplomacy implications of higher education internationalization was recognized by only 1% of the institutions reporting into a 2011 ACE study; the result is that institutional and public efforts may not achieve the synergies that would help us all at this very critical time of shifting international relations.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

International students and your web

It's not a surprise that international students and their parents may view U.S. university web sites differently than domestic students. Megan Brenn-White offers some advice that could be useful in considering whether or not your university is effective in its communication with prospective international students. Areas not covered that may also be important to consider are 1) a description of how your university approaches learning, especially if it includes a focus on experiential learning and out-of-class life, and 2) parents/families are likely to place high value you web pages that are available to them after their sons/daughters are enrolled. Brenn-White includes in her observations that international families are concerned about cost and safety; these would be prime issues to address in ongoing web updates to them.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Workforce preparation for the future

In a January 6, 2016, Chicago Tribune article, authors Mark Caro and Kathy Bergen explore how students might be best prepared for employability in the future. Referencing a Dalton, Georgia, school system that had to reorient its programs to a growing population of students from more diverse backgrounds, K-12 schools began technology-related programs linked to internships that place students directly into workplace opportunities while at the same time enhancing their efficacy in successfully completing university study. The article explained that many of the ideas behind this approach originate from Switzerland and Germany, countries where the focus on career preparation has long been a forte yielding the outcome of the lowest youth unemployment figures anywhere in the world. Zurich Insurance Chicago is recognized for offering the first U.S. insurance apprenticeship program partnered with local Chicago-based Harper College. As HR business partners head, Al Crook, explained, Zurich "hopes to create another pipeline of insurance talent" while addressing the broader issue of "removing any stigma that might exist if you don't go to college, or that where you go to college is a significant factor in your success in a professional career."

Being a resident of Chicago, I know up close and personal that unemployment, income inequality and work opportunity are challenges that befuddle government systems, particularly education. Chicago is a formidable international city with much to offer but it presently does not hold high-technology oriented professionals because of a lack of critical mass to support their work. Many other cities around the world have similar challenges and many of them are ramping up education systems to better prepare graduates so they can achieve greater economic prosperity for themselves and their countries. Chicago, the U.S., and perhaps a broader number of countries might want to consider the kind of partnerships advocated in this article - partnerships between K-12 schools, businesses, and colleges/universities that are intentionally focused on career preparation through progressive education and experience.

The other interesting aspect to the innovation proposed in this article is that it does not originate from the U.S. It relies on European models as well as higher education approaches in the Middle East and Asia.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Comparing outcomes of Higher Education

The December 2015 report of the U.S. Department of Education compared participation rates and outcomes in higher education among G20 countries. Although the U.S. spends more than any of the other comparison countries, its outcomes are lower. In addition, while international student enrollment in the U.S. is the highest numerically, it is proportionally much lower than other G20 higher education systems.