Saturday, February 27, 2016

ACE's Institute for Leading Internationalization

Higher education faculty and staff who seek to be more effective in their internationalization efforts may wish to consider attending the American College on Education's "Institute for Leading Internationalization." While coming from a U.S.-centric perspective, ACE's advocacy for comprehensive internationalization that fosters mutual benefit is one that has the potential to steer institutions in a direction that is both effective and sustainable.

If and how to engage with China

A new policy study indicates key factors that lead to success in joint higher education efforts in China. The report findings include that chances for approval from China's Ministry of Education are enhanced by high ranking by European authorities, affiliation with Chinese universities, and offering IT, science, and engineering courses. Other factors that seemed to contribute to success were paying attention to students' performance and career placement after graduation as well as assimilating programs to the local culture, a strategy that requires catering to the needs of Chinese students while "still keeping the features of a Western education" intact.

The article concluded by posing an uncertain future resulting from the decline in the youth population in China and more options coming available within China for students who wish to pursue higher education.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Internationalization's promise

Internationalization is most effective when it is approached comprehensively and when conceived with clarity, commitment and flexibility. Presenters at AIEA explored  the promise of internationalization at their conference in Montreal, Canada. As internationalization evolves, it is becoming more competitive than cooperative, some say.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Student activism in international higher education

Perhaps one of the more difficult, and potentially distressing, issues that student affairs educators face is how to respond to student activism. With some educators projecting increased activism around the world, it's critical that thought is given to how student affairs staff can respond in ways that keep activism from moving into destructive dissent and also keep students' learning and development in mind. One case of an institutional response to student activism in India is already escalating to places that most would find uncomfortable. As one professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in Delhi indicated, the university should be a place where debate and dissent are welcome. When the surrounding political environment gets tense, the values of an institution in relation to learning through discourse and free speech are sometimes tested to the limit.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Need-Aware admission of international students

While domestic students in the United States are often admitted need-blind, meaning that aid will be provided to cover the gap between their ability to pay and the cost of attending university, Cornell joined several other prestige institutions in adopting "need-aware" admissions beginning in 2017. While the change will result in international students who are admitted receiving aid to afford attendance, the President of Cornell's student assembly has expressed concern that the new approach may result in some students being rejected for admission who might have been able to pull together funding from non-Cornell sources if they wanted to attend. Others at Cornell indicate that "need-aware" admission will prevent international students facing financial obligations they cannot meet.

While Liz Reisberg's follow-up raised concern about the generally broad gap between international students' financial means as compared to domestic U.S. students, she added that she found Cornell's strategy reflected a struggle to provide at least some opportunity through limited aid funds to a more economically diverse group of international students.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

China advocates stronger cultural and political education

It should be no surprise that China's Communist party would be concerned, and has now decreed, that the cultural and political awareness of its young must be addressed more fully. Even Chinese students studying abroad will be targeted for education that assembles "the broader number of students abroad as a positive patriotic energy''... building a "multidimensional contact network linking home and abroad."

Monday, February 8, 2016

Higher education research around the globe

A new Center for Global Higher Education (CGHE) was launched in London on February 2-3, 2016, to intensify research on the importance of international higher education. CGHE is comprised of six centers from different continents with explicit intent to break up the hegemony of European and western influences on higher education.

Another article about the emergence of CGHE noted that scholars attending the meeting raised numerous critical questions all the way from the impact of higher education on social mobility to the cost of tuition and to the nature of learning itself. Paul Ashwin, a researcher at CGHE and professor of higher education at Lancaster University commented that the  Center has the potential to redirect research in important value-added questions such as, "What is it that makes a difference in higher education?" and "What do students engage with? " Asserting that teaching doesn't equal learning, Ashwin encouraged research that  investigates learning at a systemic level.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Schwarzman Scholars - China program

An interesting new 1-year masters program is available through Tsinghua University in Bejing, China, in public policy. According to its website, the Schwarzman Scholars "curriculum bridges the academic and professional worlds to educate students about leadership and about China's expanding role in the world." Established by one of China's leading universities and partnering with other highly reputable international institutions, this is surely one of the best opportunities one could have to learn about China, become immersed in a very important culture, and obtain a degree that combines both good academic and cocurricular experiences.

International connections in research

As academic research collaboration across borders continues to expand, economic and reputational benefits increase. That is the essence of this Global Networks Amplify Local Controversies article. However, the amplification of local questions is the inevitable flip side of the benefits that come from cross-border collaboration. As an example, what happens when a United States publicly-supported university is criticized for the number of international scholars on its faculty? Or, what if the findings of cross-border research end up critiquing one of the collaborator's home country stance on social justice issues? The more active research is pursued across borders, the more likely local issues can suddenly emerge under the international spotlight.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Saudi Arabia changes scholarship rules

The growing budget crises facing many OPEC countries has now begun to impact higher education opportunity for young people. Saudi has announced that students who wish to study abroad must select from top-tier universities and must achieve minimum academic standards. A more recent article by Elizabeth Reddin for Inside Higher Education provides deeper analysis of potential shifts in Saudi students studying in the U.S.A.

Monday, February 1, 2016

European students benefit from ERASMUS exchange in many ways

The impact of EU-funded study in another country through ERASMUS exchanges are significant and broad. Specifically, students who take advantage of this opportunity are more likely to find jobs, ascend to management positions, live abroad and find life partners from other nationalities. Striving for full employment of young adults is a concern throughout EU countries. The  very encouraging news is that the positive impact of ERASMUS exchanges was greater for southern and eastern EU countries, where unemployment is a bigger problem than in the west and north.

While the ERASMUS Impact Study found that students who participate in exchanges start ahead of their peers, 52% of the students who participate still experience significant further gains related to employability characteristics such as tolerance for ambiguity, curiosity, confidence, serenity, decisiveness and vigor. The ERASMUS exchange benefit likely extends to students from outside the EU who choose to attend European institutions.