Saturday, April 30, 2016

New NGO laws in China

China has passed new laws requiring Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) operating in China to register their activities with police and public security agencies. The state media of China put out a statement that colleges, hospitals, science and technology institutions would not be required to follow the new laws but would be governed under existing policies. Still, until the impact of the new law is tested, those pursuing international partnerships with China are likely to be cautious about potential restrictions that could undermine the work.

An additional article by Elizabeth Redden provided more detail and continued to echo concerns about the Chinese NGO provisions. The bottom line is that, although Chinese officials have reassured higher education institutions that the NGO laws did not target them, the self-censoring that might take place in order to avoid problems in higher education ventures in China will have a potentially chilling impact on what has been an expansion industry.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

International enrollment - filling a budget gap rather than serving students

The New York Times profiled Western Kentucky University for the problems it has encountered after using recruiters to bolster its full-pay international student enrollment. WKU is only one of many examples where the use of recruiters has resulted in students arriving on site with inadequate English and academic preparation to be successful. The President of WKU, Dr. Gary Ransdell, indicated that the university had long sought to increase international enrollment as an educational resource for its domestic students. The decision to enlist the help of recruiters is where the strategy appears to have gone wrong.

A follow-up by Inside Higher Education found that 25 of the 60 Indian students who were admitted to WKU through recruiting agents were unfit to study in the computer science program.

Monday, April 25, 2016

American Council on Education's "Internationalization in Action"

Heather Ward, Senior Program Specialist at the American Council on Education, is the author of "Internationalizing the Co-curriculum." This installment is the third in a three-part series included in ACE's "Internationalization in Action" initiative and reflects multiple perspectives on how to enhance students' out-of-class experiences as a complement to what is happening in the classroom and laboratory.

ACE was instrumental in supporting student affairs in 1937 when it convened the committee that drafted the "Student Personnel Point of View." ACE's internationalization efforts have embraced and encouraged educators to again approach student engagement and learning as a holistic phenomenon. Organized into the three broad sections of I. Student Affairs on the Front Lines of Internationalization, II. Internationalization of the Student Affairs Profession, and III. Student Affairs in the World, this comprehensive review provides concrete and helpful advice that should be seriously considered by student affairs professionals and broader university leadership. Thankfully, Ward closes with the question of whether or not there is or should be a universal model of student affairs. The answer - student affairs professionals must be culturally aware and flexible in order to respond to the breadth of national and cultural environments where student affairs is now unfolding.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

S. Korean efforts to internationalize

South Korean universities are seeking to internationalize and with some indicators of positive progress. The President of Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology indicated in a recent interview with Times Higher Education that 85% of the university's courses were taught in English but that special efforts have to be made to attract/retain international students and faculty.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Study abroad opportunity expanding to community colleges

In an article written by Ashley Smith for Inside Higher Education, the importance of international experience is reinforced as being as important for community college students as it is for students pursuing bachelors degrees at 4-year and graduate institutions. In order to expand to the broader market of community college students, short-term study may be more popular and funding to assist students in financing their travel may be required.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Middle Eastern students feel unsafe at Idaho State University

With some U.S.A. universities expanding the number and diversity of international students, creating campus and community environments that support them is essential. Idaho State University is facing the loss of perhaps 70% of its students from Kuwait and Saudi Arabia as a result of threat and violence they experience. While they report satisfaction with their coursework, Middle Eastern students express dissatisfaction with the overall university response to their concerns.

Scholars disagree about role of Hinduism in India

Elizabeth Redden reports on disagreements among scholars in their understanding of Hinduism in India. The article reinforces the importance of critically examining the cultural understandings scholars bring to any discipline or topic. Especially in a country where a specific religion is central to cultural foundations, great efforts must be taken to be sure that the scholarly perspective asserted is respectful.

International research collaboration - benefits and frustrations

Research partnerships across national borders are an important way to build capacity of partners but can also lead to frustrations. Common problems that are encountered include "misunderstandings, different jargon, unrealistic expectations, mismatched capabilities and excessive bureaucracy." An OECD report cited in the article encourages specific action to avoid these impediments to cooperation.

Another article explored the benefits that accrue to institutions in Argentina who joined in cross-border research projects. Argentina's National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET) found that its partnerships with the U.S.A., Spain and Brazil composed 40% of all research production in Argentina. These partnerships resulted in enhanced results, improved academic performance, and development of critical human resources.

Branch campuses - opportunities and challenges

It is hard to obtain articles that honestly evaluate the opportunities and challenges of branch campuses, especially those informed by staff who actually work in them. One short article that gets to some of the core issues was written by Khadija Mosaad looks specifically at the branch campuses in the Arabian Gulf.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Human rights may impact cross-national programs

Human rights violations may impact not only reputation but also the accreditation and legal status of the sponsoring institutions.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Extended visas for international students - mixed results

International students sometimes seek visa extensions after graduation to gain work experience in the countries where they study. Recognized as an incentive for international students, countries modify their approaches to attract them to higher education and also as a way to retain a young and talented international workforce. Unfortunately, a recent report found that the result in Canada was reduced quality in some university programs and low wages for international students staying in the country for work after graduation.