Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Brazil's higher education proposal - internationalization driven by economics

Concerns have been raised about Brazil's evolving national policy for federal universities. The Rectors of these universities, one of whom I spoke to at some depth on a visit to Chile in 2018 (Marcello Knobel), writes in this critique that leaders of the federal universities have not been consulted and that the "Future-seas" policy will amount to a massive divestment in public universities, ultimately leading to greater privatization and the decline of the public good that Brazilian universities currently attempt to fulfill for Brazilian society.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

ASU's "public benefit" corporation

Arizona State University has launched a "public benefit" corporation to continue its push into international higher education. The public benefit designation is different from not-for-profit or for-profit in that it allows the corporation to "focus less on generating profits for shareholders and to instead emphasize strategies aimed at benefiting the public - such as pursuing social justice or environmental goals." It still permits the corporation to make profits and how the public benefit and revenue goals are balanced will be interesting to watch.

The new entity, Cintana Education, will focus on private non-profit international higher education institutions, helping them to expand their on-line and campus enrollment. ASU's experience in growing its enrollment will be leveraged by Cintana Education to help its clients outside of the U.S.A. reach their growth and quality goals.

Trump is only part of international enrollment decline

EducationNext conducted a study of contributing factors to the leveling in 2016 and now decline of international students in the U.S.A. Trump's nationalist focus is partly to blame but other factors include more availability of higher education opportunity in Asia, declining youth population in China, and the cost of attending a U.S. university.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Don't rely too much on Chinese student numbers

Many institutions have relied on international students from China to balance budgets over the last decade. A report from the Center for Independent Studies of Australia analyzed patterns of attendance for Chinese students and found that some institutions' international enrollments represent more than 50% of international students and that total enrollment in some cases generated from 13% to 23% of total revenues. The report warns that the  institutional risk is too great when revenue is so dependent on any specific sub-group.

Enrollment of Chinese students in U.S. institutions bolstered budgets for many universities over the last decade, with large state-supported institutions such as the University of Illinois, University of Iowa, and Michigan State University being examples of the biggest beneficiaries. The numbers are now declining across the board and the combination of demographic decline in college-age Chinese students, the cost of U.S. education, and the perceived hostility toward China in the U.S. are almost sure to mean that the downward trend is the new reality to which the U.S. must adjust.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Popular reading for Chinese students

In order to relate to Chinese students, knowing what they are reading and the views they have can be immensely helpful. 1.6 million WeChat subscribers are reading College Daily. What messages are they getting - after the 2016 Presidential election, the U.S.A. is very divided and appears to be in chaos. By contrast, they via China as controlled, balanced, and predictable.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Call to action in diversity and internationalization

The idea of diversity and inclusion being important to higher education is not a new idea. Nor is the advocacy that international or global awareness is an essential capacity for university graduates in the 21st century. However, any statement that provides weight to diversity and internationalization will help in a era where the core beliefs of their merit are being questioned.

The University Council on Diversity and Inclusion in International Affairs, a group composed of academics from 17 prominent universities, drafted the Call to Action: Enhance Diversity & Inclusion in International Affairs Education as a way to foster more serious commitment in preparing students for the global world we now inhabit. Thus far, 25 deans and over 200 scholars have signed on to the agreement. Writing about the initiative, Carla Koppell of Georgetown advocates that diversity and internationalization is a core competency that must be taken more seriously.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Was sham university entrapment?

A sham university was established to attract prospective international students who the U.S.A. government believed knew their applications and proposed education was fake. However, court rulings indicate that at least some of the students who applied to the University of Northern New Jersey (UNNJ) thought it was real and shouldn't have been subject to the blanket assumption of fraud. The attorney for the international students indicated, "The thrust of the lawsuit was simply to say that you can't set up a phony university and then turn around and claim that everyone who attended committed fraud."

ICE officials arrested 250 international students who gained admission to another fake in Detroit, Michigan, the University of Farmington. The students were primarily from India and were attracted to the reported academic focus of technology and computer science. The international students at Farmington asserted that they were lured into applying after institutions to which they had already been admitted lost their accreditation. Recruiters who referred international students to Farmington and other fake universities have been criminally charged for their role. Some students innocently applied out of desperation but others appeared to know that they hadn't been offered any classes in which to "enroll," substantiating the legal case for their participation in the fraud.

Legislation put forth by multiple elected U.S. officials challenged the actions of the accrediting agency that offered assistance by extending fake accreditation in the entrapment scheme. Elizabeth Warren, and other legislators involved in the challenge said, "It is deeply misleading, unfair and irresponsible to falsify accreditation information that students can and should use to evaluate their educational options before uprooting their lives and making significant financial investments in their education."

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Internationalization within ACPA's social justice and decolonization imperative

ACPA's social justice and decolonization imperative calls for critical examination of privilege and power in all relationships - including students, faculty, staff, and the broader community. While some may see this work as primarily related to the dynamics within the U.S.A., Craig Elliott, Darbi Roberts, and Gudrun Nyunt will address the international question in a Facebook Live conference. How those who embrace internationalization can avoid the debilitating presumptions of superiority and inappropriate application of western educational ideas, policies, and practices is critical. Elliott, Roberts, and Nyunt are courageous in exploring this topic and will hopefully stir others to critically examine their approaches in the future.

Expanding number and diversity in study abroad

Eleven percent of students at U.S.A. institutions study abroad but within this only 1 percent of community colleges students and 5 percent of students at minority-serving institutions access this educational enrichment opportunity. A number of strategies are now being pursued to expand the total number of U.S.A. students who study abroad and specific initiatives are focused on serving underserved populations. One of the strategies being used is short-term trips that end up being gateway experiences that will encourage students to go deeper and longer when they have a good experience.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Australia's incremental improvement policy

When institutions or entire countries seek change in any sector, the question becomes one of should the strategy be revolutionary or evolutionary? In higher education, where vested and independent interests often undermine change, choosing a strategy is perhaps even more important than other sectors.

Australia is working toward a new accountability system for its higher education sector that rewards campuses based on achieving retention, graduation, and satisfaction measures. Those involved with the new system indicate, "We're pretty certain... the model is fair and feasible and can be operated safely by all universities, irrespective of the catchment of students or the subject mix," with the hope of avoiding "perverse outcomes such as making the sector more uniform."

Statements such as the above portray an incremental and contextualized approach to policy transfer and implementation. Change in complex systems where avoiding sabotage and unknowable side-effects is key, Australia may have an approach that will work.