Friday, January 24, 2020

New art de vivre programs in France

Some European universities, especially those in France, are beginning to take advantage of the perception of luxury that their commercial brands carry. French business schools are using the luxury link to attract Chinese students in particular. Brands such as Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and Dior are well known and are identified as distinctive art de vivre to attract elites in countries where new wealth is now emerging.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Iranian students being rejected by U.S. Customs

With tensions rising with Iran, U.S. Customs and Border control have begun targeting, and rejecting in some cases, Iranian students from entering for study. Reflecting the sentiment of the National Iranian American Council, a member commented, "I certainly think the U.S. is doing long-term damage to our ability to recruit really bright people, bring them here and have them excel in institutions of higher learning across the country."

U.S. Customs and Border control deemed a Michigan State doctoral student from Iran inadmissible and pressured him to sign a statement withdrawing his application for a visa before putting him on a plane to return to Iran.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

American University of Afghanistan at risk

As the international political landscape shifts, with the U.S.A. response primarily reflecting competitive isolation, soft power diplomacy such as that available in educational partnerships, are at risk. The American University of Afghanistan, established in 2006, appears to be at risk as a result of declining USAID support. Thomas Barfield, President of AUF, indicates, "This has been one of the major projects of the U.S. government on the soft side, the largest and most visible project. If you're willing to pull the plug on that, is that an indication that you're willing to pull the plug on Afghanistan, too? That has implications that go well beyond a year's funding for a particular aid project."

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Lopsided enrollment in China

As access to higher education in China expands, Chinese families outside major urban areas are not satisfied with the access they have. Access by region also relates to socio-economic status and students with lower means find that they are unable to gain admission to the best institutions. Expanding access is typically followed by rising aspiration among all prospective students and that includes aspiration to the most prestigious universities. As European and U.S.A. higher education indicate, allowing the access but perpetuating a quality gap can result in future socio-economic stratification that will not serve the government or the people.

Supporting international graduate students in U.S.A.

While international undergraduate enrollment is larger than graduate, the roles graduate students play in U.S.A. institution is critical. These international graduate students are placed in assistantships that support research and teaching. In the teaching assistantship, how do international GAs learn to conduct themselves in classrooms where the style of teaching and relationship between instructor and student may be very different than what they previously experienced? Three graduate students at the University of Rochester share their perspectives on what it takes to support international GAs and it isn't hard - empathic communication and cultural receptivity are key.

International graduate students are also positioning themselves for careers, perhaps beginning with extended practical study in the U.S.A. While graduate students in all academic areas need support, particularly those in the humanities may require greater assistance in preparing for and pursuing placements both in and outside of higher education.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Liberal arts and inclusive leadership sought by employers

Jonathan McBride of BlackRock Investments gave small liberal arts college presidents good news at their Council of Independent Colleges meeting. He urged college leaders to not fall into the specialization trap but, instead, to teach students how to learn which will better prepare them for the changes they will see in work life in the future. He also suggested that inclusive leadership is one of the primary skills graduates need to have and that this might be something that could be certified, much in the same way that coding skills are certified.

While inclusive leadership is, indeed, one of the most important abilities a college graduate should possess, how cultivating that ability is done and who certifies remains a critical question and one that is more complicated than setting up a certificate.

Friday, January 3, 2020

Strategies to stabilize enrollment

Hudson Valley Community College (HVCC) in New York hopes to stabilize its enrollment decline through the combined strategies of connecting with other institutions around the world and reaching into its own community to attract students interested in faith-based education. HVCC President, Roger Ramsammy, is leading the way toward a more adaptive approach with international partners that he says seeks to become "part of the infrastructure of the education systems" in countries where they are now reaching out. Instead of just setting up programs, HVCC strives to open dialogue with political leaders in other countries asking them what would be useful.