International higher education at Baruch College

The hybrid graduate course “International Higher Education: Policies and Practices” comes to an end. We aimed to provide a comparative perspective on international higher education at two primary levels-policy developments and institutional practices. At the policy level, we discussed and analyzed diverse contexts and approaches for education policies. At the institutional level, we delved into constraints and choices which define various internationalization strategies. The overarching objective of the course was to provide research/theoretical foundations and at the same time provide practical perspectives to students.iNTERNATIONAL higher education policies and strategies graduate hybrid course by Dr. Rahul Choudaha

The course provided at least two major unique elements of learning:

  1. First, this blog served as a collective outcome of course discussions and reflections. An opportunity to learn a blogging tool but also shape the learning experience in an interactive and gradual manner.
  2. Second, two panels of international higher education professionals who provided diverse perspectives on the state of the sector and shared their career trajectories. It helped students to get a practical perspective to the theory/research on international higher education.

The panelist were:

Panel 1: May 02

  • Patricia Burlaud, Dean of Operations, Assessments and Accreditation (Global Academic Programs) at New York Institute of Technology
  • AlessiaLefebure, Director of the Alliance at Columbia University
  • Melissa Vivian, Global Experiences Director of Academic Internships

Panel 2: May 16

  • Susi Rachouh, Director of International Programs, Stevens Institute of Technology
  • James Shafer, Director, Global Language Institute/American English Program at New Jersey City University
  • Nori Jaffer, Associate Vice President, International Division, Berkeley College

I wish students the very best intheir endeavors with international higher education. And, a fun and relaxing summer!

Dr. Rahul Choudaha


Make Up Blog Post

After our panel this week I became really interested in agencies and how many institutions were becoming visa mills for students. The panelist spoke about how it is easier to work with an outside agency because having a department specifically for helping the students with obtaining a visa can be time consuming but also very costly. Though the agencies do alleviate some stress on institutions they also can cause much harm if the agency is granting visa unlawfully. I recently read an article that the accrediting agency ACICS has recently been responsible for accrediting agencies generating false visas. Institutions and even administrators have gotten in trouble for going along with these agencies and even stated the CEO of Herguan College of Sunnydale California was incarcerated for  immigration fraud. It is sad to see that higher education is being used as a money mill by giving these students false hope. I recently worked with a student in my office who told me she attended an institution that was closed down for immigration fraud. Due to the accusations we were not recognizing the institution or its credits. She was very upset because she had spent many years at the institution and felt that her money was lost. Agencies and institutions who involve themselves with these practices do not realize the harm they can cause students who are not even requesting the visas.

It was also brought to my attention that this impedes foreign universities working with new institutions. They are more skeptical about working with new agencies who claim they are going to help students with the visa process because it could be a scam. The agencies that have been successful in the past now will receive more business but this could make wait times longer for visas and delay the students from coming to the United States to begin their course work. I feel that accrediting agencies should be more specific about what criteria agencies and institutions need to have. There should also be thorough check ups throughout the year so that this is not found out years later where it effects so many students. In the future it would be nice to see one agency with multiple locations working on visa accomidations for students who wish to come study in the United States. This will allow for less errors and more eyes available to check that regulations are being met.

Blog 13: Melissa Parsowith (Make-up Post, in lieu of attendance of last class, 5.16)

For my final make-up blog post, I decided to dissect an article published by a prominent group in International Higher Education, NAFSA. NAFSA is an association of international educators and the acronym stands for National Association of Foreign Student Advisers. NAFSA is a non-profit professional organization for professionals in all areas of international education, including but not limited to: education abroad, advising and administration, campus internationalization, admissions, outreach, overseas advising, and ESL administration. I really liked this article titled, “The Changing Landscape of Global Higher Education,” because I think it ties together some common themes of this course.

To begin, the article opens by identifying what this organization considered Internationalization to be. They write “Internationalization is the conscious effort to integrate and infuse international, intercultural, and global dimensions into the ethos and outcomes of postsecondary education. To be fully successful, it must involve active and responsible engagement of the academic community in global networks and partnerships.” I absolutely agree with their definition of Internationalization as it relates to our class discussions and findings.

The article goes on to explain that NAFSA finds internationalization extremely important, and they have tried to contribute to international higher education in many different ways. NAFSA was instrumental in the formation of the Inter-Associational Network on Campus Internationalization (INCI), which recently debuted a common portal for information on internationalization from the 11 INCI organizations (see They also contribute efforts within promoting policies to enhance international education and exchange between the United States and other nations. NAFSA was founded in 1948, so with over 60 years of experience, they have a strong resume of providing professional services for postsecondary exchange students.

Another great practice which NASFA promotes is their annual conference. NAFSA’s annual conference and expo is the largest and most recognized venue in the world for international educators. Once described as an event which is “a United Nations of International Education,” this event brings together 7,500 attendees from all corners of the globe to learn more about the field, share best practices, and network with colleagues. “The bustling and vibrant conference exhibit hall features more than 450 organizations, universities, and companies who support international education. Conference participants and exhibitors alike say that NAFSA is the one conference that individuals in the field of international education must attend each year.”

Like many things that we have discussed in class, NAFSA also believes that the future of international higher education is a growing one. They strongly believe that by the year 2025, the global demand for higher education seats will as much as double to roughly 200 million per year, most of which will come from today’s emerging economies. Therefore, I think it is a great idea to look at organizations such as NAFSA for a deeper look into where international higher education is headed, and what other similar organizations are around to help support this growing cause.

Make- Up Post

Last semester I was enrolled in an educational policy course that focused on the policies for K-12 Eduacation. It was valuable to learn the options parents, students, and teachers are given at that level to determine where higher education institutitons would be able to take advantage of servicing low income students before their first semester in college. I just perused through an article by Butrymowicz that illustrates how Australia surpassed the U. S. in graduating low income and first generation students.  Through the program Fast Forward, eligbilble students (low-income or single parent family,  first in their family to enter a higher education program,  at least one unemployed parent or be in foster care) are taught how to study effectively, visit campuses, how to apply to college and scholarship opportunities within the first three years. During their final year in highschool, seniors attended sessions that helped them create and build on their resumes, challenged their personal and professional career goals, introduced them to the benefit of study abroad, and be basics of adjusting to college life.

Throughout this course, we have continuously mentioned the lack of funding higher education institutions receive via the government, especially for international programs in the U. S. Ultimately, the students that are able to participate in these types of programs are wealthier students because they can afford it. Although Australia hasn’t experienced budget cuts to this program like American insitutions have been struggling to overcome, the concept of the government giving schools money to educate low-income and first generation students earlier is conducive to closing the gaps amongst classes. As we have discussed in class and from my own personal experience, students will stay and graduate if they successfully acclimate to the college experience. Factors that have a major influence on acclimation include joining clubs/organizations, preparation and knowledge of what to expect before the first class, less stress on financial matters, and having an overall positive, impactful learning opportunity (study abroad). Imagine each institution signing a contractual oath each with the government explaining in detail how its misson and strategic plans carries out the government’s goals on higher education. Instead of orientations in two weeks before school, eligble high school students and parents are being groomed for post-secondary education. This means parents can learn to start saving earlier for their children to partake in study abroad programs. I can only see a win-win result.


Make-Up Post: International Internships

Our recent guest speaker M.Vivian shared her insight on international internships and her role working working with students, companies and institutions. Reading further on this, the articles I found speak of many of the benefits we have covered when discussing the internationalization of higher education this semester. But there is the issue of the high cost of the international summer internships and the disparity in access. The article The Impact of International Internships and Short-Term Immersion Programs looks into the international internships at Middlebury College. Many of the internships are with international non-profits and NGO’s. Middlebury admin note that internships provide real-world experience, and the real-world involves the challenge of cross cultural adaptation. The University of Pennsylvania has an extensive international internship program that focuses on non-profits and start-ups. They active encourage students to seek opportunities that are outside of western Europe, Australia and New Zealand, and those selected receive awards that can cover up to 75% of expenses.

A look at third party internship providers shows why the concept of interning abroad can be controversial. In the aptly titled articles Internships Abroad: Unpaid, with a $10,000 Price Tag, and Foreign Interns Head to China, the New York Times covers the rising demand for international internship and the students (and families) who are willing to pay high sums for the experience. Many of the students profiles in the Times articles were business, marketing and finance majors, they spoke of the competitiveness in the job market and the belief that international experience would make them stand out. The high-priced unpaid internships are viewed as an investment, with the return on  investment being post-graduation employment.

There is the issue of inequality- the wealthier students who can afford these experiences will have an advantage in the job market. Which is probably true. But is it anymore of a disparity than the student who can afford a degree from NYU vs the student with a degree from a local public university? I believe that the broader scale benefits we have discussed on the topic of internationalizing higher ed apply just as much to internships. And while the number of interns seeking financial firms is probably greater than those seeking NGO’s, either position has the potential to contribute to greater cross-cultural awareness among college graduates and if they have the opportunity and the means to experience a summer interning abroad, institutions should support it.


Resources: Internships Abroad: Unpaid, with a $10,000 Price Tag

Foreign Interns Head to China:

UPenn International Internship Program:

The Impact of International Internships and Short-Term Immersion Programs : Retrieved from: