Hi good morning everyone
My name is Daneille Grant this is my third semester in the HEA program here at Baruch. I graduated from SUNY College at Old Westbury with a BA in Psychology. It was during my undergraduate career that I discovered Higher Education/ Student Affairs as a profession. Thanks to my undergrad and a few mentors I was able to attend the NASPA conference for two years which helped me realize this was truly an area I wanted to work in. While taking my classes at Baruch I realized that I wanted to work with the Freshman Experience, focusing primarily on First Generation College Students, seeing that I am First Gen myself, I believe that I could use my background and the knowledge I have gained throughout undergraduate and graduate careers to foster a comfortable environment for other First Gen students. I currently work for CUNY Central in the Office of University Registrar as a Student Records Assistant. Upon the completion of my degree I hope to go on to more lucrative positions within Higher Ed.
The articles opened my eyes to internationalization within American institutes of higher education. With America boasting to the best in the world in terms of many things, including education, it is no surprise that people would want to attend schools on American soil for whatever reasoning. Often time people can come to the states having received degrees from reputable institutions in their country, but not be accepted her because the education is “not equivalent” to that offered in the states, forcing people to live below their means, people who were considered doctors lawyers in their home countries not allowed to practice here, having to start over.
In the Altbach article, international education is used to show globalization, this can be used to show progress of education, the access to study aboard, and having the option to attend college/university anywhere in the world, is proof of how far we as a people have come in the world. Study aboard serves to attract many students to a country, it can foster diversity, raise revenue, and is also promotion of the country and the host institution. Online classes might have thought to be beneficial in this accept, but as pointed out in the Oxford article, although Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) give a wider range for students who may not be able to physically or financially be able to do study aboard or leave their countries, a 2013 study revealed that students often times do not complete these online courses, there could be a wide range of reasons for this.
In the Green article, the use of the IAU survey shows exactly how America feels about internationalization. In the states, we have less of a focus on internationalization when compared to other nations globally, which could be correlated to the thought that “America is the leading nation in….” just about everything, supposedly. People within the US face difficulty completing college, it’s no surprise that people not born here would be faced with the same difficulties and that would threaten retention and graduation rates in a nation every college compete against each other to be “Number 1” these students may not be accepted with open arms.
America is a melting pot, and attract many immigrants to its shores for many reasons, education is a large part of life itself, America needs to reevaluate its stance on internationalization. Education on American soil is a multi-billion dollar industry, to calm you are the best in the world, but cannot or refusal to accommodate students globally is primitive.
This week’s article focused on four aspects that are key to internationalization on a higher education level. These four aspects are student mobility, scholar mobility, cross-border education and internationalization at home. Funding that is provided to create and manage higher education comes from federal government, state government, accrediting agencies and higher education institutions themselves. It is no surprise that funding is the root issue that can make or break a program.
A running theme throughout the article is federal funding in combination with a broad-spectrum of contributions, is a key aspect to the success of internationalization policies in U.S. With majority of funds going to higher education institutions within the U.S. it’s not surprising that there is very little money is left to support internationalization efforts that we currently have. Let alone to go about starting new ones. The charts on pages 37-38, show just how much money other countries spend on internationalization efforts, (Saudi Arabia annually funds $6 billion in their King Abdullah Foreign Scholarship Program), when compared to how much is spent annually within the U.S. the ACE reveals that the U.S. while internationalization efforts aren’t funding by our own government (directly), it is interesting to note that we do get funding from foreign governments. The ACE itself discusses how unfair this is. Foreign governments are funding our efforts, but we may or not have a relationship with them in regards to internationalization in the educational sense outside of funding.
With the development of new technologies and other advancements made in other countries, the U.S. federal government has started to support the mobility of scholars and research collaboration policies. Having the resources we already have on our home front, combined with the knowledge that other countries can provide our students will give our students an advantage when they venture out to the world, this is something the government has realized.
In terms of cross-border education, there is very little concentration, at this point, from the U.S. government. That’s not to say we do not have any efforts at all. This week’s article revealed to us that there is a cross-border education effort between the U.S. and the Indian government: the United States-India Educational Foundation (USIEF), which is funded by both countries. And in other my earlier posts I briefly discussed cross border efforts between the U.S. and the Middle East.
It is hard for the U.S. to come together collectively to focus on a process of internationalization. Within the U.S. there thousands of colleges and universities that are pretty much individually ran, with their own mission statements etc., and it is safe to say we here in America pride ourselves on having freedom in our educational efforts, so this poses an issue when it comes to possibly imposing internationalization on schools, no matter if it is for the betterment of the country.
I chose to focus on the section in the reading pertaining to student mobility as I take a personal initiative in these programs and hope to work in a study abroad or for a student exchange program after completing my masters. I was excited to see the scholarship programs available in the US to international students choosing to study in the United States and particularly happy about the graduate student scholarships, as I wonder if a higher percentage of these students wish to stay and work in the US after receiving their graduate degree. However, I do know only a small percentage of international students receive scholarships and due to the high sticker price international students must pay and their ineligibility to apply for financial aid, studying in the US seems out of reach for many international students.
While reading this document, its clear that the process of internationalization in the US is very segmented, with the government supporting some initiatives, each college and university having very different policies and programs, and influence from non-governmental agencies. Much of the scholarship initiatives for inbound students are only funded by the State Department; however, the scholarship programs for outbound students are much more robust, with funding from the State Department, the National Security Education Program, and the Paul Simon Study Abroad Act which provides $80 million per year for study abroad to individuals and institutions. In addition to these governmental funding of scholarships, I did some research on private and non-profit organizations that offer funding for students wanting to study abroad. NAFSA provides a list of search engines to use and the Institute of International Education (IIE) provides and entire search engine website specifically for IIEPassport Study Abroad Funding. According to the Institute of International Education, a total of 304,467 students studied abroad for academic credit in the 2013-2014 academic year. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, there were 17.5 million undergraduate students at postsecondary degree granting institutions in the United States in the Fall of 2013. If these numbers are accurate, that equates to approximately 2% of the entire undergraduate population who is actually “mobile” and successfully studying overseas. President Obama’s 100,000 Strong initiatives: one from 2009 which aimed to have a national effort to increase the number of students studying in China and another in 2011 which had the goal of doubling student mobility (both inbound and outbound) between the US and Latin America and the Caribbean. The former program was originally housed by the State Department but now is an independent foundation. The second program is a collaboration between the State Department and NAFSA- Association of International Educators and Partners of the Americas. I had not previously heard of these initiatives, so I continued to investigate and it looks like President Obama’s goal was reached in 2014, when 100,000 US students studied in China that year. In addition, there was a 5% increase in Americans studying in China last year and a 23% increase in Chines students studying in the US last year. I think these are amazing statistics and proof that a program like this, coming from the President, has the power to reach big goals in only a few short years. While the document talks about whether an overarching national policy would be truly effective in advancing internationalization in the US, I think this example proves that it may help more than we think. I think to successfully increase the overall percentage of mobile students, collaboration from the government, non-profit organizations and the colleges themselves is essential.
Focusing this week on internationalization of US higher education in the ACE companion piece to the global perspective from earlier weeks was revealing and highlighted certain key differences in the US approach to internationalization versus other global regions and players. While mobility is a constant in internationalization policies, the US differs in not focusing on cross-border education and not having a comprehensive national policy due its decentralized government and highly diverse and large higher education structure. Rooted in values of public diplomacy, national security, foreign language competency, scientific advancement, and global economic competiveness, the US has robust programs such as the Fulbright scholars but is generally individual focused rather than institutional as is more common in European countries. With the likelihood of a comprehensive US national policy low, and government funding not high, the future of internationalizing US higher education will require advocacy and institutional attention to build on some of the current momentum.
For me, an interesting aspect of this week’s readings was again related to India and its internationalization relationship with the US. As we read about last week, and I focused my blog on, Indian regulation at the national government level does not make for easy cross-border relationships and there is perhaps a need to loosen some of the regulations without compromising the integrity and quality of internationalization programs in higher education. Perhaps not due to high regulation, but an overall lack of focus on it, the US too does not do much in the area of cross-border education and instead focuses on individual student and scholar mobility. It struck me then that one of the countries the US does seem to partner with, particularly in cross-border efforts, is India.
Our reading this week gave two such examples. The first is the one that is jointly funded by the US and the Indian government: the United States-India Educational Foundation (USIEF) which serves to “promote mutual understanding between the nationals of India and the U.S. through educational exchange of outstanding scholars, professional and students” (see http://www.usief.org.in/About-USIEF.aspx). The second is the Indo-U.S. 21st Century Knowledge Initiative which is supported by USIEF but supported by the US State Department. This initiative is somewhat remarkable in that the US has chosen to focus any attention it does on cross-border education to India, a country that has its own regulatory hurdles toward building strong cross-border relationships. It can also be viewed as a milestone initiative in the US shifting its internationalization focus from individual mobility support to institutional partnerships and collaboration. According to ACE, the initiative “provides institution-level grants to U.S. colleges and universities for the purpose of developing partnerships with Indian counterparts” and has invested approximately $250,000 since 2011 (see ACE Report, p. 22). With a public health focus, the initiative encourages collaborations in the area of curriculum design, research collaboration, and team teaching to “develop expertise, advance scholarship and teaching, and promote long-term ties between partner institutions.” (see http://www.usief.org.in/Institutional-Collaboration/Obama-Singh-21st-Century-Knowledge-Initiative-Awards.aspx)
The above examples shed light on perhaps the changing posture of US policies toward a more collaborative and institutional approach to internationalization with State Department support and funding as well as an opening of Indian regulatory postures toward internationalization. These examples perhaps bring together themes of the two ACE companion pieces we have focused on in the last several weeks and articulate some reason for optimism in higher education internationalization for two countries that have productive programs in place but still work to do in this space.
The past three readings have mainly addressed the importance of moving towards internationalization policies and programs that replicate a global equity, quality, and accountability. However, this week’s reading focused on the United States of America developing a comprehensive internationalization policy that entails the interconnectedness of faculty development, mobility, research collaborations, internationalization at home, institutional partnerships, and other aspects. Currently, the state government, federal government, non-governmental agencies, accrediting agencies, and institutions have various programs in force to attain cultural understanding and awareness. However, there are a lot of overlapping ideals, approaches, and funding amongst them. According to the reading, there have be decreases in financing in all areas and this should encourage more interagency coordination and pooling their resources together. I respect the reading stating internationalization within in Higher Education should consider a holistic approach. In the Student Services course, we also discussed a need for higher education institutions following a holistic approach and develop interdepartmental relationships to make the experience more valuable for students, faculty, and staff.
During the reading I was a bit confused about one particular situation. There is a ‘global’ program inforce that only considers foreign students in Asian countries. When I think about the word global, it means encompassing everyone. However, this program is limited in its outreach. Supposedly, there is low mobility in American students partaking in study abroad adventure, and to remedy the problem, the USA brings in more foreign students from Asian countries. However, we don’t have the resources to provide a stable support system for the increase of these Asian students. Our internationalization at home programs mainly consists of teaching students Spanish and French as a foreign language. If most of the students are learning either Spanish or French, how will they be able to communicate with international students from Asian countries? Are the faculty and staff able to effectively communicate with these students as well? If we are spending more resources on educating students on proficiently speaking Spanish and/or French, wouldn’t it be a better idea to recruit international students from Latin American or certain European countries? I understand that the Obama Administration have been developing a policy that will increase study abroad amongst European and Latin American countries, but honestly, that should be a priority. Last week I read an article about Germany offering a free education to its citizens, as well as foreign students from America, China, and Britain. Courses that are offered in English allow Germans to communicate with native speakers and the foreign students are able to learn a new language as well. Germany is also one of the countries re-working its visa to make it easier for foreign students to go to school and work. America really needs to decide if the goal is to keep international students short term or long term.
Another issue that stood out to me had to deal with academic freedom. America wants scholars to have complete academic freedom when studying abroad. I understand that our institutions take pride in faculty having academic freedom, but isn’t the reason behind internationalization is to understand cultural differences? How can we demand American values to be upheld in other country that operates differently than our own? That’s insensitive.