Having taken an educational policy course last semester, I learned that implementing a policy and accurately assessing the effectiveness of the policy is a long and time-consuming process, which the reading also touched upon. In regards to internationalization of higher education, the implementation seems to be easier than the follow-up assessment of the outcomes and impacts (and not just on the outputs). But at the same time, there has been concerns that implementation, specifically in regards to branch campuses, can cause chaos and confusion as well. As with different cultures and customs in different countries, it seems each country has different meanings for the various terminology used in a higher education setting.

The confusion caused by not being on the same page for things as simple as what a “joint-degree” means can have great impact on the subsequent effectiveness of the branch campus and the policies in place. It is hard enough to measure the outcomes and impacts (which the reading emphasizes are the two thing that can better determine the effectiveness of a policy), but when the implementation is already causing negative effects, the policy in place won’t be accurately assessed. Therefore, as mentioned in the reading and in the article, it is ever more important for the parties involved to be aware of what the policy and implementation are affecting.

Another issue that came to mind as I was reading through other articles was the impact of branch campuses and transnational education on the local institutions. The article mentions how the branch campuses often are able to hire better faculty because they can offer better pay than local public institutions, which takes away from the local institutions. And there is concern that graduates from the branch campuses will be more attractive in the eyes of potential employers. While it is great and understandable why a country would want to engage in more internationalization, it is increasingly important that policies are created and implemented with an all encompassing picture of the entire higher education landscape in mind (both local and international).

The reading also touches upon how there is little focus on helping students returning from abroad transition back, which undermines the effectiveness of the internationalization initiative. I remember when I returned from studying abroad, even something as simple as being able to speak with others who were returning helped with the transition and also with how to better promote the skills learned from the experience to future employers. If one of the motivations to internationalization is to better the economy and society, then it is definitely important to help those who return learn how to effectively use the experiences they gained.

4 thoughts on “W3 – Cross-Border Education & Assessing Policy Effectiveness

  1. Hi Victoria, good article.
    I think that the lack of continuous services available to students post-international study is a major problem. I work with an organization called Global Professional Search that provides job matching services for global professionals. They initially started as a company with a related international scope but later transitioned into an international employment agency because of the continuous outcry from major corporations that claimed they could not assemble culturally competent work staff. I work along this organization for several reasons but also to sharpen my skills as a career services professional in leveraging student’s foreign language and global experiences into a widget (usually a resume) that resonates with employers in a real way. Employers want people with the ability to empathize with cultures all over the world – to deliver the highest value of services to customers around the world.


  2. I agree with your assessment that implementation assessment cannot ignore the unique issues the country at issue faces and navigates with respect to internationalization. With respect to India, others have mentioned the fact that since nationalization only occurred in the early 90’s, the country’s economic policies are likely to affect matters such as branch campus regulation. India does indeed have a history of protectionist policies and a cautious approach to multi-national investment and/or encroachment. I know this is the case with international law firms wanting to do business in India and the mindset of requiring collaboration with existing Indian institutions seems to guide higher education as well to protect the human resources and intellectual capital already existing in the country. If rules regarding branch campuses in India are in fact relaxed, the response to international faculty and salary within the Indian higher education community will be an interesting one to follow and will likely impact implementation of such campuses.

  3. Hi Victoria,

    I like how you bring up the importance of assessment of these programs/initiatives and how this has proven to be very difficult. I hadn’t thought of it from the perspective of how different cultures, languages and terminology used on college campuses effect how programs are evaluated. The article you linked to was very interesting and addressed how common terminology, data collection and regulation is necessary and now I feel this is something that must be agreed upon at the start of a branch campus or even an exchange partnership between two universities. I remember when I studied abroad a big obstacle to overcome was credit transfers and how many credits I would get for each course I took overseas and what that course would equate to at my home institution.

  4. Hi Victoria,

    I think the attraction that branch campuses bring by being able to hire faculty and have technology that other universities in that country cannot obtain is the whole point. Higher education is a business at the end of the day and branch campuses allow the business to make more profit by not having “in-state” tuition as an option. Even though they are able to offer faculty and employees more attracting more students I do not feel all employers in these countries will feel more inclined to hire these graduates due to the fact that they may not want infiltration of culture or technology changing there norms.
    In regards to incentives to have students return to their home countries I agree that there is not much being done there here in the U.S. The reason I believe they are not as motivated to provide incentives compared to other countries is because there are already built in incentives for the smartest and most successful people to come work here with high salaries and our way of living. Other countries may not be so attractive in those aspects which is why they need to outsource the education but then provide incentives to then bring those graduates back.

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