This week’s reading delved more into the complications associated with the growing importance of internationalization and the competition amongst nations. As we learned last week, instead of every country developing their own policies and programs, there should be a form of equity, quality, and accountability. Currently, each nation is fixated on quantity, instead of quality, regardless of the financial burden they may be encountering. I don’t find this surprising since higher education institutions have been striving toward this goal internally. State contributions for American Colleges and institutions are slowly dwindling and these institutions feel the need to get as many students enrolled to generate money from their tution. Hence, student success takes the backburner and it becomes more about filling seats. According to Reisberg (2016), institutions are more attracted to international students because they cannot qualify for federal or state aid and usually pay majority of the costs of tuition, housing, and other expenses. Plus they can charge them more fees for being out-of-country students. But, what about the international students who cannot afford it? Is it fair that they would be robbed of an opportunity to study abroad in an anticipated country because money trumps a students’ chance to address global problems?
American institutions are now considering methods to increase retention and develop assessment tools to help them determine if a student learned. But how can students be assessed if there isn’t a common goal. Even K-12 has been struggling for years, tinkering with policies to measure a student’s growth, but has encountered failure. The reading mentioned failure is expected when trying new policies, but how long should these policies be in force before we realize it isn’t working? Should they be long term or short term? How can we measure the success of study abroad programs if every country doesn’t agree on its key factors? In what way should the following be prioritized across the board: workforce development, mutual understanding, global citizenship, national security, and improving higher education quality?
One aspect that stood out to me during the reading was that the U. S. A. is one of two countries that practices internationalization at home, meaning it is infused within its curriculum. Since Junior High School we have all been expected/required to take a foreign language. Although I have taken Spanish classes since the 6th grade, I am nowhere close to carrying on a conversation with an individual fluent in the language. Therein lies the oversight that a country cannot provide such a small portion of one culture and except proficiency. At the same time, you cannot place an international student with a difference experience, value system, and background in a class, without the proper resources and support, and expect them to acclimate abruptly without conflict. In order to achieve unity and harmony, support is necessary. Support not only from faculty and staff, but the country housing foreign students need to align policies and laws such as immigration and citizenship with the strategic plans of internationalization. If not, study abroad because a lose-lose situation for foreign students.