For this week’s reading, this issue of whether or not there should be a comprehensive national policy on internationalization in the United States was examined. Given the structure of the U.S. government and our higher education system, a national policy might not be as effective as in other countries. As mentioned in the reading, the diversity of different types of higher education institutions in the United States makes it difficult to have a national policy that would be general enough to cover all the different institutions but specific enough to to actually be effective. I agree that there should be more collaboration and more effort put into working together with the various governmental agencies and non-governmental agencies to ensure sufficient funding of the various programs that attempt to better the internationalization of the United States higher education system.
Hans de Wit mentioned at the Association of International Education Administrators conference that funding is one of the frequently mentioned challenges of internationalization of higher education. This has caused institutions to view international students as “cash cows”, because more international students means more revenue. The reading also mentions how institutions justify the increase of international students can help balance out the limited number of domestic students that are able to go abroad by bringing the diversity and culture to the home campus. But as the reading also mentions, there seems to be a lack of support for the international students to properly infused their diverse backgrounds into the local culture and benefit the local students. The benefits of the diversity from having international students do not magically manifest themselves without the support from the institution. Institutions need to provide adequate support both for the international students and their own students and faculty to be able to take advantage of the benefits of a diverse community.
De Wit goes on to mention how mobility has been at the forefront of internationalization. Global competitiveness is increasing and causing tension between quantity and quality as more students and scholars go abroad. But there is little focus on the vast majority of students that do not go abroad in the United States. To improve internationalization at the home campus, curriculum and programs can be globalized to increase exposure of all the students to different cultures and languages to allow them to be more globally competent. In the article, de Wit also mentions how there is missing a “more comprehensive approach to internationalization and a focus on internationalization of the curriculum and learning outcomes to enhance the quality of education and research”. Especially when the majority of U.S. college students do not study abroad or research abroad, there needs to be more efforts to globalize the environment at home in order to make all the students more globally competent and open to learning about other cultures.