For this week’s reading we took a step out of internationalization and higher education and examined educational challenges as well as reforms. The OECD’s piece on the State of Higher Education was a summary of what I expect was a lengthy piece on the challenges and reforms in higher education in OECD countries. The executive summary dealt with a brief overview of developing a framework to monitor and enhance quality in higher education, examining higher education through a business model framework and research funding. I would have like to read the entire report, in particular the section dealing with strengthening’s business models in HEIs. For those of us who took Financing of Higher Education with Professor Apfel, we discussed often that higher education institutions run a fine line between being considered a business and a charity. While strengthening the business side of HEIs are important it is also good to note that any changes to the business model should keep in mind the mission and goals of colleges and universities. An article in the New England Journal of Higher Education discusses the need and importance of exploring new business models. The New England College Board of Higher Education website also provides information on the topic. It is clear that HEIs have to explore new options to deal with the continuous changing landscape of higher education.

The second reading, also authored by the OECD looks at reforms related to education in OECD countries. Reforming education is an ongoing process. I am not sure if there has been a time in any country where the stakeholders related to educational policy have been pleased with education for a long-period of time. In the United States as with other countries there have been policy cycles related to education. These cycles depend on who is in charge and what they see as the problem. In the 1960s, President Kennedy and Johnson focused on greater equity in schools, this also was the time of desegregation in public schools. By the 1980s, President Reagan believed that the educational standards in America were leading to a “rising tide of mediocrity”. By the 2000s, President Bush had established “No Child Left Behind” as the educational policy for the country and currently President Obama, created “Race to the Top” and backed the Common Core initiatives. The United States has a history of trying to reform education using the policy levers that are mentioned in the OECD piece. However,  when administrations change the policy are not continued or they change as well.

The challenges and reforms discussed in both reading can be connected to the internationalization of higher education. As HEIs are looking to become more internationalized, they will face challenges related to the cost effectiveness, improving the quality of programs as well as issues with equity. Any challenges that are related to the internationalization of higher education have to be addressed the same way we  address traditional issues in higher education, by always keeping in mind the mission and goals of HEIs.

-Jonelle Gulston

6 thoughts on “W7- Taking a step out of Internationalization

  1. Hello, I believe the readings did a good job in expressing how reform need to occur in higher education. I also think the ideas presented can be applicable to internationalization of higher education. From reading other post, I think we can agree that there is so much going on in terms of education, quality, and funding. Going back to the 1st class reforms of any educational policy need to be placed with higher important to the U.S government. As you state these challenges are related to the internationalization of higher, but If reform in internationalization is not important within the reform acts of the U.S government or the State, U.S institution have to face most of the burden in funding internationalization polices and programs.

  2. Hi Jonelle,
    Thanks for your post! I absolutely loved the point that you brought up from Professor Apfel’s finance class. One of the trickiest things for me to first understand as a new student of Higher Education was the idea that schools serve dual purposes: they can be public commodities and they can also be private entities. They promote growth, knowledge and learning, but they are also a kind of business designed to generate revenue and maintain a steady customer base (admissions). I agree that the direction institutions take vary upon the current political administration, and would be curious to know where you thought we may be headed in this field after the next election!
    Melissa Parsowith

  3. I also took Professor Apfel’s finance class, and it was great that you brought up his explanation of higher ed institutions having a place between a business and a charity. In addition to the challenge of assuring that financing is in sync with the institutional mission are the sources institutions rely on for funding. increasingly, the role of the university president is also that of a fundraiser, however it is rare that sought-after large donations are unrestricted. It may be a challenge for a president to convice a donor to fund the creation of a Dean of International Ecucation, rather than put money towards new facilities. There are also varying degree of autonomy between public institutions and state governments. As state governments have pulled back on higher ed funding, some institutions have sought greater independence. Institutions certainly need to explore new business models as many current strategies (tuition/fee increases, fundraising, out-of-state recruitment) can have drawbacks.

    -Allison Olly

  4. Hello Jonelle,

    Thank you for you insightful post this week. I appreciate you intertwining the Finance of Higher Education to this post. Internationalization within Higher Education definitely has to find a balance between charity between and business. Currently, I believe the emphasis is heavily on the business model and since the charity aspect is lacking, there hasn’t been much success. this semester I am enrolled in a Fundraising course and as we all know fundraising is the backbone for an institutions sustainability. Instead of seeking donors that would fund the Dean of International Education, I believe it would be more beneficial to seek donations for internalization apart from the school. Although the program is and should be associated with the institution, funding and resources should be a separate entity. (Similar to the bookstore and residence halls)


  5. I feel as though policy makers focus on education because it is so important to us. They know who ever pitches the best educational policy will more than likely get the most votes or generate the most interest. Just about every receive president has some educational plan, as you’ve stated. Unfortunately all of these policies and plans are not for the greater good. Whether this was a known fact before implementation is left up to interpretation, as our classmates have said before, polices aren’t put in place to fail. Dissecting whether this is true or not is the topic of a different class. (lol)

  6. As others have commented on your point, I think you were right in saying that we should have gotten more about the report. I also found the reform of the business models of higher education very interesting. The summary glides over many important points but i feel like we would have had a better understanding of what they meant by “business model reform”. Also, the point about higher education being a on that fine line between business and charity. There really needs to be a balance between these two; neither the business side nor the charity side can be neglected.

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