This week’s readings included global strategic plans of a U.S. state public research university and a community college, as well as the article that examines the higher education system of 4 BRIC countries and comparing the political influences that drive the policies and reforms in their country’s respective higher education systems.
What stuck out to me the most was in Ohio’s global strategic plan and how they mentioned that “few [students] have an understanding of the state of the world within which we live nor an appreciation of the extent to which global forces are impacting on national and local development and vice versa”. This also made me think about how while many of the global strategic plans we have read in class definitely cover how they plan to globalize the curriculum and get more faculty and staff on board, but other than getting more students to study abroad, there seems to be little mention of getting the students on board with the internationalization strategies. And with the increase in fear of international students taking away jobs and also even spots at the universities, it is ever more important to also get the local students on board with the plans the institution has to globalize their campus, because the students are a large group of stakeholders at play.
When mass media consistently spreads fear of the influx of foreigners on college campuses and in job markets, it is not surprising that it causes increasingly resistant local students to the inclusion of international students and the potential benefits the international students bring. As mentioned in class discussions before, reaping the benefits of a more diverse student body requires work on the part of the institution. The institution needs to be able to not only successfully mesh the international students into the local environment and culture, but also to get the local students to be receptive of the international students and the cultures and perspectives they bring.
While this issue of resistance does not seem to be something that can be changed on the policy level, since policy cannot directly dictate what the students should do and how they should react to the situation, there are things that can be changed in the primary and secondary schools to expose students early on about the benefits of have a more globalized curriculum and be more accepting of other cultures and traditions. All in all, it is great that both strategic plans read this week show a great amount of support on the administrative and faculty side, but there is still the question of how the students will receive it and how to better include the students in the plan.