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.

6 thoughts on “W9: Lack of Interest from Domestic Students

  1. The statement about “few students have an understanding of the state of the world” also caused me to pause when reading Ohio’s strategic plan. It seemed to be a rather broad (and negative) statement about students without much substantiation. Nevertheless, I agree that it raises an overall important aspect of global education which you suggest is student buy-in as they are critical stakeholders in that they are consumers of the educational services product being delivered and the expected beneficiaries of global education and internationalization. One way to achieve this would be to have student representation on strategic planning committees. If students can understand the importance of being globally prepared citizens and demand it as consumers, greater institutional buy-in from other stakeholders is more likely.

  2. Hi Victoria,
    It is interesting how few students understand the global world we live in considering how social media has made us so global and it is the younger generations who use social media the most, if not all the time. Perhaps our classrooms are silos within our borders. It is not enough just to instill policy at the administrative side. We need shared governance with our faculty to incorporate internationalization into the classroom. We need to bridge with faculty to have internationalization a part of every curriculum. Students need experience with internationalization in order to get them comfortably with the idea that the business world is completely global. And good point about beginning this conversation at the primary and secondary schools.

  3. Victoria, it is interesting that you decided to focus on the line about how little their students know so little about the world because this could be a reason why the strategic plan is written and organized the way it is. Looking back at the Ohio University strategic plan, I thought was very thorough and precise with all the goals and the multiple timelines. It could be that this strategic plan was meant to be a “call to arms” declaration in an effort to have everyone at the University understand the current state of their students and to get everyone moving to solve this issue. Having their students not getting this global understanding and awareness cold cost them their rankings, which is important to all institutions. That could be why the process of internationalization is stressed more so in the Ohio plan.

  4. Great post this week Victoria! I agree with Sima that it would be beneficial to allow current students and even alumni to attend strategic planning committee meetings to have a better understanding of the importance of globalization. The media has such power and can direct viewpoints on citizens that it’s not suprising that many are afraid that an influx of foreigners will eventually make the job market harder for current citizens. That fear will never disappear unless we remedy the situation. If colleges and universities are seriously making an effort to incorporate internationalization into their mission statements and stratgic plans, then the government has to create more jobs to balance the additional workforce. The media can be used to encourage American citizens to venture out and seek employment and start lives in other countries as well.


  5. Hi Victoria,

    I agree that the statement in the Ohio University global strategic plan about students’ lack of interest and engagement is disturbing, when we are all trying to argue that this is an important aspect of higher education in today’s world. However, as we discussed in last class, one of the most important aspects of the global strategic plans for any institution should be Education. Education about why internationalization in any of its form plays a big role and how this helps students to advance and why both students and faculty need to be involved in internationalization efforts on campus and abroad. We cannot compare students in NYC and rest of the country and their knowledge about globalization simply because higher ed students in NYC are exposed to this on an everyday basis, they see it on the streets, on campus, in the job market and we all understand how essential it is to our success and career advancement. On the other hand, most of the country are not as diverse or competitive, or exposed to this on a continuous basis, which leave it up to the institution educate students about the importance of internationalization and global strategy and participation.


  6. It is great to read a discussion on domestic student outlook in the context of internationalization. The apathy could be the result of the homogenized nature of the primary and secondary educational experience of many students. I grew up in rural New England, where the majority of my elementary and high school classmates were from geographic, racial and socioeconomic backgrounds similar to my own. Had I gone on to attend a local community college, the demographics would differ only slightly. Adding to this is a curriculum in which the areas of focus were mainly centered on the US and Europe. After twelve years of this educational setting it is not surprising that a student entering college would not give much thought to internationalization. And this is without even considering the fearmongering about non-citizens potentially taking up space in universities or the workplace.

    As with language training, an international, non-western approach to education must be introduced early in order to foster global awareness in even the most homogenus areas. An introduction at the age of 18 may be too late for a student to have an innate understanding of the globally connected world we now live in.

Leave a Reply