This week’s reading expanded on our view into strategic plans, their value and effectiveness, and relevance in the development of global education at American Universities.  With three strategic plans to now inform a comparative analysis, it was definitely useful to see the diversity with which strategic plans can be approached in content, format and goal setting.  Having already read and discussed Baruch’s global strategic plan last week, it was eye opening to see the Global Education Strategic Plan for Middlesex Community College in MA and the Global Strategy & Internationalization at OHIO for Ohio University.

A few observations I noted while reading the Middlesex and Ohio strategic plans were that they certainly gave credence to the view that the Baruch strategic plan we reviewed was perhaps an initial draft and could benefit from further development and drafting.  Ohio and Middlesex seemed more evolved and sophisticated in their visions and supporting strategies.  They contained more data that was presented in more visually and organized ways which allowed a better understanding of where they stood vis a vis global education and where they needed to go.  To me, the Middlesex plan was the most effective of the three we have reviewed because I found it the most “user friendly” in being able to digest and process the material.  It also did not spend as much time as Ohio did on the introductory sections so you were able to cut right to the work they plan to do with specific deliverables and timelines.  It was a balance I thought between Baruch’s plan being not as developed and Ohio’s being perhaps too developed to the point of not being user friendly and a bit stilted.

The comparative analysis of the global strategic plans we were provided also made me realize how important planning and goal setting is in achieving successful and sustainable global education platforms.  Without a cohesive, data driven and clear path toward internationalization at the outset through solid and robust planning, internationalization with its  many facets and layers of necessary international collaboration and analysis will be on shaky ground.

Finally, the BRIC Universities as Institutions in the Process of Change shed interesting light on how higher education institutions in countries that US HEIs would need to work with for global expansion. The different trajectories of China, India, Russia, and Brazil were fascinating and made me wonder what sort of strategic planning goes into, or doesn’t go into, the HEI landscapes in those countries. Of particular interest to me was the example of rapid expansion of unaided privates which may be compromising quality for the sake of enrollment.  This observation was notable in light of quality control issues we have previously read about that exist in India which can hinder cross-border partnerships and internationalization efforts with India.

4 thoughts on “W9-Strategic Plan Comparisons and BRIC Universities

  1. Hi Sima,

    Thanks for your post! I agree with a lot of the things you said, as I also found the diverse approaches to global strategic planning to be a good base for comparison. In addition to agreeing with your analysis of Middlesex Community College’s plan having the most “user friendly” and effective presentation for a variety of stakeholders, I also thought the depth and specificity of details provided were helpful and interesting. I know strategic plans often need to take a broad approach to set comprehensive goals for the entire institution, but MCC’s tangible examples of internationalization made their goals realistic by providing evidence of current global initiatives.

    I especially enjoyed the Global Scholar Program at MCC, which is a special qualification denoted on a student’s transcript after that student takes at least 5 globally focused courses and participates in an “Interdisciplinary Weekend.” To me, this was a great example of internationalization at home. A large percentage of community college students may not be able to study abroad for an entire semester, but taking globally focused courses to earn an extra qualification on one’s transcript is a cost-effective way to integrate global themes into the curriculum without delaying graduation.

    Kristen

  2. Sima,
    I definitely agree with your post, seeing the Baruch strategic plan gave an outline of what to look for and what other plans should look like. And the differences in information and transparency is always based on the goal of the institution itself. considering every country and even every state in the US has schools that all function differently and yet with a correct plan of action are still able to archive remarkable results. Although Baruch is a public university they are still able to raise private funds and achieve great things for the school as well as its students.

  3. Hi Sima,
    Thanks for your thoughtful post! I, too, found the Middlesex Community College plan to be most reader-friendly. It is funny to analyze, but the way we are presented information truly makes a difference in our understanding of the material and the ability to conceptualize the facts. I also found myself really impressed by the amount of effort that goes into strategically planning these international efforts and getting a glimpse of what goes on “behind the scenes.” Although internationalization is becoming more prevalent, I would argue that years ago it was not only not as prevalent to have a global strategic plan, but there was probably far less documented research and plans, too, compared to what we are able to take a look at today.
    Best regards,
    Melissa Parsowith

  4. Hi Sima,

    Thanks for the post! As I was reading the article and its emphasis on how the rapid demand for higher education in BRIC countries (aside from Russia) is leading to rapid construction of new institutions, it made me think about the U.S. and the rapid expansion of higher education following WWII. One of the most interesting things to come out of this was the creation of community colleges. It doesn’t appear that any of the BRIC colleges have a similar type of institution. As the concerns over quality continues — especially in the rapidly expanding private, for profit universities in BRIC countries –I’ll be curious to see if any of these countries experiment with a public community college model like we have in the U.S.

Leave a Reply