The IAU 4th Global Survey so far has been my favorite reading of the semester. Its simplicity, organization, and approach is refreshing, especially when compared to some of the other long-winded, dense, or overly qualitative pieces we have read.
The first beneficial (and to me, necessary) method it follows is explaining how the survey was conducted and where its information comes from. Many of the other readings do not cite their content thoroughly, including the other one for this week. The ACE survey mentions percentages of its respondents, but it doesn’t clearly state who participated and how many (the information is at the bottom of the document). On the other hand, the IAU survey immediately states who participated, how many participated, and from where did they participate. Already, this document is more credible and easy to understand than most.
You might be reading this and thinking to yourself, ‘wait a second, is he really dedicating an entire blog to the format of the readings?’ I sure am. I think many people, even the most discerning among us, fall prey to the habit of believing whatever we read. As students, as educators, as critical thinkers, we cannot allow ourselves to become lazy. The reason I am commenting on this all is because earlier in the semester, the professor put up survey findings on the projector and I immediately became skeptical of their credibility. Perhaps you remember the information regarding the SIOs- who generally becomes one and what are their general qualities. While it seemed as if the information was legitimate, I remember seeing that a very small number of institutions took part in the survey- maybe around fifty. Sure, that may be several dozen colleges, but when there are thousands of schools in this country, I do not think those results accurately represented the whole.
The IAU survey wasn’t trying to sugarcoat anything or pull the wool over our eyes- it even expressed when numbers went down from the previous survey, such as the percentage of institutions with a dedicated budget for internationalization (p. 8). I think this is an important document for all of us in the class because it gives a more realistic look into the current status of internationalization in this country and the rest of the world. Despite my constant predilection for playing devil’s advocate, I truly do support internationalization and think it is a necessary component to HEIs overall strategy; however, I want to know the truth about it. What are its problems, what obstacles does it face, what are the major controversies. While this survey does not go excessively deep into any of those issues, it does provide a superficial, yet straightforward overlook on internationalization around the world.