The readings for this week discussed the results of surveys that dealt with the Internationalization of Higher Education. Both surveys show the gains that HEIs have been making with regards to incorporating internationalization. After reading both articles, it is clear that their have been changes in how HEIs handle internationalization. Both surveys indicate that internationalization is becoming more of a priority of administrations. Many HEIs have policies or strategies  that include an element of internationalization. It is important for HEIs to understand the need to participate in assessments like the the ACE and IAU surveys.  This is the 4th edition of the IAU survey an the number of respondents of had doubled, they contacted 6,879 institution and 1,336 responded even though this in an improvement from 4 years ago, HEIs have to know that participating in this surveys can be used as tool of assessment for their institutions. I would suggest that in the future for both surveys, the results are given in comparison form. Meaning that each school will know where they rank compared to the other respondents. In the Sage Handbook of Internationalization of Higher Education, their is an entire chapter dedicated to the explaining the importance of outcome assessments in the internationalization of higher education.

In the ACE survey, the results show that the level of commitment to internationalization varies across they different types of institutions; doctoral institutions have many of the indicators included in the survey, while associate institutions are at the bottom of the list. If we refer to the readings from two weeks ago, Middlesex Community College had the most comprehensive plan for internationalization compared to Baruch College and Ohio University. Middlesex is a community college and they understand the need to include a global aspect across the campus. All HEIs looking to incorporate internationalization can look to Middlesex for guidance. The surveys also can be used for guidance, they point out the areas connected to internationalization. This information would be useful for HEIs.

Some areas of interest for me from both surveys include:

  1. Student mobility is once again proven to be the number one way institutions, look can be internationalized.
  2. North America has the highest number of respondents who have confirmed having specific learning outcomes; based on important internationalization seems for European HEIs and governments, I thought they would be number one in this category. Having specific learning outcomes help with the assessment of specific programs.
  3. Internationalization at home continues to be challenge for HEIs in America and abroad. How institutions implement internationalization at home varies across regions; The requirement to learn a foreign language has always been used as a tool to bring internationalization to the masses; however their has been a decline in American institutions requiring students to learn a 2nd language but it seems in other regions foreign language is still seen as the “best” way to incorporate internationalization to the curriculum.


5 thoughts on “W-11 Surveys and the Internationalization of Higher Education

  1. I appreciate the stance you take about who participates in these surveys. When we read that over 1000 schools responded, which was about 1/5 of all schools contacted, we feel like that is a pretty good statistic. But as you point out, it’s almost a little embarrassing. Why shouldn’t a school respond? Yes, we all become distracted and forget to do something, but this is at the institutional level! Just like you said, by participating, you help paint a picture of the current state of affairs, which can help things progress. Even if a school responds that it has nothing to do with internationalization and doesn’t care for it, it’s not like the school gets in trouble. All it does is shed some light on the global perception of internationalization. In any case, we can’t expect 100% participation, but as long as the provider of the survey seems legitimate, what’s the harm?!

  2. Hi Jonelle,

    I also noticed the emphasis on student mobility in both the ACE and IAU surveys. These readings definitely confirm the idea we have spoken about in class that student mobility is the most widely practiced and promoted form of internationalization. In fact, the IAU Global Survey publication states, “The most frequently assessed areas of internationalization are international student enrollment, outbound student mobility, and partnerships” (p 8). The first two measurements deal with inbound and outbound mobility, and it is not surprising that these are the most commonly measured aspects. The data are not only easy to collect, but it is convenient to present when talking to prospective students (domestic or international) about how global a certain campus is.

  3. Hello Jonelle,

    I wanted to address the point you make about Middlesex Community College excelling in preparing a detailed plan for internationaliztion and using their stance on internationalization as a guide for other community colleges and higher education institutions. Although this community college has been doing an excellent job incorporating internationalization into their core, I believe their surroundings play a major factor in their goals. They are surrounded by ivy league institutions that are already on the internationalization path and using them as benchmarks has been helpful. However, for schools like Kingsborough Community College, situated in desolate areas and CUNY schools they would look to for guidance, Baruch, are not adequately immersed in internationalization results in poor planning. I agree that making foreign language a requirement in US schools, especially in community colleges is the right step in the direction to internationalization. However, adding it to the curriculum is not enough. Students need to be properly assessed and continue utilizing the new language outside of the classroom so that it becomes a proficient second language.


  4. Your discussion about the number of institutions responding to the IAU survey brings to mind some of the issues covered in my Higher Ed Research course. Conducting surveys/polls is the simplest way to collect data, but unfortunately response rates tend to be low when there is no incentive. What is the incentive for institutions? The ability to have internationalization efforts to be ranked among peers is an interesting idea, but I am concerned that this would only be an incentive for institutions with developed, extensive programs. What is the incentive for Associate (or any) institutions with few programs in place to respond if they could end up at the bottom of the list?

    It would be insightful to hear from a higher ed administrator in the position of answering surveys for their institution. What factors do they use to determine which to take part in. A theory of mine is that because internationalization policies do not factor into the overall reputation of an institution or rankings in publications such as US News & World Report, surveys from organizations such as IAU and ACE are not a priority.

  5. Seeing that we have a decentralized system that doesn’t govern how or what is taught in our HEI (on a broader scale) it makes absolute sense that we have varying levels of internalization at different schools. It is logical that higher degree granting HEI (masters and doctorial etc) would presumably have more focus on internationalization when compared to associate degree granting HEI, but this can vary by location and by the interest of the population of the student body, as you pointed out with the Middlesex case from a few weeks ago (with Middlesex having a better plan for internationalization (depending on who you ask) when compared to Baurch which is a higher degree granting HEI than Middlesex). As we continue to move to a more inclusive global atmosphere, it will be interesting to see how this changes, or if it even changes at all over the next few years.

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