This week’s reading provided deeper insight into the world of internationalization of Higher Education. In the survey piece by the IAU, they review the highlights of their findings from a global survey which included 1,336 institutions from 131 countries. Something that I initially found interesting was that this is the 4th edition of the survey, conducted almost four years since the previous one, and it garnered almost double the responses since the last edition! Because assessment is something we so regularly discuss in our class, I would be very curious to find out why their participation rates increased so dramatically. They mentioned that over 6,800 institutions were solicited to participate, using an electronic link. I wonder if in the past these surveys were also sent electronically. While the respondents included the most replies on average from regions such as North America and Europe, they also included participation from Africa, Asia & Pacific, Latin American & the Caribbean, as well as the Middle East. Overall, the findings here seemed to be optimistic and congruent to our class discussions. As expected, globalization of higher education continues to grow in importance among institutions across the globe, and targeted academic goals and student mobility remain specific priorities of this broad mission. I was a bit surprised to learn that risks regarding internationalization have remained fairly consistent between this and previous IAU surveys, seeing as the state of international affairs is somewhat rocky. I wasn’t as surprised to learn that there still remains difficulty in assessing foreign programs.

In the “Mapping Internationalization on U.S Campuses” by the Center for Internationalization and Global Engagement, they review their findings after surveying U.S colleges and universities regarding internationalization activities from 2011. This survey was a bit different than those conducted in 2001 and 2006 because they decided to include “special focus” institutions this time, or institutions who “award baccalaureate or higher-level degrees where a high concentration (more than 75%) is a single field or set of related fields.” Similar to the IAU, the overall results from this survey were positive. Once again, it was discovered through the survey that internationalization is advancing. For these institutions, they saw movement in iAh (internationalization at the home campus), strategic partnerships, and an expansion in international student recruitment and staff. I also find it important to mention that while overall the outlook for internationalization is promising, there still lies certain challenges in assessment and student learning outcomes as a whole.

Overall, I was very pleased to read that the internationalization of higher education is headed in a good direction. In this article by Inside Higher Ed, researchers confirm that internationalization is more and more becoming a priority for institutions across the globe. I am very interested to see how this movement plays out over the years to come, especially with the upcoming advances in technology.

4 thoughts on “W11, Blog 11: Melissa Parsowith (Article Response)

  1. Hi!
    I agree that assessment is very important and it improves the ways offices work. Program evaluations are also very important in institutions of higher learning and should be conducted yearly to ensure programs are running and reaching their goals. Mell Bolen, Brown University found that international educators can incorporate basic ways to collect data through factors which influence students and the ways they felt in the host country or if the host country is their own university. It is very important for institutions to understand their international student body through assessment and understand how students feel not only within their campus but also in the country. This is also a way to innovate internationalization in any given host country.


  2. I also think its interesting that international higher education risks have remained the same despite a more volatile geopolitical international landscape. I wonder this speaks to the notion that while a volatile political and international relations environment can be thought to impede internationalization, a lack of increase in perceived risk might mean that it is also viewed as the way to assuage the difficult times we live in and that the path to greater global collaboration is through higher education coupled with other diplomatic means. The risks may also not be impacted by world events because the economic realities of a global economy make the need to stay competitive and relevant paramount.

  3. Hello Melissa,

    Thank you for your post. I think that including the electronic link may have been one of the factors in the increase of participating countries and institutions within the global survey. But, I think the key component may have been the frequent discussions being had across the globe in the past four years. As more institutions are including internationalization within their strategic plans, I think other institutions are referencing them as a benchmarking system and want to be included in the assessment process. As we know, rankings is deemed high on the list for higher education institutions as regards to status and funding. It seems like more institutions realized being part of this survey and sharing their findings allows them to increase their rankings and exposure.


  4. It is interesting to see how many more institutions and countries participated in the newer surveys. I agree that more institutions see that research and assessment is important but even more important that IAU is putting it together so the results and data show a international perspective. I think assessment at the national level is important but higher education is international so we must start to set up benchmarks along with our international competitors. I would be interested to see how the survey results will look in a few years, with more countries and institutions growing into the concept of internationalizing higher education. Also if some countries will not participate in the survey due to they have they our evaluation and assessment methods through their ministry of education and feel that international benchmarking is not worthy for them.

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