The Executive summary of the Internationalization of Higher Education: Growing expectations, fundamental value IAU 4th Global Survey and ACE’s Mapping Internationalization on U.S. Campuses are two very informative surveys that bring up a number of interesting and supporting facts about internationalization in Higher Education in the US and around the world.
The surveys present different points about the change and progress of Internationalization in Higher Ed institutions, some of which are supported by the data from both surveys, making those facts even stronger to believe and the need to be addressed by institutions. Since the number of them strongly stood out for me, I will list and discuss some of them below with my perspective on the topics and questions that have arisen:
- One of the most noticeable points that were mentioned in both reports is the fact that internationalization strategies and activities seem to be driven by senior levels of leadership, and as most of the institutions reported by president of the institution. Per our discussion in class, the institution should not be waiting for the change of leadership to create and implement global strategic plan, but what if the leadership is the one holding it off?
- Outgoing mobility is the most prioritized activity, while content of curriculum seems to be far from priority. As already discussed, creating international curriculum seems to be the best way to reach majority of the students on campus, rather than through outgoing mobility or research. On the other hand it makes sense why this is not a priority for the faculty, as they are not being recognized for working on internationalization curriculum and most institutions don’t provide funds, resources or tenure for doing it. As a result faculty’s motivation is not focused on creating international curriculum.
- Institutions claim the lack of funding as the biggest obstacle in internationalization, while overall funding has been increasing over the years. So where are those funds being allocated? This leads to the next points:
- Revenue generation as an expected benefit of internationalization ranked lowest in IAU 4th Global Survey, it might be true for the rest of the world, but in the US it seems to be one of the priorities in the most recent years (although not being claimed as one in the survey and stated to be the most important risk for North America). Even ACE Mapping Report states that the funding for international paying student recruitment has increased significantly, proving that US institutions are targeting tuition revenue from international students who have ability to pay. In addition Hanover Research states, “International student enrollments in the U.S. for 2012‐2013 increased by nearly 10 percent over the prior year, with some of the biggest changes coming from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iran, China, and Brazil”. Higher Education institutions seem to prioritize bringing international paying students to increase tuition revenue, while leaving internationalization at home as the least priority activity.
- Doctorate institutions seem to be the most active in leading internationalization in Higher Education. It is possible that it is due to the fact that doctorate institutions are also research institutions, and according to the IAU 4th Global Survey research is a number two priority activity in the internationalization of Higher Education. As a result, these institutions receive most amount of funding and spend most amount of resources on internationalization.
Overall, I really enjoyed these surveys, which triggered a lot of different thoughts about the statistics versus reality of internationalization in higher education around the world, but especially in the United States.