As we reach the concluding weeks of our class and the final week of readings, I am reminded of how many contours and layers we have been exposed to regarding international higher education.  Whether it be concepts of study abroad, internalization, internationalization at home, SIOs, branch campuses, global competition or global citizens, we have seen an exciting and trending phenomenon emerge in the guise of international higher education.  It is an exciting time for global education and global institutions.  As we reflect back on the theories, frameworks, and vocabulary we have been engaged with in the last several weeks, it is an exciting moment to look forward and opine about the future of international higher education and its trajectory.

This week’s readings help frame that analysis.  The IHE at Twenty Special 20th Anniversary Feature:  Higher Education’s Future offers several vignettes covering issues of internationalization and how best to address challenges confronted so far in this area’s growth.  To me, Hans De Wit’s piece, Is the International University the Future of Higher Education? hit on one of the critical questions we have come to time and time again:  how can quality be ensured in a growth market that is susceptible to buzz words and sexy international appeal?  When you strip away at all that we have discussed in the past several weeks, it seems that quality will be the main driver to determine whether international higher education can be sustainable and productive.  As De Wit points out, there must be meaning in the terminology, missions statements and collaborations that drive internationalization for it have lasting impact and shape global citizens – in my view, the goal of international and global higher education.

In Bridges to the Future, The Global Landscape of International Higher Education, we confront the realities of the term global citizen.  The authors ask – what does it mean to be global not just at the student level but also at the institutional level?  Outlining key trends and issues in international higher education, the authors turn to different regions to analyze specific challenges and strides.  This is critical because, as we have seen, international higher education is by no means one size fits all and its overall success cannot be measured unless different regions are assessed and the interplay between them is understood.

For me, in the final analysis, international higher education is crucial to the global economy in which we are necessarily engaged.  To prepare our future citizens and leaders to meaningful interact in this environment can only be done with an eye to global education.  So long as meaningful collaboration, strategy and implementation drive the process toward goals of quality and advancement, I believe the future of international higher education is on the precipice to achieve real change and advancement in our world today.

5 thoughts on “W 13 — The Future of International Higher Education

  1. I like what you say about promoting real substance when it comes to international higher education. It is easy for institutions and their constituents to get carried away at the sound of international prospects- oh, research opportunities, oh prestige, oh cornering a niche market. That is all fine and dandy, but we cannot get caught up in the bells and whistles. As you mentioned, there are some very serious things that institutions must consider- mission statements and meaningful collaboration. There should be real purpose when it comes to partnerships. I admit that when I first heard that NYU had global campuses all over the world, I was pretty impressed. But then I started hearing stories from students and administrators there who weren’t so keen on that notion. Without commenting too much on that particular school, I just think that sometimes the goal of internationalization is overlooked. Hopefully as we move forward in our careers, we can take what we learned in this class to make sure that happens.

  2. I also found the essay/article by Han De Wit in the IHE journal interesting. The quality of any program is important not just the fact that the program is following a trend found at other colleges or universities. International Higher Education is a growing field and administrators have to be weary of how they try to incorporate internationalization into their institutions. Mechanisms must be in place in order to assure that the quality of the programs whether they are study abroad or focusing on internationalization at home. I believe this ties into something that we have discussed in class previously the need for assessments…assessments of the programs or policies related to the internationalization of Higher Education has not be taking place on the level it should. With assessments administrators can evaluate the quality and student learning outcomes of the programs they have in place.

    The link below, is to a research paper by Madeline Greene that deals with measuring and assessing internationalization.

  3. I agree with your final statement about how international higher education is at the point in which is can have a really great influence on higher education across the globe. If done correctly, international higher education can help all students, leaders and countries develop diplomacy and advance. However, like you said, there are just way to many differences across the globe when it comes to higher education. To have the international university, there must be a consensus on what students need to know and how to teach it. With that being said, I believe that the world needs to universally accept and preserve academic freedom and other rights that promote international higher education. Without this, international higher education would not be able to have a free-flowing exchange of ideas and cultures.

  4. I think a pretty common theme here is that we should all just get along and work together to better the global state of higher education currently. Someone mentioned that we here in the US didn’t come up with the foundation of our educational system on our own, so we can’t be surprised that it is no easy task and be understanding to that fact, and help those who are in need or struggling. It is only one world, and while we don’t all share the same views, we all pretty much want the same outcome of education (if you choose to go that route).

  5. I agree with the above comment, for IHE to work at least in the U.S “all hands” need to be on deck! Because international higher education is so crucial to the global economy the U.S should look at the benefits of IHE revolutionizing the current system in place which I believe it possible. We spoke about how complex the U.S educational system is. In my own opinion I believe the U.S and its history is accustomed to “segregating” learning, levels or learning etc. I am not sure if I am clear with my thoughts here, but I believe that if one system was in place the U.S is more likely to become one of the pioneers of IHE.

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