After our panel this week I became really interested in agencies and how many institutions were becoming visa mills for students. The panelist spoke about how it is easier to work with an outside agency because having a department specifically for helping the students with obtaining a visa can be time consuming but also very costly. Though the agencies do alleviate some stress on institutions they also can cause much harm if the agency is granting visa unlawfully. I recently read an article that the accrediting agency ACICS has recently been responsible for accrediting agencies generating false visas. Institutions and even administrators have gotten in trouble for going along with these agencies and even stated the CEO of Herguan College of Sunnydale California was incarcerated for immigration fraud. It is sad to see that higher education is being used as a money mill by giving these students false hope. I recently worked with a student in my office who told me she attended an institution that was closed down for immigration fraud. Due to the accusations we were not recognizing the institution or its credits. She was very upset because she had spent many years at the institution and felt that her money was lost. Agencies and institutions who involve themselves with these practices do not realize the harm they can cause students who are not even requesting the visas.
It was also brought to my attention that this impedes foreign universities working with new institutions. They are more skeptical about working with new agencies who claim they are going to help students with the visa process because it could be a scam. The agencies that have been successful in the past now will receive more business but this could make wait times longer for visas and delay the students from coming to the United States to begin their course work. I feel that accrediting agencies should be more specific about what criteria agencies and institutions need to have. There should also be thorough check ups throughout the year so that this is not found out years later where it effects so many students. In the future it would be nice to see one agency with multiple locations working on visa accomidations for students who wish to come study in the United States. This will allow for less errors and more eyes available to check that regulations are being met.
This week’s reading speaks on global citizens and global institutions. Last week during the panel discussion, I believe Patricia mentioned that many institutions confuse what global students and global institutions are. It is not when an institution as branch campuses in other countries or when students study abroad and international students come to the home campus. It is important to understand what global student and a global institution is. Carnegie Mellon University complied some information on what global literacy means to them and what course help students understand global issues so than can in turn become global citizens. They created 4 core learning outcomes they wish the students to understand at the end of the courses and speak about how each course will assess the outcomes of the students. http://www.cmu.edu/global/education/global-literacy/
Though these are Carnegie Mellon’s learning outcomes and goals each institution should be able to speak on what they feel are global learning outcomes and goals for their students. One theme brought up in the readings is that study abroad creates global citizens. Due to the different types of study abroad options I believe it depends. If a student only attended a short study abroad experience, they may have not had enough access to the culture, situations and life of the country they visited that they are not able to include new perspectives in their conversations. Longer study abroad options allow student to immerse in the culture and everyday life so that when they return they are more inclined to include their “global perspective”.
There was also another point that Alessia, from our panel last week brought up that is in the readings this week. There is a huge pull for big institutions in other countries to partner with big institutions in the U.S. Institutions are looking to become more globally engaged and therefore positions in institutions have been made to facilitate this idea. Alessia mentioned she was the middleman between the universities in France and NYU. She was to inform each institution of the new programs, any new changes or ideas and vice versa between the schools so they are always aware of where the other institution stands. With the increase of global engagement and global institutions, more positions in the university system It is also mentioned that institutions must be careful who they partner with because if there is not complete transparency between both institutions there could lead to problems in the future and give a bad image to both institutions who were promoting global engagement.
Survey’s show a great way of getting an idea of how an idea is moving along. But, there are also biases in surveys. This survey for mapping internationalization at higher education institutions may show great advancements and lack thereof but it may not grasp a complete idea of how active higher education is in mapping internationalization as there may be institutions who did not participate in the survey. It was interesting to see that those who did participate gave us a good idea on where higher education needs to work on with internationalization and where we are succeeding. One thing that caught my attention was that 95% of doctoral students saw and felt internationalization more according to the survey. It made me think if more doctoral students saw this because many doctors often do their doctoral work in a different country. It is very common for doctoral students especially for medicine to go to the Caribbean to finish their degree but are associated with American universities so when they return they can easily move into their residency.
Formal assessment is important in higher education but has not been at the forefront of it, which is a huge problem. I find it very interesting that higher education as a whole is having difficulty with formal assessment of educational outcomes and success of their students but this is at the forefront of internationalization of higher education. According to the survey their was a decrease in the early 2000’s of assessment of internationalization but in 2011 they saw an increase in formal assessment of internationalization of higher education of 37%. What phenomenon between 2006 and 2011 occurred that this number increased? Why hasn’t this effected higher education as a whole? Many strategic plans are starting to include internationalization and some institutions are creating separate strategic plans just for internationalization. A concern I have is that if so much effort is put into internationalization an institution will the home campus begin to loose out. This is a reoccurring theme as we have discussed internationalization over the semester. Co-curriculum programs are now progressing to the internationalization end. I have never been a fan of this for the reason as they are no credit, students already spend large amounts of money on college, why would they opt to take a non credit course. Yes, they enhance the curriculum but it makes it hard for students on a budget to enhance their education when they are not receiving credit for a course. Expanding this to internationalization at home is going to leave out a certain socioeconomic group of students who cannot afford that luxury.
In contrary to many countries, China moved away from a centralized higher education system to where the government will act a facilitator. It is interesting to see some countries finding that centralizing their systems while China felt it was better to just facilitate it from a government level. Thay also moved to cost sharing policy where students had to pay fees and also began to accept students who would pay for tuition fully by private sponsors. In China private higher education is a new idea as higher education was predominantly public and students did not contribute as much financially. In the reading , Vietnam is the poorest of the group that was observed in the study but one of the first to move toward private higher education which makes sense as they were looking for ways to increase revenue. They even moved to internationalization of higher education sooner than the other countries. To improve their higher education system they went through reform on curriculum and teaching methods. This reform was implemented in 1987 which is rather early compared to the other countried but have these reform plans set out until 2020 to increase enrollment and diversity through university research. As the smallest country in the study it seems that Vietnam had one of the most advanced thoughts in higher education. Cambodia spent aprtion of the 1990’s looking for qualified teaching staff to refill positions that were vacant due to foreign staff leaving. The same idea Vietnam included in their higher education policy, Camodia did in 2000 where fee paying and government sponsored students were allowed to enroll. I wonder if there was controversy due to the fact that not all the teachers were qualified to teach and if the reform hired enough to make the institution worthy of the tuition fee paying students and government sponsored students were paying. In the study Japan was the most successful in higher education out of the other countries. It is interesting to see that they are the only country that introduce a slef-evaluation and external evaluation systems to ensure that they are meeting the changing requirements. Japan finally had an accreditation system put in place for all higher education institutions by the NIAD-UE since 2004. Though all these countries are located in Asia they have had very different approaches in bettering their higher education system but were effected by their different economic-socio statuses. At this time each country had moved toward some form of evaluation for teaching and curriculum development. Economicaly, they have also moved toward allowing students to pay certain fees or tuition and have opened up to private higher education.
Central ministries for education in other countries have allowed higher education institutions to run effectively and united. Most countries have instated a department or central ministry for their higher education institutions to become a part of so they all must follow the same rules and regulation allowing for each institution to be held to the same standards. I was surprised to find out that China did not start with one central ministry and was originally multiple ministries. Though the government was in charge of funding and policies they still allowed they public and private intitutions to have a say on some internal regulations and quotas they would like to meet. I feel ministries like this make a difference in the function of higher education institutions because it is centralized with participation from all institutions. In India, it seems as though university examinations play a large role in the way an institution functions. There are private and public colleges but all must be part of a university who will grant a degree for them. Unaided private colleges were interviewed in this reading and surprisingly the faculty were teaching the bare minmum so they could focus on their students passing the exams. Most time private colleges are able to be flexible in what they are teaching but in this system, the trustees have a large amount of control over the autonomy of disciplines. On the contrary, Russia has a long history of allowing higher education be centralized then decentralized. In 1993 Law on Education allowed for institutions to self-govern and decentralize with introductions of private institutions. In 2000 this changed when Putin wished to centralize the autonomy and finances. Many administrators from institutions were also angered by the fact that financial support could only come from federal and not local governments. Local governments were willing to include higher education in their financial planning but the regulations only allowed federal. This is more for control than anything else as the central ministry in Moscow wanted the final say. Lastly, Brazil has between 65-70% of their students enrolled in private institutions, which is different than most countries. Most of these private institutions run like business making the autonomy contolled by faculty low in the academic sector. Brazil faces the conflict where they are a low income society but the majority of the college going students attend private schools so cost and budgeting play a major role in higher education. Faculty take a lot of responsibility by teaching undergraduate and graduate course work. The research showed that only 2% of faculty only taught graduate course work.