International higher education at Baruch College

The hybrid graduate course “International Higher Education: Policies and Practices” comes to an end. We aimed to provide a comparative perspective on international higher education at two primary levels-policy developments and institutional practices. At the policy level, we discussed and analyzed diverse contexts and approaches for education policies. At the institutional level, we delved into constraints and choices which define various internationalization strategies. The overarching objective of the course was to provide research/theoretical foundations and at the same time provide practical perspectives to students.iNTERNATIONAL higher education policies and strategies graduate hybrid course by Dr. Rahul Choudaha

The course provided at least two major unique elements of learning:

  1. First, this blog served as a collective outcome of course discussions and reflections. An opportunity to learn a blogging tool but also shape the learning experience in an interactive and gradual manner.
  2. Second, two panels of international higher education professionals who provided diverse perspectives on the state of the sector and shared their career trajectories. It helped students to get a practical perspective to the theory/research on international higher education.

The panelist were:

Panel 1: May 02

  • Patricia Burlaud, Dean of Operations, Assessments and Accreditation (Global Academic Programs) at New York Institute of Technology
  • AlessiaLefebure, Director of the Alliance at Columbia University
  • Melissa Vivian, Global Experiences Director of Academic Internships

Panel 2: May 16

  • Susi Rachouh, Director of International Programs, Stevens Institute of Technology
  • James Shafer, Director, Global Language Institute/American English Program at New Jersey City University
  • Nori Jaffer, Associate Vice President, International Division, Berkeley College

I wish students the very best intheir endeavors with international higher education. And, a fun and relaxing summer!

Dr. Rahul Choudaha


W7-Funding reforms gaining momentum around the world

This week’s hot button issue of funding concerns for CUNY brings to the front increasing pressure from policy-makers about the efficiency and effectiveness. This directly resonates with the OECD’s The State of Higher Education report . It notes “From an institutional perspective, HEIs are under pressure to become more effective and efficient across all of their missions – teaching, research and innovation and local economic development. Yet, many face financial challenges that threaten their long-term sustainability.”

Here is a chart from OECD website indicating public spending on tertiary education as a percentage of total education spending. Here “Public spending includes both direct expenditure on educational institutions and educational subsidies to households administered by educational institutions. Private expenditure is recorded net of public subsidies that educational institutions may receive.”

1 private spending

The chart illustrates that the United States spends significantly less in through public resources as compared to countries like Germany, United Kingdom and Canada. At this lower level of public investment, the increasing cost pressures are resulting in students picking up more burden of cost of college education through increased tuition.

Here is an important footnote from OECD chart: “Spending on tertiary education is defined as the total expenditure on the highest level of education, covering private expenditure on schools, universities, and other private institutions delivering or supporting educational services. The measure is a percentage of total education spending. At the tertiary level educational institutions in OECD countries are mainly publicly funded, although there are substantial and growing levels of private funding.

OECD’s Education Policy Outlook 2015 also identified six “policy levers” grouped in three categories:

  1. Students: Raising Outcomes (How to raise outcomes for all in terms of equity and quality and preparing students for the future-refers to outputs of the education system)
    1. Equity and quality
    2. Preparing students for the future
  2. Institutions: Enhancing quality (How to raise the quality of instruction through school improvement and evaluation and assessment-refers to quality of the inputs).
    1. School improvement
    2. Evaluation and assessment
  3. Governing effectively (How to align governance and funding of education systems to be effective.)
    1. Governance
    2. Funding


OECD website provides an interactive tool Reforms Finder from OECD based on different countries.  Here is a snapsot of reforms from three different countries which focus on Funding “Policy Lever”.


Funding reforms are only one of the six policy levers. Successful policy planning and implementation requires alignment of careful mix of various levers to achieve optimum output.


Growing complexity, scale and scope of international partnerships

International partnerships are becoming an increasingly important role for advancing institution’s global engagement strategy. This drive is not only reflective of demand for more infusing more global perspectives in curriculum but also pressure to build institutional reputation.  With curriculum and learning comes the role of faculty as an integral component at every stage of building and executing partnerships.

However, sometimes faculty are under-prepared and other times they are disinterested due to lack of incentives. ACE’s 2011 Mapping Internationalization on U.S. Campuses survey reported that just 8 percent of respondents indicated that their institutions had guidelines in place to specify international work or experience as a consideration in faculty promotion and tenure decisions.

The readings from Chevallier and Helms for week 6 provide tangible approaches of building partnerships. In addition to the example of University of Minnesota (p. 9, Helms), Indiana University provides several templates of agreements and also very good definitions related to international partnerships including “overseas distance education”, “Twinning programs (a/k/a “sandwich programs”, and “branch campus”.

One important correction related to definitions of joint and dual degrees. As you would notice that Henard’s definition does not match with CGS definition. The correct definition is from CGS.

According to Henard (p.25):

“A dual degree programme consists of two separate approved degree programmes. A candidate will earn one degree that will be approved and recognised by two different institutions. A joint degree programme is agreed upon by two institutions for which two diplomas are issued, one by each institution.”

According to CGS definition used by Chevallier (p.5):

Dual (or double) degree: students receive a separate diploma from each of the participating institutions.
Joint degree: students receive a single diploma representing work completed at two or more institutions.

Here are couple of related examples:

In addition to managing the growing complexity, scale and scope of international partnerships, another element which is becoming important for international offices is demonstrating the impact of their work and helping larger campus community understand their work. Some institutions have started using visual dashboards. Here are couple of examples:

Look forward to more discussion in the classroom on week 8.



W2- Technology and Branch Campuses

I wanted to share couple of my articles related to Oxford report on Trends in International Higher Education. The report highlighted that “International branch campuses are expanding to include non-traditional countries.” It added that

While branch campuses remain a popular facet of institutional international strategies, there have been a number of high profile closures.

In my previous article “International branch campuses get too much attention“, I have argued that branch campuses are infrastructure-intensive efforts that come with high financial and reputational risks and higher education institutions interested in global engagement may also experiment with emerging online learning efforts. These are low-cost, flexible alternative for ‘glocal’ students to potentially earn a foreign credential – ‘glocal’ students aspire to earn an international education or experience without having to leave their home or region.

This directly connects with another trends identified by the Oxford report on technology. While the Oxford report takes a critical view of MOOCs, it does recognizes that “Technology is becoming central to the process of learning and teaching in higher education and, in some countries, is driving wider access to education and training.”

The landscape of internationalization is still shifting with no one size fit all approach, but experimentation with technology is emerging as a new strategy for global engagement.

Feel free to critique/comment on this theme in your future posts.

Related links:

The international branch campus: Models and trends, Line Verbik

The new branch campus model: expand at home, compete everywhere, ICEF

International branch campuses of UK universities in UAE: Highlights from QAA

– Rahul

Welcome to the official blog of IHE Course at Baruch College

Welcome to the Spring 2016 course on International Higher Education (PAF 9399) at Baruch College.

This hybrid course provides a comparative perspective on international higher education at two primary levels-policy developments and institutional practices. At the policy level, students will be able to identify and analyze diverse contexts and approaches for education systems. At the institutional level, students will understand the constraints and choices that define various internationalization strategies.

My name is Rahul Choudaha, and I specialize in research and consulting on global higher education at DrEducation. I’m the principal coach of, a training and coaching service focused on global talent development. I’m a frequent contributor to Huffington Post and University World News. I’m actively engaged with the profession of international education, and I have chaired or presented over 100 sessions at professional conferences and has been quoted in global media including the BBC, Time, NPR and The Wall Street Journal.

Previously, I worked for over seven years at World Education Services (WES) in New York City. As the Chief Knowledge Officer and Senior Director of Strategic Development, I raised organization profile, built research capabilities, deepened institutional relationships and launched innovative services. Before Baruch, I had taught a graduate courses in International Higher Education at New York University. I’m serving as the Past-Chair of NAFSA’s International Education Leadership Knowledge Community of senior international educators.

I hold a doctorate in higher education from the University of Denver. Before coming to the US, I had earned a master’s degree in management and a bachelor’s degree in engineering from India.

For the first week, we will start with introductions about the learners and the context of the course. You will write your first blog post combining two aspects:
1. Brief introduction about yourself (education, experience, professional interests, etc.)
2. Blog post based on following three readings available on BlackBoard. Some of the questions to think while writing reflection blog post are–what concepts and definitions have been discussed here? Do you agree or disagree with the readings? Why or why not? What sparked your interest and curiosity?
– Altbach, Internationalization and Global Tension
– Green, Is the United States the Best in the World
– Oxford, International Higher Ed Trends

Please note the timelines for Week 1:

Online blog post#1, due Monday, Feb/01 by 12 noon, 4 points

Online response, due Thursday, Feb/04 by 12 noon, 3 points

Look forward to an engaging learning experience for the class.

Dr. Rahul Choudaha