For my final make-up blog post, I decided to dissect an article published by a prominent group in International Higher Education, NAFSA. NAFSA is an association of international educators and the acronym stands for National Association of Foreign Student Advisers. NAFSA is a non-profit professional organization for professionals in all areas of international education, including but not limited to: education abroad, advising and administration, campus internationalization, admissions, outreach, overseas advising, and ESL administration. I really liked this article titled, “The Changing Landscape of Global Higher Education,” because I think it ties together some common themes of this course.
To begin, the article opens by identifying what this organization considered Internationalization to be. They write “Internationalization is the conscious effort to integrate and infuse international, intercultural, and global dimensions into the ethos and outcomes of postsecondary education. To be fully successful, it must involve active and responsible engagement of the academic community in global networks and partnerships.” I absolutely agree with their definition of Internationalization as it relates to our class discussions and findings.
The article goes on to explain that NAFSA finds internationalization extremely important, and they have tried to contribute to international higher education in many different ways. NAFSA was instrumental in the formation of the Inter-Associational Network on Campus Internationalization (INCI), which recently debuted a common portal for information on internationalization from the 11 INCI organizations (see www.campusinternationalization.org). They also contribute efforts within promoting policies to enhance international education and exchange between the United States and other nations. NAFSA was founded in 1948, so with over 60 years of experience, they have a strong resume of providing professional services for postsecondary exchange students.
Another great practice which NASFA promotes is their annual conference. NAFSA’s annual conference and expo is the largest and most recognized venue in the world for international educators. Once described as an event which is “a United Nations of International Education,” this event brings together 7,500 attendees from all corners of the globe to learn more about the field, share best practices, and network with colleagues. “The bustling and vibrant conference exhibit hall features more than 450 organizations, universities, and companies who support international education. Conference participants and exhibitors alike say that NAFSA is the one conference that individuals in the field of international education must attend each year.”
Like many things that we have discussed in class, NAFSA also believes that the future of international higher education is a growing one. They strongly believe that by the year 2025, the global demand for higher education seats will as much as double to roughly 200 million per year, most of which will come from today’s emerging economies. Therefore, I think it is a great idea to look at organizations such as NAFSA for a deeper look into where international higher education is headed, and what other similar organizations are around to help support this growing cause.