This semester’s reading as helped us to see all the different aspects of international higher education. This week’s reading, IHE at Twenty Special 20th Anniversary Feature: Higher Education’s Future covers the all that and more, while highlighting the last 20 years as well as offering advice on how to overcome the standing challenges that we now face within the field. The last reading: Bridges to the Future, The Global Landscape of International Higher Education, pushed us to define what it meant to be a global citizen, and to look at that aspect in from two different angles.
The advancement of technology as allowed us to broaden our horizons and reach places we never were able to before in the past, it’s not uncommon to forget that not everyone everywhere has been awarded the same possibilities. The first article addresses how only major continents currently participate in international higher education and pushing forward we as a field needs to reach out these other lesser known countries and to include them in the conversations of advancing the field.
A standing theme in a lot of my posts as been “America loves to view itself as the center of the free world” and it is the what a lot of places aim to be like, what has allowed us to continue propelling this thought for so long, and will most likely continue to propel, is the fact America (and other first world continents) is placed on a pedestal by a lot of the countries in the world and they see sending people here whether it be for an education or just to make an attempt to survive. The authors of Bridges to the Future mention this in their article. I wonder what the state of higher education, at home and international, would be like if we didn’t have this unspoken competition with each other and instead tried to help each other advance and prosper in their own right (which is occurring but at a slow pace), what works for one continent or country will not necessarily work for the next, doesn’t mean we can’t test it (to an extent, student lives and futures are the basis of the educational system after all).
The IAU 4th Global Survey does a wonderful job at the purpose of the survey: the method of conducting it and where the information is sourced from. This survey laid everything out on the table with background information and all. But as with many surveys, depending on the purpose for why it was made can lead to biases. The main one that comes to mind is the participation in the survey and how the results would have been different had more or different types of institutions had participated. As we’ve learned thus far internationalization and the educational state reforms and varies country to country, so it’s not uncommon that the results would in fact be different, on the other hand is it possible that there might not be a large difference, but a difference is a difference. The survey did give us an opportunity to see things at a different outlook.
I have noticed that within higher education is that there is usually a gap in surveys. I don’t like this because a number of things changes in between the years, but one positive thing that does happen (but could also happen is reserve) is that more institutions choose to participate, and with the advancement of technology is this even more possible. This last survey had participants from the usual suspects North America and Europe, but countries like Africa, Asia, counties in the Pacific, Latin American and countries from the Caribbean, and the Middle East were also able to participate.
We would love to think we have made great advances in the way of internationalization as the push for it increases, but the IAU as shed some light on this. Thanks to the survey we see that there have been no real changes in the risk of turning to internationalization, and institutions are still lacking funding to further themselves in the area. It is saddening that money is among the things holding back this movement from potentially reaching the optimal peak of possibilities. Hopefully the small advances we have made can be enough to convince those who are in control to take a second third or fourth look and find the necessary funding in the future.
This week we read articles that covered trends and governance in Asia, Europe and Latin America. Global Trends in University Governance covers the many different models that governments have and how they differ depending on type of involvement. There are countries that have controlled governance such as countries that have a Ministry of Education. These Ministries of Education look at the state of higher education as a corporation, so they in turn have the most decision making powers over them. Then there are countries that have less restrictive governance models, and the only real connection they have is funding. There is a new trend in higher education to move towards a more autonomous governance model, which is mentioned in the second article, Governance reforms and University Autonomy in Asia.
From the second article we learn that higher education in Asian countries were centralized with a lot of involvement from the government, but thanks to recent reforms this as changed, and the institutions have far more self-governance than they did before. I believe that the spread of internationalization has greatly influenced this. It is still interesting to learn that newer developing countries have a more decentralized system, while the more developed ones are looking to become decentralized. The question arises, did these developing countries look to the mistakes (for lack of a better term) of the bigger developed countries and knew what not to do, or is there a different less likely factor. Bigger developed countries are having issues decentralizing because of policies that have been put in function, oftentimes since the birth of the nation that have just been modified.
Personally institutions should be more autonomous. No one would know that institution better than its staff, faculty, and students. Depending on the mission of the institution the state can have some say in governance. What has seemed to be forgotten is that the ultimate goal should be graduating students that are valuable contributions to society prior to graduation. Universities here in the US are starting the autonomous conversation. For many different reasons, one of which includes the Abigail Fisher situation (the white student who was “overlooked” for admission to the University of Texas at Austin for minority students who had lower test scores than her in 2008). This case made it all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court when Fisher sued the system in Texas. The court ultimately ruled in honor the institution. Which rose the question “who should have the power to decide how institutions can seek diversity”? I believe as we as a nation move to a more autonomous model (slowly but surely) there is a high probability that more of these cases will arise.
This week’s reading includes: Global Strategy and Internationalization at OHIO University, and the Middlesex Community College Strategic Plan, the first article covers contributions made to internationalization by Ohio University. Now they are tackling the task of growing internationalization beyond the scope that they first predicted in their original implementation strategy. Their original plan included: internationalization being part of the institution’s mission statement, and it is promoted by all departments. There is an award program in place that rewards the top 3 faculty members; this can help attract more faculty and staff members to work for the university. Students interested in the institution already know 2 languages and are involved in global affairs.
The second article, the Middlesex strategic plan, informs us of their plan to have college students become global citizens, these students would have the ability to “think globally, while acting locally”. This coupled with the mention in the Ohio article about how removed students are to the happenings in the world on a global bases comes as no surprise to me. I, for one, am guilty of this for sure, but thanks to this class, and this major I’ve started looking into other aspects of the world, not just on an educational level.
It is interesting that while there is a known fear of and issue with, international students “stealing jobs”, and the multiple results on google under “issues with outsourcing”, internationalization is breeding students with the ability to work anywhere, not just their home country. It would seem that the American educational system as realized how behind the times it is when it comes to providing their students with the ability to secure a job on its own land. Internationalization doesn’t have to mean going aboard, with technology advancing it could (and most likely already has) very well lead to international jobs that are stationed here on US soil, with the occasional trip overseas.
Not only with internationalization, it is in every institution’s goal to attract more students, and with the competition changing how it is, schools have to get more creative, but are placed under restrictions because of funding as we learned from the BRIC article. These restrictions are counterproductive if the country wants to improve its internationalization ranking, but from what is presumably fear and policies that were put in place years ago before internationalization was a real thought, is keeping us from progressing at a faster pace.
This week we looked at the strategic planning aspect of higher education, including taking a look at Baruch’s own plan for comparison. Strategic planning is a very important aspect to higher education that began to gain importance in the 1940s after World War II. Since then strategic planning has become standard for higher education overall. Strategic planning is used to set priorities, focus energy and resources, strengthen operations, ensure that employees and other stakeholders are working toward common goals, establish agreement around intended outcomes/results, and assess and adjust the organization’s direction in response to a changing environment, as defined by the Balanced Scorecard Institute. Strategic planning is an intricate part of higher education at home, so it’s only right, it would be an intricate part of internationalization, if not more so.
A Strategic plan is needed to lay a path of goals and accomplishments, after some time this plan is then used to assess how well (or not) an organization has progressed. The AIEA article outlines what Strategic planning is and also outlines their 12 principles of successful strategic planning. Baruch College’s Global Strategic Plan 2014-2019 talks about Baruch’s plan and how they include internationalization (Baruch’s plans seem to be compromised of many of the principles). It is not known by students that an institution’s strategic plan is public information. Working in or being involved with higher education/student affairs, I have now looked at Baruch’s and SUNY Old Westbury (my alma mater). It is interesting to look at these plans from both sides, as a student and as a professional. (Many institutions include students in their planning process) Looking at the plan as I student, I was able to identify changes that occurred in certain fields, working within higher ed/student affairs, I was able to assess the changes and better understand why they did or didn’t work. It’s refreshing to see that Baruch is aligned with the AIEA’s principles and to see how the school plans on advancing itself. With the looming budget crisis we are facing it’s sad that a lot of these plans are getting put on the back burner until the budget gets sorted out. A large part of strategic planning is figuring out the budget and where the funds will be coming from.
New York has been called the capital of the nation before. It’s not surprising that a school like Baruch has such a good plan that could/should influence other institutions around. A little more recognition not only for Baruch but for CUNY itself for being what I would like to a gem, so many treasures, that many people (mainly students) don’t realize without a little extra research.
The Basics of Strategic Planning, Strategic Management and Strategy Execution. (n.d.). Retrieved March 28, 2016, from http://balancedscorecard.org/Resources/Strategic-Planning-Basics