Week 10, Governance reforms, autonomy , and cost

The reading Global Trends in University Governance discussed the various ways university systems go about implementing a framework which can also apply to global strategy. The reading lays out the importance of the higher education vision, governance, and funding. It is explained that the demand for higher education in terms of funding has increased over the years and support has decreased. From the reading it is very obvious that most university systems receive funds from income generated within. These funds are then used for research and other operational cost as well as salary. I am very much intrigued with funding and internationalization in community colleges. On the web, it seems like community colleges are trying to turn to international student recruitment because it will help international students in terms of cost. The question is what will be the quality of this education compared to 4-year institution. Are international students look for the prestige or the cost? (1)

Governance reforms and university autonomy in Asia focused on research that examined reforms, policies and governance structures. It looked at their impact management, but most importantly, the level of autonomy the institutions have. In Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Japan and Vietnam autonomous management structures are very high where institutions are self-governed to an extent. In the U.S this is not usually seen due to high levels of over site/control (centralized) from the state and other governing bodies. In this particular article it was interesting to see that Asian educational systems are autonomous, however, as mentioned in the article “the case studies also shows that autonomy policies need certain conditions to become successful.” This means the proper over site and control is needed to ensure accountability of the end goal or outcome. Vietnam for example experienced a lack of coordination between national and regional centers. In the U.S a decentralized form of education can be hard to accomplish due to the concern of “Who Controls What”. Overall, the U.S higher education system is so complex that for decentralization to work effectively it will needed to be more open for input from staff members, harmonization , and collaboration.

(1) http://www.internationalstudent.com/international-financial-aid/community-colleges/

Week 10-Governance Reforms and Automony

This week we focused on university governance, reforms and autonomy in Asia, Europe and Latin America.  First, Global Trends in University Governance looks at how governments plan and direct their higher education sectors.  Second, Governance reforms and university autonomy in Asia examines the move towards autonomy and how it has played out in China, Cambodia, Viet Nam, Japan and Indonesia.  And again, comparative analysis was useful to see what works for one region or country may not work for another and that in the study of higher education internationalization, it is imperative to understand the diversity of geopolitical and socio-economic issues that intersect and interact.  For me personally, having worked at both public and private higher ed institutions, the concepts of autonomy and governance are interesting ones to consider.  I realized that the autonomy enjoyed by many American universities is not at all a universal concept but reading about recent governance trends toward autonomy was heartening but also tempered by better understanding what some of the challenges are through both readings.

The concepts of autonomy and academic freedom took center stage in this week’s readings and I think the connection between the two is important to understand in gaining an understanding of how higher education is different from other sectors and what makes it a unique sector to regulate.  In general, autonomy reforms serve to propagate that the notion that higher ed institutions should be free to manage their affairs.  The move from a state control model in many countries to a state supervising model bolsters the role of academic freedom for universities and colleges to be in charge of their own academic programs and developments as well as mission and vision.

Of course, there are growing pains we see with autonomy for countries that are trending from complete state controlled models.  It is clear that for less developed and more previously totalitarian regimes, governance reforms cannot be implemented in a vacuum and must take into context the historical context from which they are coming, such as Malaysia or Cambodia.  Japan, on the other hand, as a more developed country has been able to withstand the corporatization reforms of much less state control toward that of private, independent universities and colleges.

While full assessment of the impact of autonomy may be premature, it seems certain that the state supervisory model allows room for higher ed institutions to be more open to internationalization efforts such as cross-border partnerships and other market driven academic entrepreneurial intiatives.


W9- Let’s look at the Stats

First of all, I would like to say that the global strategies laid out by Middlesex Community College and Ohio University are pretty impressive. To have such a focus on internationalization signifies that the states (Massachusetts and Ohio) have deep interest in promoting the concept of global citizenship. It is one thing for a private institution to have that type of support is one thing, but public institutions? And on top of that, a community college?

Reading BRIC Universities as Institutions in the Process of Change shed more light on the autonomy and structuring of educational systems in various countries around the world. Every country does things a little bit differently when it comes to funding by local, state, and federal governments. HEIs might thrive better depending on which level they are more closely tied to, if they have a choice at all. Learning about how other countries’ systems are constructed got me thinking about how things are done in the United States. The autonomy of a college varies so much state by state, whether it is a matter of money or mission. We see lots of controversy even in our own state of New York, where there are battled being waged between city and state governments. Conversely, other states have fewer problems, maybe because cities aren’t as big or educational systems as vast. Additionally, some states are experiencing major changes whose results are yet to be seen. The state of Connecticut has merged all its public colleges into one system, thus removing degrees of autonomy from each individual college.

What I really would like to talk about though goes back to the global strategies. Since I’m always looking to create some debate in this class, I’d like to comment on the purpose of the extensive global strategies of the two colleges being discussed. What I have to say is this: it makes sense for them. Throughout this course we are promoting and worshipping internationalization; it’s as if we are saying successful, smart colleges will encourage it and bad colleges don’t. I’m not on that bandwagon. I think internationalization is a choice, and it doesn’t HAVE TO BE a major focus of a college’s overall strategic plan or mission.

Let’s compare the demographics of Baruch with Middlesex Community College and Ohio University. If you look at Baruch’s numbers, they show that the college is extremely diverse. Lots of whites, blacks, Asians, and Hispanics. As I’ve mentioned before, over half of these students are either from other countries or have parents who came from abroad. I just don’t see the purpose of pushing and pushing internationalization at a college like this. It’s internationalized enough as it is. Now, let’s look at Middlesex’s and Ohio’s numbers. Quite a different story! The former is 66% white and the latter is almost 82%! I think it makes sense why these colleges have such thorough plans- because they want to attract more diverse students. By encouraging study abroad programs, international students, IaH, these schools can become ‘better.’

To me, all a school like Baruch needs to do is celebrate what it already has. Clubs, events, representation- that’s more important. Show the students that they are wanted and respected. If some students want to study abroad, make sure a program exists. But, personally, I do not believe Baruch needs a global strategy like that of Middlesex or Ohio.