This week’s reading expanded on our view into strategic plans, their value and effectiveness, and relevance in the development of global education at American Universities. With three strategic plans to now inform a comparative analysis, it was definitely useful to see the diversity with which strategic plans can be approached in content, format and goal setting. Having already read and discussed Baruch’s global strategic plan last week, it was eye opening to see the Global Education Strategic Plan for Middlesex Community College in MA and the Global Strategy & Internationalization at OHIO for Ohio University.
A few observations I noted while reading the Middlesex and Ohio strategic plans were that they certainly gave credence to the view that the Baruch strategic plan we reviewed was perhaps an initial draft and could benefit from further development and drafting. Ohio and Middlesex seemed more evolved and sophisticated in their visions and supporting strategies. They contained more data that was presented in more visually and organized ways which allowed a better understanding of where they stood vis a vis global education and where they needed to go. To me, the Middlesex plan was the most effective of the three we have reviewed because I found it the most “user friendly” in being able to digest and process the material. It also did not spend as much time as Ohio did on the introductory sections so you were able to cut right to the work they plan to do with specific deliverables and timelines. It was a balance I thought between Baruch’s plan being not as developed and Ohio’s being perhaps too developed to the point of not being user friendly and a bit stilted.
The comparative analysis of the global strategic plans we were provided also made me realize how important planning and goal setting is in achieving successful and sustainable global education platforms. Without a cohesive, data driven and clear path toward internationalization at the outset through solid and robust planning, internationalization with its many facets and layers of necessary international collaboration and analysis will be on shaky ground.
Finally, the BRIC Universities as Institutions in the Process of Change shed interesting light on how higher education institutions in countries that US HEIs would need to work with for global expansion. The different trajectories of China, India, Russia, and Brazil were fascinating and made me wonder what sort of strategic planning goes into, or doesn’t go into, the HEI landscapes in those countries. Of particular interest to me was the example of rapid expansion of unaided privates which may be compromising quality for the sake of enrollment. This observation was notable in light of quality control issues we have previously read about that exist in India which can hinder cross-border partnerships and internationalization efforts with India.