W9 Comparing Global/Internationalization Strategic Plans

Last week’s readings included the global strategic plan for Baruch College, this week we are given access to the strategic plans for Middlesex Community College and Ohio University. By comparison the Baruch plan seems to be a 1st draft of what a global strategic plan should entail. It is missing many of the elements that are in the plans for the other colleges. Ohio University and Middlesex are using the Global Learning Value Rubric established by the Association of American Colleges and Universities.  The rubric has six areas of competencies that can be used when trying to determine if a curriculum promotes global learning. Both institution state the importance of having a global strategy and they break down how they plan on achieving their goals.  The Middlesex plan provides the most detail about the their plans and as well as how they want to go about achieving their goals. Baruch should look to the Middlesex plan as a blueprint of what their plan should look like.

The Middlesex plan includes having all students who participated in study abroad attend a Global Engagement Workshop, which is “designed to help them craft their study abroad experiences into informal and formal narrative presentations” . This stood out to me because as we have discussed in class, some of the benefits/goals of studying abroad is developing “soft skills”; participating in the Global Engagement Workshop would allow students that opportunity to learn how to describe their experiences abroad including all the skills they have acquired. The Ohio University plan for global strategy and internationalization states that it is still in the stages of completing a “workable” plan. The framework that they have in place to create a solid global strategic plan is very through; I am assuming that future drafts and the final plan will include substantial and solid ways in which the university plans on implementing their plans.

One aspect of the Baruch Global Strategic Plan that both Middlesex and Ohio, could incorporate into their plans is the section detailing the countries they are targeting in regards to student and faculty mobility.  By providing this information, you can get a look at the direction in which the institutions are going with regards to outreach, some of the places that are worth consideration are discussed in the 3rd reading for this week. That reading looks into BRIC institutions, which is an acronym for Brazil, Russia, India and China. BRIC is an  an association of four major emerging national economies. As of 2010, South Africa joined BRIC. The reading focused on the changes that are taking place at BRIC universities and to what extent the state (government) is involved in these changes. While looking further into BRICS, I discovered that the the member countries and in the process of creating a global university. BRICS Network University will be based in Russia, it is “a joint educational project aimed at creating a common educational space, developing academic mobility and providing the BRICS economies with highly professional personnel in energy, economy, informatics, ecology and other areas.” Based off the article we read for class, I am interested in seeing how the network university would work since many of the member countries are to varying degrees are involved with higher education specifically the financial end of the institutions.


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.

Strategic Planning for Internationalization in Higher Education

This weeks readings discuss one of the most important aspects of a successful strategy of internationalization of a college or university campus: strategic planning. Without a proper strategic plan, it is near impossible to set goals, make decisions and implement change at an institution of higher education. Change takes time and a strategic plan is necessary for a college or university to continue to advance and the same goes for implementing a new strategy of internationalization. I believe that the AIEA article did a excellent job of defining what a strategic plan is and the twelve principles of successful strategic planning. According to AIEA “…a strategic plan is ideally developed through an inclusive, collective process through which the participants develop a mission and a set of priorities to move the college or university toward an aspirational, but attainable, future state over a period of five or more years.” This definition speaks to all strategic plans in general, but it is important to note that an internationalization strategic plan must align itself with the colleges overall strategic plan, mission and goals. I enjoyed reading about Baruch College’s Global Strategic Plan 2014-2019 and how they connect it to the universities existing strategic plan. “…this Global Strategic Plan follows in the footsteps of the College Strategic Plan by extending our commitment to access and excellence to global opportunities, perspectives and partnerships which should be operationalized as soon as possible for maximum benefit to students and faculty.” Baruch’s plan also emphasizes the importance of collaboration between departments and without support and collective efforts, internationalization will not be possible. This speaks to AIEA’s principle #2 and #5 which note the importance of soliciting wide input, and transparency in the universities efforts.  When reading over Baruch Colleges Global Strategic Plan, I began looking at their initiatives to try and identify which of AIEA’s principles they are implementing and where they could use improvement.  It is clear that this version is in it’s early stages, but Baruch has made an attempt to address several of these principles including solicit wide input, seek transparency, establish a timeline, focus on curriculum and student learning, and educate the campus about the internationalization strategy.  Baruch discusses how they will first establish a communication campaign which announces the Global Strategic Plan.  I believe this is a great first step, as it will  help educate faculty, staff and students on what is currently happening at the school and how these changes are going to be implemented.  In addition, they discuss how each individual department or school will be tasked with evaluating their current international practices and how they can improve their initiatives to better align with the new global strategy.   The conclusion mentions the plan to create an assessment strategy for all five priorities of their strategic plan, which speaks to AIEA’s principle #10, to monitor and assess.  This step is crucial, as without an assessment plan, it will be hard to tell if Baruch is achieving the goals they set out to achieve.  I think as Baruch’s plan develops further, a more significant timeline should be established, with specific dates they wish to complete the 5 different priorities identified.  I also feel they can increase their efforts to “ensure that internationalization touches all students.”  The plan has specific efforts to increase international student enrollment and increase the number or american students studying abroad; however, I think their efforts to create global academic programs must be supported by extracurricular programs at home as well, in order to engage larger numbers of domestic students in its efforts.  Incorporating the budget model is a great plus, as it helps us see where and how these efforts will be financed.