W-3 Melissa Fernandez

There were a few topics that sparked my interest in this weeks reading. The first was harmonization. As we spoke in class and in the blog, countries are currently having problems uniting themselves to in fact wish for a national harmonization is very difficult. The harmonization they spoke about was in regards to international academic calendars and degree/credit transfers. With my position as an admissions counselor I constantly see students with international credits and degrees and many times we do not accept all credits or the degrees they received do not allow them to continue a masters or doctorate here. There are even times where the high school diploma is not sufficient and we will ask them to take a GED. I do believe the education hubs play a role in this. Some mentioned there education hubs were cities like in Ecuador with the Yachay City of Knowledge and others were schoolhouses within institutions like Singapore. With an eventual minimum qualification for what is considered high school equivalent and bachelors equivalent the harmonization could be a possibility for students to not loose years in university when transferring between countries. On the policy side, many students who come to New York with a degree are not able to receive the PELL or TAP grants because it is for those students seeking degree for the first time. This information is available to international students but is not well known and normally these students find out at the bursars office after they have been accepted and registered for classes.

It has always been know that the United States is a “melting pot” for different cultures but when it comes to higher education we are the only one’s with HBCU’s and Hispanic-serving institutions. When speaking about policy the U.S. really emphasizes that the wish to bring internationalization to these institutions but all the other countries mention policies they wish to implement across the board. I wonder how HBCU;s and Hispanic-serving institutions will play a role in the internationalizing of education and if it will thrive in institutions like this where the majority of the students have roots that are international already. Are we really the only country that has certain institutions that are under served? Or are we the only ones who care?

Lastly, policy effectiveness relies heavily on institutional research. With the correct collection of data and analysis policy can be most effective, but funding as mentioned in the article is a problem for some countries. In order to collect the correct data and have the tools to analyze and asses within the years to come if the policy is effective will take large amounts of monetary funds. Being in compliance with state and government regulations too can hinder policy, so even if the institution wishes to move towards internationalization they are unable to. This brings up the point of safety with internationalization, are we brining in danger with opening our doors to institutions around the world?


W2 ACE Reading- Student Mobility

The policy category of Student Mobility was my favorite of the two covered in the ACE reading. The subcategories of Inbound and Outbound Mobility, Degree and Credit Mobility discuss the national polices implemented to further international higher education.

Visa policies are the first and foremost issue for inbound student mobility. The reading covers differing approaches, with Australia streamlining their application process, and efforts of the European Union to ease intra-EU mobility for non-EU students. However, we also have the United Kingdom increasing visa regulations in response to concerns about international students at public colleges.

How will the recent Paris terror attacks affect visa restrictions for international students?  France introduced new measures during the last few years aimed to increase inbound international students to 20% of total higher ed enrollment.  Have recent events made France reconsider this goal? This will be an issue to watch going forward, especially among nations they may consider to be ‘high risk’.

Another vital issue is that of ‘harmonization’, or alignment of educational systems. Differing academic calendars, credit systems and degree structures can inhibit student and job mobility.

I have seen harmonization issues in my workplace regarding graduate admissions qualifications. A four year Bachelors degree is required, meaning that students who completed their undergraduate studies in a country with a three year system were ineligible for our Masters programs. This issue of incohesive educational systems lost my school some talented applicants and left them with fewer options to further their studies.  ACE gives examples of successful harmonization initiatives such as the Bologna Process in Europe and the Reykjavik Declaration in Scandinavia, which provide common standards and mutual recognition of credentials.  Harmonization policies provide greater opportunities for students residing in participating regions. However I wonder if harmonization efforts put pressure on regions with fewer resources to conform to the standards set by wealthier regions. What disadvantages are faced by students in a region with a unique higher ed system that does not have the means to adapt to (often) Western standards? If higher education is to be truly global, what are the responsibilities of developed regions to the rest of the world?


Allison Olly