W2 – Internationalizing Higher Education Worldwide

From the reading, it was interesting to learn more about questions that were raised from last week’s readings about how the programs compare to each. I did not realize the vast number of focuses policies and programs could have for promoting internalization of higher education. This is probably because of some goals being discrete as mentioned by the readings, or not intended. The section that mentioned the “study in” initiatives was very interesting to read and compare to how U.S. post-secondary education institutions attract local students to apply in general in the United States. There’s also heavy use of websites and the internet to try to attract more international applicants.

Since I intern with the Baruch Fellowship Advisor this semester, I’ve gotten a lot more exposure to all the internationalization efforts done by not just the U.S. but other countries as well who have partnerships from the U.S. or want to attract inbound students from all over the world in general. It was eye-opening to read more in-depth about the opportunities the Office promotes to Baruch students, and the motives behind each initiative.

And I know that degree mobility and credit mobility were two things that caused my friends to hesitate from studying abroad, it was fascinating to read about how some countries are trying to make it easier for students, while others are tightening the reins on it. Personally, I know that at Baruch certain departments are not very welcoming of courses taken outside of the U.S. due to a number of reasons. At the time, I found it frustrating, but I can see how some departments may worry about the quality of the course taken abroad and the effects it may have.

In addition to the section on student mobility, it was nice to read more about how knowledge and research exchange between countries are also a motive of internationalization. I’ve had friends who’ve gone abroad to research in other countries either through initiatives set forth by the U.S. (i.e. the Fulbright program) or by initiatives implemented by the host country to foster more knowledge exchange. I, myself, it very interested in going abroad again to expand my own knowledge of the world and just to have more experiences in other places.

Again, this week’s reading was very informative, and I’m looking forward to reading about the comparison analysis of the programs in next week’s reading.

W2-ACE Report (Part I)

This week’s reading comprised of the ACE report on Internationalizing Higher Education Worldwide –National Policies and Programs builds on last week’s foundational introduction to the key concepts in internationalization and offers instructive insights and detail regarding national policies and programs to build international higher education throughout the world.

For me, a comparative analysis of national policies and programs was revealing for a few reasons.  First, it helped to give color to some of the readings from last week, in particular Green’s assertions of where the US lies in relation to other country policies and programs.  Second, it also cogently highlighted the categories in which such policies and programs fall into such as student mobility and scholar mobility and research collaboration (this week’s focus).

The ACE report’s strength is in laying out what different regions and countries around the world are doing to stay competitive in the global market from an academic, economic, political and social/cultural perspective.  To me, what resonated in the ACE report was that while there are a myriad of ways in which nations address their differing needs with respect to international higher education, the underlying goals and mechanisms are essentially the same.  Student mobility (degree and credit) is key as is the overall concept of strengthening competition, particularly in the areas of skilled labor and work readiness.

I also find the trends of regionalization and harmonization highly relevant in understanding where internationalization is headed and what models will yield targeted success.  Strides in the European Union and coalitions such as ASEAN suggest that nations see value in focusing their efforts in specific areas and with targeted goals to increased student and scholar mobility through collaborative and innovative processes for mutually beneficial results.  While successful models such as Fulbright programs in the US have had broad reach and significant contribution to internationalization efforts, harmonization addresses some of the impediments to Fulbright like scalability by addressing critical factors such standardizing academic calendars, degree structures and common quality assurance procedures.

Certainly, there may be concerns raised here that such standardization may compromise unique features of a particular country’s academic traditions and structures.  What makes international education coveted is the diversity and national nuance and differences in a student or scholar’s academic experience.  I posit that tampering with national models too much may yield its own list of setbacks for internationalization efforts.  On the other hand, a global economy and interconnected world is the reality we live in.  Regional higher education ought to reflect that reality and harmonization could thus help to make even greater significant strides in internationalizing higher education worldwide.

W1- Sima S. Ahuja Introduction & Readings Reflections

Hello!  I am Sima Saran Ahuja and this is my fourth session in the MSED Higher Administration program.  I am General Counsel of the Metropolitan College of New York.   Coming from an immigrant family that came to this country to pursue higher education, I am interested in the history and current trends of international higher education.  More importantly, as a member of a college that is increasing international enrollment and very focused on growing these numbers, there are several aspects of the trends that impact my role.  Previously, I was in CUNY’s office of General Counsel and both my parents are long-time CUNY professors.  I am a graduate of Barnard College and the B.N. Cardozo School of Law.

As an introduction, the readings this week did a good job laying out the past, present and future of international higher education in terms of the international political and academic landscape.  It was also useful to get an understanding of the concept of internationalization which rooted the readings and I am sure will be a guiding principle in the weeks to come.  The readings seem to break down into three categories:  (i) Altbach who provides a brief history of higher education and explains the concept of internationalization; (ii) Green who addresses the US’s explicit role in the history and future trajectory; and (iii) Oxford University Press’s detailed and fascinating look at current trends in international higher education.  I am excited to explore these trends in-depth in this class.

In Altbach’s article, I was intrigued to review the history of international higher education prior to the 1970’s – a watershed moment for Asian students venturing abroad to pursue education and to note that the history and trends date back to WWI and carry real relevance to goals of international peace and solidarity signaled by the establishment of institutions such as the UN.  The final question posed by Altbach is an unsettling one – whether current global conflicts involving religious fundamentalism and nationalism will harm international higher education strides.  Statistics cited in Green’s article suggest that current conflicts in troubled regions are in fact where the largest segments of international students hail from – South Asia, China and Nigeria.  I look forward to exploring what Green’s statistics  reveal about the pessimism underlying Altbach’s premise that global conflict may curtail higher education international pursuits.  I agree that the internationalization of higher education may be at a critical crossroad.

The Oxford University Press review of international trends in higher education was instructive.  While the review was undertaken with Oxford in mind, I think the trends are relevant to other markets and institutions looking to break into the international higher education market or sustain growth in that area.  Given Green’s assertion that the US is lagging behind in internationalization, the Oxford discussion of trends seem particularly relevant and informative in understanding why and how to reverse the US trends.  I am curious to learn more about international branch campuses in non-traditional countries, particularly with respect to current viability and success rates, e.g. Johns Hopkins in Malaysia.  I am also eager to learn more about the concept and trends of widening access through innovations such as MOOCs (their apparent rise and decline) as well as internationalizing access to research and the potential impacts on quality of research and intellectual property rights.

W1 – Introduction and Blog Post

Hi, I’m Victoria Tsang. I am currently in my second semester of the MSED program. I am a full-time student with a graduate research assistantship with Professor Michael Williams and an internship with the Baruch Honors Office. I graduated in 2014 as a Macaulay Honors Scholar at Baruch College with a BA in Graphic Communication and a minor in Interdisciplinary Studies of New York City. I have studied abroad twice during my undergraduate career. The first time was at the City University of Hong Kong for a semester and the second time was at the Florence campus of the Lorenze de’ Medici Institute for a winter intersession. Following graduation, I worked for 10 months in Hong Kong at the Hong Kong Institute of Education (which might soon be renamed as the Education University of Hong Kong) as an International Tutor. My experience abroad has influenced my interest in international higher education.

During my final year of undergrad, I did some research on what opportunities were available for me to go abroad to work or study, which is why I was not surprised when I read Altbach and de Wit’s essay about how politics and economic development had influenced the trajectory and purpose of international higher education cooperation throughout history. Many of the programs I looked at always mentioned the chance to be an ambassador of the U.S. and helping to strengthen the ties between America and the host country. It was also interesting to read Green’s essay and compare it to what I learned in my Intro to U.S. Higher Education and Student Services class from last semester. Again, I was not really surprised to learn that though the U.S. higher education system boasts being the best, internationalization is not always that important on the agenda of many institutions in the U.S. In my previous courses, I learned that while there maybe an influx of international students, there was not always the proper support services to fully serve those students. And in terms of sending our own students abroad, funding the study abroad office was not always on the institution’s agenda or budget. Also from experience studying and working in Hong Kong, in a country were there is a low number of institutions to serving an ever growing population of students, the practice of sending their local students abroad is not surprising since the demand is much higher than supply.

As for Oxford’s International Trends in Higher Education 2015 report, it was interesting to read about what other countries are actually doing to promote internationalization in comparison to the U.S. The partnerships forged between countries as explained in the report support Altbach and de Wit’s assertion that politics and economic development is the driving force of international higher education cooperation. The appeal of an international experience to potential employers in other countries is very much in line with how study abroad programs attract students in the U.S. to study or research abroad. This was a heavily pushed statement that I encountered when I was researching opportunities to go abroad. And I was fascinated to learn that, like in the U.S., MOOCs have taken a decline in popularity internationally and that there is a push to have more open access worldwide to research and other scholarly materials through the internet. Some of the trends in the report, like expansion programs and partnerships between different countries, will most likely continue but are also very susceptible to any political changes in either country in the partnership, because education is typically greatly tied to politics and the composition of those in the governing body. All three readings had a wealth of information and I am looking forward to what the future readings will bring for the course.

W1: Intro & Response to Readings

Hi everyone! My name is Jen Kalaidis, and I am in my second semester of the HEA program. I currently work as the Program Assistant for the undergraduate public policy program at Hunter College’s Roosevelt House. In this role, I have the opportunity to work closely with both Hunter College students and faculty. I am pursuing my MSEd to continue to advance my career in higher education, where I hope to work in academic advising and/or education abroad. I am originally from the Twin Cities, and I received my undergrad degrees in History and Global Cultures from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I also spent a semester studying abroad in Paris, France and a did an summer internship in Buea, Cameroon.


Response to reading:

In an increasingly globalized world, international education is more important than ever for a student’s academic and professional success. While most universities are vocal about their support for increasing international exchange between students, faculty, and institutions, their actual practice of promoting this exchange varies by country and institutional type. The main overlapping theme I noticed in this week’s readings is the how much economic and foreign policy goals of an individual country shape its universities’ international education opportunities.

Altbach and de Wit discuss the history of the internationalization of higher education. They discuss the role universities played in the twentieth century — and continue to play today — as arbitrators of international diplomacy. Following the devastation of WWI, “there was a strong belief that the academic community could help build international solidarity and contribute to peace building” (Altbach and de Wit, 2015, pp. 2). While there would be another world war just a few decades later, which proved to be a big setback for internationalization efforts, the idea of universities being the “means of fostering the development of mutual understanding” (Altbach and de Wit, 2015, pp. 2) continued throughout the Cold War. With global tensions on the rise in many regions of the world, Altbach and de Wit close their article discussing how international education is one of the “essential mechanisms for keeping communication open and dialogue active” (Altbach and de Wit, 2015, pp. 4).

Despite the important role international higher education can play in global affairs, Madeline Green’s article discusses how the United States is lagging behind in its efforts. While she does not go into specific detail as to why this is the case, here are some questions that came to mind from the reading, which I hope we can explore this semester:

  • Is the increasing cost of higher education in the U.S. a reason why international students are choosing other destinations to study instead of the U.S.? Likewise, are financial barriers the reason why less Americans study abroad than students in other countries?
  • Do the increasing funding cuts to higher education impact the ability for American universities to send students abroad?
  • With much of U.S. foreign policy focused on the Middle East, why is it that there is so little international student exchange between the U.S. and that region?
  • What role does an increasingly isolationist Republican Party play in shaping international higher education?

The final reading, the Oxford report, discussed many other areas of international collaboration beyond just the exchange of students. From satellite campuses to MOOCs, internationalization is rapidly changing the global higher education landscape. My most surprising take away from this reading was that only 10 percent of American students study abroad (University of Oxford, 2015, pp. 7). Since the report shows that the countries that put the most resources into international education are the ones who are generally reap the most benefits, I find this particularly troubling.

Those of us working in New York City are fortunate to work with many international students, but this is not the case at many American universities. With such strong evidence of the social, political, and economic benefits of international education, I hope the U.S. strengthens its participation in the larger global higher education landscape.