As we are almost at the end of this class, discussing the future of International Higher Education seems pertinent. We have discussed through our blog posts and class discussions the many areas of International Higher Education and specifically the internationalization of Higher Education- student and faculty mobility, Internationalization at home, branch campuses, strategic planning and partnerships, and SIOs. By reading and discussing the theories and framework of International Higher Education we have been able to gain an overview of global education.
This week’s readings helped bring to a close our analysis of the internationalization of Higher Education. The IHE journal featured several articles covering current trends in international education and possible solutions to outstanding issues that could hinder the prosperity of this field. The second reading, Bridges to the Future, gives an overview of the issues and trends in IHE as well as the regional trends of the internationalization of higher education in countries that are not often discussed in that context.
Hans De Wit’s piece in the IHE journal was of interest to me because it examined the trend of International Universities. He mentions that he fears universities “…will refer, in their mission statements and policies, to the fact that they are international university, without clearly explaining what they mean by it.” His fear is warranted, as more and more universities and colleges see the appeal of being branded an international institution, they may put together haphazard strategic plans to incorporate international themes. This will be a disservice to the students. If a university or college categorizes itself as an International University they have to first understand what that means for the intuitions and its population. I think the definition will vary based on the goals of the institution; if the institution is a small community college and the administration wants to internationalization the college, they have to see what areas they can truly achieve international in, whether it be through student and faculty mobility programs or to incorporate internationals themes in the curriculum.
The “Bridges to the Future” includes textboxes that analyze the analyze the internationalization of higher education in regions that are often left out of the conversation or not given enough attention- Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. I have wondered throughout this class; how African institutions have embraced the internationalization of higher education. Of the challenges listed by James Jowi quality and brain drain stand out. The quality of the education that students receive in African intuitions is important because many of the students who may want to stay at home to further their education, don’t stay because they can get a better education abroad- leading to “brain drain”. It will take institutions a while to increase the quality of the education they offer to attract the brightest of students to stay home; however, if they implement a plan similar to the Russian government- where the government will pay for students to study abroad once they commit to returning home and working for the government. African countries could change it to be that an individual has to commit to working at a college or university either as a faculty member or administrator. This will allow those who study abroad to return home to jobs that will contribute to the next generation of students.
Internationalization defined by Jane Knight is “Internationalization at the national, sector, and institutional levels is defined as the process of integrating an international, intercultural, or global dimension into the purpose, functions or delivery of postsecondary education.” As this class concludes, I think it safe to see that we can agree that this a board definition of internationalization but it does encompass the frameworks of what we call the internationalization of higher education.
The two readings for this week examined autonomy and governance in higher education. Over the past couple of years, countries are moving to have the public higher education institutions in their countries become less reliant on government involvement. In the reading authored by John Fielden, governance is defined as “all those structures, processes and activities that are involved in the planning and direction of the institutions and people working in tertiary education”. His definition is encompasses the responsibilities of the administration in colleges and universities. The push for autonomy is twofold: it will allow institutions to have the ability to compete on an international level and allow institutions to take on more financial responsibilities which will alleviate budgetary concerns for countries. Throughout this class the United States hasn’t been often used as an example with regards to international higher education but when dealing with autonomy and governance, we can look at the structure of the United States’ tertiary education for examples of how countries can move towards more autonomy for their colleges and universities.
The state control model and the state supervising model are two models that are being used by countries in regards to governing HEIs. The first model involves the state government seeking control of the institutions and the second model, states monitor and regulate universities. Within the second model there are different levels of state involvement from semi-autonomous to completely independent. Whichever model is used depends on the country, it isn’t a “one size fits all” method. It is important to take into account private institutions and state involvement. Even though states don’t have direct authority with regards to private colleges or universities, the monetary aid or tax breaks that HEIs receive can enable states to become involved in private institutions. The question now, is that a good thing? If the state is able to ensure that private institutions main goal is the education of the student’s not financial benefits then I think states should have some involvement in private institutions.
The report by N.V. Varghese and Michaela Martin, compares the governance reforms in several Asian countries. It takes in account the governance issues that are discussed in the article by the World Bank. All of these countries have experienced swift growth/expansion in their higher education systems. Eventhough the countries varied in areas outside of higher education, with regards to the growth in HEIs they shared the same characteristics: privatization, revised programs, improved research facilities, etc. The rise of private HEIs in these countries because private institutions almost have no involvement from the state. An important factor with institutional autonomy that is highlighted in the article is the need to have strong institutional leaders. With a strong Board of Trustees and Presidents, institutions will be able to function well and govern themselves.
I found the reading Global Strategy & Internationalization at Ohio University interesting because it is the first time in this class that we look more in depth to one particular U.S University. The Global Strategy & Internationalization at Ohio seems very well planned and thoughtful. This piece is of course better written and more well planned then Baruch’s global strategy/ strategic plan. The Ohio piece has more thoughtful insights for its framework, which I think, is important for the reader.
Baruch’s global strategy also lacked future direction. Ohio, however, presents future goals and data. Ohio’s global plan starts by explaining what the college has done thus far to become more involved in internationalization which in any well planned strategic plan is important for the reader and campus community. They also make a list of their three strategic partners, which are Germany, Japan and Malaysia, which shows their potential to reach a global community. The Middlesex reading on global education & planning was as lengthy as Ohio’s which to my surprise was also very well planned. In higher ed, we normally fall under the assumption that community colleges lack funding and/or lack quality but this piece shows that not all community colleges fall under that description. I also believe that because Middlesex is located in Boston there is this sense of competition in education and for Middlesex globalization of education will allow their campus to become unforgettable in their local community.
When I think if internationalization you usually think the goal of internationalization can only be achieved in wealthy and prestige universities. Ohio University endowment is approximately 3 billion. It is very important to look at all universities and colleges in this aspect because internationalization is very much influenced by the need of funding. This however is not a fact internationalization can also be achieved by planning out reach that can aide philanthropic actions similar to Middlesex mission. Middlesex, however, is a very wealthy community college with an endowment of 993 million per FTE Enrollment. (http://community-colleges.startclass.com/l/2601/Middlesex-County-College)
In conclusion, comparing Baruch’s global strategy to Middlesex and Ohio direction is very important. Carnoy’s reading emphasizes that in internationalization the level of autonomy is important when dealing with policies and the directions universities choose to take is very much dictated by governmental and state policies. This is primarily why the word “strategy” is used in internationalization.
OECD Education Policy Outlook 2015 explained the importance of reform and the evaluation process in higher education. I find evaluation fascinating and I like how this reading in particular spoke about evaluation and assessment in terms of policy. In order to explore and reform higher education through policy the reading states building systems are important. In this reading systems are explained as needed for governance and funding. I think this is very important for integration and tracking institutional data. Similar to the implantation of CUNYfirst for all CUNY schools it provides structure and objectives through data.
The State of Higher Education 2014 published by OECD states changes experienced by systems brings forth broader access, greater diversity of study, and students with a “broader spread of institutions’ social missions”. In terms of policy it is explained that the federal government should support states and school districts in developing systems. Form what I read online states lack support from the government. Governmental support or an educational system centralized to the institution type and sectors established by the government can be a little difficult to achieve. I understand that the creation of educational systems need support from the government, however, wouldn’t this mean that the government will take charge of the operations and managing of the system?
Building Capacity for Systems Change: A Federal Policy Framework for Competency Education: http://www.knowledgeworks.org/building-capacity-systems-change-federal-policy-framework-competency-education