Before taking this course, I viewed student mobility as the most significant part of an internationalization strategy. One where some institutions had an advantage over others, with more capital, staffing and programing built into the curriculum to support these initiatives; not all colleges could compete. The ACE article we read this week, as well as many of the other articles and case studies we have looked at throughout the semester, support the practice of a more “comprehensive internationalization”, where campuses can achieve a more overall international campus, involving support and buy-in from the entire campus community. The ACE survey project to map internationalization at US campuses was extremely helpful to put in perspective where the United States currently lies and how far we’ve come over the last decade in the internationalization initiative happening globally. Despite the economic struggles are country has recently faced, almost half of institutions surveyed stated their funding for internationalization has increased and 27 percent said their funding has remained steady since 2008. Between 2006’s survey and the 2011 survey – scholarships and funding for student mobility seems more prominent among institutions. Across all types of institutions, doctoral, masters, baccalaureate, associates and special focus, scholarships for education abroad increased from between 4% – 13% between 2006 and 2011. All schools increased their efforts, with special focus institutions making the biggest jump, going from 0% in 2006 to 26% in 2011. However, despite the increase in funding, it was disappointing to see that 42% of higher education institutions do not offer any form of study abroad activity. Due to some of the conversations we have had in class, what is not surprising was the increased efforts and scholarship opportunities for international students coming to the US to study. Almost 40%, of all types of institutions, had some form of international recruitment plan. This is not surprising as the high tuition price international students pay to study in the United States. Support services for international students have increased, however have a long way to go and I believe as these service opportunities and programming for international students increases, so will international applicants. Orientation seems to be the main service offered; however, international students need support far beyond their first week at the institution. The attached article shows how colleges are even increasing international student fees in order to provide better services and programming options specifically for international students.
The readings for this week discussed the results of surveys that dealt with the Internationalization of Higher Education. Both surveys show the gains that HEIs have been making with regards to incorporating internationalization. After reading both articles, it is clear that their have been changes in how HEIs handle internationalization. Both surveys indicate that internationalization is becoming more of a priority of administrations. Many HEIs have policies or strategies that include an element of internationalization. It is important for HEIs to understand the need to participate in assessments like the the ACE and IAU surveys. This is the 4th edition of the IAU survey an the number of respondents of had doubled, they contacted 6,879 institution and 1,336 responded even though this in an improvement from 4 years ago, HEIs have to know that participating in this surveys can be used as tool of assessment for their institutions. I would suggest that in the future for both surveys, the results are given in comparison form. Meaning that each school will know where they rank compared to the other respondents. In the Sage Handbook of Internationalization of Higher Education, their is an entire chapter dedicated to the explaining the importance of outcome assessments in the internationalization of higher education.
In the ACE survey, the results show that the level of commitment to internationalization varies across they different types of institutions; doctoral institutions have many of the indicators included in the survey, while associate institutions are at the bottom of the list. If we refer to the readings from two weeks ago, Middlesex Community College had the most comprehensive plan for internationalization compared to Baruch College and Ohio University. Middlesex is a community college and they understand the need to include a global aspect across the campus. All HEIs looking to incorporate internationalization can look to Middlesex for guidance. The surveys also can be used for guidance, they point out the areas connected to internationalization. This information would be useful for HEIs.
Some areas of interest for me from both surveys include:
- Student mobility is once again proven to be the number one way institutions, look can be internationalized.
- North America has the highest number of respondents who have confirmed having specific learning outcomes; based on important internationalization seems for European HEIs and governments, I thought they would be number one in this category. Having specific learning outcomes help with the assessment of specific programs.
- Internationalization at home continues to be challenge for HEIs in America and abroad. How institutions implement internationalization at home varies across regions; The requirement to learn a foreign language has always been used as a tool to bring internationalization to the masses; however their has been a decline in American institutions requiring students to learn a 2nd language but it seems in other regions foreign language is still seen as the “best” way to incorporate internationalization to the curriculum.
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.
This week’s reading BRIC Universities as Institutions in the Process of Change, I personally found very interesting and educating, as I did not know much about the commonalities and differences among BRIC countries, especially when it comes to higher education. Although India gave up a lot of its control to individual institution over the past couple of decades, Brazil, China, and especially Russia are still largely dependent on the state governance to make decisions and provide funding.
What I found most interesting is to read about Higher Education and Institutions in Russia, as I was born in Soviet Union and grew up in Belarus (now an independent country after USSR fell apart) and so this is very close to my heart. As to my knowledge the higher education systems in Russian and Belarus are not much different, the state has most of the control over curriculum, faculty, research, and funding. Despite the recent growth in private institutions that rely on tuition money to operate, as mentioned in the report, it is still largely funded by the state, pushing “elite” private institutions to attract international students and become world known, while pushing public institutions out of business. It is interesting that the reading mentions The 1993 Law on Education that “legitimized the decentralization and autonomy, self-governance, and devolution of authority, and legalized the introduction of private and nongovernmental higher education institutions” (P. 160). What was not mentioned is how highly corrupted the Russian government and so is higher education system in this country. Although the report states that most of the institutions, especially private have control over choosing their faculty and administrators, it is still highly controlled by officials with top positions and getting a job often depends on who you know who has an ability to hire. Although this might not be obvious or difficult to prove in the report, the highly corrupted culture of former USSR still exists in those countries and spreads to majority of the “industries”, including higher ed. In addition to hiring and funding corruption, admissions in Russian institutions mainly depend on “knowing people” and ability to pay someone off, despite your admission exam results.
One of the main conclusions about the BRIC institutions is that most of them are highly dependent on state funding, which gives the government more control over the decisions individual institutions make. It seems that the economists predict that BRIC countries will step up and take top ten spots in the world’s largest economies by 2050 (which China being #1), which to me seems to be a little overly optimistic looking at it from today’s standpoint. If that, in fact, will be true, the Higher Education systems and individual Institutions will have to see tremendous amount of change in the next 30 years, to be able to step out of the current state control and become more independent and risk takers, which are willing to take curriculum and internationalization in their own hands. BRIC countries won’t be able to grow as fast as predicted if the state continues to have such control on higher ed system and individual institutions.
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.