W5- Bringing Internationalization to the masses

This week’s readings continued to further my understanding of the internationalization of higher education. Of the two readings for this week, the report entitled “Approaches to Internationalization and Their Implications for Strategic Management and Intuitional Practice”, focused on an area that I wanted to get more information about. These past weeks in class we have discussed the internationalization of higher education policy and programs in place across various countries. Most of the policies and programs we discussed were based at higher education institutions but we haven’t deviled into how institutions directly deal with the trend of internationalization; how are colleges and universities administrations incorporating internationalization into their management approaches? The OECD piece breaks down how higher education institutions can approach internationalization. It can be seen as a blueprint for institutions who wish to create or expand their strategic management to include internationalization.

Several connections are made between internationalization and topic/areas related to higher education. The internationalization through dual and joint programs would allow the students of higher education institutions the opportunity to study multiple subjects at the same time. An article in the US News and World Reports defines dual degree as “Dual degree programs show both degrees on a student’s diploma. The program is formally organized by the university and may involve a great deal of overlap to minimize time spent and cost…” and joint degree as “Some joint degrees combine two or more areas of study in two separate departments on the same campus or at two different universities, Kent says, and are interdisciplinary in nature. Joint and dual degrees are also common structures for international programs, some of which are conferred jointly by different universities in different countries, or conferred separately as dual degrees by international partner institutions.” Dual degrees programs seem to be similar to double majoring and joint degree programs are more synchronized than dual programs, there is a connection between the subjects you are studying. A student can potentially earn a dual/joint degree at their home country and spend a significant amount of time at their host school abroad.

The internationalization of joint and dual degree programs is directly linked to student mobility. Most student mobility is connected to credit mobility but if more joint and dual degree programs were established it could lead to further growth in student mobility.  In order to help alleviate the risks that are discussed in the report, institutions must ensure that dual and joint degree programs are all round beneficial for all parties involved- home and host institutions, students and faculty/staff.  An article in Business World discusses how the Indian government is pushing for international collaborations like dual and joint degree programs.

ICT assisting institutions in internationalization is another area worth further discussion. More and more universities and colleges are introducing or expanding the online presence of their classes. Connecting information and computing technology with the internationalization policies of higher education institutions can run into some of the same concerns that people have about MOOCs and fully online classes. However, a major advantage for ICT assistance in internationalization is that it could help with internationalization at home. It could connect the non-mobile student with international experiences or at least an international perspective. By using ICT to help with internationalization, universities and college understand the need to bring internationalization to all its students. Two articles in the Chronicle of Higher Education discuss the pros and cons of using MOOCs with regards to internationalization.

In order for ICT assistance to be successfully there has to be systems in place that would ensure that the benefits and skills that are gained through face to face instruction are still there for the students.

W2- Technology and Branch Campuses

I wanted to share couple of my articles related to Oxford report on Trends in International Higher Education. The report highlighted that “International branch campuses are expanding to include non-traditional countries.” It added that

While branch campuses remain a popular facet of institutional international strategies, there have been a number of high profile closures.

In my previous article “International branch campuses get too much attention“, I have argued that branch campuses are infrastructure-intensive efforts that come with high financial and reputational risks and higher education institutions interested in global engagement may also experiment with emerging online learning efforts. These are low-cost, flexible alternative for ‘glocal’ students to potentially earn a foreign credential – ‘glocal’ students aspire to earn an international education or experience without having to leave their home or region.

This directly connects with another trends identified by the Oxford report on technology. While the Oxford report takes a critical view of MOOCs, it does recognizes that “Technology is becoming central to the process of learning and teaching in higher education and, in some countries, is driving wider access to education and training.”

The landscape of internationalization is still shifting with no one size fit all approach, but experimentation with technology is emerging as a new strategy for global engagement.

Feel free to critique/comment on this theme in your future posts.

Related links:

The international branch campus: Models and trends, Line Verbik

The new branch campus model: expand at home, compete everywhere, ICEF

International branch campuses of UK universities in UAE: Highlights from QAA

– Rahul