To me, this week’s readings are all about assessing whether there are “teeth” to the concepts we have been discussing and whether the practical realities if higher education make them sustainable. Adding to the notion of internationalization, this week, Mapping Internationalization on U.S. Campuses: 2012 Edition introduced us to the concept of “comprehensive internationalization” and laid out guidance on how to achieve it, if achievable at all. The IAU Internationalization Survey gave us some hard facts and statistics to better gauge and understand how the concept of internationalization actually translates on campuses.
For me, an interesting part of the readings this week was that concepts are easy to pay lip service to and talk about in idealized and romanticized ways, but is there real teeth and resources for meaningful implementation of comprehensive internationalization at our colleges and universities or are they terms thrown around that do not fully take into account the critical importance of student learning and curriculum development?
Having come off a couple of weeks of analyzing strategic plans and mission statements of a diverse group of US colleges and universities, it is clear to me that these documents and statements are key to introducing concepts of global education and comprehensive internationalization. Making sure that they have the teeth and muscle power to lead to implementation underscores even more how important it is that they be well thought out and presented documents stemming from the highest institutional leaders. The path from strategic plan to implementation of comprehensive internationalization has to be a legitimate one – one bolstered by optimism but also one that recognizes the institutional and student learning challenges that must be overcome to not have empty plans and statements. The IAU survey reflects that student learning and student mobility are priorities of internationalization efforts and that specific activities are being considered and targeted. This is promising. But balanced against this is some of the reality of the ACE piece which reflects that data shows some improvements but also some stagnation. In the US, attention also needs to be focused on not just delivering comprehensive internationalization to students in general, but non-traditional students as well who make up more and more of the student body population at our colleges and universities. One way to ensure this is to address such factors in strategic plans and vision statements directly with data driven analysis and support strategies. This will allow for some “teeth” in the optimistic plans and mission philosophies of US colleges and universities striving for meaningful comprehensive internationalization with student learning at the center of its priorities.
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.
Strategic planning in higher education became necessary after World War II, when returning soldiers decided to attend college. Colleges and universities had to deal with increase enrollment numbers and having enough resources available to accommodate the students. Strategic planning as it relates to the internationalization of higher education is important because the implementation of any polices/programs have to done in consideration of many aspects of higher education. The Baruch Global Strategic Plan 2014-2019, details Baruch’s plans to “enhance the college’s global thinking…” The other readings for this week, provide a framework of how strategic planning/implementation should be done. Baruch’s plan seems to follow the framework provided by the two other readings.
While reading Baruch Global Strategic Plan, I began to think about whether CUNY had a strategic plan that focused on internationalization. After some brief research, I wasn’t able to find anything that dealt with the entire university system in regards to internationalization. The College of Staten Island has a webpage that provides information on their plan for “Comprehensive internationalization at CSI” . I was able to locate CUNY’s Master Plan for 2012-2016, the master plan is being used as a “Strategic Framework that will guide the future growth, development and impact of the University and its 24 constituent colleges, graduate and professional schools.” I took a look at the table of contents and didn’t find anything about global expansion or internationalization. I found this to interesting because the current chancellor of CUNY Mr. Milliken, gave a speech on that discussed the importance of universities being “global” he said “CUNY should become Global CUNY. “Every major university must be global in outlook and scope, and few universities are better positioned than CUNY. We have an enormous advantage: a student body with 40 percent born outside this country and students who speak almost 200 languages.” Noting that CUNY had a number of student and faculty winners of Fulbright awards this year, he said, “I want our graduates to be competitive with graduates from the best universities anywhere, and without an understanding of the world … they will not be.” Also during a interview with the Institute of International Education, Chancellor Milliken said that he wants to double the number of CUNY students that are currently studying aboard. With all of this in mind, I think it is interesting that internationalization or global expansion wasn’t included in the 2012-2016 Master Plan.
Getting back to Baruch Global Strategic Plan, some questions that came to my include 1) Do all of the plans that are outlined fall in line with CUNY policy as well as the CUNY administration’s plans? 2) How did Baruch select the countries that they will like to work with in the future? 3) In regards to their priority to increase study abroad, the have some really good points but none of the address a “reentry” program for students who study abroad.
I look forward to seeing if the administration at Baruch is able to implement the plans it has laid out in the timeframe it has specified.
This weeks readings discuss one of the most important aspects of a successful strategy of internationalization of a college or university campus: strategic planning. Without a proper strategic plan, it is near impossible to set goals, make decisions and implement change at an institution of higher education. Change takes time and a strategic plan is necessary for a college or university to continue to advance and the same goes for implementing a new strategy of internationalization. I believe that the AIEA article did a excellent job of defining what a strategic plan is and the twelve principles of successful strategic planning. According to AIEA “…a strategic plan is ideally developed through an inclusive, collective process through which the participants develop a mission and a set of priorities to move the college or university toward an aspirational, but attainable, future state over a period of five or more years.” This definition speaks to all strategic plans in general, but it is important to note that an internationalization strategic plan must align itself with the colleges overall strategic plan, mission and goals. I enjoyed reading about Baruch College’s Global Strategic Plan 2014-2019 and how they connect it to the universities existing strategic plan. “…this Global Strategic Plan follows in the footsteps of the College Strategic Plan by extending our commitment to access and excellence to global opportunities, perspectives and partnerships which should be operationalized as soon as possible for maximum benefit to students and faculty.” Baruch’s plan also emphasizes the importance of collaboration between departments and without support and collective efforts, internationalization will not be possible. This speaks to AIEA’s principle #2 and #5 which note the importance of soliciting wide input, and transparency in the universities efforts. When reading over Baruch Colleges Global Strategic Plan, I began looking at their initiatives to try and identify which of AIEA’s principles they are implementing and where they could use improvement. It is clear that this version is in it’s early stages, but Baruch has made an attempt to address several of these principles including solicit wide input, seek transparency, establish a timeline, focus on curriculum and student learning, and educate the campus about the internationalization strategy. Baruch discusses how they will first establish a communication campaign which announces the Global Strategic Plan. I believe this is a great first step, as it will help educate faculty, staff and students on what is currently happening at the school and how these changes are going to be implemented. In addition, they discuss how each individual department or school will be tasked with evaluating their current international practices and how they can improve their initiatives to better align with the new global strategy. The conclusion mentions the plan to create an assessment strategy for all five priorities of their strategic plan, which speaks to AIEA’s principle #10, to monitor and assess. This step is crucial, as without an assessment plan, it will be hard to tell if Baruch is achieving the goals they set out to achieve. I think as Baruch’s plan develops further, a more significant timeline should be established, with specific dates they wish to complete the 5 different priorities identified. I also feel they can increase their efforts to “ensure that internationalization touches all students.” The plan has specific efforts to increase international student enrollment and increase the number or american students studying abroad; however, I think their efforts to create global academic programs must be supported by extracurricular programs at home as well, in order to engage larger numbers of domestic students in its efforts. Incorporating the budget model is a great plus, as it helps us see where and how these efforts will be financed.
This week’s readings lead us from external influences on higher education internationalization to internal processed that develop and foster global education: strategic planning. For me, the readings this week were compelling and very interesting because we were given a view into how colleges and universities do their own policy and goal setting and how it relates to internationalization. Strategic planning is a critical foundational component of the internal workings of any higher education institution and seeing its role in global initiatives was very revealing and useful.
The first reading, AEA Occasional Papers Strategic Planning for Internationalization in Higher Education set forth the strategic planning process at colleges in general, then offered twelve principles of successful strategic planning for campus internationalization followed by three case studies of very different types of American colleges and universities. These case studies made for interesting comparative analysis and showcased models of successful strategic planning that has yielded strong global education programs in a variety of higher education environments and contexts. An issue I took to heart from this paper, and had not previously given much consideration to, was the call to acquire and analyze data. The paper highlighted that a successful strategic plan for globalization must be data driven and identify well substantiated and researched goals and deliverable in order to get buy-in and survive implementation. In addition, the UK case study provided real questions that committees were asked to focus on to develop global strategic plans and I thought these were very useful in understanding exactly what type of analysis higher education institutions can utilize in their internationalization efforts. The focus on asset mapping and opportunity mapping were particularly instructive.
The second reading, A case study of issues of strategy implementation in internationalization of higher education laid out the implementation challenges a British university faced in achieving its internationalization goals and underscored the fact that often times, many implementation challenges have nothing to do with external issues such as government or education policy but rather, are rooted internally in issues such as marketing and admissions policies. In this case study, what may seem like minor issues such as the interaction between marketing and faculty turned out to be critical impediments to internationalization which I found to be unexpected and intriguing. Similarly telling were the faculty’s response to how global initiatives may impact work load or scheduling. These types of issues underscored the importance of collaboration and stakeholder buy-in highlighted in the first reading.
Finally, and close to home, we were able to get an in-depth view of Baruch’s Global Strategic Plan 2014-2019. This was a highly instructive document because we were able to review and actual strategic plan, specifically geared to globalization, for an environment that we are intimately close to and invested in. For me, in particular, the Baruch plan struck a chord because it is most similar to the type of college I am administrator with respect to geography and student body. It also spoke to the role of Legal in internationalization efforts in a very tangible and focused way which I can benefit from in my own work.
In the Baruch plan, of note was also its smooth alignment with the college’s overall strategic plan. Such effort to overtly align internationalization with the college’s broader goals and strategy evidences that global education cannot succeed unless it works within, and acknowledges, the larger higher education framework it operates under. The concrete ideas for implementation of the five strategic priorities were very interesting and demonstrated that the key to successful internationalization is in the details and proper planning. I noted that India is a target country which was surprising to me given the high Indian student population at Baruch and found it interesting the plan conceded that the country has not been paid much attention. I wonder if this is related to some of the Indian governmental obstacles to internationalization we have read about earlier in the semester.