W1- Introduction and Responses

Good Morning, my name is Jonelle Gulston. This is my 5th semester in the HEA program and I plan on finishing up at the end of this year. Currently I am an academic advisor for the ASAP program at KBCC, I have been with the program for 5 years. I majored in History as an undergrad at Brooklyn College and then continued there for my Masters; I majored in Political Science with a focus on International Relations. I completed that program in 2010. I am currently interested in moving on from KBCC to broaden my work experience but staying involved with student/academic affairs on some level. I look forward to working and meeting everyone this semester.


During my last semester as an undergrad, I was able to study abroad, I attended the University of Westminster in London.  I still talk about how much impact studying abroad had on me. The University of Oxford’s report on “International Trends in Higher Education, 2015” touches on the current trends in higher education associated with  studying abroad.  Something that struck me as interesting in the reading was that the governments of Germany and Russia are actively involved with pursing way to increase international experiences for students but in the United States a private, not-for-profit organization is spearheading our country’s push to double the number of students studying abroad. The IIE is working with the government for help with their initiative but it isn’t a major priority for our government it seems.

This can be seen as a connection with the Madeleine Green article, based on the results of the survey conducted it is clear that higher education institutions in America are not the best in the world in terms of policies related to internationalization. According to the survey, universities in America do not mention internationalization in their mission statements or strategic plans. As we know strategic plans for a college, show what areas the institutions plans to focus on in the upcoming years. If higher education institutions do not start to include new ways to incorporate internationalization policies then they will continue to fall behind other parts of the world. I would have liked to for the article to explain the importance of internationalization for higher education institutions. An explanation would have connected everything a little better.  According to the survey conducted by the IAU European countries have solid strategies sand policies in place in regards to internationalization and I wonder if that is due to the how involved the countries are with each other i.e. the European Union.

The article by Philip Altbach and Hans De Wit, touches on  how the countries in Europe have been connected through higher education. The authors point out that academic cooperation between countries will always been need especially with the increase in political and military tension. Having higher education institutions be a vehicle of continued contact between countries that may not be align politically is clearly important, but it shouldn’t be used as a way to push political agendas.


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.

Kristen Van Vleck Introduction

Hi Everyone,
I’m Kristen. I’m in my 2nd year (4th semester) in Baruch’s HEA program. I majored in International Studies at Fairfield University, and I currently work at the Institute of International Education (IIE) as a Program Officer for the Fulbright Foreign Student Program. I am the main contact for a caseload of about 250 Masters and PhD students from over 70 countries. My responsibilities include corresponding with the students to ensure a successful exchange program and addressing any problems related to their academic performance, cultural adjustment, visa status, and overall personal well-being. Since I work on the program side of international education, I am excited to learn both about overall trends and institutional policies.
I often fall into the trap of thinking of higher education as an independent entity that takes place in a bubble. It is easy to forget that programs and policies in US higher education are affected by various outside influences, including politics, the economy, and general public opinion. These influences are magnified when you look at them on a regional or even global scale, as is necessary for international educational exchange. The article by Altbach and De Wit which focused on the historical influences on higher education since World War I was a really interesting piece about the evolution of international education and the role that higher education plays worldwide.
As the article notes, historical influences affect how international education works today. I work at IIE, so I knew it was founded in 1919, in response to World War I, but I had never considered that efforts such as IIE, DAAD, and the British Council, in addition to many others within and outside the education sector, were unsuccessful in preventing a second world war. It is important to be cognizant of these historical factors to be more aware of current realities and future trends. I was recently at a meeting at work where I learned that Iran was one of the leading senders of international students in the 1970s. I was surprised to hear this as US relations with Iran have not been good for most of my life. This made me realize that looking at the entire picture, not just the recent past, is important.
In her article, “Is the United States the Best in the World? Not in Internationalization,” Green takes the stance that the US could improve on such aspects of internationalization in higher education including emphasis on international initiatives by institutional leaders and increasing infrastructure to support internationalization on US campuses. She also uses the relative lack of promotion of internationalization in strategic plans as evidence that, when compared to other countries and regions, the US is not a leader in internationalization. However, it is crucial to note that in terms of sheer numbers in educational international exchange, the United States is still the number one destination for all international students.
According to the Oxford publication and IIE’s Open Doors data from 2015, the US was the top destination for international students, with over 970,000 international students during the 2014/15 academic year. There was a ten percent growth in numbers of international students compared to the previous school year, which was the largest percentage growth in international students in the past 35 years. The second most popular destination for international students, the UK, hosts just a bit over half of the number of international students that the US does (Open Doors 2016). Although I realize this could be a function of size of the US (and, as a result, size of higher education sector), rather than institutional emphasis on internationalization, I still think this is an important point to bring up. For example, perhaps one reason most regions did not focus on North America as a region of interest is that they are already sending a large number of students there.
Looking at the various initiatives worldwide outlined in the Oxford publication, it does seem like the US could be doing more, both on a policy and institutional level, especially when it comes to sending US students abroad. For example, DAAD, the German Academic and Exchange Service, has an initiative to send half of all degree-seeking students abroad, up from the 30% that currently study abroad. IIE’s initiative named Generation Study Abroad aims to double the approximately 10% of US students that currently study abroad. Even if the US does fulfill this ambitious goal and Germany sees no improvements, Germany will still send a much larger percentage of students abroad than the US.
I believe in what I do, so I am a big proponent of the benefits of educational international exchange both on a personal and policy level. As Altbach and De Wit note, educational exchanges have been used as a “soft power” in international relations for some countries. They note that although, “international cooperation and exchange are not guarantees for peace and mutual understanding, they continue to be essential mechanisms for keeping communication open and dialogue active” (p 4). The Oxford publication notes that international experiences are also beneficial for individuals that can gain important life skills that are increasingly valued by employers, such as decision making and problem solving skills.

Additional References:
Institute of International Education. (2016). Open Doors: 2015. Retrieved from: http://www.iie.org/Who-We-Are/News-and-Events/Press-Center/Press-Releases/2015/2015-11-16-Open-Doors-Data

W1, Blog 1: Melissa Parsowith (Introduction & Article Response)

  1. Hi, All! My name is Melissa Parsowith and this is my last full semester in the Higher Education Administration program at Baruch College. I graduated in 2012 from Pace University’s Pforzheimer Honors College and returned to my alma-mater in 2014 to work as a Program Coordinator in the Lubin School of Business, aiding and advising Accounting students. I absolutely love what I do and look forward to earning my Master’s so I can move up in the Higher Education field. Although I am originally from Central NJ, I work and live in New York City now and feel very lucky to call the best city in the world my home. Looking forward to a productive Spring semester ahead!
  2. I greatly enjoyed this week’s introductory articles to International Higher Education. When first selecting this course, I was not sure if there would be a lot of information on how Higher Education has been studied on an international level. After reading these articles, I was pleasantly surprised to see how much research has been done on the topic. Altbach’s “Internationalization and Global Tension” piece highlights the aspect of International Higher Education that I feel myself and many of my peers are concerned with: the global scale. The article begins by acknowledging the 2015 Paris attacks and the current global turmoil our world is facing. It goes on to review the history of International Higher Education, from the wars of the 18th and 19th centuries, all the way to todays global climate. Personally, I found this article intriguing because there are great concerns with the danger and/or safety associated with international relations. Although international business can broaden one’s world views and scope of knowledge, this article drives home the important fact that the world is not always without political tension, and it is important to acknowledge this before choosing to leap outside of your comfort zone. In Madeleine Green’s “Is The U.S the Best In the World?” I was not surprised to read that the United States is not the #1 nation in support of institutional internationalization. As explained in the Oxford article about International trends, the U.S “remains the most popular country for international students” (Oxford, 2015, p.5). With this in mind, I find it highly probable that the worlds most desirable destination for international students should be less occupied with promoting internalization of their own students. In short, if the U.S is a wonderful place to learn, it is understandable that many of our own students are happy to stay here for their education, rather than pursue it internationally. I also found it extremely interesting when the Oxford article discussed the value of study abroad among international employers. Assessment is something Higher Education professionals constantly aim to achieve. The European Commission found that the skills and employability of international students yielded a positive outcome. I wonder what variables were considered when making this determination? Lastly, I found the “International Trends” article to highlight the extremely important notion of technology, and the many ways in which it is changing our world. As they mention, open access to information, online classrooms and MOOC’s are just a few of the many ways which technology has allowed education to grow accessibility of information across the world. It is delightful to see the many ways which technology helps our nations succeed, and something which I believe will remain a trend for many years to come.