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

W2 – Internationalizing Higher Education Worldwide

From the reading, it was interesting to learn more about questions that were raised from last week’s readings about how the programs compare to each. I did not realize the vast number of focuses policies and programs could have for promoting internalization of higher education. This is probably because of some goals being discrete as mentioned by the readings, or not intended. The section that mentioned the “study in” initiatives was very interesting to read and compare to how U.S. post-secondary education institutions attract local students to apply in general in the United States. There’s also heavy use of websites and the internet to try to attract more international applicants.

Since I intern with the Baruch Fellowship Advisor this semester, I’ve gotten a lot more exposure to all the internationalization efforts done by not just the U.S. but other countries as well who have partnerships from the U.S. or want to attract inbound students from all over the world in general. It was eye-opening to read more in-depth about the opportunities the Office promotes to Baruch students, and the motives behind each initiative.

And I know that degree mobility and credit mobility were two things that caused my friends to hesitate from studying abroad, it was fascinating to read about how some countries are trying to make it easier for students, while others are tightening the reins on it. Personally, I know that at Baruch certain departments are not very welcoming of courses taken outside of the U.S. due to a number of reasons. At the time, I found it frustrating, but I can see how some departments may worry about the quality of the course taken abroad and the effects it may have.

In addition to the section on student mobility, it was nice to read more about how knowledge and research exchange between countries are also a motive of internationalization. I’ve had friends who’ve gone abroad to research in other countries either through initiatives set forth by the U.S. (i.e. the Fulbright program) or by initiatives implemented by the host country to foster more knowledge exchange. I, myself, it very interested in going abroad again to expand my own knowledge of the world and just to have more experiences in other places.

Again, this week’s reading was very informative, and I’m looking forward to reading about the comparison analysis of the programs in next week’s reading.

W2-ACE Report (Part I)

This week’s reading comprised of the ACE report on Internationalizing Higher Education Worldwide –National Policies and Programs builds on last week’s foundational introduction to the key concepts in internationalization and offers instructive insights and detail regarding national policies and programs to build international higher education throughout the world.

For me, a comparative analysis of national policies and programs was revealing for a few reasons.  First, it helped to give color to some of the readings from last week, in particular Green’s assertions of where the US lies in relation to other country policies and programs.  Second, it also cogently highlighted the categories in which such policies and programs fall into such as student mobility and scholar mobility and research collaboration (this week’s focus).

The ACE report’s strength is in laying out what different regions and countries around the world are doing to stay competitive in the global market from an academic, economic, political and social/cultural perspective.  To me, what resonated in the ACE report was that while there are a myriad of ways in which nations address their differing needs with respect to international higher education, the underlying goals and mechanisms are essentially the same.  Student mobility (degree and credit) is key as is the overall concept of strengthening competition, particularly in the areas of skilled labor and work readiness.

I also find the trends of regionalization and harmonization highly relevant in understanding where internationalization is headed and what models will yield targeted success.  Strides in the European Union and coalitions such as ASEAN suggest that nations see value in focusing their efforts in specific areas and with targeted goals to increased student and scholar mobility through collaborative and innovative processes for mutually beneficial results.  While successful models such as Fulbright programs in the US have had broad reach and significant contribution to internationalization efforts, harmonization addresses some of the impediments to Fulbright like scalability by addressing critical factors such standardizing academic calendars, degree structures and common quality assurance procedures.

Certainly, there may be concerns raised here that such standardization may compromise unique features of a particular country’s academic traditions and structures.  What makes international education coveted is the diversity and national nuance and differences in a student or scholar’s academic experience.  I posit that tampering with national models too much may yield its own list of setbacks for internationalization efforts.  On the other hand, a global economy and interconnected world is the reality we live in.  Regional higher education ought to reflect that reality and harmonization could thus help to make even greater significant strides in internationalizing higher education worldwide.

W2, Blog 2: Melissa Parsowith (Article Response)

I found this week’s assigned reading, “Internationalizing Higher Education Worldwide,” to provide a clear and concise approach to an in-depth overview of national policies and programs. The introductory Executive Summary lays the foundation for what the reader can expect to dissect in the coming pages. The piece begins by identifying the general purpose of the study, which is an effort to “better understand public policies and programs for internationalization of  higher education in a comparative context” (p.1). The introduction also reintroduces an idea from W1; the difficulty of assessing the effectiveness of these policies and programs. As someone who knows very little about the internationalization of higher education, I really appreciated that the author used the executive summary to consider key questions: Who enforces internationalization? (mainly the ministry of education, as well as other government offices) What do they enforce? (5 broad categories of focus), What concepts make an effective internationalization policy? and What suggestions can we offer to increase effectiveness?

The study then continues to showcase a comparative analysis of the policies and programs currently in place around the world. The reader is encouraged to question the effectiveness of these programs, and consider what future implications they may have on the direction that internationalization is going. In Hans de Wit’s 2002 book Internationalization of Higher Education in the United States and Europe, he outlines four categories of rationales driving effort towards internationalization of higher ed: academic, economic, political, and social/cultural. While these 4 may seem obvious, the article continues with an explanation of why each category further drives countries to continue with internationalization efforts.

Something that I found particularly interesting about this piece was the section about Policy Typology and Examples. Here, the conversation moves towards internationalization regarding student/scholar mobility. These types of policies “focus on attracting international students and promoting and incentivizing outward credit & degree mobility” (p.20). In my current job, I am participating in enforcing a new international partnership! I work at Pace University’s Accounting Department, and we are collaborating with ACCA (the US arm of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants). This landmark partnership will link ACCA’s globally recognized qualification program to both graduate and undergraduate coursework at our New York City campus. Starting this fall, both graduate and undergraduate students in Pace University’s Lubin School of Business’s Department of Accounting will be able to complete coursework that will qualify them for specific exemptions from ACCA’s 14 exams; the exemptions will initially include four for graduate courses and five for undergraduate courses.  A student who successfully graduates from Pace’s rigorous program will automatically receive exemptions for those specific exams and be able to use them towards the completion of the ACCA qualification. In reading this article, I was very excited to be able to relate to this concept, and especially acknowledge the ways in which my own University is participating in the global stride towards international higher education.

W2- ACE Reading

I found this reading helpful in outlining the motivations and goals surrounding international education as well as providing some key terms that are crucial when speaking about internationalization.  It starts out by providing four major categories of motivations for internationalization.  They are academic, economic, political, and social/cultural.  As the reading notes, they are all interconnected, and I found that they all have an underlying goal of improving an aspect of the home country through collaboration and the exchange of ideas.

Student mobility involves sending residents of one country to study in a different country and also includes attracting international students to study in a country or region.  This is differentiated into two categories: “degree mobility” and “credit mobility.”  I have also heard these referred to as “degree seeking” and “non-degree” students.  I feel like those terms are a bit more intuitive, but maybe they are more closely tied to visa regulations than scholarly discussions of internationalization.

Within the student mobility category are two types of mobility – inbound and outbound.  Policies designed to encourage “inbound mobility” include scholarships, immigration regulations, and “study-in” informational marketing campaigns.  Outbound mobility is when countries send students to study in another country with the hopes that those students will gain skills abroad and contribute to an aspect of development in that student’s home country.  Some incentives are similar to those related to inbound mobility including scholarships or other economic incentives.

I was glad to see the Brazil Scientific Mobility Program (BSMP) as one of the examples for outbound mobility scholarships.  I used to work on this program, as the US portion of the program was administered by IIE.  This program had a short-term and long-term intensive English component for students whose English was not ready for academic study in their field, which is what I worked on.  This is a great way to increase diversity and reach students that had not travelled internationally before or did not have the means to study English in Brazil.  Although this program sent students to various countries, the US was the largest hosting country for the program.  At one point there were 20,000 BSMP students in the US!  As noted in the history reading from last week, these programs and policies are subject to external influences.  In recent months the Brazilian economy has not been doing so well and the president is under scrutiny for various reasons.  Therefore, the Brazilian government has had to dramatically scale back the program.

I really enjoyed the sections on what I consider to be lesser known internationalization initiatives including regional mobility and scholar mobility.  It makes sense that regional mobility would be an area of focus for many countries, especially smaller countries that have a lot to gain from cooperating with their neighbors.  One example is the recognition of exams and qualifications by the Nordic Council to increase mobility in that region.  In the scholar mobility category, I thought the repatriation efforts, mostly through financial benefits for scholars living abroad was an effective way to fight against brain drain in many countries.