The answer to this question, according to the authors of IIE’s spring 2014 edition of IIENetworker is, “it depends.” While we tend to think of internationalization and globalization as harmonious, even synonymous, this issue of IIE’s biannual magazine makes important distinctions between the two and points out the benefits—along with potential drawbacks—of rapid globalization.
So how might globalization be bad for international education?
"The way to create a really great city is to establish a university. Then wait several hundred years."
It was Mark Twain, I think, who had this important insight. Neither cities nor universities get built overnight. But having returned from visiting universities in three very major and rapidly growing cities, I had a chance to reflect on what it is taking to build world class institutions of higher education in an age of globalization.
It was the Mickey and Minnie Mouse red and pink rolling suitcases that first caught my eye as what seemed like the entire population of Beijing headed to baggage claim. Then I saw the two children that were accompanying the bags and their parents. As we waited for the trains to the exit hall, I had a chance to notice a bit more about what the parents were rolling.
Advances in technology and global connectivity have raised exciting possibilities and serious challenges for higher education. In January the Open University of Hong Kong invited educators from around the globe to examine these issues at the inaugural International Conference on Open and Flexible Education. I was fortunate to attend the conference as part of IIE's traveling fellowship, and I was eager to learn about the ways in which technology will impact the future of education and international exchange programs.
"Every student who wants to succeed in the global economy should study abroad." That is the first sentence of IIE's new book, A Student Guide to Study Abroad, which was published by IIE in collaboration with the AIFS Foundation, and is packed with essential tips and information for students looking to study abroad.
Last month I met with Torbjørn Røe Isaksen, the new Minister of Education and Research in Norway, who was in Washington, DC, for the annual Transatlantic Science Week organized by the Royal Norwegian Embassy. We spoke about higher education internationalization in Norway and the priorities for academic collaboration with the United States. Mr. Røe Isaksen, who holds a MA in Political Science from the University of Oslo, also spent one year in the United States as a student at Carl Junction High School in Missouri.
Like many nonprofits that have an international reach and run several large and varying programs, IIE faces the everyday challenge of how best to assess the effectiveness and impact of its work. Our program evaluation services, offered through IIE’s Center of Academic Mobility Research, have grown rapidly in response to this need! Our evaluation team at the Center has extensive experience in all levels of a program evaluation, from measuring program outputs and outcomes to longer-term studies to identify participant and community impacts over time.
More and more US students are seeking out short-term jobs, internships, and volunteer work overseas, and with good reason. Overseas employment and volunteering has big appeal. Working in another country gets students out of the classroom and into the community. They interact not just with professors and other students as they might with traditional study abroad programs, but they get to engage with workers and community members at all ages and stages of life and in a variety of settings.
At the recent EducationUSA Forum, I participated in a panel about how higher education institutions can harness Open Doors® to inform their international student recruitment. Open Doors, an annual survey of international educational exchange in the US, produced by IIE with the support of the US State Department, offers valuable information for higher education institutions. The session provided useful insights into different ways to use Open Doors data in planning for international student enrollment. Here are the top takeaways for international educators:
The fourth annual EducationUSA Forum is now behind us, and by all accounts, this year was the most successful ever. (Disclaimer: IIE helps State Department to organize the event.) Approximately, 600 people from the US higher education community and educational advising came together for the three day event in Washington DC to learn about how best to promote international education and attract a diverse group of international students to their campuses. The Forum has quickly become a major event on the international education circuit, especially for those working in the international recruitment and admissions field. Much was discussed at the Forum, ranging from regional updates, to consular issues, scholarship programs, countries to watch and much more.