Trends, insights and research to inform growth and innovation strategies in international higher education.

December 02, 2016

Commentary and media mentions on Trump and international education

American universities and colleges face many uncertainties under Trump’ Presidency including the future of the internationalization of higher education. Will universities and colleges become more globally engaged? Will universities and colleges be successful in attracting more international students? Will American students get resources and support to engage in more education abroad experiences?


I have published two commentary pieces and my perspectives have been mentioned in 20 publications including The New York Times, Inside Higher Ed, and Slate.

In sum, the sociopolitical environment in the countries that are the leading destinations for international students has dramatically changed. In this turbulent environment, upholding the values of international education and student mobility is more important than ever.
Over the next four years, international educators must remain optimistic and reaffirm their commitment to building bridges that advance global engagement and mutual understanding.
One of the core values of international education is about celebrating diversity and learning from differences. Trump’s viewpoints are insular and not in line with the values of international education. 
Career advancement is one of the prime motivations for international students to study in the U.S. Trump’s anti-immigrant stance may create stricter visa and immigration policies which may make it even more difficult for students to come to the U.S. and find internship and job opportunities. 
- Rahul Choudaha, PhD

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November 07, 2016

Data on mobility of international students to and from India

How many Indian students go to study abroad every year? How many international students come to study in Indian universities and colleges?statistics and analysis of how many Indian students go abroad and international students in Indian higher education
It is often reported in media that somewhere between 200,000 -400,000 Indian students go abroad every year. It is incorrect due to misinterpretation of the data. The UNESCO Institute of Statistics reports enrollment data on degree-seeking internationally mobile students.

According to the last data available for 2014, nearly 234,00 Indian students were enrolled in different parts of the world. Here enrollment refers to students in various stages of their educational program and not just the first year students (new enrollment). Assuming that majority of the Indian students are pursuing two-year master's program, the total number of students going abroad every year will be around 100,000.

Most of the international students studying in Indian universities and colleges come from the neighboring countries inAsia and the Middle East. Given that Indian institutions are allowed to enroll additional 15% students from overseas, there is an increasing interest among some institutions to proactively recruit international students. The Government of India is also keen on elevating the visibility and attractiveness of India for foreign students.

I will be participating in a panel at FICCI Conference to discuss opportunities, challenges, and strategies in recruiting international students for Indian institutions.

Dr. Rahul Choudaha
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November 04, 2016

Making India as a destination of choice for international students: Institutional strategies and best practices

12th FICCI HIGHER EDUCATION SUMMIT will take place from November 10-12, 2016 in Delhi. The overarching theme of the conference is opportunities and challenges for attracting foreign students to India.

I will be participating in a session "Making 'Learn in India' Happen!" which will deliberate on making India the preferred choice of study for the international students. The panel comprises of following speakers:

  • Dr Rahul Choudaha, CEO, DrEducation, USA 
  • Prof Furqan Qamar, Secretary General, Association of Indian Universities (AIU) 
  • Mr Rakesh Ranjan, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) 
  • Mr Daniel C. Stoll, Associate Dean, Georgetown University 
  • Dr G Vishwanathan, Chancellor, VIT
  • Dr Vidya Yeravdekar, Vice Chancellor, Symbiosis University 

I will focus three critical success factors for institutions:

  • Understanding diverse segments of international students 
  • Investing in international student experience 
  • Developing a profession on international education administrators 

how to attract foreign students to emerging countries Indian policies strategies

A related panel will include following panelists:


  • Dr Jo Beall, Director, Education and Society British Council (Exec Board)
  • Ms Sumita Dawra, Principal Secretary, Higher Education, Andhra Pradesh
  • Mr Franciso Marmolejo, Higher Education Coordinator, The World Bank
  • Mr. Sunil Kant Munjal, Chairman, Hero Corporate Services
  • Prof Ashish Nanda, Director, IIM Ahmedabad 
  • Mr Mohandas Pai, Chair, FICCI Skills Committee & Chairman, Manipal Global Education Services

DrEducation is the International Outreach Partner of FICCI HES. 

Rahul Choudaha, PhD
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November 02, 2016

Research on International Student Success: Principal Researcher of DrEducation Serves as the Special Issues Editor

The Journal of International Students has released a special issue on International Student Success featuring a selection of research articles and commentaries to enhance institutional readiness for supporting and advancing the success of international students.

Dr. Rahul Choudaha, principal researcher, DrEducation served as the guest editor of the special issue. Dr. Krishna Bista, Chase Endowed Professor of Education, University of Louisiana at Monroe, is the editor-in-chief of the Journal.



The aim of this special issue is to advance the research agenda about the needs, experiences, and expectations of international students so that research can help build institutional readiness for supporting academic and career pursuits of international students.

This special issue includes a collection of 18 articles from 32 authors. They address several research concerns related to international student success including leadership self-efficacy, writing proficiency, mentorship, retention, student satisfaction, sense of belongingness, plagiarism, and career services.

Here is an excerpt from the editorial "Campus Readiness for Supporting International Student Success."

International student enrollment in the U.S. universities and colleges has been growing at a healthy pace. Between 2001/02 and 2014/15, the number of international students in U.S. universities and colleges increased by 67% to reach nearly 974,926 students (Open Doors, 2015).

However, source countries and destination institutions skew this growth. For example, international students from the leading 10 places of origin grew by 121% and likewise, the leading 10 institutions of international student enrollment increased by 166%.

This dramatic and skewed growth has implications for international student success. It has exposed the lack of readiness of many campuses to engage and support international students. At many campuses, support services for international students only address immigration and visa compliance. International students need, deserve, and want more in terms of academic and career support.

It’s high time to stop treating international students as cash cows and embrace the values which institutions expect their students to manifest. To build a sustainable and an inclusive model of enrolling and integrating international students with local students and campus communities, institutions of higher education must invest in campus readiness.
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November 01, 2016

AIEC Conference Invited Session: International Student Mobility Trends and Implications for Institutional Strategies

I was invited to speak at the recent Australian International Education Conference (AIEC) in Melbourne. More than 1,500 international education professionals from around the world convened at the conference.

One of the key messages of my session on “Three Megatrends Shaping the Future of International Student Mobility” was that the number of students seeking global educational experiences will continue to increase. However, sustainable growth will require a deeper understanding of shifting profiles, needs, and expectations of international students.



International students take their global experiences and educational credentials as a pathway to advancing their career and improving their life. Moreover, career and employability outcomes in the host country through immigration or on return to home country are among the most important motivations to study abroad.

Several sessions at AIEC conference suggest that Australia has already recognized the value of career outcomes for international students and is synchronizing efforts to enhance their professional development opportunities. Here are some of the indicative titles of the sessions related to student employability and career-readiness.

Australian Government recently released National Strategy for International Education 2025. It states that “The employability of our graduates will be a key measure of success against Australia’s goal to be the global leader in education, training, and research. We will focus on developing employability and opportunities for work integrated learning, enhancing the nexus between education and employment.”

As competition for international students intensifies, nations and institutions cannot continue to charge a higher differential fee to international students and deliver unsatisfactory career outcomes. Higher education institutions and countries interested in recruiting international students can learn from Australian experiences which show that growing attractiveness for international students will require constantly thinking, planning and acting upon strategies that align with international student success.

Based on the summary of the Forbes article with Di Hu.

- Rahul Choudaha, PhD
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October 27, 2016

Global Leaders Series: Chris Rudd, Provost, University of Nottingham Ningbo China

DrEducation Global Leaders Series: Interview with Professor Chris Rudd

Professor Christopher D. Rudd is currently University of Nottingham’s longest serving Pro-Vice-Chancellor – a position he has held since 2008. In August 2015 he accepted the role of Provost at University of Nottingham Ningbo China and is currently based in China where he oversees the growth and development of China’s first and most successful Sino-Foreign University. Chris is Professor of Mechanical Engineering. He has been a Board Member of the China Britain Business Council since 2010 and chairs the Nottingham Confucius Institute. Chris was awarded the Changbaishan Friendship Award by the Chinese Government in 2013. He was awarded the 48 Group Club Icebreaker Laureate prize for services to Sino-UK relations by HE Liu Xiaoming Chinese Ambassador to UK and won the Model Confucius Institute Award presented by Vice-Premier LIU Yandong in 2015. 


Rahul- How has the broad notion of leadership in higher education different in this decade as compared to last decade? How will it look like in the next decade?

Chris-Whether we like it or not, successful HE leaders need to exhibit the same instincts as any other CEOs. They need to respond to market dynamics and steer their institutions in volatile circumstances, innovating to create new business opportunities, manage risk, recruit and retain talent. They need strong vision and considerable personal integrity to carry stakeholders with them through increasingly frequent cycles of change.

Rahul- More specifically, what are the top three competencies for a Provost/Chief Academic Officer? How are they likely to evolve in the next decade?

Chris- My top 3 have always been Vision, Integrity and an uncompromising commitment to Quality. These are fundamental characteristics but the successful leader needs to be great reader of people, using the available talent to best effect, to anticipate the market and to have great emotional intelligence.

Rahul- What would be your couple of suggestions (e.g. do's and don'ts) to higher education professionals aspiring to take the Provost's role?

Chris- Recognise your fallibility and your finite bandwidth. Try to define the space where you can play effectively and the outer spaces where it is your team that must deliver. Provide feedback to others in generous measure but ask for it sparingly yourself. Admit your own mistakes candidly and deal with them expediently, learn and move on.

Rahul- How is leading an institution outside your country of origin different (e.g. challenges, operating styles, skillsets or people)?

Chris- It introduces complexities due to culture, communication and context. It makes business more complicated but also more interesting, bringing unpredictable elements and factors outside your personal influence. You will rely on others to bridge you into their world and you must quickly learn to discriminate between those who help you with a pure heart and those who seek personal advantage. You must adapt your own approach to suit the environment but at the same time, hold true to your mission and personal values.

Rahul- How do you draw your inspiration and energy as a leader? What is your leadership motto?

Chris- I have worked with some inspiring leaders in the past and borrowed freely from each - learning as much by observing mistakes as well as witnessing great leadership in action. Leading UNNC is an intensive, exciting responsibility. However, it is important to stay fresh and so personally I need a counterpoint - time with my kids, a climbing trip, playing music with people - all of these things bring peace and happiness. When I came to UNNC I started saying “Being the first is now longer enough, we also have to be the best” - I think that this works for our students as well as for the business  I hope that it sticks for a while.
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October 20, 2016

How many students from India, China and Korea study in the US for business and management programs?

One out of every five international students in the U.S. is enrolled in Business/Management programs. The number of international students in undergraduate (associate's and bachelor's) and graduate (master's and doctoral) programs increased by 36% from 145,514 in 2009/10 to 197,258 in 2014/15, according to IIE Open Doors data. This data indicates total enrollment across the duration of the programs and not annual new intake.

The share of top-3 countries of origin--China, India, and S. Korea--among all international students in Business/Management programs grew from 41% (59,329) to 53% (105,429). This growth was driven by China which grew by 160% in contrast to 11% and 13% decline for India and S. Korea.

The majority of the Indian students are in master's-level programs. Many are also in specialized master's programs like MS in Management and not an MBA. Based on the total enrollment of about 16,000 students in 2014/15, I would estimate that annual intake of new MBA students from India is in the range of 3,000-5,000. 

In contrast to India, the majority of Chinese students in Business/Management programs are in bachelor's level degree programs (60%). Higher demand from China for longer duration bachelor's programs (4 years), the total enrollment (stock) of Chinese students is higher than that for Indian students. I would estimate total intake of new MBA students from China would be in the range of 8,000-10,000.

Business/Management programs are still eligible for only one-year of Optional Practical Training as compared to the 36-months for STEM programs. This poses increasing challenges of finding internship and career advancement opportunities for international students



- Rahul Choudaha, PhD
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October 12, 2016

FICCI HES: Opportunities for Global Engagement with Indian Higher Education

FICCI Higher Education Summit 2016 will take place from November 10-12, 2016 in New Delhi. Since starting in 2004, the conference has grown in scale and engagement opportunities. More than 1000 national and international delegates including Indian and foreign University Presidents, Vice Chancellors and Deans are expected to participate. The conference discusses trends, policies and strategies related to Indian higher education and opportunities for international engagement.

DrEducation is pleased to join the summit as the international outreach partner. Dr. Rahul Choudaha, will be participating on the panel on policies and strategies for attracting international students to India. Here are the select articles and blogs on India.
building foreign campus and transnational education in India universities and colleges

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October 09, 2016

Webinar resources: The future of online higher education and global engagement

How likely it is that by 2020 “degrees will be disaggregated into smaller credential units… with the possibility that the credentialing entity may be different from the institution that offers the course”? The majority (68%) of the webinar participants responding to a poll question based on MIT’s Future of Education report expect it to be a "likely" or "very likely" scenario of higher education.

future of internationalization based on global online learning strategies and leadership

The online discussion was second in the series of online thought leadership discussions hosted by University World News and DrEducation. The online discussion on the theme of "Embracing Technology for Global Engagement: A Leadership Challenge and Opportunity" attracted nearly 700 registrations from around the world.

Request the webinar recording
Access the PowerPoint slides 
Read the UWN summary article
Access Twitter feeds with #GlobalEd2

The webinar moderated by Dr. Rahul Choudaha, principal researcher & CEO, DrEducation included following expert panel:
  • GinaMario Besana, Professor and Associate Provost for Global Engagement and Online Learning, DePaul University
  • Helen O'Sullivan, Professor and Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Online Learning, University of Liverpool
  • Kevin Kinser, Professor and Department Head of Education Policy Studies, Pennsylvania State University
We welcome feedback and suggestions for future online discussions at info[AT]DrEducation.com.



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September 19, 2016

Book: Six Steps to Success for International Students: Starting with Strengths and Opportunities

Here is the summary of the recent book "From Departing to Achieving: Keys to Success for International Students in U.S. Colleges and Universities" by Ye He, Bryant L. Hutson, Michael J. Elliott and Jennifer L. Bloom. The book provides a strengths-based approach for international students to achieve their goals. 

Inevitably, international students experience a lot of differences as they embark on their academic journey in the United States. These differences may range from cultural norms, languages and dialects, to food, transportation, and daily routines. Many perceive these differences as gaps in knowledge or skills that need to be filled. International students often try to learn as quickly as possible from readings, peers, mentors, and advisors, but they may still feel like they are constantly playing the catch up game and can never be just like their American peers.

In the recent book titled “From Departing to Achieving: Keys to Success for International Students in U.S. Colleges and Universities”, we challenge this deficit-based perspective and encourage international students to see differences as strengths and opportunities. We propose 6 steps international students may want to consider as they take this perceptive in their transition process.

First, examine your assumptions and expectations based on reflections about your personal
educational experiences (Disarm). Making these assumptions and expectations clear would help debunk myths about learning in the U.S. and allow you to better articulate to your mentors, advisors, and instructors what your learning needs are.

Second, surface and articulate your assets and strengths as a learner (Discover). You don’t have to start over! Since you already have many years of learning experiences, you bring a lot of great internal and external assets with you to your learning in the U.S.! Through the use of self-assessment instruments, you can discover your personal assets and be more aware of how to leverage them in the new learning environment.

Third, verbalize and visualize your personal and professional goals (Dream). In addition to your immediate goal to successfully complete your coursework and graduate from the institution, what are your long-term goals and dreams? What would your personal and professional life be like 10 years and 20 years from now? These futuristic images are powerful as you align your present studies to purposefully prepare yourself for your own future.

Fourth, strategically connect your assets and goals to plan for your actions (Design). Selecting majors, courses, co-curricular and extracurricular activities should not be random or just based on others’ recommendations. You are in charge of your own learning for your future! Building on the assets you discovered and the dreams you identified, you will be able to design a unique plan for yourself!

Fifth, be reflective of your own cultural and academic transition process and embrace the differences (Deliver). Regardless of where you want to settle down after graduation, you are who you are because of your background and experiences. Your knowledge, skills, and experiences navigating both your home culture and the U.S. culture becomes a huge asset that distinguishes you from others. Embrace the differences and make that part of who you are!

Finally, become a long-term learner and lead changes in your established networks and communities (Don’t Settle). The differences you note and the process you engage in to negotiate the differences will position you well to become a future leader in your community. Make time now to form networks and connect with different communities you are introduced to. The more you share with others, the more you can learn from interacting with other and what they have to share. This engagement will challenge you to reach your potential!

Differences are not gaps to be filled. You do not have to overcome these differences before you launch your trajectory to success. Everyone has their own pathway toward the success they define. Start with viewing differences as strengths and opportunities and engage in these 6 steps toward your own pathway to success!
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