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Showing posts from October, 2011

Higher Education Collaborations: Investing In Capability Building

Recently held U.S.-India Higher Education Summit in Washington, DC was successful in creating the excitement among the higher education community about the prospects and possibilities in forging collaborations. However, the constraint remains in translating this symbolic event into sustainable partnerships (My earlier article Foreign Universities in India: Who's and Why).

Here, Indian government and institutions have a much bigger role to play in inspiring confidence among the foreign institutions. India does not has to sell the huge potential it offers to foreign institutions in terms of its importance and growth prospects, however it has to communicate that capabilities of Indian policy framework and institutional practices have matured to understand the diversity and complexity of global higher education system.

Some institutions have taken the big leap, while many other remain skeptical and unsure of how to engage with India. Various models of collaborations have been emergin…

Challenges of Quality Assurance in Cross-border Education

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Deficiencies in assessing and enforcing quality was a recurring theme at the University of Wales, according to BBC investigation which began last year. More recently BBC also discovered a scam "in which overseas students are helped to cheat their way to University of Wales-validated degrees and visas is being investigated by the UK Border Agency."  (see the video in the link). In other words, University's model of validating cross-border degrees has turned out to be more business, less quality.

TASMAC London which used to offer University of Wales' validated degrees has shut it's shop leaving 500 students stranded. Now even the future of the University of Wales is being questioned.

Here is another incisive video from last year's investigation
University of Wales example also supports my earlier assertion related to agent debate--any process of "validating" student recruitment agents will be futile. When quality assurance agencies and governments hav…

International Student Mobility Trends

My article The Future of International Student Mobility was published in UniversityWorldNews.

International student mobility in the first decade of the 21st century has been transformed by two major external events, 9/11 and the recession of 2008. Today the rationale for international student recruitment has shifted from attracting talent to make the student body more diverse, to seeking an additional source of revenue.

Recruitment practices have been evolving and responding to this new competitive landscape, as can be seen in the increasing number of commercial entities offering recruitment services ranging from agents to websites.

How is this transformation going to shape the future of student mobility?

The US was an undisputed leader in global higher education until 9/11, which forced it to tighten visa requirements for students. Australia and the UK cashed in on this opportunity and were successful in absorbing most of the growth in international students.

Growth in internationa…

University leadership: Finding the right balance between academic and business expertise

The nature of higher education leadership is undergoing change in the US. Demographics of university leaders is graying and a wave of change at the top is expected. According to the American Council on Education survey, the percentage of presidents age 61 and over increased from 14 percent in 1986 to nearly half in 2006 and the average age of presidents increased from 52 years in 1986 to 60 years in 2006. Here is a chart indicating likely retirement of presidents at leading universities in the US. At another level, the changes in the external environment with increasing competition for resources, ability to raise resources. To build a competitive advantage, this may require a stronger set of business skills ranging from operational efficiency to strategic development. Thus, emphasis on business skills may increase in American institutions.

However, in the Indian context, institutions are facing another leaderships crisis and it relates to lack of professionalism and academic values a…