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

April 17, 2012

Indian higher education: Diverse special report

Diverse Magazine published a comprehensive special report on Indian Higher Education. Jamaal Abdul-Alim is the writer of this very insightful report. It covers a range of themes including access, affirmative action, technology and study abroad. This is a must read report for anyone interested in understanding deeper issues of higher education in India.

Jamaal also featured me in another story on higher education collaborations in India. The article is based on my presentation at AIEA conference in DC.

Related earlier postings on collaborations:
Foreign universities in India: Who's coming and why?
Three international partnership trends with Indian higher education institutions
Institutional partnerships: Developing shared interests with enabling structures

Dr. Rahul Choudaha
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April 13, 2012

Emerging internationalization opportunities in Southeast Asia

Growth of Southeast Asian economies present significant opportunities of engagement for international recruitment, collaborations and study abroad programs.

A recent report by Boston Consulting Group notes that six Southeast Asian countries (Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam) will see nearly 100 million people entering the consumer class (annual income more than $5,000) by 2015 with consumer spending expanding by 12 percent annually. These six nations have enjoyed annual growth rates of 6 to 9 percent, although, on purchasing-power parity basis, per capita GDP in 2010 ranged from $3,150 in Vietnam to $45,170 in Singapore. This expanding consumer class will demand quality higher education and aspire for global experiences.

The establishment of ASEAN Economic Community in 2015 aims to transform the region into a common market with free flows of goods, services, investment and workers. Despite its several challenges, ASEAN is expected to see greater mobility of qualified services professionals in the region. The mutual recognition arrangements (MRAs) have been signed for seven professions--medical, dental, nursing, accountancy, engineering, architectural and surveying. While AEC would keep talent mobility within the region, it presents significant opportunity for foreign institutions to offer collaborative programs in these professions.

Dr. Rahul Choudaha
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April 05, 2012

Institutional partnerships: Developing shared interests with enabling structures

This week, I attended Asia Pacific Association for International Education (APAIE) annual conference in Bangkok. I co-presented on the topic of "Developing and Sustaining Institutional Partnerships."

I suggested that building sustainable partnerships requires very strong goal alignment between two partners. For example, in a joint/double-degree collaboration, if one partner's goal is reputation building (which comes from high selectivity of students; restricting expansion) while another partner's goal is revenue enhancement (which comes from lower selectivity; increasing expansion) then the partnership is clearly set for a disaster.

This also extends into identifying a match between right segments of the partners.  For example, if you are Harvard and seeking a partner in Malaysia then you need to identify Harvard of Malaysia; not University of Phoenix of Malaysia, as it would be a huge mismatch of not only goals but also approaches to achieve those goals.

In other words, partners should be able to develop a coherent set of shared interests or goals. From game theory (prisoner's dilemma), we know that creating win-win situation requires an interaction where shared interest override individual interests.

Yiyun Jie (2010) in International partnerships: A game theory perspective, states that “The key issue to address for a collaboration game is the cooperation between partners to work towards shared interests over their self-interests. Such cooperation requires a great amount of trust.”

But how do you build trust among partners?

Jie notes “The lack of a formal and sustainable organizational structure of the collaborative program is one of the emerging issues challenging mutual trust building.”

Quite often, international partners are at different developmental stages and hence have huge divergence in professional practices which become even more complex with cultural nuances. For example, higher education systems in most developing Asian countries do not have formal structures and practices to systematically enable partnerships. At the same time, they are in growth mode where reputation is seen as function of size (enrollments) not necessarily quality. This poses significant challenge for many quality-conscious institutions from developed systems of higher education in terms of finding partners and successfully taking them to next level. 

To sum up, shared interests and trust are critical to build sustainable partnerships, however, they do not develop in vacuum; they need an enabling structure to thrive.

Dr. Rahul Choudaha
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April 01, 2012

DrEducation Blog Turns Three!

Three years ago I started  as an outlet to my thoughts and opinions on international higher education (It's 30 years in Internet years so, I will be thinking about  blog's reincarnation on sixth anniversary).

My first blog post Reputation@ISB = Innovation x Conviction on 1st April, 2009 seemed like an easy post to overcome writer's block. I had not only worked with ISB but also admired it immensely as an iconoclast.

I had been writing for higher education professionals and focusing on a data-driven, cross-functional perspectives on trends related to student mobility, collaborations, institution building, innovation, quality and policy issues.

As on March 2012, the blog received more than 18,000 pageviews/month which grew more than three times in a year from ~5,700 in April 2011.

I want to thank some of my fellow bloggers who were already blogging persuasively and persistently when I started. Their work inspired me to take up blogging as a channel to engage with my passion and profession. Here are the must-follow blogs in international higher education:
International Higher Education Consulting Blog by David Comp
GlobalHigherEd by Kris Olds and Susan Robertson
Changing Higher Education by Lloyd Armstrong

Then there are passionate tweeters who float my posts across the boundaries. I have to mention excellent work done by Stuart Hughes of IDP ACER in terms of not only pulling together publications on international higher education but also making it actively available in the world of tweeter. Few other organizations on tweeter are EAIE , PIE  WES and World Uni Rankings.

Of course, I mentioned these names at the risk of not mentioning others, but, it does not mean that I do not recognize their engagement.

Now, the big question is how would next three years be different for DrEducation? I very much welcome your suggestions/comments on what you would like to read more on this blog? How would you like to engage with the blog?

-Dr. Rahul Choudaha
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