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

October 30, 2012

Chinese and Indian Higher Education Enrollment Statistics

China and India are the two largest higher education systems in the world with total enrollment of 29.1 million and 26.7 million students as compared to 21 million in the U.S in 2010.

India has the largest system in the world in terms of undergraduate enrollment of 19.8 m. students as compared to 12.7 m. in China and 10.4 million in the U.S.

In contrast, India has much smaller proportion of students enrolled in the vocational education. This highlights the skilled manpower shortage in India which is simply ballooning with time.

Indian sociocultural enviornment creates aspirations for bachelor's degree even if they do not offer employment opportunities. After earning bachelor's degree many continue for master's education in hope for subsequently getting jobs. This situation of postgraduate unemployment is also emerging in China. Indian students (2.7 m.) at master's level are also more than double as compared to China (1.2  m.).

This fascination for getting advanced degrees suddenly stops as the doctoral level where India has one-third of students in China. Here is my earlier article on the qualitative and quantitative challenges in India on two extremes of higher education--vocational and doctoral.

Source: AISHE, Ministry of Education, China

Copyright Dr. Rahul Choudaha
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October 24, 2012

Types of Universities in India and Growth of "Private State Universities"

Private Universities in India have grown from 16 to 140 in five years (124%) and from 100 to 140 in less than a year. This is astonishing growth as only universities in India have degree awarding power. Colleges are "affiliated" to universities as teaching institutions.

Indian higher education is not only large in scope but complex in its working and evolution. One indicator is existence of four different types of universities depending on who funds them and regulates them. For example, Deemed to be Universities come under the purview of UGC and are mostly funded by private resources (Here is a previous comprehensive story and a more recent development). They were also in controversy for corruption and qualitative deficiencies for profiteering. This also tainted the name of some of the better quality private Deemed to be Universities. Here is the list of Deemed to be Universities.

Given the regulatory and media attention to the deficiencies with Deemed to be Universities, Private Universities gained traction. This is evident from their growth from 100 to 140 in less than a year as compared to no growth of Deemed to be Universities in the same period.Her is the list of Private Universities in India.

Here are some related definitions from UGC.

University is defined as "a University established or incorporated by or under a Central Act, a Provincial Act or a State Act, and includes any such institution as may, in consultation with the University concerned, be recognized by the Commission in accordance with the regulations made in this behalf under this Act."

Private University is defined as "A university established through a State/ Central Act by a sponsoring body viz. a Society registered under the Societies Registration Act 1860, or any other corresponding law for the time being in force in a State or a Public Trust or a Company registered under Section 25 of the Companies Act, 1956."

Deemed University is defined as "An Institution Deemed to be University commonly known as Deemed University refers to a high‐performing institute, which has been so declared by Central Government under Section 3 of the University Grants Commission (UGC) Act, 1956."

Dr. Rahul Choudaha

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October 14, 2012

What Blackberry can teach foreign branch campuses about MOOCs?

Here is the excerpt from my article published in University World News.

In 2007, BlackBerry was at the forefront of the smartphones industry with over 40% of the market share in the United States. However, the iPhone offered a new choice to consumers and redefined their expectations of a smartphone.

Now Blackberry is arguably on its deathbed, with its market share slipping to less than 4% in the US. The Wall Street Journal notes that “it was a blinding confidence in the basic BlackBerry product that was at the root of RIM's [parent company of Blackberry] current troubles”.

In the same vein, MOOCs are beginning to offer a new choice to students, and are not only changing the financial equation of foreign branch campuses but also the way education is delivered as a result of technological advances.

In my previous blog [Could MOOCs lead to the decline of branch campuses?], I argued that branch campuses are infrastructure-intensive efforts with high financial and reputational risk. In contrast, MOOCs offer a low-cost, flexible alternative for ‘glocal’ students [Are you prepared for the arrival of 'glocal' students?] to potentially earn a foreign credential. Yet some branch campuses may be turning a blind eye to this alternative choice, which may lead them into the BlackBerry fallacy.

Many institutions may be caught off-guard due to the pace of MOOCs' evolution. Here are some of the recent developments:
  • Coursera has signed up 17 more institutions, including Brown University and Columbia University, to offer courses to its 1.35 million students. It gets 4% of its students (50,000+) from China and getting more traction.
  • edX has also announced a partnership with Pearson’s testing centres to allow its students to take proctored exams, which in turn would provide a pathway for earning credit.
  • Colorado State University’s Global Campus announced it would give transfer credits to Udacity students who have taken a proctored test.
  • Moody’s Investors Service "observes that MOOCs have the potential to transform the way distance learning is perceived and delivered"
While I recognised some of the obstacles concerning their revenue model and credentials system as “the MOOCs unknowns” in my previous post, there are admittedly additional challenges of plagiarism and employer acceptance.

I still believe that, despite these challenges, in the next few years MOOCs will mature from irrational exuberance to a more sustainable model that fundamentally changes the form and character of foreign branch campuses.

Existing branch campuses, especially those supported by government funding or having reputable brand names attached to them, are less likely to be impacted by MOOCs.

However, newer branch campuses will face unexpected competition from MOOCs and existing campuses could become more attractive to students seeking a campus experience because there are fewer new branch campuses.

Institutions should monitor, understand and adapt to the brave new world of MOOCs and their influence on internationalisation strategies and international students. As The New Yorker summed up the fate of Blackberry: “The real problem is that the technology world changed, and RIM didn’t.”
Here is a video from Daphne Koller of Coursera making case for MOOCs for improving global access to education.

Dr. Rahul Choudaha
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October 05, 2012

Update on NACAC's Commission on international student recruitment: Will political correctness take away practical relevance?

This blog post comes from Denver with a sense of nostalgia from my time at the University of Denver during my doctoral program. I am back in Denver after four years to present at NACAC national conference which focuses on undergraduate enrollment. Here are two updates from the conference:

Debate on commission-based recruitment agents
Tis' the season of debates in Denver and NACAC’s Commission on International Student Recruitment also presented its update on commission-based recruitment agent. Here are the presentation slides from the Commission and a recent Chronicle post entitled Weighing Ethical Issues in International Recruitment by Philip Ballinger and David Hawkins.

The Commissions work is one of the most inclusive and engaging conversations on this issue and many eagerly await to see the final findings to be released in September 2013. I agree with the Commission's emphasis on the importance of context, transparency and outcomes, however, I argue that this debate is not as much about ethics as it is about enforceable code of practice. This is especially important that now regulators are also getting involved in this debate. A recent bill, although defeated, clearly excluded graduates of institutions using agents as one of the criteria for awarding green cards. It stated "Not provide incentive payments to persons based on securing foreign students for the university."

During Q&A session, I asserted that  the Commission has rightfully acknowledged the importance of transparency, however, what is Commission's approach for enforcing transparency on institutions and then institutions in turn enforcing it on agents? For example, can we imagine a scenario where institutions will explicitly state on their websites if they work with agent and what commissions they pay, and would this information be available to students?  I guess, it was either  too difficult or dumb question for me to ask, because the only answer I received was "yes, we can 'imagine' anything."

Some of the phrases mentioned by the Commission in this update included "debate evolved from absolute reality", "it had been an intellectual and educational process", importance of "institutional responsibility and transparency" and "NACAC is a an utterly voluntary association." Reading between the lines, I really hope that the Commission does not end up with politically correct recommendations falling short of any practical relevance to the profession, institutions and students.

Presentation on cost-effective international student recruitment
I chaired a session entitled "Cost-Effective International Recruitment: What Works, What Doesn’t" with following co-presenters:
- Aimee Thostenson, Associate Director, International Admission at St. Catherine University
- David Joiner, Director for Global Engagement and Leadership at University of Wisconsin-Madison Madison
- Marty Bennett, EducationUSA Outreach Coordinator at Institute of International Education

My premise for organizing this session was that context of international student recruitment has changed and so practices should evolve accordingly. For example:
- Student information search behavior has changed: This week facebook cross 1 billion user mark but what is even more remarkable is that more than 800 million users are outside US with median age of 22.
-Markets have changed: China and Saudi Arabia has emerged as new growth market for undergraduage recruitment while Japan has declined.

Aimee shared armchair recruitment strategies including value of external partnerships with sponsoring agencies, while David shared value of internal partnerships (on-campus) to maximize the synergies. Finally, Marty highlighted value of educationUSA, consortia and social media as networks. The common theme in all the presentations was role of networks and relationships in achieving cost-effective results. Here are the slides.

Dr. Rahul Choudaha
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