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

January 26, 2013

SAGE Handbook of International Higher Education

The SAGE Handbook of International Higher Education, edited by Darla K. Deardorff, Hans de Wit, John D. Heyl and Tony Adams is the most comprehensive collection of articles on internationalization of higher education. It brings together leading experts on the topic to take deep into issues, developments and trends related to international higher education. It is available for sale on amazon. Here is sample chapter entitled "Bridges to the Future The Global Landscape of International Higher Education" available for free download and a blog on the Handbook.

The handbook comprises five sections, covering key areas: internationalization of higher education in a conceptual and historic context; different thematic approaches to internationalization; internationalization of the curriculum, teaching and learning process, and intercultural competencies; the abroad dimension of internationalization and the mobility of students, scholars, institutions, and projects; and a concluding section on regional trends in international education and direction for the future of internationalization in the 21st century.

Given below are a couple of questions I asked editors--Darla and Hans--about the handbook.

Darla K. Deardorff is currently executive director of the Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA), a national professional organization based at Duke University, where she is a Research Scholar in the Program in Education. Dr. Deardorff has published widely on topics in international education, global leadership and intercultural learning/assessment and is editor of The SAGE Handbook of Intercultural Competence (Sage, 2009) as well as co-editor of The SAGE Handbook of International Education (Sage, 2012) with Hans de Wit, John Heyl and Tony Adams, Building Cultural Competence (Stylus, 2012)  with Kate Berardo and author of Beneath the Tip of the Iceberg:  Improving English and Understanding US American Cultural Patterns (University of Michigan Press, 2011). Dr. Deardorff holds a master’s and doctorate from North Carolina State University where she focused on international education.

Rahul- Please provide the background on how this handbook idea was conceived and what is the biggest change in content from its first edition 20 year ago? 

Darla- The idea for this handbook originally came about through the Association of International Education Administrators' desire to update a seminal book in the international field: Bridges to the Future, edited by Charles Klasek and originally published in 1992 by AIEA. Given how much the field had evolved since that time, it was felt that a more fully developed handbook was necessary to document the dramatic changes over this period, as well as the issues, trends, and conceptualizations of the current field. The biggest change in content from the its first iteration 20 years ago is its decidely global context and focus. In 1992, the contributors and editor of Bridges were all US-based; the Handbook builds on the legacy of that first publication but expands the content and perspectives through not only an editorial team that spans three continents but through contributions from leaders and experts around the world. As we write in the preface, "This Handbook serves as an ambitious guide to international education in this millennium and offers global perspectives... for the further creation, development, and enhancement of the internationalization of higher education in the years to come" (p. x).

Hans de Wit is Professor (lector) of Internationalisation of Higher Education at the School of Economics and Management of the Hogeschool van Amsterdam, University of Applied Sciences, and as of 2012 also a professor of Internationalisation of Higher Education and Academic Director at the International Education Research Centre (IERC) of the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (UCSC) in Milan. He is the Co-Editor of the Journal of Studies in International Education (Association for Studies in International Education/SAGE publishers). His latest books are Hans de Wit (2011), Trends, Issues and Challenges in Internationalisation of Higher Education, CAREM HvA, and Hans de Wit (2009). (Ed.), Measuring Success in Internationalisation of Higher Education, EAIE Occasional Paper, Amsterdam. He is also a founding member and past president of the European Association for International Education (EAIE).

Rahul- In the preface, co-editors mentioned that the handbook takes a"strategic approach to internationalization...which aims at changing quality of higher education itself." Could you please elaborate  how the handbook helps in achieving this goals? 

Hans- Internationalization has become a key and rather broad concept in higher education, including many different activities, strategies, rationales and approaches, with different traditions, positions and prospects by type of institution and country/region. Its contribution to enhance the overall quality of higher education should be driving the internationalization agenda, even where sometimes more commercial, political or social rationales appear to be dominant. The Handbook provides a comprehensive overview of all these drivers and approaches, and provides views and tools to combine these with the main objective: its quality enhancement by improving the quality of what we do under the umbrella of internationalization, and the contribution of internationalization to the quality of education and research.
Read More »

January 13, 2013

What are the study abroad enrollment trends of Indian students?

Four year enrollment trends of leading destinations indicate a stagnancy or decline, except with Canada. What explains this trend? What are the future enrollment trends expected for 2013?

Note: above data includes all levels of enrollment. For example, VET level enrollment in Australia and OPT in the US.

The post-recession scenario hit the mobility of Indian students quite hard and uncovered two primary segment of students--immigration-driven and career-driven. Each destination has a mix of these two segments. It ranged from majority career-driven Indian students going to the US at master's degree level, to majority of immigration-driven students going to Australia and enrolling at vocational and technical colleges.

Due to recession, the US as a destination lost some of its attractiveness due to a lesser availability of financial assistance from universities and poorer prospects of finding jobs after completion of education. This is the time when one-year master's programs in the UK became quite attractive for Indian students who were ready to pay for shorter duration master's programs and a higher potential for immigration as compared to the US. At the same time, Australia hit its peak with Indian students in 2009, with a large wave of Indian students using education as a pathway for immigration through vocational program.

This large wave of Indian students with immigration intentions also unearthed several cases of visa abuses and prompting both Australian and British government to tighten regulations. As a result, the enrollment of Indian students in the UK and Australia plummeted, however, Canada became a beneficiary because of its immigration friendly policies and attracted larger number of Indian students with immigration-intentions. 

In 2013, I expect to see slight recovery for the US due to demand side factor of larger pool of students willing and able to pay for their education and at the same time increasing optimism about the US economy will increase the application pipeline for fall'2013 enrollment. The UK is facing high negative perception among Indian students and is unlikely to start recovering until next year. At the same time, Canada may face some challenges similar to what Australia faced a couple of years back. In 2013, I expect Australia to start recovering from its bottom primarily due to negative perceptions in the UK and reversal of some immigration policies including new post study work visa arrangements. 

Any other thoughts/explanations? What could be near term trends of mobility of Indian students?

Dr. Rahul Choudaha
Read More »

January 06, 2013

Growth of Engineering and Management Institutions in India Stalls

Growth of engineering and management institutions in Indian have come to a screeching halt, confirming the trend predicted in my earlier posts--Engineering Pipeline: Disproportionate and Disconnected in August'09 and Indian B-School Bubble? in July'11.

The percentage growth in number of engineering institutions in India have came down from high of 43% in 2008-09 (academic year) to 3% in 2012-13. This translates into slowdown in starting of new institutions from 720 in 2008-09  to 105 in 2012-13. Likewise, for business schools, growth declined from 33% in 2008-09 to 3% 2012-13. In terms of absolute numbers, the number of new B-schools declined from 417 in 2009-10 to 82 in 2012-13.

This decline is a combination of two primary factors--weak regulatory mechanisms and profit motives of some private players. During the years of high growth in engineering and management institutions corruption in regulatory authorities was also riding high and many institutions were approved by overlooking qualitative deficiencies for bribes. At the same time, many private players were rushing into education "business" as a low-risk, high cash-flow business with an opportunity to leverage on real-estate (another sector plagued with tax-evaded "black" money") and tax-free status of pseudo-non-profits. This opened the floodgates of many private institutions which compromised quality to save money on soft and hard infrastructure. And, hence students graduating from these institutions were unemployable (of course, the recession did not help either) which in turn created negative word of mouth for institutions to get future student enrollment. Given that private institutions rely solely on tuition for revenue, lack of enrollment means financial instability. As a result, a large number of engineering and management institutions are now facing problems of vacant seats and are even available for sale. This in turn has slowed the growth of new institutions.

Although the growth of engineering and management institutions has slowed down, with 3,500 engineering colleges and 2,500 B-schools, India has disproportionately large number of institutions, indicating high value Indians place of job-oriented, professional programs with social prestige.
Dr. Rahul Choudaha
Read More »

January 01, 2013

2012: The Year of Technology, Innovation and Regulations in Higher Education

Wish you a very happy, healthy and prosperous new year! 

2012 was a year when higher education sector faced increasing regulation but gained energy from technology and innovation.

In the US, rising debt-level and default rates, continued to increase the scrutiny of the for-profit sector and more recently there are still reports of emerging malpractices in the sector. One clear indicator of the pessimism around the sector is the stock prices of two leading for-profit companies--Apollo Group and DeVry--which are hovering close to their 52-week low. Earlier this year, both Apollo and DeVry announced job cuts and Apollo is shutting down some campuses to manage cost and switch students to online education.

The most “buzzing” technology-enabled educational innovation of the year was the concept free online education or MOOCs. It is putting pressure not only on traditional universities but also on for-profit institutions to assess their value offering and how to respond to MOOCs. As the Economist states "MOOCs clearly mean upheaval for the cosseted and incompetent. But for those who most want it, education will be transformed." Coursera which started only in April 2012, has crossed 2 million student signed up for its courses.  Most recent entrant in this frenzy is Future Learn--a partnership of 12 UK universities led by the Open University (OU).  

Likewise, in the world of international higher education, leading destinations became more vigilant about the student visa abuses have been putting different regulatory measures in place. For example, in The UK 100,000 prospective students will be interviewed as a a part of the plan to stop "bogus students" from entering the country. Likewise, for Australia, the visa refusal rate of 50% for India also indicates not just the issue of higher degree of fraud but also the rate at which not the fraud is being caught due to higher scrutiny. In the US, earlier announcement about accreditation of Intensive English Programs and subsequent announcement about conditional admissions requirements, also indicated tightening of the student visa related polices in the US.

Overall, increasing competition in times of economic uncertainties is toughening regulatory environment and at the same time technological innovations are offering more value within the constraints.

Dr. Rahul Choudaha
Read More »


Get in touch with Dr. Choudaha for speaking opportunities, consulting engagements, and media inquiries.

Follow by Email


Blog Archive