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Showing posts from June, 2013

Making community colleges work in India: Building a community of change to fuel aspirations

What would it take for workforce development programs and vocational education to grow in India? A recent white paper released by Institute of International Education (IIE) and sponsored by the U.S. Embassy in India highlights the potential of learning from and applying the U.S. community college model in India.

The paper includes pieces from several experts. Mary Beth Hartenstine of Community Colleges for International Development in her chapter suggests that "When looking at larger scale, transformative projects, such as those expected to take place in India, U.S. colleges should look to partner through a consortium to alleviate some of the possible burdens of these global development projects." B. S. Panwar of M.S. Panwar Community College asserts that "While the government has taken note of the need for a community college system in India, there is no clear implementation plan. An autonomous agency is needed to act as a link between the government and the communit…

Using recruitment agents: Transparency to move from a dirty little secret to an open-book?

NACAC report on the use of agents for international student recruitment left most of us wanting more. At the same time, it has something for everyone to cite and justify their arguments. Overall, I am pleased with the outcomes of the report and here are my top two reasons:

1. Recognizes diversity: The report rightly recognizes that just because agents are used in other countries does not justifies its use in the US context. There are a diverse set of institutional and student needs. Any kind of ban or no ban situation would have been impractical and unhealthy. There is a wide spectrum of quality of agents which serve needs of a specific segment of students and institutions (see more on segments of international students).

Arguing that agent model works for all institutions and students is an hyperbole. Dan Zaretsky and I have a strikingly similar point of view mentioned in the Chronicle and the PIE News that some will never use agents, some will definitely use agents and perhaps the fe…

How MOOCs and competency-based learning shaping the future of online higher education?

Two models of higher education--competency-based learning and MOOCs--are offering alternatives to conventional higher education and shaping the future of online higher education. Given below are recent developments which highlight this trend:
Southern New Hampshire University, a private university in New Hampshire, "is poised to launch a $5,000 online, competency-based associate degree that would be the first to blow up the credit hour--the connection between college credit and the time students spend learning." In addition, it had been in gaining attention for its aggressive growth in online programs as a non-profit. It enrolled 2,750 undergraduates in its campus and another 25,000 in its online programs. The revenue for this "Little College That's a Giant Online" is forecasted to reach $200 million in the next academic year—four times what it took in for 2010-11.
Western Governors University founded by the governors of 19 U.S. states in 1995, is an online univ…

What are the future mobility trends and recruitment prospects for Indian students?

Some experts have predicted that expanded capacity of higher education institutions in India will slow the mobility students going abroad. However, I have taken a contrarian view that in the medium to long term mobility of Indian students will increase.

This is primarily because capacity has not kept up pace with quality of institutions and aspirations of individuals. Increasing affordability for foreign education among upper-middle class coupled with attractiveness for the US for STEM OPT and now green card prospects will continue to fuel demand for graduate education.

In the immediate term, data for graduate applications and visa applications are already reflecting growth in number of students from India for fall 2013.

According to the Council of Graduate Studies, number of application from India increased by 20% as comapared to decline of 5% for China, based on a survey of over 275 institutions which conferred about 2/3rd of the graduate degrees in the US.

Likewise, according to…