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The Enrollment Management Challenges for University Presidents: ACE Special Issue

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American Council on Education (ACE), which  represents the presidents of U.S. accredited, degree-granting institutions, released an insightful issue of The Presidency focused on higher education enrollment. The Presidency is ACE's flagship magazine "written for and about college and university presidents and chancellors."
It includes feature articles like: Going International: Given the demographic challenges and public funding cuts, for many institutions, international student enrollment is becoming indispensable. The article shares the findings from a previous ACE webinar on trends with international student mobility and its implications for enrollment. It shares the WES' student segmentation research framework which identifies the four different types of students and their corresponding different needs, priorities and expectations. Best Practices, Enrollment Success Stories: CEOs of four diverse universities share their enrollment challenges and experiences in ove…

Latest Research on Transnational Education: Data and Insights from the UK

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Two recent research reports released in the UK on transnational education (TNE or cross-border education) provide extensive data and insights on latest trends, models, challenges and complexities with TNE. First, the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), which distributes public money to universities and colleges in England,  released a report entitled "Directions of travel: Transnational pathways into English higher education". Here is the link to download the report.  This report aims to focus more on understanding pathways taken by students pursuing TNE in home country to programs in the UK. It highlights several interesting points including the fact that over a third of the international entrants (students) enrolling in first degree programs (bachelor's degree or undergraduate program) in 2012-13 came through programs delivered overseas by UK education providers through TNE models. Another fact is that TNE activities grew more among second and third…

Five facts challenging leadership of US higher education in attracting international students

Here is the excerpt from my blog "Attracting International Students: Can American Higher Education Maintain its Leadership?" originally published on Huffington Post. Studying in the U.S. is a dream of many international students. More than 75 percent of international students indicated motivation to "expand career and life opportunities" and "quality higher education options" as the top two reasons that motivated them to study in the U.S., according to a recent survey of nearly 5,000 international students by World Education Services.
With 886,052 international students enrolled in U.S. higher education in 2013/14, the number of international students has increased by 55 percent from 2003/04, according Institute of International Education. It is easy to infer that U.S. has been hugely successful in attracting international students. However, what is lost in the positive growth are some of the acute challenges that can threaten American leadership in at…

As Predicted, Number of Indian Students Studying in the US Increase

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In my previous article, "Universities need to get ready for India’s high fliers", I had predicted that the number of globally mobile Indian students will increase and the US higher education will be the biggest beneficiaries. (Related story "Enter the Dragon" in BusinessWorld) Latest data from Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), reported enrollment patterns of international students as on October 2014. It confirms the overall trend and increase with Indian numbers: - Since October 2013, the number of students studying in the US from India increased 28% as compared to 9% for all international students - US higher education institutions enrolled 134, 292 students from India - 79% of them were enrolled in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields, which offer 29-Optional Practical Training (STEM-extension) option - 65% of all Indian students(~87,000) were enrolled in only two majors 1) Engineering and 2)Computer Sciences - 73% of all…

How rankings impact institutional strategies and processes? research report from European University Association

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What is role of rankings in university strategies and processes? This is the central question of the recent research report released by European University Association and authored by Ellen Hazelkorn, Tia Loukkola and Therese Zhang.  The report entitled "Rankings in Institutional Strategies and Processes: Impact or Illusion?" is based on the survey of 171 higher education institutions from 39 European countries. It is a comprehensive and insightful report that shows that perceived impact of rankings is very high among different stakeholders despite their public denials.  More than half of all the respondents identified that they "have one or several persons at institution level who monitor(s) our position in the rankings regularly." Here are couple of data points indicating that institutional representatives perceive rankings to be of very high importance to prospective students:


The report asserts "...when an institution is analysing the importance of one ra…

Financial dependency on nonresident and international students: Case of University of California

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University of California is considering to increase tuition by up to 5% in each of the next five years. This was inevitable as the public funding continues to decrease. Here are couple of previous blog posts from 2012: Internationalization of public universities: Gaining momentum, overcoming challenges China, Saudi Arabia and public universities driving growth According to the University of California, "The new long-term stability plan for tuition and financial aid proposes that tuition will not increase more than 5 percent annually for five years. For 2015–16, that would mean an increase of $612. Tuition may increase by less than 5 percent — or not at all — depending on the level of state support." Given that the number of nonresident, including international students at UC campuses have increased at a clipping rate, there is a feeling among residents that they are being displaced. The UC highlights the value addition from nonresident fee that adds to the experiences of the …

Foreign students in UK higher education: Mobility and enrollment trends

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Universities UK released a research report "International students in higher education: the UK and its competition" that highlights latest enrollment and mobility trends with international (non-European Union) students. This comprehensive report provides an excellent backdrop to issues and challenges UK universities and colleges are facing in a competitive environment of international student recruitment. International students are critical to finances of the higher education sector as it gets around one-eighth of its income from international students’ tuition fees. Here are three interesting data points from the report:
1. Number of international students grew post 9/11, however, it stagnated post global financial recession. 2. China and Malaysia have high proportion of undergraduate students as compared to India and Nigeria at Postgraduate Taught (master's level). 3. Institutions continue to experience decline with India an Nigeria along with China slowing down too…

Towards improved quality standards in transnational education

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The quality assurance mechanisms of transnational education (TNE) or cross-border education have not kept pace with the changes in the landscape of its activities and trends is the core argument of the article I co-authored with Richard J Edelstein, a research associate at the Center for Studies in Higher Education, University of California, Berkeley.

TNE is offered in a range of models, including branch campuses, licensed foreign degree programs provided by local institutions, articulation agreements, distance learning degrees and online degrees.
The variety of models is reflective of diverse contexts of source and destination countries, where demand from the emerging segment of ‘glocal’ students - who have aspirations to gain a global education experience, but want to remain in their local region/country - is creating new opportunities for institutions.
The landscape of TNE gets further complicated with the emergence of new distance learning technologies, such as MOOCs, that ar…

Can China become the hub of ‘glocal’ students? CACIE Conference 2014

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What are the drivers of international student mobility to China? What are the implications of these trends for Chinese Universities? Can China become the hub of ‘glocal’ students? This is the focus of the session I am chairing at China Annual Conference for International Education (CACIE) Forum on International Student Mobility on Sunday, October 26.

Mobility of Chinese students to the leading destinations like US, UK and Australia is a known trend. However, what has not gained enough attention is the increasing magnetism of China as a destination for international students. In 2009, nearly, 238,000 international students were enrolled in Chinese higher education institutions. In specific, number of foreign students enrolled in degree programs has doubled to more than 100,000 in five years.
However, what is hidden in this growth is the regional mobility of students. For example, two of our every three international students in China are from Asia. More Pakistani students are e…

Impact assesst as an integral part of internationalization strategy

In a world of increasing fiscal constraints, discourses that emphasize measuring impact continue to gain traction.
Most recently, the Scaling Social Impact series by Harvard Business Review and The Bridgespan Group focuses on how organisations can have a greater social impact. In the same vein, the Stanford Social Innovation Review also has a special section on innovative ways to measure an organisation’s impact on various populations. 
In light of the increasing complexity and changes in higher education, universities engaging in internationalisation need to candidly ask themselves if and how their strategies are in fact meeting the goals and outcomes they have set for themselves. 
Of course, assessment is not something new for many engaged with the internationalisation of higher education. However, current practices often take a one-dimensional, limited view as compared to a big-picture, holistic view of the impact of internationalisation strategies. 
Impact assessment helps make a…

Presenting at EAIE Conference 2014 on Transnational Education, MOOCs and International Student Recruitment

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I will be chairing three sessions at the 26th European Association for International Education’s (EAIE) Conference in Prague on the overarching themes of strategies and trends related to international student recruitment, MOOCs and transnational education or cross-border education. Given below are the details:

Thursday, September 18, 2014 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. New Ways of Learning: Digital Hype or Cultural Shift? Plenary Dialogue that aims to understand emerging trends, opportunities and challenges with the new ways of learning, in particular online learning and MOOCs. Philip Altbach, Research Professor and director of the Center for International Higher Education at Boston College, US Karl Dittrich, Chair of the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU), The Netherlands Hannes Klöpper, Managing Director, Iversity, Germany Rupert Ward, National Teaching Fellow & Head of Informatics, Department of Informatics, School of Computing and Engineering, University of Huddersf…

AACSB Sr. VP on Global Engagement and Changes in Management Education

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Dr. Timothy S. Mescon is the fourth president of Columbus State University. He assumed that responsibility in August 2008. Previously, for 18 years, Dr. Mescon was Dean at the Michael J. Coles College of Business at Kennesaw State University in Atlanta, where he held the Tony and Jack Dinos Eminent Scholar Chair of Entrepreneurship. Dr. Mescon is the author of more than 200 articles and cases and has co-authored four books, his latest, Entrepreneurship: Venture Initiation, Management and Development. Additionally, he has co-authored an audiotape series entitled Management Excellence. Dr. Mescon received his Ph.D. from the University of Georgia, MBA from Southern Methodist University and B.A. from Tulane University. In September 2014 he was named as the inaugural Senior Vice President and Chief Officer for Europe, the Middle East and Africa for AACSB International, a position he will formally begin January 2015. How exciting it is for me to be directly involved in the launch of AACSB I…

Are you ready for Indian highflier students? Emerging opportunities of international recruitment and collaborations

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Engaging with Indian higher education has been always been a very complex endeavour for foreign institutions. However, Indian higher education is now priming up for new opportunities to recruit students and build partnerships. This time it is different as the opportunities are largely driven by student demand as opposed to policy reform.
Soon, an emerging segment of Indian students will not only aspire to global education but will also have the ability to afford the experience. This will present new opportunities for institutions interested in engaging with India.
The traditional segment – Strivers With nearly 200,000 students enrolled outside the country, India is the second largest source of globally mobile students. However, the number of students going abroad has grown at an anaemic pace for the last five years.
Consider the case of the United States, which enrols nearly half of all globally mobile Indian students. The number of Indian students in the US has pretty much remained t…

Will Indian higher education move from stifling regulation to authentic quality assurance?

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Indian higher education is in a state of flux due to an incoherent policy framework. For example, recent scrapping of the four-year degree program at the University of Delhi also affected private universities which were trying to bring four-year liberal arts program in India. What is appalling is that quality assurance framework in India is not only archaic and complex, but also lacks the capability to distinguish wheat from the chaff. While private higher education has its own challenges of quality, there are models of excellence that need to be showcased and encouraged to uplift the quality in private sector. Here is a guest blog from Dr. Vidya Rajiv Yeravdekar, head of Symbiosis International University-one of the premier private deemed-university-on unfair treatment of private higher education in India. She asks why toughest regulations are designed for private higher education which receives no funding while there is no oversight of public institutions which get all their finance…

Transnational education: what works, what doesn’t? EAIE session

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The future of transnational education (or cross-border) is quite uncertain and an overarching question arises for institutional leaders – are your transnational education strategies future-ready? Are they adaptable and sustainable for a complex environment which is primed to be disrupted by learning models like MOOCs? Do your strategies involve assessing the market demand and adapting to the emergence of a new segment of ‘glocal’ students? How do you plan to de-risk your infrastructure-heavy branch campus strategies?

In addition, the issues of quality are always threatening the growth and innovation in TNE. In my article in the recent issue of EAIE Forum magazine, ‘A question of quality in transnational education’, I ask how traditional definitions, expectations and models of quality assurance will be able to respond to an expanding scale and increasing complexity of TNE activities. TNE is growing not only in numbers but also in complexity. This makes the future unpredictable and r…

Book: Internationalisation of Higher Education and Global Mobility

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Internationalisation of Higher Education and Global Mobility is a recent book which brings together perspectives and reflections of several experts in international higher education.
The book is edited by Bernhard Streitwieser, PhD Assistant Professor of International Education The George Washington University Washington, DC.
The book is organized in three major sections. It starts with big picture trends on internationalization and then focuses on the regional perspectives and finally, concludes with institutional experiences.
In the opening chapter, Challenges and Opportunities for Global Student Mobility in the Future: A Comparative and Critical Analysis, I and Hans de Wit take a deeper drive into the nature and drivers of global mobility and how the future of mobility may look like. We look into the dramatic effect of two external events--9/11 and global financial crisis of 2008--on destination countries along with the demographic changes and economic development at the source c…

Statistics on enrollment of international students in STEM programs in the US universities

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Demand for STEM programs among international students have been consistently increasing as the pathways for career opportunities in the US have been expanding with more jobs and availability of additional 17-months for students on Optional Practical Training (OPT) in STEM programs. In addition, industry demand for new fields like cyber security and data science and pressure to expand new sources of revenue has let to launch/expansion of programs by universities.  
Given below are three insightful slides from SEVP of USICE on enrollment pattern of STEM students in the US.
The statistics reveal concentration by source countries, field of studies and destination states. This poses challenges for institutions not in the natural destination states to attract international students and for institutions in the top states to diversify the source countries of students.  
1. More than one-third (35%) of all international students in the US are enrolled in STEM programs. Nearly one-sixth (15%) o…

Research on Mobility of Foreign Students and its Implications for Policy

Here are two interesting research articles, I came across on international student mobility.
1. How to Attract Foreign Students by Arnaud Chevalier
In this paper, author provides an overview on how international student mobility can be beneficial for all participants including migrating students and those who remain at home, as well as home and host countries.
It shares a simple model of student migration based on the economic models where "individuals invest in education to increase future income. They choose to invest if the income increase over their lifetime is greater than the cost (including effort) incurred for their education. The decision to study abroad is determined in this model by the costs of education in both countries, the differences in the returns to skills in both countries, and the costs of (return) migration—including non-financial costs such as family circumstances."
The author asserts that "[o]pen-visa policies that allow foreign graduates to re…

Enrollment statistics of international high schools students in the US

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What are the trends with the international students enrolled in the US secondary schools? This is the overarching question addressed by a recent report published by the Institute of International Education “Charting new pathways to higher education: International secondary students in the United States” which offers insights for enrollment and recruitment strategies. It notes that in October 2013 there were nearly 73,000 international students were pursuing a secondary-level education in the US, with nearly two-third enrolled for a full diploma (48,632).
Here are the key highlights:
What the leading source countries for international high school students? US high schools are even more dependent on China as compared to universities and colleges. 


How do enrollment of high school students differ in terms of control of institution --private vs. public? Majority of international high school students are enrolled in private institutions.




How do enrollment of high school students differ by th…

How to maximize impact of internationalization strategies?

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Why internationalization strategies of universities often deliver sub-optimal results? Why international efforts in many institutions struggle to get adequate resources? Why some institutions go through mission-creep and get distracted about their purpose and approaches of going global?
These are some of the question answered in our recent piece entitled "Higher Education Internationalization – What gets measured, gets funded" published in University World News by me and Eduardo Contreras Jr of Harvard Graduate School of Education.
We argue that despite growing interest in internationalization, institutions have not maximized its potential due to lack of attention to two extremes of the internationalization process.
"First, the definition of internationalization is not adapted to higher education institutions’ institutional mission and context. Second, adequate efforts are not being made in assessing the impact of internationalization on the campus community."
De…