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

September 13, 2014

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

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 Huddersfield, UK
Thursday, September 18, 2014 1:30-2:30 p.m.
Transnational Education Strategies: What Works, What Doesn’t?
This session will focus on building sustainable and successful global engagement strategies with a focus on what works and what doesn’t.
  • Robert Coelen, Vice-President International Stenden University of Applied Sciences, Netherlands
  • Nigel Healey, Pro-Vice Chancellor (International) Nottingham Trent University 
  • Eugene Sebastian, Director, Global Engagement Monash University, Melbourne
Friday, September 19, 2014 8:30-9:30 a.m.
Metrics of Success in International Student Recruitment
This session compares models of recruiting international students and corresponding metrics of success.
  • Geoff Moody Associate Vice President of International Programs Southern New Hampshire University, US 
  • Gyongyi Pozsgai Head of the International Relations Office University of Pecs, Hungary
  • Sky Zheng Director of International Recruitment University of Sunderland, UK 
I am also a panelist on a session entitled A MOOC Revolution? Strategic Considerations and Lessons Learned on Friday, September 19, 2014 from 1:30-2:30 p.m. The session is chaired by Trine Sand Director, International Education and Grants at University of Copenhagen.

More details to the sessions are available here

Look forward to the conference and engagement at the sessions. 

Related links:
Preparing for the Future of Transnational Education, The European Association for International Education (EAIE) Blog
A Question of Quality in Transnational Education, European Association for International Education (EAIE) Forum

International Branch Campuses Get Too Much Attention, University World News
Diversification Key to International Higher Education, University World News

Dr. Rahul Choudaha
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September 12, 2014

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

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 International’s upcoming headquarters in Amsterdam, created to serve Europe, the Middle East and Africa. This venture follows an exceptionally successful five-year run of a greenfield office in Singapore, which was established to serve the Asia Pacific region.

With these initiatives in mind it is incredibly important to acknowledge that a core premise, which underlies AACSB’s Accreditation Standards, emphasizes the importance of innovation, impact and engagement. Likewise, it is essential to note that over the past quarter century, AACSB (founded in 1916) has modified its standards in 1991, 2003 and most recently in 2013. Quite simply, these evolving standards are reflective of an organization and a membership that embodies an ethos committed to reinvention, connectivity and a pervasive influence on world-class quality business and management education across the globe.

All of this is within a context of a rapidly changing business environment. Globally, there are massive fluctuations in population, technology and socioeconomics. Concurrent to this, increasing pressure calls for more active community engagement, accountability for actions, and environmental stewardship by both business and management education providers. In turn, AACSB recognizes that today’s business schools must respond to these ever changing conditions by providing distinctive knowledge and skills to students, to allow for graduates to successfully meet the various needs of the publics they will operate.

In order to do this effectively, business schools must mirror the societies in which they function, and constantly evolve curricula, content and programs to meet such needs. As a component to this, the impact on business practice must be assessed by all business programs to better develop the nexus between course and program composition, and bearing on practice and business success.

One of the great attributes of AACSB is how the organization embraces the management concept of equifinality. In the accreditation world this means there are many, many paths that might be followed that would lead to best-of-class academic instruction. In AACSB’s sphere, this includes world class educators delivering business education that provides students with the multifaceted tools required to lead organizations in tough, ever-changing, global environments. This overarching concept encourages diversity in management education. This principle also fully recognizes there are business school differences, cultural idiosyncrasies and national distinctions, and that innovation, impact and engagement look very different in different parts of the world.

To this end, in 2008 the AACSB Board of Directors elected to open an office in Singapore to serve the Asia Pacific region. Since, there has been an explosive growth in business schools both pursuing and reaching AACSB’s accreditation requirements in this vast part of the globe. Predicated on the success in Asia Pacific, the AACSB Board moved to replicate the physical expansion model and open an office to serve Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). The hard work, diligence and true passion for service to the AACSB membership that Eileen Peacock, (Senior Vice President and Chief Officer of Asia), and her entire team in Singapore have displayed is a benchmark of excellence that I will endeavor to replicate and instill within the EMEA headquarters.

Today EMEA is host to more than 3,700 institutions that award business degrees, which for perspective purposes, is more than double the current number in the US. Currently, AACSB already has a significant presence in the EMEA region. Nearly half of AACSB’s 1,430 member institutions, and fifty percent of its 716 accredited institutions outside of North America are located in EMEA. Among the same demographics of schools, 48 percent of institutions are in various stages of the accreditation process, and in the past two and a half years, more than 40 percent of non-US applications for AACSB membership have come from the EMEA region. Such numbers only reinforce AACSB’s compelling efforts to help business schools in both these developed and developing economies improve their economic impact on the regions they serve, to continue to advance management education, and to promote leading-edge knowledge and thought leadership.

I look forward to the many steps this new and exciting venture will provide. One of my first efforts will be to get reacquainted with my b-school colleagues at AACSB’s 2014 European Annual Conference, to be held October 9-11 in Grenoble. There, more than 200 attendees, across 25+ countries, will explore management education trends specific to Europe and will focus on concepts of ‘Education and Learning for Innovation’. Just as exciting, AACSB’s Europe, Middle East and Africa Accreditation Conference will be held in Istanbul, May 31-June 02, 2015. There we expect more than 200 attendees from some 20+ countries to attend this conference, embracing the opportunities that diversity and differentiation provide. Both will serve as a great jump start on a more focused approach to working aggressively and extensively with Business Schools in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
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September 01, 2014

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

Growth of self-funded academically prepared Indian students
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 the same in 2012-13 (96,754) as in 2007-08 (94,563).

One of the reasons is that Indian students are highly dependent on loans from India or financial aid from universities. Post-recession, availability of financial aid became very difficult and at the same time the devaluation of India’s currency increased the cost of studying abroad.

Another characteristic of globally mobile Indian students is that they are primarily enrolled on masters-level programmes in STEM – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – related fields. Three out of four students (78%) from India in the US were enrolled on STEM programmes as compared to only 37% of Chinese or 17% of Korean students.

Looking at globally mobile Indian students from the framework of four segments of international students – high fliers, explorers, strivers and strugglers – typical Indian students were most likely to be strivers.

As I have previously forecast, from the beginning of 2015 the biggest change in the profile of Indian students aspiring to global education will be the emergence of ‘high fliers’ – those who are academically prepared and more importantly have an ability to pay for their experiences.

The emerging segment – High fliers
The emergence of Indian ‘high flier’ students can be traced back to the economic sociology where the changes in the nature of the economy have transformed the structure of society.

In early 1990s, India went through economic reforms which opened up public sectors like telecommunication and financial services to private competition. This reform created high demand for professionals who received high salaries and a premium for their skills.

Complementing the policy reform was an unexpected opportunity offered by global IT services. The ‘Y2K’ computer glitches in the late 1990s gave birth to the Indian IT outsourcing industry which employed thousands of Indian engineers.

These new-age professionals who started their careers in the late 1990s not only had a mindset that valued saving, but also had the chance to become part of the real estate boom in India. The combination of these economic changes and opportunities enabled many professionals to amass substantial financial resources over time.

In addition, these professionals strongly believe in the value of education and hence are ready to spend on the best education for their children. One indicator of this trend of investing in education is the number of students enrolled in high-end international schools offering programmes like the international baccalaureate.

In sum, I define Indian ‘high fliers’ as children born in the late '90s to parents working in new-age industries like IT, financial services and telecommunications. Many of these ‘high flier’ students will start exploring undergraduate colleges in 2015 and many others will apply for masters programmes in a few years’ time.

Getting ready for new opportunities
A new wave of demand for global education among Indian ‘high fliers’ is set to take-off. These children of professionals who started working in new-age industries in the late '90s will create a new opportunity for foreign higher education institutions interested in engaging with India.

Making the most of the opportunity will require overcoming challenges of understanding the unique characteristics and needs of this segment. An upcoming research report will offer insights about the decision-making processes of different segments of Indian bachelor and masters degree-seeking students.

Likewise, institutions interested in building deeper engagement should explore how to create solutions that go beyond expectations for radical policy reforms like the bill that was supposed to allow entry of foreign universities to establish campuses in India.

While the growth of ‘high fliers’ in India will not be as rapid as that in China, forward-looking institutions should make the most of this opportunity by informing and adapting their internationalisation strategies to the unique needs of this segment.

Author Rahul Choudaha

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