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

July 20, 2014

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 remain in the country after completing their studies and a thriving labor market are two factors that attract more and better student migrants."

2. The Determinants of International Mobility of Students by Michel Beine, Romain Noël and Lionel Ragot

In this paper, authors have analyzed the determinants of the choice of destination of international students. They use a multi-origin multi-destination framework to identify the main factors at stake. "Relying on a small theoretical model of human capital investment, [they] focus on two types of factors: those affecting the migration costs such as distance and migrants’ network at destination and those affecting the attractiveness of the destination such as the quality of universities, education costs and host capacity." The authors estimate the importance of those factors using data covering more than 180 origin countries and 13 OECD destination countries which cover more than 75 % of the total international student migration flows. Two major findings are:
- Network effect: The presence of home country nationals at the destination country increases its attractiveness.
- Quality of education: The perception of quality of institutions adds to the attractiveness of the destinations.
The research findings imply that while international student mobility is complex and it is important to understand its interconnection with national policies--both host and destination countries have a role to play in making sure that brain exchange pattern is mutually beneficial. 
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July 09, 2014

Enrollment statistics of international high schools students in the US

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. 

China is the largest source country of high schools students to the US


  • 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.

public universities enroll most of international students



  • How do enrollment of high school students differ by the size of private school?
Two-third of all international high school students on F-1 visa are enrolled in small to mid-size institutions.

enrollment of high school students by size of private institution




Author: Dr. Rahul Choudaha
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July 04, 2014

How to maximize impact of internationalization strategies?

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."

Defining internationalization: Mission over movement 

The definition of internationalization must be localized to fit the specific needs of an individual campus in three critical areas: people, ideas and places. In establishing parameters for success in these areas, a principle of mission over movement can be applied.

"In the same way that ‘mind over matter’ can help the strong among us to avoid the empty calories in an extra slice of cake, mission over movement can help leaders focus on the substance of internationalization at their campuses over the perceived glory of goals that do not fit the mission of their institutions."

Assessing internationalisation: Impact over input

One of the reasons why internationalisation does not get the attention it deserves is the limited demonstrable impact of internationalisation at the campus level.

This is where, impact assessment can feed into strategy formulation as it helps in moving from anecdotal, intuition-driven strategies to more evidence-driven strategies.

Successful strategies for comprehensive internationalization would not only focus on asking for resources (inputs), but would also put corresponding efforts into assessing the impact of internationalization at all levels by investing in systematic data collection, analysis and dissemination.

We know that ‘what gets measured, gets done’, but perhaps the new mantra is ‘what gets measured, gets funded’.


Measuring impact of university internationalization strategies
Source: ULM http://www.ulm.edu/assessment/

Dr. Rahul Choudaha
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