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Showing posts from 2015

What are the latest trends with international student enrollment for master's degree?

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The latest report from the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) suggests that the demand for American degree among international students is strong.


Only 1 of 8 international students who applied to study for a master’s degree or certificate succeeded in enrolling in U.S. higher education. The report is based on a survey of 351 institutions, which enrolled nearly three-fourths of all international students in graduate programs in the United States.

In 2015, American institutions received more than 520,000 applications from abroad. Only 65,000 students enrolled. American universities made offers to only one out of three applicants, rejecting over 346,000 students. At the same time, 111,000 students received the offer but decided not to enroll at a U.S. institution.

Transnational education programs offer new opportunities of absorbing the demand from international markets by leveraging technology and still offering value to "glocal" students who want to earn an international cre…

Investing in informed enrollment strategies and adapting to trends in international student mobility

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US higher education enrolled nearly 975,000 international students in 2014-2015, an increase of 52% since 2007/08 or 350,000 students more in seven years. What are the underlying growth patterns and implications for institutional strategies? 

Looking deeper into the numbers, it becomes apparent that not all institutions have been successful in attracting international students. For example, 1 out of 5 international students is enrolled in just 25 institutions. Beyond these few institutions, majority face challenges in attracting international students. On the one hand, there are challenges of limited resources and expertise and on the one hand, there are constraints of location and rankings. Higher education institutions must invest in a deeper understanding of international student mobility trends with a focus on shifting needs, expectations and decision-making processes to build informed and sustainable enrollment strategies

Here are three charts from IIE Open Doors’ data tha…

Highfliers from India and Explorers from China drive growth in enrollment in US

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Here is my article first published on Huffington Post.

The latest Open Doors data indicates yet another year of growth in international student enrollment. Between 2009 and 2014, the number of international students has increased by 41 per cent to reach a total of 974,926. They contributed over $30 billion to the U.S. economy during the 2014-2015 academic year, according to NAFSA: Association of International Educators.


In last ten years, international enrollments skyrocketed at some institutions, while others have lagged behind, resulting in an imbalance which can have negative implications for both institutions and individuals. Despite the growth, the proportion of international students to total US higher education enrollment is only 4.8 per cent. There is also a skew in terms of source countries.

More than half of all international students in the US come from four countries, China, India, South Korea and Saudi Arabia. Often, international students are lumped as one monolithic b…

Open Doors 2015: What to expect with international student enrollment trends?

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How has the enrollment of international students at higher education institutions in the United States changed in fall 2014 as compared to fall 2013? The Open Doors 2015 will be released on November 16, 2015 to answer this question.


Here is my forecast of two leading source countries, China and India, from previous articles published in UniversityWorldNews:
"Universities need to get ready for India’s highfliers" August 2014  "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."

"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…

Investing in success of international students: Understanding needs and behaviors of diverse segments

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International student segmentation is one of the frameworks that helps us understand the changing needs and behaviors of international students. First launched in 2012 with the research report Not All International Students Are the Same, the segmentation framework aims to inform enrollment strategies and practices in the context of the diverse needs, motivations and preferences of international students.

The framework identified four segments of students along two dimensions: academic preparedness and financial resources.
-Strivers: High academic preparedness; low financial resources
-Strugglers: Low academic preparedness; low financial resources
-Explorers: Low academic preparedness; high financial resources
-Highfliers: High academic preparedness; high financial resources

The core contribution of this framework is to encourage higher education institutions to understand students beyond aggregate numbers and recognize the diversity of their needs and expectations. This framework also…

Global student mobility: Is your international enrollment strategy future ready?

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I will be presenting a free webinar-"Developing International Enrollment Strategy"-on Thursday, November 12, 2015 at 2:00 pm EST. The audience for this webinar is higher education administrators interested in international student enrollment, recruitment and retention.


Here is the brief context:
A small proportion of higher education institutions in the U.S. command a majority of international student enrollment. While 108 doctorate-granting universities enroll just 11 percent of all students in the country, they enroll some 44 percent of all international students. What explains this trajectory of so many international students towards a small number of institutions?

And how can other institutions deepen their understanding of the needs and desires of international students, and build informed enrollment strategies to become more competitive in recruiting, enrolling and retaining these students?

This webinar will share the latest trends and insights about international stud…

Trends shaping internationalization of higher education: Speaking at Teachers College, Columbia University

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I will presenting at Teachers College, Columbia University on the topic of "Three Megatrends Transforming Internationalization of Higher Education: Implications for Research Agendas and Institutional Strategies." This is a free, interactive, public event.

When: Wednesday, December 2, 2015
Where: Milbank Chapel, Teachers College, Columbia University
Time: 7:00pm - 8:30pm

The event is hosted by Dr. Thomas P. Rock, Vice Provost for Enrollment Services at Teachers College and jointly sponsored by following offices of Teachers College, Columbia University:
-Higher & Postsecondary Education Program
-International & Comparative Education
-Office of Enrollment Services
-Office of International Affairs
-Office of International Services

Here is an overview of the session:
With more than 6,000 post-secondary institutions, American higher system commands global reputation and admiration, however, it is inequitable and unsustainable in terms of its internationalization strategies…

Research on international student success: Call For contributions

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Much has been researched on mobility of international students for meeting recruitment and enrollment goals of higher education institutions. However, corresponding discourse and evidence on campus experiences and how they contribute to success of international students is rather limited.

[Update: Final editorial on the special issue is available here]

I have the privilege of serving as the editor of the special issue on International Student Success for the Journal of International Students, a peer-reviewed, quarterly publication founded and edited by Dr. Krishna Bista, Chase Endowed Professor of Education in the School of Education at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. Submission deadline is June 15, 2016 and the issue will be released in November 2016. Email submissions/queries to me at info@DrEducation.com.

The aim of this special issue is to advance research agenda and improve institutional practices with an aim of helping international students succeed in their academic and …

OECD-Singapore conference on future of global higher education landscape

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"The OECD-Singapore Conference on Higher Education Futures will explore forward-looking themes in the global higher education landscape. Plenary sessions and parallel discussions will focus on mapping and meeting future demand for higher education, the rise of higher education in Asia, challenges to traditional modes of education, and how higher education can stay relevant in the face of resource challenges. The Conference will bring together some 500 participants from over 40 countries, representing senior government officials, higher education administrators, academics and practitioners, for an engaging exchange of ideas and best practices."



There are four themes for the conference are:

Mapping and meeting future demand for higher education; The rise of higher education in Asia and the impact on the global landscape; Technology, disruption and the 'unbundling' of higher education: challenges to traditional modes of education; and Two sides of the same coin: resource…

Mapping innovation opportunities in global higher education

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Innovation in internationalization of higher education is low, according to a quick poll of 112 professionals attending a session at the European Association for International Education (EAIE) annual conference in Glasgow. When participants were asked "How would you rate innovation in internationalization at your institution?", 47% reported it to be Low, 12% as High and balance 41% as Medium. I recently chaired this opening session on Innovation in Internationalization of Higher Education for EAIE's International Relations Managers (IRM).
While innovation may seem like a buzzword, in 1934, Schumpeter defined five areas of innovation — product innovation, process innovation, market innovation, input innovation and organizational innovation. More recently innovation is defined as “the co-creation or collaborative recombination of practices that provide novel solutions for new or existing problems”

A recent Study on Innovation in Higher Education from European Commission (E…

Student mobility trends and Erasmus stands out in EAIE 2015 session themes

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European Association for International Education (EAIE) annual conference 2015 will take place in Glasgow from Sept 15-18. The 2014 conference in Prague attracted over 5000 participants from more than 90 countries around the world. Follow the tweets from the conference with #EAIE2015 .

Here is the word-cloud of top 50 words from the titles of 151 sessions. "Students" and "mobility" are dominant with "Erasmus" and "Erasmus+". Any thoughts/comments on what else stands out and why?


I'm honored to be chairing three sessions at EAIE in Glasgow on innovation, MOOCs, and China. The co-presenters are experts in their field and will bring a diverse, insightful and provocative perspectives on different topics. Here is are the session details:

Wednesday September 16, 2015 from 15:30-17:00
IRM Feature Session: Real Innovation in Internationalisation of Higher Education
(This is the opening session for International Relations Managers (IRM), a Professiona…

Defining the future of internationalisation in Europe

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A recent study entitled 'Internationalisation of Higher Education' in the European context provides a comprehensive perspective on what is the current state of internationalization is and what should it look like in future.

The study critically analyzed the key literature in the field of international higher education and coupled it with survey findings from three sources--IAU 4th Global Survey on Internationalisation of Higher Education, The EAIE Barometer: Internationalisation in Europe, and Delphi survey (with support from Robert Coelen).

The study funded by the European Parliament was undertaken by some of the leading researchers and thinkers in the field-Hans de Wit, Fiona Hunter, Laura Howard and Eva Egron-Pola. The blend of comprehensive background research along with deep expertise of the authors resulted in this influential, landmark publication.

The ten recommendations (I wonder, why it rhymes with ten commandments) of the study have the potential to create a more…

China's Economic and Education Ambitions on the New Silk Road

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Eugene Sebastian, deputy pro vice-chancellor, business international, RMIT University, Australia and I recently published an article entitled "Knowledge helps power China along the new Silk Road" in The Australian. Here is the excerpt:
 The Silk Road concept is not new. Chinese President Xi Jinping introduced the idea in 2013 during a visit to Kazakhstan and Indonesia. What is new is the use of education as a tool to help drive China’s regional economic ambitions.

China’s education strategy has three parts. First, Beijing has promised 10,000 new scholarships will be handed out every year to the countries along the Silk Road. Offering scholarships has worked in the past. Ten years ago, in support of its scaled-up engagement with Africa, Beijing introduced scholarships for African students, the numbers of which have more than doubled — as has its economic influence. China already provides a lot of scholarships to international students. In 2010, it sponsored almost 23,000 a…

More preventive measures needed in India to stop high-stakes cheating, says Britt of Prometric

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Admissions to higher education institutions of excellence in India is often reliant on high-stakes testing. At the top are some of the most competitive exams like Common Admissions Test (CAT) for Indian Institute of Management (IIM) and Joint Entrance Exam (JEE) for Indian Institute of Technology (IIT). Then there are many more exams for different professions and states. More recently, a scams in the state of Madhya Pradesh exposed system-level corruption with more than 2,000 students estimated to have cheated their way into coveted medical colleges. Here is an interview with Wade Britt, Country Manager, Prometric Testing Services Pvt. Ltd., India, a test development and delivery provider. Prometric is a wholly owned, independently operated subsidiary of Educational Testing Service.

Wade Britt is the Country Manager for Prometric Testing Services Pvt. Ltd in India. He has extensive international experience in operations and sales in the education, technology and logistics sectors. Pri…

Ability to partner effectively is core to leadership in academia and enterpreneurial ventures, says David Finegold

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Dr. David Finegold, Chief Academic Officer, Quad Learning
Dr. Finegold is a leading expert on skill development systems and their application to economic performance in the global marketplace. In his last role, he served as Senior Vice President for Lifelong Learning and Strategic Growth at Rutgers University, spearheading efforts to build a workforce development system for New Jersey’s bioscience sector. He was also a professor at the Keck Graduate Institute of Applied Life Sciences in Claremont, California. David graduated summa cum laude with a BA in Social Studies from Harvard University, and earned his Ph.D. in Politics as a Rhodes scholar at Oxford University in England.

Rahul- You have extensive experience as a faculty member and academic leader in university setting. Now you are working in an entrepreneurial and innovative environment at American Honors. What are couple of key leadership lessons for future academic entrepreneurs to succeed in a non-university settings? David- …

Economic climate and its impact on international mobility of Chinese students

My recent article "The end of the China growth story?" published in the University World News analyzes the trend with the global mobility of Chinese student in the context of economic uncertainties. Given below is the excerpt.

Prior to the recession, a majority of Chinese students in the US were concentrated in graduate-level programmes. In 2006-2007, only 15% of a total of 67,723 students from China were enrolled in undergraduate programmes. By 2013-2014, undergraduates formed 40% of the 274,439 Chinese students, according to the Institute of International Education’s Open Doors data.

Looking at Chinese students from the framework of international student segmentation, the increase in students at the undergraduate level was primarily driven by the growth of ‘Explorers’, those with high financial resources and low academic preparedness. This expanding segment is funded by financially well-off families who want to invest in the experiences and future of a single child. This s…

Shai Reshef on his mission to scale a sustainable model of non-profit, tuition-free, accredited, online academic institution

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Shai Reshef is President & Founder of University of the People – the world’s first tuition-free, non-profit, accredited, online University dedicated to opening access to higher education. An educational entrepreneur with over 25 years of experience in the international education market, President Reshef has been widely recognized for his work with UoPeople, including being named one of Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business; joined UN-GAID as a High-level Adviser; granted membership in the Clinton Global Initiative; selected by The Huffington Post as the Ultimate Game Changer in Education; nominated as one of Wired Magazine’s 50 People Changing the World; and selected as a Top Global Thinker by Foreign Policy Magazine. His TED Talk: “An Ultra-Low-Cost College Degree” has been viewed by almost 2 million people in the last year.

Rahul - At University of People, you have created a large volunteer operation with over 3,000 volunteering professors, academic leaders and…

Partnering to build an ecosystem of highered innovation

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Here is the excerpt from my recent blog "Building an Ecosystem of Higher Education Innovation" published in Huffington Post.

The confluence of cost and funding pressures, technology-enabled learning innovations and new paradigms of quality and teaching will continue to force higher education institutions to redefine their value.

However, higher education institutions are unwilling to embrace new definitions of value and quality "as valid, even when they can see that customers increasingly prefer the new value offerings," notes a report from TIAA-CREF Institute.

The Presidential Innovation series hosted by the American Council on Education sums up with a tough question--"Are our current business models stale and too tradition-bound to serve us effectively in this new era for higher education?"

Innovation is taking place at a much faster rate at the fringes of the higher education system than at its core. It is getting accelerated by the energy of entrepr…

Growth in 'glocal' students in transnational education programs for England

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Transnational education is an increasingly important pathway for international students coming to the UK. They typically transfer from an overseas partner institution and then continue to stay to earn postgraduate program. This is the core finding of a recent research entitled "Transnational pathways to higher education in England" from HEFCE.

It notes that a third of the international (non EU) entrants to first degree programs (17,140 entrants) in England were transnational students, who transferred directly from overseas partner institutions. While this is a significant proportion of overall number of students enrolling in first degree programs, looking deeper into source countries, we notice that it driven by couple of countries. China and Malaysia form nearly 70% of transnational students transferring from overseas partners to England. Another interesting point is that there is very little traction for TNE programs among Indian students.

The report notes that transnati…

NAFSA 2015: Hot trends for SIOs and the innovation imperative

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Boston will be hosting 10,000 international education professionals from May 24-29 for NAFSA Annual Conference. With 200 + concurrent sessions and 500+ posters on a wide range of topics, the conference has something for everyone. Programming and networking opportunities are divided into five Knowledge Communities-- Education Abroad, International Education Leadership, International Enrollment Management, International Student and Scholar Services, and Teaching, Learning and Scholarship.


 This year, I've the honor of serving as the Chair of the International Education Leadership Knowledge Community (IEL KC), which focuses serving the needs of aspiring, new, or experienced senior international officers (SIOs) and internationalization leaders.  Interested in learning more about opportunities of engagement and developments at IELKC? Join us for IEL KC Update on May 27 at 8:45 AM in BCEC, 252AB.

NAFSA's IEL KC team has worked together to provide several opportunities of engagement…

Top-30 world universities with largest number of international students

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Australian and British universities are highly successful in attracting international students from around the world. Especially, given the relatively small size of the overall Australian higher education system, the large numbers of foreign show high maturity and dependency of Australian institutions on foreign students. [I will be discussing on this at the upcoming webinar entitled Global Student Mobility: Insights and Implications for Your Recruitment Strategy hosted by International Education Association of Australia (IEAA).]

Here is the list I compiled by taking top-20 universities in Australia, the UK and the US in terms of international student enrollment and sorting top-30 of total 60 universities. The results are:
Among top-10: Australia=5,   US=3 and UK=2
Among top-20: Australia=8,   US=8 and UK=4
Among top-30: Australia=10, US=9 and UK=11




This analysis excludes other leading destinations like Germany and Canada, due to unavailability of parallel data that indicates inter…

4 reasons why LinkedIn may be a gamechanger in global university rankings

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Much has been debated and researched about the uses and abuses of university rankings. Now, the arena of global university rankings has a new contender, LinkedIn, which has the potential to change the future of the rankings game. Here are the four reasons in support of LinkedIn’s potential.


1. Sharper focus on career outcomes
LinkedIn is focused on career outcomes. One of the biggest limitations of the rankings is that they focus on students as consumers of information, while their methodologies focus on proxies like research citations. An alternative approach is to use metrics that directly impact students. In a cost-conscious environment where the value of higher education is under increasing scrutiny, return on investment and career outcome is becoming more important for students.

2. Deeper view at program level
The multi-disciplinary and comprehensive nature of universities is better captured by program rankings than by university rankings. Program-level rankings are not only more…