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

April 26, 2015

Will Education Innovation Move from Fringes to the Core of System?

Over the last decade, I have presented or chaired nearly 100 sessions at professional conferences on the themes of higher education internationalization trends and strategies with an emphasis on enrollment management, student mobility and transnational education.

Recently, I attended a conference outside my regular "conference circuit" to not only expand my perspectives and network on education technology (ed-tech or edtech), but also to learn from entrepreneurs and investors.
 
 
The ASU+GSV Summit defines itself as "the Knowledge Economy's Mecca of conversation and activism devoted to accelerating learning innovation around the world." The conference is hosted by GSV, a private equity group and Arizona State University (ASU), which is at the forefront of innovation through online education and strategic partnerships like Starbucks and now edX.

The conference exceeded my expectations in terms of scale and quality. The conference has grown from 250 to 2500 attendees in 4 years. They have clearly invested in delivering a rewarding and engaging experience for participants. The sessions ranged from high profile keynotes from Secretary Arne Duncan, Sir Richard Branson and Vinod Khosla to a series of company presentations (pitches) from entrepreneurs.

The panel discussions were not only provocative but also expansive. Given my interest in higher education, I especially enjoyed four panels hosted by 2U. The themes of the panels were:
- The Business of Higher Ed
- Brand Power Among US Higher Ed Institutions
- Do Degrees Still Matter?
- The Future of Online Ed
 
The overall enthusiastic tone of the conference was embedded in the power of technology to grow revenue and squeeze inefficiencies out of the system. And of course, make money for investors and entrepreneurs in the process. New York Times blog calls it to be "the must-attend event for education technology investors." And EdSurge sums it up as a "non-stop networking event. People groan about back-to-back meetings and miss most of the panels and talks." Of course, edtech wave is currently on the upswing and there will be an eventual shake-up with the survival of the fittest (Ed-tech bubble?).
  
In terms of participants, there were hardly any "insiders" of higher education--university leaders or faculty--at the conference. Of course, ASU as the co-organizer, had the largest representation at all levels. In future conferences, more needs to be done to cross-fertilize ideas between stakeholders of mainstream and innovative education models and services.
 
Also, while, there were a couple of sessions on international dimensions, there is lot more potential in not only getting international participants but also providing content and networking. There are excellent opportunities in scaling and taking some of these innovative models to global-level and likewise, bringing others to the US.
 
One of the my biggest take-away was that learning innovation is taking place at a much faster rate at the fringes of the education system than at the core. This innovation is truly getting accelerated by the energy of entrepreneurs are optimism of investors. The key question is will education innovation continue to be a led by outliers or will it gain traction among the mainstream stakeholders in education system? How to foster collaboration among different stakeholders to gain more acceptance of innovative mindset in education?
Dr. Rahul Choudaha
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April 17, 2015

New York losing out to California in attracting international students

SEVP released its latest "SEVIS by the Numbers" report.  It In addition, it launched a useful tool of "Mapping SEVIS by the Numbers"--an interactive mapping tool to explore changing patterns.

Latest report provides deeper insights about the enrollment pattern in STEM programs with focus on female students. It notes that the number of faemale F & M STEM students enrolled in computer and information sciences and support services increased by 116% from 2010 to 2015. Most of this growth was contributed by enrollment growth in master's level programs.

 
One interesting data point illustrates that California is winning over New York in attracting international students. While California is already the largest destination in the US, in last two years, it has become even larger by adding 43,691 international students. In contrast,  New York added 18,632 international students. Even Texas, is not far from New York and enrolled16,857 students more in 2015 than 2013.  

Dr. Rahul Choudaha
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April 03, 2015

Six findings from latest research on MOOCs learners

"HarvardX and MITx: Two Years of Open Online Courses Fall 2012-Summer 2014" report is based on "one of the largest surveys of massive open online courses (MOOCs) to date: 68 courses, 1.7 million participants, 10 million participanthours, and 1.1 billion logged events."

The research has six key findings:
  1. Growth is steady in overall and multiple-course participation in HarvardX and MITx
  2. Participation initially declines in repeated courses, then stabilizes
  3. Surveys suggest that a slight majority intends to certify. Many are teachers.
  4. Participation and certification differ by curricular area
  5. Course networks reveal the centrality of large CS courses and the potential of sequenced modules
  6. Certification rates are high among those who pay $25-$250 to “ID-verify” their certificates
The report identified opportunities along following three dimensions:
  1. Identify course-level and institutional priorities for increased access
  2. Increase and formalize the flow of pedagogical innovations to and from residential courses
  3. Focus research on target populations
 
 
Dr. Rahul Choudaha
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