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

January 30, 2016

NAFSA Washington Leadership Meeting 2016

With 10,000 members NAFSA: Association of International Educators is the world's largest nonprofit association dedicated to international education and exchange. NAFSA annual conference typically attracts over 8,000 professionals. [This year's conference will take place in Denver, CO from May 29 to June 3. I'm especially looking forward to it as I earned my PhD from University of Denver.]

Managing an association of this size and scope requires strong strategic planning and implementation in collaboration with members and association staff. NAFSA achieves this very effectively through its staff, board and volunteer leaders.

A large number of NAFSA members volunteer each year to help create and disseminate knowledge, influence public policy, and maintain a strong organization. These leaders serve on committees, knowledge communities, and task forces. At the same time, serving in a leadership capacity for the association offers a unique opportunity for personal and professional growth.

Last week, I was in DC as a part of my volunteer leadership role (yes, that snowstorm week and staff and members did a great job in planning and improvising with all the logistics). I have been attending and presenting at NAFSA for several years and in 2014 I was elected to the member-leader Chair stream of International Education Leadership Knowledge Community ( IEL KC). IEL KC supports aspiring, new and experienced senior international officers who provide the vision and build commitment for comprehensive internationalization. IEL KC plans and delivers a diverse set of sessions, workshops, networking opportunities, and resources for senior leaders, including Hot Trends for SIOs and the Symposium on Leadership. [Here is a piece from International Educator on SIOs]

As I continue into my third year as a part of the Chair stream, I found my experience as a volunteer leader to be very fulfilling. It provided an excellent opportunity of learning from the colleagues who are committed to and passionate about making an impact in the field of international education and bring diverse background and expertise to the team. I would encourage international educators to get involved and lead.  Here is a photo from the opening meeting with President Fanta Aw addressing new and returning volunteer leaders for 2016 during the Washington Leadership Meeting.

While there are many resources on NAFSA website, here are two resources I would like to highlight:
  • Internationalization strategies increasingly need to be evidence-driven and data-informed. NAFSA Research Connections summarizes new research and provides opportunities for discussion and applications.
Look forward to Denver 2016.

- Dr. Rahul Choudaha
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January 26, 2016

New Book on International Student Mobility by Bista and Foster

Global Perspectives and Local Challenges Surrounding International Student Mobility, edited by Krishna Bista and Charlotte Foster, explores comparative research regarding the implementation of effective strategies needed when working with native and non-native individuals in educational settings. The book offers perspectives from international student experiences, as well as views on current mobility trends, immigration policies, and challenges with cultural expectations. It includes a range of insightful chapters including "International Students in Community Colleges" and "International Student Mobility Trends between Developed and Developing Countries", and "A Review of Literature on Adjustment Issues of International Students: Recommendations for Future Practices and Research". This publication will be an important resource for educators, policymakers, and university staff who interact with international students.

How did you decide to write a book on international student mobility?
This book is a result of our friendship and dedication to the field. In the early days, Dr. Bista explored his journey as an international student in the United States by comparing and contrasting educational and cultural differences. He started writing early research on this topic. He was very familiar with the obstacles and circumstances many international students have to work around and through in order to study in a foreign country. As both of us (Dr. Foster and Dr. Bista) began studying together as graduate students, we had more and more conversations surrounding these phenomena. As we began the work to build a research journal dedicated to these topics, we quickly realized the need to develop a more comprehensive resource for faculty, staff, and students to use to navigate the journey for more effective international student interactions.

What are the current issues and challenges in international students in the US?
As you will see from the context of this book, Global Perspectives and Local Challenges Surrounding International Student Mobility, international students face multiple challenges while studying abroad. Immigration policies can be prohibitive, cultural expectations of both the student and the host culture can be difficult to navigate, and university policies often need to be revisited and rewritten in order to support international student challenges and needs. These are just a few of the issues facing the growing international student population.

How does your book address the gap in the field?
As faculty members at different state institutions, we observe on a regular basis the need for more research that addresses the issues and challenges facing faculty and staff at the university setting. This book provides examples of institutional and classroom practice and policy that may be used by higher education institutions to begin the process of welcoming internationalization. By broadening the research base of information pertaining to this growing higher education population, this resource supports the sharing of best practice in order to accommodate the new phenomena of internationalization on our higher education campuses.

Krishna Bista is Assistant Professor of Education in the School of Education at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, USA. His areas of interest include international student studies, multicultural education, and leadership practices. Dr. Bista is founder/editor of the Journal of International Students, a quarterly publication in international higher education. He is also associate editor of the Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in Education. His recent publications appear in the Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, International Journal of Doctoral Studies, College Teaching, and The Educational Forum. Dr. Bista is an active review board member of serval academic publications including Kappa Delta Pi Record (Routledge), Sociology Compass (Wiley), International Journal of Leadership in Education (Routledge), Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies(Sage), Journal of International Education Management (Emerald), Journal of Research in Education (EERA), and Current Issues in Education (ASU). He teaches educational leadership practice, multicultural education, and research and statistics.

Charlotte Foster is currently an Assistant Professor at Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph, Missouri. She serves as the mathematics and multicultural education specialist for the Education department at MWSU. She most recently piloted an innovative program that provided future teachers more hands on opportunities to work directly with a socioeconomically and ethnically diverse population of elementary students while learning to teach mathematics. Dr. Foster holds a specialist and doctoral degree from Arkansas State University where she focused on Educational Leadership. Dr. Foster and Bista have collaborated since 2011 on multiple projects including producing the Journal of International Students, which serves as another exceptional resource for international student experiences and research. Dr. Bista serves as the Editor in Chief of that journal and Dr. Foster is an Academic Advisor. The creation of the journal in 2011 was a major catalyst for the colleagues to begin work on their three current publications pertaining to international student issues and research, which are all published by IGI Global.
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January 18, 2016

IUNC 2016 Miami for establishing internationalization strategies in emerging markets

Building international higher education partnerships and collaborations in emerging markets
International Universities Networking Conference (IUNC) will be hosting its North America conference in Miami from February 11-12, 2016. IUNC is supported by Universities Union of Eurasia (UUE) and Eastern European University Association (EEUA). Given the affiliations of IUNC in emerging markets, the conference offers an excellent opportunity to universities which are seeking to diversify their global engagement and internationalization strategies.

The Conference provides value at two primary levels:

1. Best practices and insights on internationalization:
I will be delivering opening keynote session at the conference on the theme of "Three Trends Shaping Global Higher Education and its Implications for Institutional Strategies." 

The parallel sessions will bring diverse perspectives from
- Brazil, Laura Ancona Lopez Freire, Director of International Relations, Universidade Paulista - UNIP
- Japan, Donald Sturge, Associate Prof, International Relations,University of Tokushima
- Mexico, Manuel Garduño, Researcher, Internationalization of HEIs, Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México
- Azerbaijan, Shahin Bayramov, Vice-Rector for International Affairs & Programs, Azerbaijan State University of Economics

 2. Action-oriented networking opportunities:
One of the key features of IUNC North America 2016 is the format of prescheduled one-to-one meetings. IUNC networking e-scheduler allows participants to make appointments with potential partners in an efficient manner. So, it helps in not only gaining access to more people but also increasing the chances of building deeper relationships. Higher education institutions seeking to establish new partnerships in emerging countries are likely to benefit from having these prescheduled meetings. This will include opportunities for student recruitment, exchanges and joint degrees and research activities.

I will be blogging a follow-up update after Miami conference.

Dr. Rahul Choudaha

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