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

September 19, 2016

Book: Six Steps to Success for International Students: Starting with Strengths and Opportunities

Here is the summary of the recent book "From Departing to Achieving: Keys to Success for International Students in U.S. Colleges and Universities" by Ye He, Bryant L. Hutson, Michael J. Elliott and Jennifer L. Bloom. The book provides a strengths-based approach for international students to achieve their goals. 

Inevitably, international students experience a lot of differences as they embark on their academic journey in the United States. These differences may range from cultural norms, languages and dialects, to food, transportation, and daily routines. Many perceive these differences as gaps in knowledge or skills that need to be filled. International students often try to learn as quickly as possible from readings, peers, mentors, and advisors, but they may still feel like they are constantly playing the catch up game and can never be just like their American peers.

In the recent book titled “From Departing to Achieving: Keys to Success for International Students in U.S. Colleges and Universities”, we challenge this deficit-based perspective and encourage international students to see differences as strengths and opportunities. We propose 6 steps international students may want to consider as they take this perceptive in their transition process.

First, examine your assumptions and expectations based on reflections about your personal
educational experiences (Disarm). Making these assumptions and expectations clear would help debunk myths about learning in the U.S. and allow you to better articulate to your mentors, advisors, and instructors what your learning needs are.

Second, surface and articulate your assets and strengths as a learner (Discover). You don’t have to start over! Since you already have many years of learning experiences, you bring a lot of great internal and external assets with you to your learning in the U.S.! Through the use of self-assessment instruments, you can discover your personal assets and be more aware of how to leverage them in the new learning environment.

Third, verbalize and visualize your personal and professional goals (Dream). In addition to your immediate goal to successfully complete your coursework and graduate from the institution, what are your long-term goals and dreams? What would your personal and professional life be like 10 years and 20 years from now? These futuristic images are powerful as you align your present studies to purposefully prepare yourself for your own future.

Fourth, strategically connect your assets and goals to plan for your actions (Design). Selecting majors, courses, co-curricular and extracurricular activities should not be random or just based on others’ recommendations. You are in charge of your own learning for your future! Building on the assets you discovered and the dreams you identified, you will be able to design a unique plan for yourself!

Fifth, be reflective of your own cultural and academic transition process and embrace the differences (Deliver). Regardless of where you want to settle down after graduation, you are who you are because of your background and experiences. Your knowledge, skills, and experiences navigating both your home culture and the U.S. culture becomes a huge asset that distinguishes you from others. Embrace the differences and make that part of who you are!

Finally, become a long-term learner and lead changes in your established networks and communities (Don’t Settle). The differences you note and the process you engage in to negotiate the differences will position you well to become a future leader in your community. Make time now to form networks and connect with different communities you are introduced to. The more you share with others, the more you can learn from interacting with other and what they have to share. This engagement will challenge you to reach your potential!

Differences are not gaps to be filled. You do not have to overcome these differences before you launch your trajectory to success. Everyone has their own pathway toward the success they define. Start with viewing differences as strengths and opportunities and engage in these 6 steps toward your own pathway to success!
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September 13, 2016

Enrollment of international students in US universities and colleges up by 67 percent since 2001/02

The data shows that between 2001/02 and 2014/15, the number of international students in the U.S. universities and colleges increased by 67% to reach nearly 975,000 students. This shows the post-9/11 resilience of the U.S. higher education institutions among international students.

Here are some of the highlights of the growth:

  • Five places of origin–China, India, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, and Vietnam–experienced a growth of over 100 percent. 
  • Only two places of origin–Taiwan and Japan–experienced a decline in enrollment. 
  • Top 10 places of origin for 2014/15 added 376,382 more international students as compared to 2001/02. 

how foreign student number in universities have changed since 9/11


The growth in international student enrollment was led by highly-ranked institutions which were already attracting a large number of international students. Here are the highlights:

  • Three universities–Arizona State University, Northeastern University and the University of California, Los Angeles–expanded international enrollment by over 200 percent.
  • The University of Southern California was the leading institution in 2001/02 and second in 2014/15, but it grew the slowest among the top-10 institutions (107%).
  • Arizona State University added the highest number of international students in terms of absolute growth (7,982). 
data on leading institutions in the US and how number of international students have increased

This blog is based on the article "International Student Enrollment Shows Resilience Of U.S. Universities And Colleges" published in Forbes with Di Hu.
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September 06, 2016

Online Live Webinar on Leveraging Technology for Internationalization Strategies

DrEducation is pleased to partner with University World News to host a free webinar on “Embracing Technology for Global Engagement: A Leadership Challenge and Opportunity.” The live online webinar will take place on October 4, 2016 from 11am-12noon EDT or 4pm-5pm BST.

University World News is a leading online publication of news and analysis on global higher education. This webinar follows the success of the first online event on “Transnational Education: Growth at the Expense of Quality?” which received nearly 1,000 registrations.

DrEducation-University World News Webinar with thought leader series moderated by Rahul Choudaha


Online education and internationalization have been rising as strategic priorities for many university leaders around the world. While online experiments like MOOCs, badging, blended learning are still early in their evolution, few institutions have taken an innovative approach to finding a synergy between technological innovations and their application in global engagement strategies. And, of those who attempted to engage globally through technology have experienced several barriers related to cost, quality, recognition, and outcomes. This online discussion will examine how university leaders are leveraging technology for advancing internationalization? How does technology fit in the overall global engagement strategy? What are the challenges and opportunities?


• (Moderator) Dr. Rahul Choudaha is the principal researcher and CEO of DrEducation, a global higher education research and consulting firm. He co-founded interEDGE.org, a training solutions and resource provider supporting the inclusion and success of international students. Choudaha is known for his expertise in connecting research, data and trends with institutional strategies that advance campus internationalization. He has presented over 100 sessions at professional conferences and has been frequently quoted in global media.

• Professor GianMario Besana is Associate Provost for Global Engagement and Online Learning at DePaul University in Chicago. His portfolio comprises the internationalization process of the institution and the online learning operations. Under his guidance, DePaul’s faculty training program for online teaching was recognized with the Sloan-C award for best faculty development program for online teaching. At DePaul, he led an initiative aimed at collaborating with international partners to offer technology facilitated learning experiences.

• Professor Helen O’Sullivan is Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Online Learning at University of Liverpool. She is responsible for Liverpool Online; a partnership between University of Liverpool and Laureate Online Education to deliver wholly online post-graduate programmes to working professionals across the globe. She acts as a champion for technology-enhanced learning within the University and leads on a range of projects that support the use of technology to enhance the student experience.

• Professor Mark Brown is Director of the National Institute for Digital Learning (NIDL) at Dublin City University. Before taking up Ireland’s first Chair in Digital Learning at the start of 2014, Mark was previously Director of both the National Centre for Teaching and Learning and Distance Education and Learning Futures Alliance at Massey University, New Zealand. Over the last decade, Mark has played key leadership roles in the implementation of several major university-wide digital learning and teaching initiatives.

• Professor Kevin Kinser is Department Head of Education Policy Studies at Pennsylvania State University. As a researcher, Kinser studies non-traditional and alternative higher education, particularly the organization and administration of for-profit institutions and international cross-border higher education. His most recent books are The Global Growth of Private Higher Education (Wiley, 2010) and Multinational Colleges and Universities: Leading, Governing, and Managing International Branch Campuses (Jossey-Bass, 2011).


Related articles:

Tomorrow’s Globally Engaged University, NAFSA Trends and Insights
Global Engagement—New Modalities, American Council on Education
The SUNY Center for Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL)
Could MOOCs Lead to the Decline of Branch Campuses?
Making Sense of MOOCs: A Guide for Policy-Makers in Developing Countries
Top Universities Could Give Students Credit for Completing Cheap Online Courses
E-learning is Missing Link in Internationalisation


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