Showing posts from 2012

Book on Indian Higher Education: Essays by Altbach, Edited by Agarwal

A Half-Century of Indian Higher Education: Essays by Philip G Altbach is edited by Pawan Agarwal Adviser, Higher Education, Planning Commission of India. This is a compendium of 34 writings of Altbach on Indian higher education.

Altbach is synonymous with high impact, scholarly work in international higher education. However, what many may not know is that his scholarly connections started with his dissertation on student political activism in India. Specifically, his dissertation was entitled "Students, Politics, and Higher Education in a Developing
Society, The Case of Bombay, India."

This book brings together scholarly contributions of Altbach in shaping the future directions of Indian higher education.With more than 600 pages and seven sections, the book is a comprehensive collection of writings and even includes a section on "India and China-Comparative Analysis" which ends with an afterword: by Altbach highlighting "India's Higher Education Challeng…

Foreign Students Becoming Integral to Budgets of Universities

International students and their dependents contributed $21.81 billion in 2011-12 to the U.S. economy, according to a NAFSA report. This contribution increased by 40% from pre-recession time contribution of $15.5 billion in 2007-08, indicating that international student mobility is recession-proof.

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, a private university, enrolled largest number of foreign students in the US and received $289 million in tuition and fees from 9,269 students.

Contribution of foreign students to the US economy is growing due to two primary factors--1) larger number of students coming to the US and more importantly 2) more students enrolling at undergraduate level, where students are self-funded and hence financial aid outflow is limited.

As I mention in my previous blog, growth was led by just 108 "Research Universities" which enrolled nearly two-fifth of all international students in the US. In addition, 2/3rd of these research universities are…

Getting ready for the next wave of international student recruitment

International student recruitment enviornment is changing in terms of competition, policy framework and student profiles. In other words, push and pull variables of student mobility are transforming. In this context, US faces several challenge in recouping its lost share of globally mobile students. One approach in overcoming challenges and ensuring long-term success is to build competencies and capacites that adapt and respond to this new enviornment.

Given below is my article published in University World News

A recent commentary in University World News highlighted issues facing US higher education in sustaining international student growth rates. Although some of the concerns raised are relevant, they mask the latent strength in the scale, diversity and capacity of the American higher education system to become a more attractive player in the international student mobility arena.

The concept of international student recruitment in the US is a relatively new development. It gaine…

12 Things to Know about Asian Higher Education: ADB

Asian Development Bank posted 12 Things to Know in 2012: Higher Education on its website reasserting the issue of expansion of systems without preparedness to cope with quality and access. Here are the 12 issues and facts from ADB:
Over the last 20 years, higher education systems across Asia have experienced a sharply increased demand for access.Universities in many developing member countries suffer from inadequate infrastructure and weak instruction. Low quality is the greatest challenge facing higher educations systems across the region.Financial support for higher education dropped sharply in the 1990s and 2000s as the central development challenge of the era was to expand access to basic education.The World Bank has argued that sustainable poverty reduction will not be achieved without a renaissance in the higher education systems of developing countries.Countries that give individuals one additional year of education can boost productivity and raise economic output by 3% to 6% o…

Management Education & GMAT Trends: India Recovering, China Growing

Number of GMAT test takers for the testing year 2012 (July 1, 2011, to June 30, 2012) increased by 11% as compared to 2011, according to GMAC. Testing volume hit the highest record volume  286,529 after facing decline in volume for previous two years. TY 2012 volume was 8 percent higher than the previous record of 265,613 in 2009.

Big Getting Bigger: Large Research Universities Driving the Growth of International Student Enrollment

Just 108 universities enrolled nearly two-fifth of all international students in the US. These 108 universities are classified as "Research Universities (very high research activity)" by Carnegie Classification. In fact, these universities drove most of the growth in the last five years and increased their share from 37.7% of total international student enrollment in the US to about 42.5%. International student enrollment at these universities grew by 38% as compared to 23% for all institutions, according to IIE Open Doors report. Clearly indicating a trend towards "big getting bigger."
It is also interesting to note that two-thirds of the Research Universities (very high research activity) are publicly institutions like University of Iowa and University at Buffalo and not the private universities. This relates to the narrative of budget cuts in public institutions and hence higher acceptance of international students to meet some of the shortfall. Here is a rela…

International Student Enrollment Trends: China, Saudi Arabia and Public Universities Driving Growth

Yet another year of growth in international student enrollment in the U.S. according to the latest IIE Open Doors 2012 data.  This time growth is driven by two primary factors 1) who can pay and 2) who wants students who can pay.

Who can pay?China and Saudi Arabia
Number of students from China and Saudi Arabia grew by 47,906 as compared to increase in total enrollment by 41,044. This means that without the double digit growth of China (23%) and Saudi (50%), total enrollment in the US would have declined. Both these countries higher ability to afford foreign education.

While both these markets have common thread of growth and ability to pay, they differ in terms of level of education and sources of funding. For China, most of the growth is coming from undergraduate enrolled funded by students' family while for Saudi Arabia growth is at English language programs funded by Saudi government scholarships.

Note: IIE Open Doors has a lag of one year so, the current report reflects the e…

Which are the Emerging Markets for International Student Recruitment?

World Education Services released a report entitled "Beyond More of the Same: The Top Four Emerging Markets for International Student Recruitment" co-authored by me and Yoko Kono. Here is the highlight of the report published in University World News.

International student recruitment has become increasingly competitive as institutional budgets continue to shrink. More than ever, higher education institutions are expected to recruit quality students in a short period of time.

Most institutions rely on traditional source countries to achieve this goal, as penetrating an existing market for enrolment growth is a less costly route in terms of effort, expenditure and time.

As a result, students from China, India and South Korea are overrepresented on campuses. On some, Chinese students make up over half of the non-domestic student population. This is the case at the University of Iowa, where Chinese students comprised more than 70% of international undergraduates in 20…

Chinese and Indian Higher Education Enrollment Statistics

China and India are the two largest higher education systems in the world with total enrollment of 29.1 million and 26.7 million students as compared to 21 million in the U.S in 2010.

India has the largest system in the world in terms of undergraduate enrollment of 19.8 m. students as compared to 12.7 m. in China and 10.4 million in the U.S.

In contrast, India has much smaller proportion of students enrolled in the vocational education. This highlights the skilled manpower shortage in India which is simply ballooning with time.

Indian sociocultural enviornment creates aspirations for bachelor's degree even if they do not offer employment opportunities. After earning bachelor's degree many continue for master's education in hope for subsequently getting jobs. This situation of postgraduate unemployment is also emerging in China. Indian students (2.7 m.) at master's level are also more than double as compared to China (1.2  m.).

This fascination for getting advanced…

Types of Universities in India and Growth of "Private State Universities"

Private Universities in India have grown from 16 to 140 in five years (124%) and from 100 to 140 in less than a year. This is astonishing growth as only universities in India have degree awarding power. Colleges are "affiliated" to universities as teaching institutions.

Indian higher education is not only large in scope but complex in its working and evolution. One indicator is existence of four different types of universities depending on who funds them and regulates them. For example, Deemed to be Universities come under the purview of UGC and are mostly funded by private resources (Here is a previous comprehensive story and a more recent development). They were also in controversy for corruption and qualitative deficiencies for profiteering. This also tainted the name of some of the better quality private Deemed to be Universities. Here is the list of Deemed to be Universities.

Given the regulatory and media attention to the deficiencies with Deemed to be Universities, P…

What Blackberry can teach foreign branch campuses about MOOCs?

Here is the excerpt from my article published in University World News.

In 2007, BlackBerry was at the forefront of the smartphones industry with over 40% of the market share in the United States. However, the iPhone offered a new choice to consumers and redefined their expectations of a smartphone.

Now Blackberry is arguably on its deathbed, with its market share slipping to less than 4% in the US. The Wall Street Journal notes that “it was a blinding confidence in the basic BlackBerry product that was at the root of RIM's [parent company of Blackberry] current troubles”.

In the same vein, MOOCs are beginning to offer a new choice to students, and are not only changing the financial equation of foreign branch campuses but also the way education is delivered as a result of technological advances.

In my previous blog [Could MOOCs lead to the decline of branch campuses?], I argued that branch campuses are infrastructure-intensive efforts with high financial and reputational risk.…

Update on NACAC's Commission on international student recruitment: Will political correctness take away practical relevance?

This blog post comes from Denver with a sense of nostalgia from my time at the University of Denver during my doctoral program. I am back in Denver after four years to present at NACAC national conference which focuses on undergraduate enrollment. Here are two updates from the conference:

Debate on commission-based recruitment agents
Tis' the season of debates in Denver and NACAC’s Commission on International Student Recruitment also presented its update on commission-based recruitment agent. Here are the presentation slides from the Commission and a recent Chronicle post entitledWeighing Ethical Issues in International Recruitment by Philip Ballinger and David Hawkins.

The Commissions work is one of the most inclusive and engaging conversations on this issue and many eagerly await to see the final findings to be released in September 2013. I agree with the Commission's emphasis on the importance of context, transparency and outcomes, however, I argue that this debate …

EAIE Conference 2012: Research, recruitment and collaborations

4000+ professionals in international education administration attended EAIE conference in Dublin. Overall, the conference had some interesting sessions, excellent keynotes and opportunity to network.
I co-presented three sessions at the conference on the themes of research, recruitment and collaborations:

1. Journeys of discovery in researching internationalisation of higher education:
This workshop was chaired by Hans de Wit, director of the Centre for Higher Education Internationalisation (CHEI) of the Catholic University of Sacro Cuore in Milan, Italy. Other co-presenters were, Laura Rumbley, associate director of the Center for International Higher Education at Boston College and Gabriele Bosley, director, International Programs at Bellarmine University.

This was the workshop for practitioners who would like to integrate research in improving their work or even engage with doctoral work. It provided an overview of the state of research in internationliasation of higher education w…

Impact of London Met trouble on international student mobility

London Met is now the poster-child of how frequently changing immigration policies coupled with institutional desperation for recruiting foreign students for revenue rationales could hurt future of many. Student are disillusioned and frustrated, London Met has lost its reputation and the UK has put at risk its credibility to attract international students in the immediate term. After tightening of student visa norms and requirement of interviews for international students, London Met fiasco is too detrimental for the UK higher education.

This in turn is going to financially hurt London Met and the UK higher education. "In 2010-11, English universities increased their income from overseas student tuition fees by 16 per cent to £2.5 billion. Fees paid by overseas students made up 10.9 per cent of the sector's income, 'the highest on record', according to the Higher Education Funding Council for England.  The loss of its licence will likely cause great financial pain fo…

How China Saved International Student Enrollment in the US?

Growth of Chinese students enrolling in global higher education systems is no news. In my earlier post, I estimated that nearly 750,000 Chinese students apply to study abroad every year. However, the dramatic growth and increasing dependence on China becomes striking when put in perspective of enrollment change in the last decade.  
In 2002, India was the leading source of international students enrolling nearly 67,000 students in American higher education institutions, followed by China with nearly 63,000 students. By 2011, number of Indian students grew by 55% to 104,000 and Chinese students grew by 150% to 158,000 students. This was also the period when Japanese enrollment dropped by 40% from 47,000 to 28,000. 
Chinese enrollment did not grew at a rapid pace until 2008, when enrollment grew by nearly 20% for the first time and added 13,000 students. This was also the time when India was still the leading source country by a margin of 14,000 more students as compared to Chinese; Ko…

Transparency for a Change in Higher Education

Given below is my recent article published in the Economic Times Blog on the need of a transparent and accountable higher education system to enhance quality and foster competition.

Indian higher education system has expanded at a break-neck speed. Nearly 20,000 colleges were added between 2000-01 and 2010-11 and the number of students enrolled doubled from nearly 8.4 million to 17 million in this decade, according to the University Grants Commission (UGC).

However, this much needed expansion came at the expense of quality. The number of seats remaining vacant in some disciplines like engineering, underemployment and unemployment among educated youth and incessant desire to collect more degrees for advancing career are some of the indicators of the inadequate quality of education imparted. In addition, we continue to hear cases of malpractices and corruption among regulators and institutions in compromising standards.

Minister Kapil Sibal has attempted to bring a change by proposing…

Mapping international student segments with recruitment channels

International students seeking to attend an American higher education institution differ by academic preparedness and financial resources, and these differences impact their preferences and information-seeking behavior during college search, according to a new report from World Education Services (WES)--a New York-based non-profit with over 35 years of experience in international education research and credential evaluation.

The publication, Not All International Students Are the Same: Understanding Segments, Mapping Behavior, presents findings from a survey of international students in the process of applying to U.S. colleges and universities. The survey, which was administered from October 2011 to March 2012, received responses from nearly 1,600 prospective international students from 115 countries.

The report identified four distinct international student segments based on academic preparedness and financial resources: Strivers, Strugglers, Explorers and Highfliers.

Strivers form …

How many Indian and Chinese students go abroad every year?

How many Indian and Chinese students go overseas to study every year? How many Indian and Chinese undergraduate students apply to US universities every year? What is the market size of Indian and Chinese student recruitment sector?

There are different estimates floating in the market as there is no authoritative data available to answer these questions. Most of the data available reports total enrollment (stock) and not annual new enrollment (flow). Global Education Digest reports total enrollment foreign students and not their annual outflow. Likewise, IIE Open Doors reports total enrollment in the US. So, we have to derive this number indirectly.

I have used NSF report (2010) for deriving my estimates, as it offers new enrollment in the U.S. by country and level.

Based on the calculations show in the table, it is estimated that
~31,400 Chinese and ~39,000 Indian students come to study in the U.S. every yearNumber of new Chinese undergraduate students is three-times that of Indian st…

Could the birth of MOOCs lead to death of international branch campuses?

Could MOOCs change higher education the way emails changed postal services? I believe so. In nearly two decades, emails have changed the economic structure of postal services. An article in the New York Times in 2005 argued Why the Internet Isn't the Death of the Post Office. Seven years, later, US Postal Services is in deep trouble and it is projecting a loss of $15 billion this year. Does that mean that postal services will vanish. No--postal services will co-exist with emails. Postal services have to redefine the cost-structures, including human resources which account for 80% of cost, to remain viable in this world of instant and free communication.

Likewise, MOOCS are challenging traditional higher education to redefine its cost structure. Of course, they pose no threat to to top quartile of competitive institutions which provide access to higher socioeconomic advancement, but the next tier of institutions will face a new world of fast-paced, technology-based competition, wh…

Degrees at any cost: The rise of international student visa frauds

Herguan University, is yet another unaccredited American institution which preyed on aspirations of many Indian students by offering them pathways to the US using forged documents. Herguan follows earlier cases of Tri Valley University and University of Norther Virginia.

According to US ICE, Jerry Wang, 34- year old CEO of Herguan University and the University of East-West Medicine is charged with "conspiracy to commit visa fraud; use of false documents; aggravated identity theft; and unauthorized access to government computers." Majority of 450 students at Herguan are from India. Any guess, how these students were recruited?

I believe that in addition to unscrupulous activities of some universities, agents play an important role in this process. Here is my related post from last year--"International recruitment agents: Playing with fire?"

Herguan is listed as one of the universities for HoneyWorld--a Hyderabad-based education agent. Interestingly, Herguan is liste…

Undergraduate application trends from Asia to the UK

Admissions seasons in the UK is in high gear. A recent article in the Guardian notes, "This is the first cohort of undergraduates paying fees of up to £9,000 a year and uncertainty about how they will behave has been giving university heads some seriously sleepless nights....And there is no doubt that, in this complicated game of admissions poker, the stakes are alarmingly high."

Higher barriers for Indian students wanting to study abroad

2012 is turning dreams of many Indian students for studying abroad into nightmare.

Cost and challenges of affordability: Economic slowdown in India and currency depreciation has made foreign education more expensive. Karin Fischer of the Chronicle in her article Colleges Are Wary of Global Economy's Effect on Foreign Enrollments highlighted these cost challenges for Indian students. I mentioned in the article that there are two distinct segments of students--affluent and aspiring. Affluent students are prestige-conscious while aspiring students are price-conscious. It is the aspiring segment which is struggling to find its way to study abroad.

Fraud and tighter visa policies: All major destination countries are becoming more vigilant about the fraud issues. In June, UK, Australia and Canada announced a joint-statement for curbing immigration fraud. The statement cautions students "Do not be misled by unscrupulous agents into believing that it is acceptable to submit forged doc…

Indian "glocal" students go to China to study medicine

China continues to gain traction as a destinations for many Indian students aiming to pursue a degree in medicine. This is a prime example of Glocal students--global aspiration, local education. Glocals are characterized by aspirations that usually outstrip both their ability to afford a full fee-paying overseas education and their academic merit to gain admission to an overseas institution with financial aid. Here is the full article on glocals.

Why are Indian students interested in China?
Apart from China's attractiveness for lower cost of education and admissions standards, there is serious capacity constraint in India and competition for admission in medical colleges in India is intense to say the least.

An article aimed at attracting Indian medical students to China posted on China Education and Research Network (CERNET) by China's University And College Admission System (CUCAS) states:

"Are you an Indian student wandering how to become a doctor? Scared by the high …

Interest in Foreign MBA: Chinese Women on Top

Interest for studying Business/Management programs abroad has significantly grown among Chinese women as seen from the number of GMAT test-takers.

Chinese women outstrip all segments among BRIC countries both in terms of percentage growth and absolute numbers of GMAT test-takers, even surpassing males in all four countries. With more than 25,000 Chinese women taking GMAT in 2010-11, it is the single largest segment showing consistent growth over the years.

Number of Chinese women taking GMAT increased by nearly 18,000 in five years from 2006-07 to 2010-11 as compared to decline in women test-takers in the US by 2,775 from 48,510 to 45,735 in the same period.

It seems that a confluence of sociocultural and economic factors are offering more opportunities for Chinese women to study business programs abroad.


Dr. Rahul Choudaha

Could MOOCs revolutionize international student recruitment and transnational education?

MOOCs--Massive Open and Online Courses, have been in news for their potential to be "revolutionary" in learning space. Tom Friedman says that "Big breakthroughs happen when what is suddenly possible meets what is desperately necessary."

With innovative, adaptive, high-quality learning opportunity offered at a low-cost, perhaps, MOOCs are at the cusp of making a big breakthrough. It is not only going to increase competitive pressure on for-profit online education sector but also traditional not-for-profit universities and colleges. Both of them have to justify their cost-structures and value of credential in times of increasing competition and decreasing resources.

In the world of international higher education, I believe that MOOCs offer two unintentional influences:

1. International Student Recruitment:
Given that international student recruitment is a costly and complex affair which is becoming even more challenging with the limitations of using recruitment agents

Latest Statistics on Indian Higher Education

*Click to access the latest data for 2016 and growth trends from 2008*
University Grants Commission (UGC) released a report "Higher education in India at a glance" summarizing key datapoints of relevance for policymakers and administrators. Here are three charts from the report:
1. Massive expansion in supply of colleges: India added nearly 20,000 colleges in a decade (increased from 12,806 in 2000-01 to 33,023 in 2010-11) which translate into a growth of more than 150%. Number of degree granting universities more than doubled from 256 to 564, primarily due to deemed-universities and private universities. India has a complex affiliation system where a universities can have hundreds of public and private teaching colleges affiliated to it.

2. Lesser growth in student enrollment:
Although number of students enrolled in higher education doubled from nearly 8.4 million to 17 million in a decade, it grew a slower pace than number of colleges which grew 2.5 times in the same perio…

Foreign University Collaborations in India: Will Top-Ranked Institutions be Interested?

"A comprehensive legislation will be introduced in Parliament shortly to regulate entry of foreign universities and educational institutions in the country" according to Times of India. Can you guess the year in which this line was written? No, not 2010, its 2002. That's right it had been nearly a decade in history of Indian politics and the rhetoric has not changed. So, we should not be very disappointed if Foreign Universities Bill along with several other important bills have not yet seen the light of approval in last two years.

In this context, my first impression of the recent announcement by UGC to allow joint-degrees and twinning collaborations between Indian and foreign institutions was of continued skepticism which later changed to cautious optimism.

Elizabeth Redden of InsideHigherEd quoted me in a story covering the development. My reason for cautious optimism is that "given the dual requirements regarding accreditation and ranking many of the predatory …

Deciphering Student Mobility and Recruitment Trends

International student mobility is a complex phenomena influenced by variables at multiple levels including country, institution and individual. In addition, financial well-being of many institutions is becoming increasingly dependent on international students. Given the complexity and centrality of international student mobility, there is an increasing interest in gaining a deeper understanding of reasons, rationales and trends.

Here are some recent resources and media mentions on student mobility:

The Guardian Online Chat
I participated in an online chat session hosted by the Guardian on the topic "What is the Future of International Student Mobility?"  The panel discussed "...the importance of international student mobility, the current provision and best practice from around the world, and what the future might hold for the development of global graduates." The comments from the chat are available at the bottom of the article. Click here to see the chat.

Boston C…