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 with emphasis on challenges and opportunities in developing and pursuing a research agenda.

My key message for aspiring researchers was “think different” as there is no dearth of content and research in this world of information overload. It takes a skill to find that unique angle and gap and then executing that research agenda with project management skills.

2. International recruitment strategy: defining priorities, delivering results
I charied this session on developing and executing international recruitment strategy with Andrew P. Disbury  Director of the International Office,  Leeds Metropolitan University; Julian Longbottom Director, Marketing and International University of Canberra and Martin Bickl Director, International Office Goethe-Universität.

This session was a full-house with nearly 200 participants. The purpose was to provide a comparative perspective on how institutions in different parts of the world are responding to a competitive environment and shaping their recruitment strategies. It ranged from aggressive outreach to students with a “customer service” mindset at the Leeds to recruiting “not for cash but for talent and diversity” with limited resources at Goethe.

3. Engaging with Asia: proven practices and strategies 
I chaired this session on Asia partnerships with experts in building partnerships including  Dr. Stephen Dunnett, Vice Provost for International Education, University at Buffalo-SUNY; Dr. Robert Coelen Vice-President International, Stenden University and Dr. Duleep Deosthale, Vice President – International Education, Manipal International University.

It highlighted that Asian education systems have varying levels of maturity, diversity and complexity which in turn presents unique opportunities and challenges for foreign institutions interested in collaborations. Dunnett mentioned that forging collaborations is “not for the faint-hearted: prolonged negotiations are required, with a major investment of time and effort.” Coelen quipped that inter-instiutional partnerships need to go beyond “two-glasses of wine” which usually conclude with “…the more wine, the more similar we are.” Deosthale suggested that your partner’s partner could be your partner is one way to expand the network. Ed Porter mentioned that working with Indian institutions could require lot of patience especially due to regulatory complexity, how can one achieve it? I answered–join Yoga.

Dr. Rahul Choudaha