Why internationalization strategies of universities often deliver sub-optimal results? Why international efforts in many institutions struggle to get adequate resources? Why some institutions go through mission-creep and get distracted about their purpose and approaches of going global?
These are some of the question answered in our recent piece entitled “Higher Education Internationalization – What gets measured, gets funded” published in University World News by me and Eduardo Contreras Jr of Harvard Graduate School of Education.
We argue that despite growing interest in internationalization, institutions have not maximized its potential due to lack of attention to two extremes of the internationalization process.
“First, the definition of internationalization is not adapted to higher education institutions’ institutional mission and context. Second, adequate efforts are not being made in assessing the impact of internationalization on the campus community.”
Defining internationalization: Mission over movement
The definition of internationalization must be localized to fit the specific needs of an individual campus in three critical areas: people, ideas and places. In establishing parameters for success in these areas, a principle of mission over movement can be applied.
“In the same way that ‘mind over matter’ can help the strong among us to avoid the empty calories in an extra slice of cake, mission over movement can help leaders focus on the substance of internationalization at their campuses over the perceived glory of goals that do not fit the mission of their institutions.”
Assessing internationalisation: Impact over input
One of the reasons why internationalisation does not get the attention it deserves is the limited demonstrable impact of internationalisation at the campus level.
This is where, impact assessment can feed into strategy formulation as it helps in moving from anecdotal, intuition-driven strategies to more evidence-driven strategies.
Successful strategies for comprehensive internationalization would not only focus on asking for resources (inputs), but would also put corresponding efforts into assessing the impact of internationalization at all levels by investing in systematic data collection, analysis and dissemination.
We know that ‘what gets measured, gets done’, but perhaps the new mantra is ‘what gets measured, gets funded’.
|Source: ULM http://www.ulm.edu/assessment/|
Dr. Rahul Choudaha