I delivered the opening keynote session entitled “Accelerating Campus Internationalization with Technology: Emerging Trends and Strategies” at The Lewy Global Education Technology Forum at the School of International Training (SIT) in Brattleboro, Vermont.
The Forum deliberated on the role of emerging technologies and innovation in helping higher education institutions to fulfill their educational mission in areas of learning, collaboration, inclusion, and administration.
The focus of my keynote was to encourage higher education institutions to leverage technology in expanding access and providing global learning experiences to their students.
As technology-enabled solutions become increasingly sophisticated, students are not only embracing this change; they are also expecting more from institutions. For example, MOOCs (massive open online courses) have gone from being revolutionary to redundant to now resurgent again with a varying degree of acceptance by academia. In contrast, the student enrollments in MOOCs continue to grow at a rapid pace.
In an environment of declining resources for institutions, there is an increasing need to leverage technology to enhance operational efficiency. One way to approach sustainability is through shared services models and consortia. Shared services can help in improving operational efficiencies, reducing duplication and sharing fixed costs. Consider the example of any of the MOOCs platforms like edX or Coursera which are bringing together several institutions in the U.S. and abroad to achieve common goals of access and global engagement.
On the student side technology allows institutions to experiment with new models of outreach. ‘Glocals’ are an expanding segment of students seeking international education experience/credential while staying in the country or region. Consider the case of Georgia Tech’s Online Master of Science in Computer Science (OMS CS) costs under $7,000 over five terms. Non-resident tuition fee for on-campus master’s is eight times as much that of the online master’s. Almost one out of every five students in this online program are prototypical ‘glocal’ students who are based overseas.
These two megatrends on the institutional and student side show that technology can offer new opportunities of accelerating campus internationalization. At the same time, technology is not a panacea. At its core, teaching and learning is a human interaction process, but it can reach more students in a more efficient manner through enabling technology solutions.
-Dr. Rahul Choudaha