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Showing posts with the label Business of Education

New destinations compete to attract international students in times of anti-immigrant rhetoric in UK and US

The number of globally mobile international students doubled to reach 4 million between the period 1999 and 2013. Every third globally mobile student is enrolled in an American or British institution of higher education. However, with the Brexit and American Presidential elections, 2016 is likely to affect the choices of many international students and prompting them to consider alternative destinations.

In my keynote presentation, “Three Waves of International Student Mobility: Implications for Recruitment and Partnership Strategies,” at International Universities Networking Conference - IUNC Eurasia 2017 in Moscow, Russia, I highlighted that institutions are facing an environment of hyper-competition, uncertainty and declining resources for attracting international students.

In contrast to anti-immigrant narratives in the UK and the US, Ireland extended the option of staying back to 24 months for graduates at postgraduate and doctorate level and recognizing the importance of gaini…

More preventive measures needed in India to stop high-stakes cheating, says Britt of Prometric

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Admissions to higher education institutions of excellence in India is often reliant on high-stakes testing. At the top are some of the most competitive exams like Common Admissions Test (CAT) for Indian Institute of Management (IIM) and Joint Entrance Exam (JEE) for Indian Institute of Technology (IIT). Then there are many more exams for different professions and states. More recently, a scams in the state of Madhya Pradesh exposed system-level corruption with more than 2,000 students estimated to have cheated their way into coveted medical colleges. Here is an interview with Wade Britt, Country Manager, Prometric Testing Services Pvt. Ltd., India, a test development and delivery provider. Prometric is a wholly owned, independently operated subsidiary of Educational Testing Service.

Wade Britt is the Country Manager for Prometric Testing Services Pvt. Ltd in India. He has extensive international experience in operations and sales in the education, technology and logistics sectors. Pri…

Ability to partner effectively is core to leadership in academia and enterpreneurial ventures, says David Finegold

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Dr. David Finegold, Chief Academic Officer, Quad Learning
Dr. Finegold is a leading expert on skill development systems and their application to economic performance in the global marketplace. In his last role, he served as Senior Vice President for Lifelong Learning and Strategic Growth at Rutgers University, spearheading efforts to build a workforce development system for New Jersey’s bioscience sector. He was also a professor at the Keck Graduate Institute of Applied Life Sciences in Claremont, California. David graduated summa cum laude with a BA in Social Studies from Harvard University, and earned his Ph.D. in Politics as a Rhodes scholar at Oxford University in England.

Rahul- You have extensive experience as a faculty member and academic leader in university setting. Now you are working in an entrepreneurial and innovative environment at American Honors. What are couple of key leadership lessons for future academic entrepreneurs to succeed in a non-university settings? David- …

Employers and Technology as the Ultimate Solution to Credentialing Barrier of MOOCs?

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A recent report entitled “The Carnegie Unit: A Century-Old Standard in a Changing Education Landscape” from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching responds to increasing pressure on bringing more innovation, flexibility and transparency in measuring students learning. (See definitions of The Carnegie Unit and the Credit Hour on page 8 of report. A typical three-credit course, meets for three hours per week over a fifteen-week semester.) The study finds that in absence of an alternative, the Carnegie Unit continues to be the standard measure in the American education system. "But at best, the Carnegie Unit is a crude proxy for student learning. The U.S. education system needs more informative measures of student performance. Achieving this goal would require the development of rigorous standards, assessments, and accountability systems—difficult work, especially in the field of higher education, where educational aims are highly varied and faculty autonomy is de…

From Quick-fix to Sustainable International Student Enrollment Strategies

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What can Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon teach higher education leaders about international enrollment sustainable enrollment? A recent ranking by the Harvard Business Review identified Bezos as the Best-Performing CEO in the World based on long-term results. Bezos demonstrated his passion in a 1997 letter to Amazon shareholders when the company went public. “Because of our emphasis on the long term, we may make decisions and weigh trade-offs differently than some companies,” Bezos wrote.
The recession has fuelled short-termism among higher education institutions in terms of their student enrollment goals. The fiscal challenges, competitive landscape and complex markets, have increased the pressure to on colleges and universities to adopt quick fixes. These short-sighted strategies not only resulted in poor experiences for international students, as well as financial and reputational risks for the institutions involved.
In order to successfully recruit and retain international students, …

Adaptive, flexible and competency-based learning offers potential for international students, says Excelsior's Vice President

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The confluence of  two megatrends--cost pressures on institutions (and students) as a result of global financial recession and  increasing sophistication of technology-enabled learning models--is fostering innovation in long existing models of learning including distance education and competency-based learning.  Competency-based education is defined "as one that focuses on what students know and can do rather than how they learned it or how long it took to learn it." A recent article from Inside Higher Ed notes that "Competency-based education appears to be higher education’s 'next big thing'." In this context, long standing institutions including those offering open and distance education have to respond to a changing environment. For example, The Open University, UK responded to competition from MOOCs by offering its own version--FutureLearn. Likewise, one of the pioneers of open education and competency-based learning in the US, Excelsior College has to…

Does Thunderbird-Laureate partnership indicate the future of higher education?

In March 2013, Thunderbird School of Global Management announced "strategic alliance" with Laureate Education Inc. The school had been under fiscal strains, as the number of applications to Thunderbird's two-year, full-time M.B.A. have declined by nearly 75% in the past 15 years and the school ended 2012 with $4 million loss, according to the Wall Street Journal. It adds "Thunderbird's woes reflect the existential crises that many business schools now face as demand softens for full-time, two-year M.B.A.s."

Despite the "existential crisis", the announcement of strategic alliance did not go well with the school's alumni. They interpreted it to be a sellout of the brand to the for-profit world with concerns of potential brand dilution. However, the perspectives seemed to be more emotional than rational.

Compelled by the barrage of questions from media and alumni, the Thunderbird leadership came forward to explain the nature of the partnership …

Global market in transnational education by Nigel Healey

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Transnational education in its various forms had been growing both in quantity and qualitative complexity. I came across Prof. Healey's informative slides on TNE from QS-APPLE conference and asked him to narrate the key conclusions. I especially found slide #10/11 about "Oxford Brookes effect" quite interesting. This is primarily an effect of Oxford Brookes' partnership with ACCA offered in several countries including Pakistan and Sri Lanka. A report by the 1994 Group explains that the "Data on ‘students studying wholly outside the UK’ is skewed by large numbers studying at Oxford Brooks. Oxford Brookes started returning data in 2008/09 for students studying for a BSc in Applied Accounting in partnership with ACCA. This BSc is a partnerships with ACCA where students on the ACCA programme receive a BSc qualifi cation from Oxford Brookes if they submit a satisfactory “Research and Analysis Project” to Oxford Brookes." (p.14).
-Rahul

Nigel Healey
Nottingham Tre…

Management Education & GMAT Trends: India Recovering, China Growing

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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.



B-schools Trends: New Segments, More Competition, Less Differentiation

I was quoted in a recent article in the New York Times "Business Schools: Looking Local for a Global Reach"
"Prospective business school students are starting to look beyond traditional destinations in the West. And those who are originally from the BRIC developing nations — Brazil, Russia, India and China — are increasingly exploring the possibilities at home. This group already has a name. In a column for University World News last month, one higher education specialist, Rahul Choudaha, called them 'glocal students,' or 'people who have global aspirations, but need to stay local.'"  The article continues that
"The United States remains the top M.B.A. destination for students from BRIC countries. Still, the demand for Western degrees is leveling off, while demand for local programs is showing signs of rising. The number of score reports sent by BRIC citizens to home country programs grew 50 percent between 2007 and 2011."  While there i…

The future of for-profit education in the US

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What is the future of for-profit post-secondary education in the US? Here are some trends:
Inspiring growth
"Brazilian Effect: when public higher education cannot keep pace with growing public demand for access and programs, governments often allow FP’s to rush in and help fill the gap, becoming a much larger and sometimes dominant provider. This is the pattern in many developing economies such as Brazil where some 50 percent of student enrollment is in profit-like private institution." (John A. Douglass).

From 2000 to 2010, the sector grew by some 235 percent in enrollment, increasing its market share from 3 to 9.1 percent of all tertiary enrolled students.

Precipitous decline New student enrollment declined by more than 30% for Apollo and Kaplan, according to a Chronicle infograph.

Emphasis on marketing/recruiting
15 large, publicly traded for-profit education companies got 86 percent of their revenue from taxpayers and have spent a combined $3.7 billion annually on marketin…

Challenges of Quality Assurance in Cross-border Education

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Deficiencies in assessing and enforcing quality was a recurring theme at the University of Wales, according to BBC investigation which began last year. More recently BBC also discovered a scam "in which overseas students are helped to cheat their way to University of Wales-validated degrees and visas is being investigated by the UK Border Agency."  (see the video in the link). In other words, University's model of validating cross-border degrees has turned out to be more business, less quality.

TASMAC London which used to offer University of Wales' validated degrees has shut it's shop leaving 500 students stranded. Now even the future of the University of Wales is being questioned.

Here is another incisive video from last year's investigation
University of Wales example also supports my earlier assertion related to agent debate--any process of "validating" student recruitment agents will be futile. When quality assurance agencies and governments hav…

The Changing Profession of Admissions: From Counselling to Selling?

Admissions profession is undergoing a rapid transformation in its character, purpose and approaches. A recent report by insidehighered found "Clashes of Money and Values" driven by increasing pressure to look for sources of revenue. This is resulting in importance of full-fee paying, out-of-state and international students (Of course, this shift is more pronounced in public institutions as they are directly affected by state budget cuts.)

Another interesting dimension of the report relates to increasing use of agents for recruitment (one-third of the respondents are considering using agents but do not do so now, according to the report). This supports my assertion that there will be increase in interest for using agents, however it is a risky proposition due to incentive models which promote compromises to integrity of admissions process including document frauds (here is my earlier post). This concern of document frauds is also validated in the survey where nearly half of …

Quality assurance in for-profit education: Tame risks, not growth

"If quality assurance is partly about risk, are for-profit institutions inherently more risky than public institutions?", asks a discussions paper released by Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and UNESCO) based on a recent meeting on for-profit higher education.

The paper looks into the quality assurance challenges and needs with internationalization of for-profit higher education institutions supported by ambitious growth goals and technological advancements with e-learning models. It is becoming increasingly complex to assure quality in a multi-country delivery format. For example, there are 420,000 people outside the UK pursuing UK degrees through a range of models in 100 countries.

I agree with report at one level and disagree on another.
Agree: For-profit is indispensable in meeting global demand The report notes, "...taking an international perspective, it may be that distinguishing within the private sector between for-profit and not-for-profit in…

Will Indian Higher Education Get Freedom from Corruption?

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This month, India celebrated its sixty-fourth year of independence, however, freedom from the slavery of corruption is elusive. India has a long history of corruption and some of the recent cases in this "season of scams" are:
Commonwealth Games: The Comptroller and Auditor General of India found that the final cost of the Games was 16 times the original estimate of $270 million to over $4billion. The head of the CWG is now serving jail time for charges of misappropriation. 2G Scam: The Comptroller and Auditor General of India found that the goverment lost revenue to the tune of US$ 39 billion due to corruption and favoritism to particular telecom companies during spectrum allocation. Former minister is in jail and Kapil Sibal replaced him as telecom minister, who is also higher education minister. I have been writing for a while about the lack of quality and professional standards in Indian higher education. There have been numerous reports about the corruption with Indian …

The New Wave of Branch Campuses

Branch campuses are in news again with some optimistic and others with pessimistic tone. However, this time it is more than Gulf region and also has some big names involved.

After mega launch of NYU, Abu Dhabi, Duke's plans for China and Yale's plan for Singapore are being closely watched. However, both of them have faced resistance from faculty. While Yale faculty is concerned about academic freedom, Duke's faculty is concerned about financial feasibility.

A report in University World News noted "Concerns over the cost of a new branch campus for Duke University in Kunshan, near Shanghai, which is set to open in 2012, has led to vocal opposition from Duke faculty." It adds that "Duke is spending around US$37 million on a new campus in China when more than US$125 million has been lopped off its own budget in recent years, and arts and humanities are facing a $3 million budget deficit this year. Some $5.5 million is being spent by Duke to ensure the facility…

IIPM: Mocking at Quality of Indian Higher Education?

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IIPM and Arindam Chaudhuri have been synonymous with advertisements shouting "Dare to think beyond the IIMs!" (Here is Hoot's analysis on IIPM's advertisements). It took audacity (often to the limit of brashness) and entrepreneurial grit to equate oneself with big brands like IIMs. IIPM enrolls more than 5000 students across 8 campuses with more than 400 faculty members.
So, what's the issue? The issue is better understood if you see the advertisements of IIPM like below. What's the brand "promise" to a prospective student? They are most likely to see "MBA/BBA/EMBA" along with major brands like Cornell and Stern.

However, FAQs on IIPM website mentions: "1. Does AICTE/UGC [Indian regulatory bodies] recognize IIPMs programme in planning and entrepreneurship?
No. IIPM has never sought recognition from any statutory bodies and is proud of its world class course contents. Students bothered about statutory recognition of IIPMs programmes n…

Agents for international student recruitment: Have we not learned anything from Australia and the UK?

Australia and the UK have been revered for their best practices and proactiveness in using agents for student recruitment. Then came the "trouble" in international student market in Australia and the UK, resulting in tightening of student visa norms. What's the relationship between tightening of student visa and agents? Many agents enabled "short-cuts" (read document frauds) for students in using education for immigration. (Here is my related post where I argue that a handful of self-proclaimed or certified "good" agents are not the industry.)

At a time when Australia and the UK are tightening the student visa, more students are looking to study abroad and agents are hungry for new destinations beyond their traditional favorite markets. At the same time, American public institutions are looking for more international students to meet their budget cuts. This is a perfect storm for the US higher education and international student recruitment practices.…

Admissions marketing mantras

Many wrongfully assume that marketing of colleges is same as marketing of cars, cell phones or cola. The result is undifferentiated positioning, overpromising of offerings, poor delivery of programs and disengaged customers i.e. students and alumni.

The alternative is to understand the key characteristics of higher education services and implement a marketing strategy that maps the needs of targeted student segments with the institutional program offerings.

Smit and Cavusgil note, “Colleges are selling highly intangible products with many costs other than money. The college student pays greatly in terms of time, loss of other potential income, psychic costs, and inconvenience costs. A college education obviously calls for an extreme level of involvement from its consumer.”

Marketing of higher education should focus on reaching to and communicating with the targeted segment of prospective students. It should help in bridging the information gap and engaging the prospective students ab…

Foreign Universities in India: Who’s Coming and Why?

My article was published in Financial Express on the primary motives of foreign universities interested in India and their influence on key Indian higher education trends. Given below is the article which is also available here.


While the Foreign Educational Institutions Bill is still awaiting discussions in Parliament, there is continued interest and curiosity about which foreign universities will come to India and how will the Bill influence Indian higher education?

Over the last decade, Indian higher education has witnessed three primary trends—growth of private institutions, increasing demand for professional education and widening regional disparity. These three trends will become stronger with the introduction of the Bill and more foreign universities with profit/revenue motives are expected to establish campuses in India.

Motives of foreign universities

Global higher education systems are diverse and within each system there are a wide range of institutions with varying mission…