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Accelerating campus internationalization with technology: Emerging trends and strategies

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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…

Dr. Rahul Choudaha is a keynote speaker at Lewy Global Education Technology Forum @ SIT

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The Lewy Global Education Technology Forum at the School of International Training (SIT), Brattleboro, VT will bring together leaders in the field of education to discuss challenges and opportunities to improve our use of technology to teach, to collaborate, and to include a diversity of students, faculty, and staff in achieving our mission of education the next generation of global leaders.

Dr. Rahul Choudaha of DrEducation will be delivering a keynote on Tuesday, April 25 on "Accelerating Campus Internationalization with Technology: Emerging Trends and Strategies."

Here is the brief description:
As technology solutions become increasingly sophisticated and innovative, students are not only embracing this change, they are also expecting more. However, higher education institutions in general lag behind in technology innovation and student adoption. For example, MOOCs (massive open online courses) have gone from being revolutionary to redundant with varying degrees of accept…

Webinar: Are universities crucibles of transformative leadership?

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University World News, The MasterCard Foundation, and DrEducation partnered to host a free webinar on the role of higher education in fostering transformative leadership. It received over 1,100 registrations from around the world.

Click here to access the recording of global online discussion (webinar). 


Are universities crucibles of transformative leadership?

Transformative leadership is broadly defined as a process of generating positive and lasting change. What would our university campuses look like if the transformative leadership were to become core fabric of the student life? How do we infuse transformative leadership into academic programmes and campus experiences? How do we measure and assess its impact on individuals, universities and societies? What is the role of university administrators and academics in modeling or leading the change we would like to see in our students and societies? Are universities willing and ready to bring a positive and lasting change as the crucible…

Webinar resources: The future of online higher education and global engagement

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How likely it is that by 2020 “degrees will be disaggregated into smaller credential units… with the possibility that the credentialing entity may be different from the institution that offers the course”? The majority (68%) of the webinar participants responding to a poll question based on MIT’s Future of Education report expect it to be a "likely" or "very likely" scenario of higher education.


The online discussion was second in the series of online thought leadership discussions hosted by University World News and DrEducation. The online discussion on the theme of "Embracing Technology for Global Engagement: A Leadership Challenge and Opportunity" attracted nearly 700 registrations from around the world.

Access the webinar recording below
Access the PowerPoint slides 
Read the UWN summary article
Access Twitter feeds with #GlobalEd2




The webinar moderated by Dr. Rahul Choudaha, principal researcher & CEO, DrEducation included following expert panel:
Gi…

Online live webinar on leveraging technology for internationalization strategies

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DrEducation is pleased to partner with University World News to host a free webinar on “Embracing Technology for Global Engagement: A Leadership Challenge and Opportunity.” The live online webinar will take place on October 4, 2016 from 11am-12noon EDT or 4pm-5pm BST.

University World News is a leading online publication of news and analysis on global higher education. This webinar follows the success of the first online event on “Transnational Education: Growth at the Expense of Quality?” which received nearly 1,000 registrations.



Online education and internationalization have been rising as strategic priorities for many university leaders around the world. While online experiments like MOOCs, badging, blended learning are still early in their evolution, few institutions have taken an innovative approach to finding a synergy between technological innovations and their application in global engagement strategies. And, of those who attempted to engage globally through technology have ex…

Shai Reshef on his mission to scale a sustainable model of non-profit, tuition-free, accredited, online academic institution

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Shai Reshef is President & Founder of University of the People – the world’s first tuition-free, non-profit, accredited, online University dedicated to opening access to higher education. An educational entrepreneur with over 25 years of experience in the international education market, President Reshef has been widely recognized for his work with UoPeople, including being named one of Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business; joined UN-GAID as a High-level Adviser; granted membership in the Clinton Global Initiative; selected by The Huffington Post as the Ultimate Game Changer in Education; nominated as one of Wired Magazine’s 50 People Changing the World; and selected as a Top Global Thinker by Foreign Policy Magazine. His TED Talk: “An Ultra-Low-Cost College Degree” has been viewed by almost 2 million people in the last year.

Rahul - At University of People, you have created a large volunteer operation with over 3,000 volunteering professors, academic leaders and…

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…

Pearson--lessons in strategy and change from a global education company

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A recent story in the Fortune magazine traces the transformation of Pearson from a traditional publishing house to a global education company poised for an digital learning era. The attention-grabbing headline "Everybody hates Pearson" leads the reader into an insightful story of opportunities and challenges faced by Pearson in the pursuit of its strategic choice of focusing on "data-driven education." Here is a timeline of the major milestones in Pearson's history.   Pearson in its recently released annual report notes that "Pearson’s strategy centres on a significant and exciting long-term opportunity: the sustained and growing global demand for greater access, achievement and affordability in education." It adds that "Pearson stands at the intersection of new technology (with its ability to engage, personalise, diagnose and scale) and new, more effective, ways of teaching." In 2015, five priorities will guide Pearson's work: …

Efficient Design and Delivery of Higher Education Service

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Patrick Harker, president of the University of Delaware was interviewed based on his commentary "Making Sense of Higher Education’s Future: An Economics and Operations Perspective" published in Service Science. (On a side note, Service Science is an interdisciplinary field that aims at studying and improving service systems. My dissertation focused on developing a curriculum for a master's program in engineering and management. Service Science is supported by IBM.) Harkin borrows from the principles of operations management and characteristics of services to argue for a change in the design and delivery of education. From operations management, we know that design of the service or product drives its performance, as it is influences the cost structures and delivery constraints. "Design determines how competitive it is in the marketplace. A great design delivers ef´Čücient value to customers or clients."

Harkin argues that one of the limitations of design of edu…

Diverse global engagement strategies: from branch campuses to online degrees

International branch campuses receive a lot of attention, however, they form a small proportion university internationalization strategies. More recently, online learning is showing promising potential for global engagement.
A recent report shows that the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, or MIT, is shaping its internationalisation future around its prior initiative like OpenCourseWare and now edX. It forecasts a future where education will be unbundled and degrees will be disaggregated "into smaller credential units such as course credentials, sequence credentials, and even badges" with the possibility that "the credentialing entity may be different from the institution that offers the course". The report adds that the "digital education revolution has the potential to alter the way MIT interacts not only with its on-campus students, but with an entire globe of learners".
Here is my full article published in University World News.
I recently ch…

Global reach of MOOCs: A comparison of HarvardX and MITx

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MOOCs are a learning innovation with technology as it's backbone. Any technological innovation goes through a phase of irrational exuberance to mature reality (Remember, the dot-com bust and now dot-com revival). MOOCs are going through similar evolutionary pangs. Learning innovations face quite a complex set of barriers due to the sheer sociopolitical and traditional nature of the education ecosystem and hence the future of MOOCs even more uncertain. However, I am optimistic about the access, outreach and continuing education potential of MOOCs. Consider the recent data released by HarvardX and MITx which provides insights about its global reach:


- World map of certificate attainment: 17.5% certificate attainment rate of student from Spain for HarvardX - World map of gender composition: 28% of registrants from Oman for MITx were female; higher than Germany (25%) - World map of education composition: 85% of registrants of MITx from France held a Bachelor's degree or higher as…

The role of online learning and glocal students in shaping university internationalization strategies

International branch campuses receive lot of media attention. Some of the recent endeavors from big brands like NYU Shanghai and Yale-NUS College, gives a perception that many more are building international branch campuses, however, they form a very small proportion of various models of engagement for university internationalization.
Consider the case of the UK, which have been promoting transnational education as a part of the national strategy, has less than 3% of all its TNE activity in branch campuses. Only ~17,500 of  ~600,000 students enrolled in an "overseas campus of a UK HEI." In addition, one out of five overseas students is studying for a UK degree through distance learning programs (Open University is the largest). This is also the learning model which is gaining a lot of buzz with technological innovation, MOOCS and competency-based learning.
In a recent presentation at the AIEA conference, the panel shared the opportunities and challenges presented by the use…

Looking back at international higher eduction in 2013: The year of funding constraints, regulatory pressures and learning innovations

At the beginning of 2013, I projected that the three mega-trends influencing global higher education will be related to university budgets/funding, regulatory environment and technological innovations. I concluded that 2013 will be a year in which the higher education sector, will be under increasing pressure to justify its value, not only from financial and regulatory side pressures but due to emergence of competing technology-enabled learning models like MOOCs.

By the end of 2013, there have been several developments aligning with the  mega-trends forecast. Here are some of the key stories from 2013.

- Funding and university budgets: Given that higher education is tightly coupled with the economy, a sense of recovery is also reflecting a slight turnaround in university budgets in the US. However, optimism is not reflected in self-sufficiency through tuition revenue as the college enrollment in the US declines. In a recent survey,  about four in 10 public universities report that tui…

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…

Future of MOOCs is about proving sustainable and scalable business models, says Udemy President

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In November 2012, The New York Times, ran a story "The Year of the MOOC" and asked what does a student want to get from MOOCs experience--"Most important, what do you get for your effort? Do you earn a certificate? A job interview? Or just the happy feeling of learning something?" A year later, the landscape of MOOCs is still dynamic and optimistic as the "marketplace takes-off". However, future also looks challenging and uncertain as there is increasing competition and higher expectations for finding sustainable models. And of course, there are academic naysayers who believe "MOOCs are just the latest incarnation of bringing watered-down versions of culture, knowledge, and learning to a mass audience." In the context of the barriers of recognition of MOOCs learning as transferable academic credits, non-academic professional development/corporate training based model is gaining traction. Here is interview with Dennis Yang, President and Chief O…

How MOOCs and competency-based learning shaping the future of online higher education?

Two models of higher education--competency-based learning and MOOCs--are offering alternatives to conventional higher education and shaping the future of online higher education. Given below are recent developments which highlight this trend:
Southern New Hampshire University, a private university in New Hampshire, "is poised to launch a $5,000 online, competency-based associate degree that would be the first to blow up the credit hour--the connection between college credit and the time students spend learning." In addition, it had been in gaining attention for its aggressive growth in online programs as a non-profit. It enrolled 2,750 undergraduates in its campus and another 25,000 in its online programs. The revenue for this "Little College That's a Giant Online" is forecasted to reach $200 million in the next academic year—four times what it took in for 2010-11.
Western Governors University founded by the governors of 19 U.S. states in 1995, is an online univ…

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.…

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…

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…