It’s been a bumpy few years for international education — and 2022 could bring more of the same. Later in this newsletter, I’ve got predictions from readers about what this year holds for the field.
Here are three big questions I expect to be asking in my reporting. Will a hybrid approach to international education stick?
Even more than the rest of higher education, international ed prioritizes the experiential. Global mobility, both inbound and outbound, has prized immersion in culture and place. Covid-19 disrupted that: Many international students were forced to study remotely from their home countries. Virtual education abroad and internships replaced semesters in Barcelona and Rome.Let’s be blunt: Many of these experiences were not ideal. But as the pandemic has worn on, we’ve all become better at virtual. It also offers opportunity: Virtual exchange can open international study to the 90 percent of U.S. undergraduates who don’t go abroad. Transnational education may bring an American education to students who can’t spend four years here. At the same time, concerns about sustainability have led students and educators alike to approach international travel more deliberately. In the post-pandemic future, will virtual and hybrid compliment the in-person? Or will they continue to be viewed, and resourced, as second class?
Can international education diversify? For a field that is global, it can sometimes look homogenous: U.S. colleges draw students predominantly from a handful of countries and send them out to a relatively small number of nations. Partnerships are clustered in certain parts of the world. Some institutions are deeply global, while many others have minimal international programming. We want to diversify participation in international experiences, but those of us drawn to this work don’t necessarily look like the students we hope to attract. (And yes, I include myself among the “we.”)Change has been coming, but it’s been incremental. Will the pandemic jumpstart diversification and transformation? Or, under pressure to do more with less, will the status quo be reinforced?
Will the pandemic help make the case for internationalization? Back in 2019, I wrote about whether the “golden era” for international education was over — if there had ever been one. The pandemic may offer even more of an inflection point. On one hand, it underscores the importance of the global connections made on campus — the swift development of Covid vaccines simply would not have been possible without multinational teams of researchers, many of them former international students. As international enrollments tumbled, the absence of foreign students made visible their critical importance to campus diversity and to college budgets. Even the Biden administration has recognized the value of international education and pledged to take a more proactive and consistent approach to sustaining it.Still, there will undoubtedly be college leaders who see the disruption to international mobility as a litmus test and decide that it is a discretionary activity that their students can do without. Belt-tightening and burnout has forced thousand of international educators from the field, and many won’t be back. Even some veterans have told me how discouraged they are by Washington policies that work as cross-purposes with attracting international students as well as their struggles to make the case to administrators. Which vision will win out?Your forecasts for the year ahead are below. But first some news…
In recent months there’s been no shortage of surveys in which students describe the challenges they faced during the pivot to remote education in the spring and summer. Many struggled to secure consistent Wi-Fi access and a quiet place to learn. They felt overwhelmed, not just by the pandemic, but in trying to keep track of assignments, deadlines, and communication with their professors. They missed the routines and relationships of campus life. Motivation was a real challenge.
So what do they want their professors to know, in order to make the experience better this fall? I put that question to a panel of experts — students and faculty members — this week in a Chronicle webinar. I encourage you to watch it here because they had many great ideas and insights. But if you’re short on time, here are a few key takeaways.
Connections are crucial to learning. To prime students to learn, ensure that they feel connected to you and to the class. That’s not easy to do online, but consistent outreach, regular office hours, and a wise use of synchronous class time will help.
One panelist in the webinar, Vikki Katz, an associate professor in Rutgers University’s School of Communication and Information, surveyed 3,000 undergraduates across the country about their remote-learning experiences last spring. A crucial factor in students’ developing a sense of confidence and competence in a remote-learning environment, she and her co-author found, was whether they felt faculty members were accessible to them. Tiếp tục đọc “Professors need to know What Students Want from online learning during the pandemic”→
Enrollment at the tertiary level has grown dramatically in Vietnam over the last decade, with the national gross enrollment ratio (college enrollment as a percentage of the total college-age population) rising from 10 percent in 2000 to 16 percent in 2005, and 25 percent last year, according to data from the UNESCO Institute of Statistics. However, the system faces a raft of challenges in responding to the employment needs of Vietnam’s growing economy, especially as it seeks to climb the value chain away from a focus on low-wage manufacturing towards modern industry and innovation.
In this article, we offer an overview of the Vietnamese higher education system, the challenges it faces, and the reforms needed to improve. In addition, we touch on the current mobility trends of Vietnamese students abroad, finishing with a look at some of the most commonly seen academic credentials, including a file of sample documents and advice on what credentials to request when evaluating Vietnamese files and how best to convert grades. Tiếp tục đọc “Higher Education in Vietnam”→
Worth and genius would thus have been sought out from every condition of life, and completely prepared by education for defeating the competition of wealth and birth for public trusts….
(Thomas Jefferson, addressing the benefits to society of a liberal education, in an 1813 letter to John Adams)
Western civilization is home to a long tradition of liberal education, defined as an emphasis on the whole development of an individual apart from (narrower) occupational training. The beginnings of this philosophy can perhaps be traced back as far as ancient Greece and more clearly to the trivium (grammar, rhetoric, and logic) and quadrivium (arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and music) of medieval times. That tradition has continued, and today liberal education is an important segment of higher education in all developed countries. Its role in nurturing leaders and informed citizens is recognized in both the public and private sectors. Global statistics are difficult to obtain, but our impression is that interest in liberal education is growing in many parts of the West. Tiếp tục đọc “Why Developing Countries Should Not Neglect Liberal Education”→
Humboldt University in Berlin, one of the ‘elite’ institutions favoured by Germany’s Excellence Initiative.
Nature – For a decade, Germany’s government has tried to explode the myth that all the country’s universities are equal. In 2006, it launched an 11-year, €4.6-billion (US$5-billion) programme that aimed to make the best German universities more competitive with the likes of Oxford, Cambridge and Harvard. The campaign, called the Excellence Initiative, led to 14 institutions gaining the common — although unofficial — label of ‘elite’. Tiếp tục đọc “Germany claims success for elite universities drive”→