It was the Mickey and Minnie Mouse red and pink rolling suitcases that first caught my eye as what seemed like the entire population of Beijing headed to baggage claim. Then I saw the two children that were accompanying the bags and their parents. As we waited for the trains to the exit hall, I had a chance to notice a bit more about what the parents were rolling.
Advances in technology and global connectivity have raised exciting possibilities and serious challenges for higher education. In January the Open University of Hong Kong invited educators from around the globe to examine these issues at the inaugural International Conference on Open and Flexible Education. I was fortunate to attend the conference as part of IIE's traveling fellowship, and I was eager to learn about the ways in which technology will impact the future of education and international exchange programs.
"Every student who wants to succeed in the global economy should study abroad." That is the first sentence of IIE's new book, A Student Guide to Study Abroad, which was published by IIE in collaboration with the AIFS Foundation, and is packed with essential tips and information for students looking to study abroad.
Last month I met with Torbjørn Røe Isaksen, the new Minister of Education and Research in Norway, who was in Washington, DC, for the annual Transatlantic Science Week organized by the Royal Norwegian Embassy. We spoke about higher education internationalization in Norway and the priorities for academic collaboration with the United States. Mr. Røe Isaksen, who holds a MA in Political Science from the University of Oslo, also spent one year in the United States as a student at Carl Junction High School in Missouri.
Like many nonprofits that have an international reach and run several large and varying programs, IIE faces the everyday challenge of how best to assess the effectiveness and impact of its work. Our program evaluation services, offered through IIE’s Center of Academic Mobility Research, have grown rapidly in response to this need! Our evaluation team at the Center has extensive experience in all levels of a program evaluation, from measuring program outputs and outcomes to longer-term studies to identify participant and community impacts over time.
More and more US students are seeking out short-term jobs, internships, and volunteer work overseas, and with good reason. Overseas employment and volunteering has big appeal. Working in another country gets students out of the classroom and into the community. They interact not just with professors and other students as they might with traditional study abroad programs, but they get to engage with workers and community members at all ages and stages of life and in a variety of settings.
At the recent EducationUSA Forum, I participated in a panel about how higher education institutions can harness Open Doors® to inform their international student recruitment. Open Doors, an annual survey of international educational exchange in the US, produced by IIE with the support of the US State Department, offers valuable information for higher education institutions. The session provided useful insights into different ways to use Open Doors data in planning for international student enrollment. Here are the top takeaways for international educators:
The fourth annual EducationUSA Forum is now behind us, and by all accounts, this year was the most successful ever. (Disclaimer: IIE helps State Department to organize the event.) Approximately, 600 people from the US higher education community and educational advising came together for the three day event in Washington DC to learn about how best to promote international education and attract a diverse group of international students to their campuses. The Forum has quickly become a major event on the international education circuit, especially for those working in the international recruitment and admissions field. Much was discussed at the Forum, ranging from regional updates, to consular issues, scholarship programs, countries to watch and much more.
When the current Education for All (EFA) goals expire in 2015, the pendulum of global funding for education may swing in the direction of higher education. The EFA movement—supported for over a decade by more than 160 countries and coordinated by UNESCO—has a lofty goal to “provide quality basic education for all children, youths and adults by 2015.” EFA is aligned with the educational components of the Millennium Development Goals, which include universal primary education and gender parity and empowerment of women. Higher education has not been a target of these development goals.
Monday, May 6, 2013
The Institute of International Education (IIE) supports open, ongoing and inclusive discussion of the post-2015 global development agenda and upholds the vision of the UN Global Consultation on Education that “equitable quality lifelong education and learning for all” should be central to the post-2015 goals.