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June 13, 2012, 5:07 pm
As universities seek to be global, they should consider an obvious model: multinational corporations.
What leads me to suggest using a corporate lens to look at global universities? I’ve heard Qantas talk about forming alliances with other airlines, a process akin to creating university consortia; tried to understand how the University of Melbourne snagged a partnership with IBM; and been fascinated by the strategies of companies like Johnson & Johnson to recruit the best university graduates.
Universities might learn from multinational corporations in a few areas in particular, including employer branding, human resources, and partnership management. Lastly, universities can learn from corporations how to more…
May 22, 2012, 6:34 pm
At the edges of international higher-education conferences, Americans sometimes run into something that many of them don’t expect—resentment.
At European receptions, Americans may occasionally overhear loud complaints about their presence from Europeans who hear American accents. In the Middle East, strong Arab nationalism in the wake of the revolutions there sometimes turns to xenophobia and anti-Americanism. In Asia some resident academics feel that, to Americans, the Asian Century just means revenue, not real engagement.
To be fair, Americans are not the only ones on the receiving end of these sometimes jarring encounters. The other members of international higher education’s Anglophone gang—Australia, Britain, and Canada—also occasionally come in for criticism. The critics say that the Anglophones are too busy imposing global values and standards to listen to local…
May 9, 2012, 8:23 pm
Bangkok — As universities move from being national institutions to international ones, they shift from managing national reputations to seeking international identities.
Reputation management may not be at the forefront of many academics’ minds, but when professors go abroad and meet colleagues who have no idea what kind of institution they come from, their interest may pick up.
In an seminar organized by The Chronicle here last month, “Positioning Your University Globally in the Asian Century,” speakers discussed how universities can create international identities.
Many countries want to build “world-class, top-ranked research universities.” But that phrase has become a cliche, …
April 15, 2012, 2:53 pm
Singapore — A plate of worms; a blood-pressure cuff sitting on a table near a housing project; an endoscope used to peer into the stomach.
All are emblematic of the wide variety of Asian research I got a glimpse of in four days of interviews here.
Why do so many scholars think that the 21st century will be the Asian century? The answer isn’t just that many Asian universities are racing to be research powerhouses. Depending on the country, there’s as much stumbling as there is running.
A different answer is that the focus of biomedical research, by virtue of population alone, will have to shift to Asia. About 4.1-billion of the planet’s roughly seven-billion people live in Asia. Demographic shifts in the…
April 8, 2012, 10:26 am
Bangkok—International students are often in an online wilderness as they search for universities to apply to. They run into confusing Web sites, search ads that can make shady institutions look genuine, and “contact us” pages that may not effectively connect them with admissions counselors.
An India-based company, Erudient, had students send Facebook messages to 162 universities in eight countries, including the United States and Canada. Only 51 percent of the universities responded within three days. Often when the universities did respond, the responses weren’t relevant. Some universities just referred those submitting inquiries back to the university’s Web site. (The company has an interest in the survey’s results: It has an app that helps universities track their Facebook metrics.)
“Facebook is an ideal place to foster interaction, but universities are not doing it,” says…
March 14, 2012, 8:23 pm
I once visited the British Council offices in Hong Kong. I remember a spacious, light-filled lobby that was swarming with youthful Hong Kong residents. Most of them, from kindergartners to adults, were there to study English in British Council classes. As I looked around at the buzzing activity, I realized the next step for many of the teenagers I saw would be to study in Britain itself, and, no doubt, they could easily get information somewhere in the lobby about doing that.
In 110 offices around the world, the British Council makes similar offerings. A British Council Education Intelligence group, now consolidated in Hong Kong, gathers “market intelligence” for universities on such matters as the abilities of different country’s education systems to engage with the world and how students make their decisions on where to attend university.
A look at the British cultural-relations…
February 28, 2012, 10:17 pm
Many universities are refocusing their research on “grand challenges” or “wicked problems,” including poverty, climate change, or emerging infectious diseases, to try to make a global impact. One question not often discussed, though, is how to involve students.
Paul Hudnut, director of the Global Social and Sustainable Enterprise degree program at Colorado State University’s business school, says that he and his colleagues spotted few similar programs when they founded the program, in 2007. “It felt pretty lonely out there,” he said.
At the recent annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Mr. Hudnut and the leaders of similar student-based programs discussed the lessons they have learned in a session titled “More Than a Field Trip: Developing Student Leaders to Address Global Challenges.”
The emphasis of the…
February 2, 2012, 3:23 pm
Is internationalization becoming too popular? When ideas become too popular, then academics, despite their feisty image, are less willing to dissent. Associate deans or assistant professors have plenty of their own battles to fight, like getting their share of the budget or winning tenure. When they see the internationalization theme sweeping across campus, they resign themselves to yet another academic fad. They keep their head below the parapet, quietly focusing on their own or their departments’ interests. Being against internationalization may look like being against diversity: a highly risky personal proposition.
The nature of the discussion about internationalization often depends on which side of the Atlantic it occurs. (I’ll save the trans-Pacific differences for another day.) Europeans sometimes talk about the “end of internationalization.” In the debates I have witnessed,…
January 24, 2012, 5:05 pm
The only e-mail I ever remember getting from someone in Rwanda was in praise of MIT’s OpenCourseWare project, which makes the teaching materials used in MIT courses available free. The Rwandan, a vice chancellor, was excited about having access, in some form, to MIT’s offerings. I was reminded of that message when a colleague’s article, “‘Badges’ Earned Online Pose Challenge to Traditional College Diplomas,” seemed to catch on fire in its comments field. A second reminder came in the form of a commentary about how MIT is taking its online offerings a step further, with certification: “MIT Mints a Valuable New Form of Academic Currency.”
Within the United States, debate about whether certifications in individual competencies may someday replace degrees is often centered on the fear that such “badges” will make learning a splintered commodity, rather than a holistic experience that …
January 4, 2012, 7:41 pm
An annual forecast of spending on research and development predicts that many Asian countries, including some that are not usually on the tip of prognosticators’ tongues, will creep up the ranks as world research powers this year. The report says global research-and-development spending will increase by 5.2 percent, to $1.4 trillion, with much of the growth coming from Asian economies while the United States will remain largely stagnant.
The top five countries in terms of growth in research-and-development spending from 1996 to 2007 were China, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, and Taiwan, data gathered for the forecast showed. Malaysia and Indonesia were new to the forecast’s listing of the top 40 countries in spending on research and development.
The “2012 Global R&D Funding Forecast” is part of an annual series that is a number cruncher’s delight. It is a collaborative effort…