May 7, 2013, 10:21 am
The following is a guest post by Peter McPherson, president of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities.
Peter McPherson, president of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities
U.S. higher education is uniquely positioned to contribute to the agriculture, health, and economic prosperity of developing countries. And the U.S. government plays an important role supporting such work. But that partnership between government and universities could be threatened as lawmakers look for places to cut federal spending— and with foreign aid an all-too-frequent target. As a former administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development and a former president of Michigan State University,…
May 3, 2013, 11:29 am
The following is a guest post by Mark Jia, a Rhodes Scholar studying Chinese politics at the University of Oxford. His views do not reflect those of the Rhodes Trust.
An administrative building at Tsinghua University, in Beijing.
When Cecil Rhodes created a set of eponymous scholarships to Oxford, his vision was to “render war impossible” through fostering mutual understanding between nations.
Last week Stephen Schwarzman, co-founder of the Blackstone Group, announced a set of international scholarships with the same basic objective. But instead of shipping college graduates to the dreaming spires of England, the scholarships will enroll 200 students in a specialized one-year master’s program at Tsinghua…
April 30, 2013, 10:35 am
The following is a guest post by John Anthony Pella Jr., a lecturer in international relations and international history, and Li Wang, a lecturer in education. Both work at Zhejiang University, in Hangzhou, China.
China in recent years has aggressively moved to make its universities “world-class,” and top institutions have instituted numerous policies to achieve this goal. Two such policies are recruiting faculty who have been educated overseas and pushing faculty members to publish more academic work. While these strategies have their benefits, they run the risk of creating significant divisions in Chinese academe.
The high value placed on foreign degrees has shaken up the job market. It has become easier for foreign-trained Chinese scholars to return home and get jobs at prestigious…
April 18, 2013, 11:41 am
The following is a guest post by Paul Smith, director of the British Council’s U.S. office and a cultural counselor at the British Embassy in Washington.
A map of Myanmar
Recent stories about a new hope kindling in Burmese colleges and universities are a timely reminder that the restitution of robust higher education is critical to the security and prosperity for a nation emerging from a fractured past and into a more democratic future.
Fourteen years ago, I spent a year in Myanmar (also known as Burma), where I experienced firsthand the desperate thirst for knowledge.
At the time, the British Council-Rangoon ran the only public library in the country permitted to stock foreign books. In fact, ours were the only…
April 12, 2013, 11:27 am
The following is a guest post by Thomas Docherty, a professor of English and comparative literature at the University of Warwick.
The former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher during a visit to the White House in 1983.
Often after someone dies who had significant influence over our lives, there is an argument over his or her legacy. In the case of Margaret Thatcher, rarely has the debate been more divisive—and higher education is not immune. Among university colleagues there is argument not just about what her legacy actually is, but about whether professors need to do more to actively reject its influence, which continues to help guide education policy today.
Admirers will point to the obvious physical manifestation of…
April 9, 2013, 1:55 pm
The following is a guest post by Jeffrey S. Lehman, vice chancellor of New York University’s campus in Shanghai. It is adapted from a speech he gave last year at the University of California at Berkeley, entitled “The Goals of Transnational Education: Reflections of a True Believer.”
A row of 16th-century buildings in Tours, France.
I believe very strongly in the value of a transnational education. Indeed, I would not be surprised if my colleagues use words like “zealot” and “fanatic” when I am out of earshot. My strong belief is, perhaps not surprisingly, rooted in personal experience: my year of study in the Sweet Briar College Junior Year in France.
The year began with a five-week orientation in the city of Tours. I lived with four…
April 2, 2013, 12:30 pm
The following is a guest post from Mandy Reinig, director of international education at St. Mary’s College of Maryland.
A view of Galway Bay in Ireland.
A debate was started recently about whether social media has hurt study abroad, in part prompted by a commentary in The Chronicle. While I agree that technology has changed the way we look at study abroad and the way students interact while overseas, I don’t agree that it will lead to fewer cultural or transformative experiences for students while abroad.
Social media has changed the way students interact and the way we, as international-education professionals, interact with students before, during, and after their time abroad. What I don’t think social media has done or will…
March 21, 2013, 10:28 am
The following is a guest post by Madeleine F. Green, a senior fellow at Nafsa: the Association of International Educators and a senior program consultant at the Teagle Foundation.
For many, if not most, institutions, “success” in internationalization is a bit of a numbers game. It is defined by the number of students going abroad, the number of international students and the amount of revenue they generate, and the number of campuses abroad or courses offered with an international focus.
But what do these numbers mean for student learning? Although many colleges and universities cite producing “global citizens” as a goal, few have a clear set of learning outcomes associated with this label, a map of the learning experiences that will produce this learning, or an assessment plan in…
March 7, 2013, 10:03 am
The following is a guest post by David Eastwood, vice chancellor of the University of Birmingham, in Britain.
Traditionally a university has been defined by, indeed defined itself as, a place. People “go to” universities, even in a world where the virtual may seem to have made place less important. Students often will pay, and pay significantly, to study at universities, putting a premium on the real, the immediate, and the academic experience in a particular environment. The Harvard experience is Harvard in Cambridge, Mass. However generous the institution is with its online content, that is only a tantalizing fragment of the Harvard experience. Not valueless, of course, but different.
To study at a particular university means to study in a unique setting and in a…
March 6, 2013, 11:19 am
The following is a guest post by Khaled Fahmy, chairman of the history department at the American University in Cairo. He is a member of the advisory board of Al Fanar, an online publication on Arab higher education, where this commentary originally appeared.
Last week the publication canceled a conference in the United Arab Emirates, where the magazine was to be launched, because of concerns about academic freedom. (Note: David Wheeler, Al Fanar’s editor, is a former managing editor of The Chronicle.)
Map of the United Arab Emirates
When I received an invitation from David Wheeler to participate in the launch of Al Fanar, I was delighted. I believed that the Arab world desperately needs an incisive look a…