Category Archives: International


In International-Student Recruitment, Questions About Integrity Persist

The agent debate is dead. Long live the integrity debate.

For some time now, the discussion about whether American colleges could use commission-based agents when recruiting students abroad has been the hottest of hot-button issues in international admissions, with each camp staking out fiercely partisan positions.

It all came to a head with the recommendation of a commission organized by the National Association for College Admission Counseling—which represents some 13,000 college admissions of…


Reflections From a Global Provost

The following is by Peter N. Stearns, provost of George Mason University. Mr. Stearns plans to retire this summer after more than 14 years in the role.

One of the reasons I wanted to become the provost of George Mason was the opportunity to help shape a more global university. Of course, given Mason’s Northern Virginia location near the nation’s capital and faculty talent, a good bit was going on already, but as an institution we had the chance to accelerate …


A Failure to Capitalize on Globalization

The following is by Harvey Charles,  president of the Association of International Education Administrators and vice provost for international initiatives at Northern Arizona University, and Darla K. Deardorff, executive director of the association.

Globus_im_GeographieunterrichtGlobalization is one of the most dominant forces facing higher education in the 21st century. Many colleges have responded to it with plans to internationalize their campuses and academic programs.

Yet all too often, …


Obama’s Rating System: an International Perspective

As an observer of global university rankings, I’ve followed the debate about President Obama’s proposed college-ratings system with great interest—and growing incredulity.

From a distance, the concerns about the plan are curious. While some are certainly valid, I wonder how American colleges did not try to create a system of their own, or at least to work with the government to establish one.

Efforts to compare colleges have become an increasingly influential factor in higher education since the…


Civility in Academe, and the Lack of It

I want to return to the theme of civility that I addressed in a previous post.

Modern life can sometimes feel like the jungle. On the Internet, the sheer venom of online attacks is extraordinary to behold and also a bit depressing—people really think this way? The world seems a lot less hospitable, a lot bleaker.

Sadly, academe is not immune.

I have been reading John A. Hall’s excellent book The Importance of Being Civil: The Struggle for Political Decency. His thesis is that civil behavior that…


Learning From the Southern Hemisphere

I recently visited Australia and Indonesia, both countries which—in their different ways—are pivotal for global higher education.

Australia is a complex system in which higher education has become a big business. It attracts a significant number of international students, especially from Asia, which generates some $6.8-billion dollars (Australian) a year, according to the Grattan Institute. That makes higher education the country’s fourth largest export earner.

Australia has pioneered new system…


3 Ways to Help Make ‘Generation Study Abroad’ a Success

The following is by Mark Salisbury, director of institutional research and assessment at Augustana College, in Illinois.


A Roanoke College student during her study-abroad trip to Fiji in 2012.

The Institute of International Education recently announced a new effort, Generation Study Abroad, to double the number of undergraduates going overseas annually by 2020. It seems to have once again ignited the passions of international educators and colleges.

I say “once again” because, intentionall…


Seeing Small Times: a New Frontier in Social Science

I recently visited the CERN research facility in Geneva, where a number of faculty members from the University of Warwick work. There, four great experiments spaced around the almost 17-mile ring of the Large Hadron Collider are being put to work on questions like what happened after the Big Bang. In such work it is normal to think not only in terms of large spans of time but also in picoseconds. Indeed, much of today’s science is conducted in the realm of the very small and sometimes vanishingl…


The Rise of ‘Educational Sovereignty’

For the past several decades, many international branch campuses have operated without much oversight from their home countries and with a sense of diplomatic immunity in their host countries. Recently, however, some countries are following the lead of Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Singapore, and have created structures to regulate foreign education providers within their borders, often giving them special status in the national education system. But, as part of this development, we’ve no…


The Need for a Global Association of Universities

The following is by Dzulkifli Abdul Razak, president of the International Association of Universities, and Eva Egron-Polak, secretary-general of the association.

Nigel Thrift, vice chancellor of the University of Warwick, recently wrote that universities worldwide need to become better organized to represent higher education’s interests, and better self-regulated to avoid being managed by bodies outside the sector. Coming together to position univ…