Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Call for Papers - The Observatory on Borderless Higher Education

Many readers may be interested in contributing to The Observatory on Borderless Higher Education ( A brief description from the Observatory's website follows:

The Observatory's primary purpose is to provide strategic information to enable institutional leaders and policy makers to make informed decisions relevant to their existing and/or future transnational higher education initiatives.

This mission is accomplished by a continuum of programmes, services and activities to provide access to state-of-the-art research, resources, best practices, emerging trends, policy frameworks, and assessment and quality assurance documents for the effective delivery of transnational higher education academic programmes and services. The Observatory organises regional and global meetings, engages in selected consultancies, and collaborates with numerous international organisations to achieve its mission.

The Observatory's call for authors can be found here:

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Interesting Perspective on One Million American Students Studying Abroad

I recently came across an interesting post on the Education Dynamics Academic Perspectives blog from December 17, 2008 on the Senator Paul Simon Study Abroad Foundation Act which envisions to send over one million U.S. students to study abroad each academic year. This blog post is fairly in line with my view of increasing study abroad participation in the United States to over one million students per year. You can read this blog post and my posted comments here:

Monday, December 29, 2008 and other Social Networks

During this past year I've joined numerous social networks for international educators, researchers, graduate students and bloggers such as Linkedin, Knowledge Communities of NAFSA, ResearchGATE, Graduate Junction, Scribd, Facebook, and VerveEarth . The development and growth of these networks and how people use them to connect is quite interesting.

In addition to the networks listed above that I joined I wanted to highlight another that I think leads all others and is for researchers at institutions of higher education world wide. is a very well developed and functional network that provides academics the opportunity to easily make connections as well as create personal websites where you can upload your CV, papers and highlight various talks you've given. Here is a link to my webpage:

Friday, December 26, 2008

Write for EducationUSA Connections

Readers looking for a venue to publish their work might want to consider writing for the EducationUSA journal Connections. You can access past issues of the journal as well as an e-mail to submit manuscripts at this website: I have copied and pasted information about Connections from the website below for your reference:

“The EducationUSA Connections journal is a quarterly, online publication produced by the Institute of International Education's Membership and Higher Education Services Division and sponsored by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Connections is produced for the EducationUSA overseas advisers and includes information about higher education in the United States, scholarship opportunities, specific fields of study, best practices in advising, and other topics.”

Thursday, December 25, 2008

100 Free College Rankings

I occasionally write about various academic rankings around the world and thought readers might find the following "100 Free College Rankings (Traditional, Unorthodox and Just Plain Crazy)" to of interest.

You can access this list here:

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Language Flagship – Statements Before the House Armed Services Committee

On September 23, 2008 the House Armed Services Committee listened to statements from the following four individuals on the Language Flagship program:

- Dr. Dana S. Bourgeire, Director, The National Chinese Flagship Center at Brigham Young University

- Dr. Terri E. givens, Director, Texas Language Roadmap and the University of Texas at Austin

- Dr. Robert O. Slater, Director, National Security Education Program

- Mr. Galal Walker, Director, National East Asian Languages Resource Center at Ohio State University

You can download their statements in PDF format as well as watch the webcast on the hearing at the following website:

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The New Fulbright-SENACYT Program

On December 10, 2008, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Panamanian Vice President and Foreign Minister Samuel Lewis Navarro signed a memorandum of understanding to fund up to 10 scholarships for graduate students or professors from Panama to pursue studies in the United States in the fields of science and technology. The Fulbright-SENACYT (Panamanian National Bureau of Science, Technology and Innovation) will fund two to four years of study and covers tuition, airfare, room and board, books, health insurance and a settling-in allowance. Financial support for English language training is also available.

You can read more here:

Monday, December 22, 2008

Mobility Barometer of the Let’s Go Campaign

Those of you conducting research on global student/scholar mobility trends may find the Mobility Barometer on the Let’s Go Campaign to be helpful. The Mobility Barometer highlights the specific mobility situation for students and higher education and research personnel in 46 countries within the European region. You can access the Mobility Barometer here:

The Lets Go Campaign was launched by Education International and the European Students’ Union (ESU). You can access the main website for the Let’s Go Campaign here:

Friday, December 19, 2008

Memo to President-Elect Obama to Implement Policy Changes towards Cuba

On December 8th, thirteen associations and organizations wrote a joint letter to President-Elect Obama asking him to appeal several amendments to the Cuban Assets Control Regulations instituted by the Bush administration in 2003 and 2004. In particular, the letter is most concerned with the restrictions placed on academic and family travel to Cuba.

You can access the letter here:

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Science as a Gateway to Understanding: International Workshop Proceedings, Tehran, Iran (2008)

A new book entitled Science as a Gateway to Understanding: International Workshop Proceedings, Tehran, Iran (2008) has just been published by the National Academies Press. Here is a link to this publication on the National Academies Press website ( where you can download in PDF format if you complete a free and brief registration. Following is a description of this international workshop that I copied and pasted form the National Academies Press website:

“In October 2007, the U.S. National Academies and the Iranian Institute for Advanced Studies in Basic Science organized the first of a series of planned U.S.-Iranian workshops on the topic "Science as a Gateway to Understanding." This new workshop series is a component of the broader effort of the National Academies to support bilateral workshops and exchange visits in a variety of fields with a number of Iranian institutions that began in 2000.

This book includes papers that were presented at the workshop and summaries of the discussions that followed some of the presentations. At the conclusion of the workshop there was general agreement that the presentations on many aspects of science and scientific cooperation that have a bearing on mutual understanding were an important first step. Several participants underscored that the next workshop should emphasize how scientific cooperation can lead in concrete terms to improved understanding among both academic and political leaders from the two countries.”

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The First 100 Days: Setting a New Tone in U.S. Foreign Relations - NAFSA Memo to President-Elect Obama

On November 24th, NAFSA: Association of International Educators sent President-Elect Obama and his National Security Team a memo encouraging him to set a new tone in U.S. foreign relations within his first 100 days in office.

You can find the memo here:

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

New Brookings Report on U.S. Public Diplomacy for the 21st Century

In November 2008, the Brookings Institution released the Voices of America: Public Diplomacy for the 21st Century report. I find it to be an interesting read and found that the value of international educational exchanges is discussed throughout the report.

You can access the Executive Summary and the full report here:

Monday, December 15, 2008

First Public Diplomacy Effort of the United States?

As we come to the end of 2008 and with the Obama Administration ready to lead the United States for at least the next four years my hope for an improved public diplomacy effort in the United States is high. To be sure, there will always be someone who wants to throw a shoe at the President.

This week I plan to focus my blog posts on international education and public diplomacy. To start off the week I'm posting a short historical piece about the public diplomacy efforts of the United States in 1936.

Perhaps the first public diplomacy effort[1] of the United States government was in Latin America during the 1930’s in an effort to combat the growing influence and infiltration of German and Nazi propaganda on the continent.[2] During the 1936 Pan American Conference for the Maintenance of Peace in Buenos Aires, the delegation from the United States proposed a Convention for the Promotion of Inter-American Cultural Relations which received unanimous approval from the other delegations.[3] The 1936 Buenos Aires Convention called for the exchange of peoples in an effort to strengthen intellectual cooperation and cultural relations between the United States and other Latin American countries and wanted these exchanges to include nongovernmental groups of people such as college faculty, youth groups, and representatives from social service organizations and labor unions.[4]

[1] Some may argue that the International Expositions/ World’s Fairs of the late 19th century and early 2oth century served this purpose.
[2] Cummins E. Speakman, Jr. International Exchange in Education, (New York: The Center for Applied Research in Education, Inc., 1966), 31-32.; Milton C. Cummings, Jr. Cultural Diplomacy and the United States Government: A Survey. (Washington, DC: Center for Arts and Culture, 2003), 1-2.
[3] Cummings Jr.,1.
[4] Kevin V. Mulcahy, “Cultural Diplomacy and the Exchange Programs: 1938-1978.” The Journal of Arts Management, Law and Society 29, no. 1, (Spring 1999): 11.

Friday, December 12, 2008

The AXE Study Abroad Sweepstakes

During my recent research efforts I came across an interesting sweepstakes…The AXE Study Abroad Sweepstakes ( My post is by no means intended to be an endorsement or promotion of this sweepstakes, any of the AXE fragrant products or any of the numerous Unilever brands. I am writing to see what others think of this “study abroad” promotion which, as you can tell, has nothing to do with studying abroad. To be fair, under the “Speak the Language of Love” button and the “AXE Study Abroad” logo it clearly states “The Promotion is not a study abroad program, does not include tuition or studies of any kind, nor course credit or classes.” This reminds me a little of the Abercrombie & Fitch study abroad catalog from a few years ago.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Call for Submissions - Disasters in the Field: Preparing for and Coping with Unexpected Events

I'm posting the following to my blog for a colleague:

Have you ever had essential equipment fail when you are in the middle of the jungle? A difficult student? Research permission revoked in the middle of the project? Been struck by lightning? Dropped your camcorder in a river? We need your stories about challenges in field research. We all know that the old adage, “what can go wrong, will go wrong” often holds true when we do international field research. However, we all find creative ways of working around these potential disasters. We are working on a book titled, Disasters in the Field: Preparing for and Coping with Unexpected Events. The purpose is to present students and researchers with an overview of problems associated with doing international fieldwork—to provide them with practical suggestions that will help them prepare for the field and minimize the impact of unexpected events. We’re going to use real stories to make these issues come to life. If you have a story about any of the topics below, please consider submitting it. Stories are 200-1000 words and will be incorporated into chapters. You have the option of being credited with the submission or requesting that it be anonymous. Please contact Gillian Ice and Darna Dufour at if you are interested.

Guidelines for submissions for Disasters in the Field: Preparing for and Coping with Unexpected Events.

Stories may be submitted on any of the following topics:
- Equipment failure, loss, confiscation
- Data loss
- Cultural misunderstandings that disrupt research
- Corruption, crime, political unrest that impacts research
- Health Emergencies
- Issues with participant recruitment and/or retention
- Student issues
- Personal or family issues that disrupt research
- Other potential disasters not listed here are also welcome

Please be concise (200-1000 words) but provide enough detail so the reader understands the issue. Include information on how you dealt with issue (successfully or unsuccessfully). After you relay the story please provide us with information about what you “learned from your experience”. What might you do differently in the future to avoid the problem, if possible? How might you handle the situation differently now? Contributions will be woven into chapters with specific topics. Depending on how many submissions we get we may not be able to use all contributions and we may have to edit some contributions for length. Any edits will be approved by contributors. You may submit photos or line drawings to illustrate your story. Please indicate if you prefer to be credited with your contribution or to have it listed as an anonymous contribution. Please submit your stories no later than April 1, 2009. Stories should be written in Microsoft word and submitted via email to:

After review of submissions, we will select stories for inclusion in the book. Some stories will be featured in their entirety, while others may only be included as short excerpts. You will be informed either way by email by August 1, 2009. At that time, you will be asked to sign a release form for publication. Authors of feature stories will be provided with a free copy of the book.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Forum Pathways to the Profession Survey 2008: Report and Results

On Monday, December 8, 2008 the Forum on Education Abroad released The Forum Pathways to the Profession Survey 2008: Report and Results and it is available for download on their website. I quickly reviewed this publication and think it’s a valuable contribution to the field of education abroad. I receive frequent e-mail messages requesting information on how to enter the field of education abroad/international education and I think this report will be a valuable resource for people wanting to enter the field. Additionally, those who are newcomers and mid-career professionals will also find value in this report.

You can access the report here:

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Early Connections between the DAAD and The University of Chicago

As the DAAD contact at The University of Chicago I have long been interested in the history of the DAAD and the early connections it has had to the University. During my recent efforts I learned that Arnold Bergstraesser who founded the DAAD and from 1937-1953 he taught in the United States with his last appointment as Professor of German Literature and History at the University of Chicago. You can learn more about Arnold Bergstraesser here:

Similar to Senator Fulbright, German Chancellor Adenauer also had a vision to create a major international academic exchange program that Germany could call her own and in the years following the end of the Second World War he re-founded the DAAD, Deutcher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (German Academic Exchange Service). German Chancellor Adenauer was so engaged in this process that he actively took part in the signing of exchange agreements with a variety of partner institutions in the United States.

[1] Chancellor Adenauer’s active participation in the signing of partner institution exchange agreements is evidenced at the University of Chicago where the original DAAD-University of Chicago exchange agreement from 1953 is housed at the Office of International Affairs. This exchange agreement between the University of Chicago and the DAAD contains Chancellor Adenauer’s original signature and on the agreement it is evident that he crossed out the word “eins” (meaning “one” in German) and wrote in the word “zwei” (meaning “two” in German) for the number of guaranteed exchange students from the University of Chicago.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Need for Standards for International Education

During my recent research efforts I came across the following statement on the need for standards for international education from 1992 that I thought I'd share with readers:

“Sojourn difficulties are an occupational reality at all levels of exchange. They are exacerbated, however, when organizations responsible for facilitating exchange programs fail to do so at adequate levels of quality and ethicality. In such instances, increases in volume of exchange present a liability rather than an opportunity, and the potential for good effects becomes eroded by the incidence of failure in and dissatisfaction with the exchange experience. To the extent that individual participants suffer psychologically, emotionally, or physically, the field as a whole suffers damaged visibility and reputation. When administering organizations fail to respond professionally and competently to the inevitable difficulties that arise in teenage exchanges, the field risks increased liability as well.” (p. 1)

Bachner, D.J. (1992). Developing Program Standards for International Educational
Exchange, NAFSA Working Paper #25
. Evans City, PA: NAFSA Publications.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Network of International Education Associations (NIEA)

The establishment of the Network of International Education Associations (NIEA) is unknown to most in the field. The following text is copied from the NIEA website (

NIEA is an association of non-profit, non-government international education associations from countries and regions throughout the world which share a common mission to advance internationalization of higher education. The network advances the global learning of post-secondary education organizations through the exchange of information and dialog, advocacy for international education, professional development, and discovery of new approaches to international education. Members of the network will meet at least once annually, more often as appropriate.

NIEA Purposes are to:
1. Establish a global network of international education associations for mutual learning, information sharing, and identifying emerging issues, problems and opportunities.
2. Contribute intellectually, organizationally, or programmatically to the conferences and other learning venues of member associations.
3. Share information about and help build complementary training and professional-development programs by member associations.
4. Advocate, commission or sponsor research on topics related to international education.
5. Foster professional recognition of international education practitioners and leaders worldwide, and assist new international education associations.
6. Anticipate emerging issues having cross-regional or global impacts on international education and on the exchange of educational ideas, students, faculty/staff and related activities.

Founding Members are:
Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA)
Asociación Mexicana para la Educación Internacional (AMPEI)
Asia Pacific Association for International Education (APAIE)
Consortium for North American Higher Education Collaboration (CONAHEC)
European Association for International Education (EAIE)
Foro Argentino para la Educación Internacional (FAEI)
International Education Association of Australia (IEAA)
International Educators Association of Canada (IEAC)
International Education Association of South Africa (IEASA)
Institute for International Education (IIE)
Japan Network for International Education (JAFSA)
Korean Association of Foreign Student Administrators (KAFSA)
NAFSA: Association of International Educators

Thursday, December 4, 2008

A Plan for the Exchange of American and Prussian Teachers (1907)

For readers with an interest in the early years of international education exchange…

In 1907, Dr. Karl Reinhardt, representing the Department of Ecclesiastical Affairs, Instruction and Medical Affairs of Prussia, proposed to the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching a plan for the exchange of teachers between Prussia and the United States which was to be modeled after similar programs that were already in effect between Prussia and England and France.
[1] American teachers were to teach English in Prussia for a year and a half and were to receive modest stipends from the Prussian government. Interestingly, American female teachers were specifically barred from participating in this exchange program between Prussia and the United States.

[1] “A Plan for an Exchange of Teachers between Prussia and the United States” Science, New Series, 27 no. 697, (May 8, 1908), 733-737

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Analysis of the Research and Literature on Diversity in Education Abroad: A Synopsis

Some time ago I conducted a content analysis of the research literature on diversity in education abroad.[1] There were several themes I found across this literature relating to the barriers to participation in study abroad by students of color which include the following:

- Financial Issues (most commonly cited reason)
- Lack of Family Support and/or Needing to Remain Close to Family
- Concerns about Language
- Concerns about Discrimination
- Program Sites not of Interest

Recommendations for Future Research:

1. Need for more rigorous and advanced research. The field needs more Doctoral Dissertations and peer reviewed journal articles specifically focused on diversity issues in education abroad.

2. Need for more quantitative studies. The majority of studies on diversity in education abroad are qualitative in nature and have produced valuable data. However, we need more studies that provide hard data. Results from this type of data and methodological approaches will be helpful in our advocacy efforts both here in Washington, D.C. and on our campuses/organizations.

3. Better data collection in the field. Consider how we can we collect demographic data (institutional/provider or national level) on underrepresented student participation rates for comparison. Also, it is important to disseminate these data/results to the greater education abroad community.

4. Need for longitudinal studies focusing on diversity issues. Replication of a recently completed or current projects known in the field but with a specific focus on diversity issues. Comparisons can be drawn from the data and analysis.

5. Gain a better understanding of the heritage-seeking phenomena.

6. Compare and analyze data on minority student foreign language study, retention rates and other academic issues such as attendance at community colleges vs. four-year institutions.

[1] Data compiled by analysis of Research and Literature on Underrepresentation in Education Abroad: An Annotated Bibliography (© 2002-2006 David J. Comp)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Nobel Peace Prize Statistics and Wars in the 20th Century

Recently I came across an interesting article/conflict map on the website that I thought I’d share with readers. We see some sort of armed conflict happening somewhere on this planet everyday and this is likely to continue well into the future. I wonder what effect international education has had (if any) in reducing armed conflict in the past and what role it will have in the future?

You can access the Nobel conflict map here:

Friday, November 28, 2008

First Nation to Enter Fulbright Cost-Sharing Agreement with the United States

The Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act required that participating countries in the various Fulbright scholarship programs commit to a cost-sharing agreement with the United States Department of State. Germany was the first nation to enter into a Fulbright cost-sharing agreement and has paid for half of the costs associated with this German-American program since 1962.[1]

[1] Trent, 3; Ulrich Littmann, “A Host Country’s View: The Federal Republic of Germany” Annals of the American Academy of Political Science, 491 The Fulbright Experience and Academic Exchanges, (May, 1987), 81.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Some States See Decline in Total U.S. Study Abroad Numbers

I’m pleased to introduce our second guest blogger today. Chip Peterson from the Learning Abroad Center at the University of Minnesota has identified an interesting trend in the Open Doors 2008 data. Chip’s post follows:

While glancing through the most recent Open Doors data I noticed a curious phenomenon. One of the tables in the report is entitled, STUDY ABROAD BY U.S. STATE, 2005/06 & 2006/07. According to that table, overall study abroad numbers increased for forty states (plus DC) and declined for ten states. Four of the latter ten are located in the Upper Midwest: Iowa (-0.2%), Minnesota (-1.5%), North Dakota (-16.7%), and Wisconsin (-0.9%)! Within the Upper Midwest only South Dakota experienced an increase (+40.8%).

The remaining six states with declines were much more scattered geographically: Delaware, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Vermont.

The overall national increase, for comparison, was +8.2%.

What do you think is going on here?

HEA of Ireland Encourages More Irish Students to Study Abroad

The Thursday, November 20th edition of The Irish Times published an interesting article on the Higher Education Authority of Ireland and their plans to encourage more Irish students to study abroad. According to the article, only 1,800 Irish students study abroad each year. You can access The Irish Times article here:

You can read more about student study abroad trends of Irish students and related statistics in the Eurostudent Survey II: Irish Report on the Social and Living Conditions of Higher Education Students 2003/2004 (HEA, 2005) here:

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Anthropological Fieldwork Abroad with Children

As a Master of Science in Family Science (yes there is such a degree) who is working in the field of international education I found an article entitled “Fieldwork with Three Children” on to be very interesting. Those of you working with faculty with children or with students who have children on planning their overseas academic endeavors might also find this to be an interesting article as well.

You can access the article here:

Monday, November 24, 2008

Diplomatic History

I just read a very interesting article in the Chronicle of Higher Education entitled “Why We Need Diplomatic History” by Douglas Little from Clark University. I won’t summarize the article here but am providing a link ( as I think many readers of this blog will find it of interest.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Can a U.S. Student Study Abroad in the United States?

As International Education Week 2008 comes to a close I wanted to pose a question that I’ve been grappling with for some time now. Can a U.S. student study abroad in the United States and, if so, can or should we count them in the Open Doors Report on U.S. Students Studying Abroad?

My answer to both these questions is “Yes” but only in certain cases. I’m thinking about the TCKs (Third Culture Kids) who hold U.S. citizenship or the dual citizens (U.S. and any other nationality) who have lived most or their entire lives outside of the United States
[1] but come to the United States to pursue a higher education. I argue that many U.S. students attending our colleges and universities who meet such a profile are actually studying abroad. We don’t collect data on these types of students (and in many cases offer little or no support for these students) because we base our data collection efforts solely on U.S. citizenship and act of earning academic credit anywhere outside of the United States. The problem, of course, with collecting data on the types of students that I’m suggesting is determining a criterion or measure for qualification into this unique group of students. This measure would be based primarily on the amount of time spent living outside of the United States. If this was the only or the primary measure used in determining the eligibility of a student to be counted as a U.S. student studying abroad in the United States, what amount of time would make one eligible?

[1] Children of ex-patriots and military children could also be included in this cohort.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

International Students Contribute $15.54 Billion to U.S. Economy

In conjunction with the release of IIE’s Open Doors 2008, NAFSA has released their annual 2007-2008 Economic Impact Statements. You can download the economic impact summary for the entire United States or by individual states.

I wonder what the economic impact of the 241,791 U.S. students who studied abroad in 2006-2007 was on the United States?

You can access NAFSA’s Economic Impact Statements here:

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Over 1,000 Students with Disabilities Studied Abroad in 2006/07

Today, my colleague Michele Scheib from Mobility International USA (MIUSA) will be a featured guest blogger. Michele is discussing the new Open Doors data on U.S. students with disabilities who studied abroad in 2006-2007. Michele’s post follows:

Over 1,000 students with disabilities from 116 U.S. post-secondary institutions studied abroad for credit in 2006/07, according to baseline figures from the Institute of International Education (IIE)’s annual Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange ( This represents 2.6% of the total number of study abroad students. Half of the students with disclosed disabilities reported a learning disability, while one quarter reported mental disabilities. Students with physical, sensory or other disabilities comprised the remaining 25 percent. Students with disabilitiestypically represent 9% of the student population on U.S. campuses, according to U.S.Department of Education, National Postsecondary Student Aid Studies.

IIE collected the disability data for the first time this year, and hopes the low response rate will improve next year. Purdue University, San Diego State University and Linfield College reported the largest numbers of disabled students. Information on how to collect disability data can be found on the Open Doors website (

The National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange (NCDE) is sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State and administered by Mobility International USA. The NCDE provides free information and referral services to increase the participation of people with disabilities in international exchange programs.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008 Site Traffic Data Also Provides Valuable Information

Yesterday’s release of IIE’s annual Open Doors report provides international educators, campus leaders, educational researchers and others with valuable data on the state of international education in the United States. Another resource in the field (and often overlooked) is and the data it collects on traffic to and on its website.

In a press release today on the Wall Street Journal Market Watch website, released their site traffic report. In some ways, the site traffic data may be more revealing of the trends in U.S. study abroad than Open Doors due to lack of institutional reporting and other issues associated with data collection efforts in the field.

You can read the press release here:

Monday, November 17, 2008

Open Doors 2008

Today, the Institute of International Education (IIE) released Open Doors 2008 to the general public. This week all blog entries will focus on this new report and data.

The total number of U.S. students studying abroad rose 8 % to 241,791 in 2006-07 and the total number of international students studying in the United States increased by 7% to a record number of 623,805.

I encourage readers to look beyond the basic data presented for the nation, their institutions and alma mater(s).

You can access Open Doors 2008 here:

Friday, November 14, 2008

International Education Week, Nov. 17-21, 2008

International Education Week (IEW) is a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education and was first held in 2000 at the end of the Clinton administration. According to the IEW website, this occasion is now celebrated in over 100 countries across the globe. IEW marks an important period of time in U.S. higher education as it is always the time when the Institute of International Education releases its annual Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange. Stay tuned next Monday, November 17th as Open Doors 2008 is released to the public.

You can access the IEW website here:

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Emergency Coalition to Defend Educational Travel (ECDET)

The Emergency Coalition to Defend Educational Travel (ECDET) was formed in 2004 in opposition of President Bush’s decision to restrict academic travel to Cuba. ECDET is based out of Washington, DC and is chaired by Wayne Smith of Johns Hopkins University. On November 4th, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued an opinion on the ECDET v. U.S. Department of the Treasury case. You can read more about this on the popular The Volokh Conspiracy blog here:

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Obama Win and the Implication on International Student Applications to the United States

I just read a very interesting article on the Guardian (United Kingdom) website on the impact that Barack Obama’s election could have on the international student recruitment efforts in the United States and among our leading competitors. Barack Obama’s win was celebrated around the world (particularly right here in Obama’s neighborhood of Hyde Park, Chicago) and was unlike anything I have ever witnessed before. The Guardian article provides an interesting perspective that “4/11 could be just as significant as 9/11 in terms of its impact on international student recruitment.” Time will tell how Obama’s election will affect international student mobility across the globe.

You can access the Guardian article here:

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


The National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges (NASULGC) plans to change its name to the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) on April 1, 2009. NASULGC was founded in 1887 and is the nation’s oldest higher education association.

You can read more about name change here:

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Federal Republic of Education

The Die Bundesregierung (The Press and Information Office of the Federal Government) website reported late in October, 2008 that the German federal and state governments plan to increase educational spending to 10% of the country’s gross domestic product by 2015. Chancellor Angela Merkel aims for Germany to become the Federal Republic of Education.

You can read more here:

Thursday, November 6, 2008

'I'll Remember This Trip' - Fifty Years of Study Abroad at UW-Madison by Raducha, 2008

Readers who are interested in the history of international education should find a new publication entitled 'I'll Remember This Trip' - Fifty Years of Study Abroad at UW-Madison by Joan Raducha (2008) to be of interest. This 78 page document is very well written and is available via

Here is the full link:

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Global Perspective Inventory Update

The following update on the Global Perspective Inventory is posted with permission from my
colleague Larry Braskamp:

In this update I am providing you some more information about the Global
Perspective Inventory, a survey that measures global learning and
development. We are presenting the results of our research and the use
of the GPI this year at over 25 colleges and universities at several
sessions at national conferences listed below. If you and your
colleagues attend a session please introduce yourself so we can get to
know how you would like to better use the results of the GPI in your
planning to enhance global learning and development.

Council of Independent Colleges ---— Chief Academic
Officers Institute, November 1- 4, Seattle. Session: Fostering global
learning and development at a college. Paul Naour, Central College.

American Association of Colleges and Universities—Annual
conference, January 22-24, Seattle. Session: Asking big questions about
being a global citizen. Alzeda Tipton, Elmhurst College; Robert Haak,
Augustana College; Paul Naour, Central College; Larry Braskamp

Institute for Student Values — Annual conference,
February 5-7, Florida State University. Session: Enhancing student
identity. Art Chickering, Goddard College; Larry Braskamp

Forum on Education Abroad— Annual Meeting, February
18-20, Portland. Session: Different types of students need different
types of environments. Jessica DuPlaga, College of Wooster; Neal
Sobania, Pacific Lutheran University; Kendall Brostuen, Brown
University. Workshop: Using the GPI in Study Abroad. Dennis Doyle and
Brain Zlystra, Central College; Larry Braskamp

NASPA---— Annual Conference, March 7 – 11, Seattle. Session:
Successful partnerships in assessment: Using the Global Perspective
Inventory to measure student learning and development. JoNes Van Hecke
and Keith Jones, Central College; Charles Walker, St Bonaventure; Joel
Frederickson, Bethel University; Larry Braskamp

You can learn more about the GPI by accessing our website,

On the Welcome page, please click “Take It!” if you and others wish to
take the GPI to learn of its contents. Use the Access Code, 9990, when
prompted. A partial list of the colleges administering the GPI this year
can be found by clicking on “Information and documents.” A summary of
our research on education abroad can be found in “Resources.”

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Presidential Election Day in Hyde Park Chicago

I live and work in Hyde Park, Chicago and it is in the heart of Obama country. Barack Obama lives only four blocks from me and it's been very interesting to see how the security around his house has changed since he began to have Secret Service protection earlier in the year. Yesterday and today you hear helicopters flying all over the neighborhood.

My German host brother (from when I was an exchange student in Rosenheim, Germany during 1988) is here visiting for two weeks and I think it is a great time and a great neighborhood to be visiting. While I'm working he's using my bicycle to tour the city and he rides by Obama's house everyday which he finds "very cool". I'm encouraging him to head downtown tonight to see the Obama rally. He doesn't have a ticket but he is sure to get a good vibe from the action just by being outside before, during and after.

My 7 year old daughter is proudly wearing her Obama button to school today and enjoys finding signs, stickers and anything else that says Obama everywhere we walk and drive. We'll be sure to keep her up later than normal tonight to watch the election results. She's pretty engaged in the process for someone so young.

While there are many many important issues that frame this campaign I'm providing links to the candidates (at least the two that have a chance at the presidency) education policy sections of their websites so you know where they stand on the issues:

The Obama/Biden Education Policy:

The McCain/Palin Education Policy:

Monday, November 3, 2008

Last Freeman-ASIA Competition

The Institute of International Education (IIE) has announced that the Spring 2009 Freeman-ASIA study abroad scholarship competition is the last in this generous three-year grant by the Freeman Foundation. Since 2001, the Freeman-ASIA program has supported over 4,000 U.S. undergraduates to study abroad in East and Southeast Asia and reached thousands more through alumni outreach activities on campuses and in local communities.

Friday, October 31, 2008

What’s Up with Culture?

Readers may find the website What’s Up with Culture? which is an online cultural training resource for study abroad to be quite interesting and helpful in your research and work. My friend and colleague, Bruce LaBrack, Emeritus Professor of Anthropology and International Studies at University of the Pacific is author and editor of the materials.

You can access What’s Up with Culture? Here:

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Students Experience the US Election Abroad

The Boston Globe is publishing several stories for their World Class series from students from the New England area to discuss what it’s like studying outside of the United States during the election.

You can access the articles here:

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

NCDE Survey on Equal Opportunities for Students with Disabilities

The following message was posted by a colleague from Mobility International USA (MIUSA) to SECUSS-L and I’ve copied and pasted it here:

Survey on Equal Opportunities for Students with Disabilities asks Foreign Language Faculty and Exchange Staff Worldwide to respond.

Do you teach foreign languages or send and receive students on foreignlanguage exchanges? Are you interested in contributing to a survey about students with disabilities? You do not need to have had a student with a disability in your class or program to respond. The National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange seeks your input and experience.

Take a 10-minute Foreign Language survey online at:

As the need to learn a foreign language grows, so does the interest andimportance for students with disabilities to take courses and immersethemselves in the study of other languages. The purpose of the survey is to learn more about foreign language faculty and exchange professionals’ preparedness, experiences and inclusive practices in regards to students with disabilities in their classrooms or study abroad programs.

Deadline to submit: December 15, 2008

The National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange provides freeinformation and referral services related to the participation of people with disabilities in international exchange programs. The Clearinghouse is sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, and is managed by Mobility International USA.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Immigration and Public Diplomacy Appointments Project

I just became aware of this new and interesting public diplomacy project spearheaded by NAFSA: Association of International Educators. The purpose of the Immigration and Public Diplomacy Appointments Project is to assist the next President in identifying strong candidates for key administrative positions that impact public diplomacy and immigration issues.

You can access the website for the project here:

Monday, October 27, 2008

Arrest of U.S. Graduate Student in Iran

On Oct. 15th, Esha Momeni, a California State University at Northridge Master’s student, was arrested and is being detained in Section 209 of Tehran’s Evin Prison. Momeni was in Iran researching the women’s movement in Iran and was conducting video interviews with people involved in the “One Million Signatures” campaign which aims to end discrimination against women in Iran.

You can read more here:

Friday, October 24, 2008

Top Producers of Fulbright Awards, 2008-2009

Today, the Chronicle of Higher Education has an article on the Fulbright U.S. Student Program and provides a list of the top producers of Fulbright Awards by type of institution for the 2008-2009 competition. The University of Chicago ranks 6th for research institutions with 23 awards for 2008-2009. In 2007-2008 The University of Chicago ranked 8th with 20 awards and in 2006-2007 The University of Chicago ranked 7th with 18 awards.

You can access the Chronicle article here:

Thursday, October 23, 2008

IELTS now accepted by more than 2,000 U.S. Institutions

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) has been gaining consistent ground on TOEFL for many years and is now accepted by more than 2,000 institutions in the United States.

You can read more from a recent press release here:

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Free Student Memberships to the Chicago Council on Global Affairs

The McCormick Foundation has generously given the Chicago Council on Global Affairs a $25,000 donation in order to offer all new students complimentary memberships for this program year. There is no limit on memberships for this offer- they are encouraging as many as possible to take advantage of this deal.

Please feel free to pass along this link, to teachers and students or anyone with student connections.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

U2: The Hype and the Feedback – Call for Papers

An academic conference exploring the music, work and influence of U2 is scheduled for May 13-15 in New York City. The keynote speaker for the conference is Anthony DeCurtis


U2: The Hype and The Feedback is the first conference to examine U2’s considerable catalog of music as well as their influence in the areas of the music and entertainment industry, popular culture, humanitarian relief and the global politics of peace and social
justice. We invite proposals for papers, presentations or panels on any topic relating to the music, work or influence of U2 that would appeal to an audience of scholars, students, journalists, musicians and intellectually curious U2 fans. Some suggested areas for exploring, critiquing or seeking a better understanding of U2 are:

Lyrical/textual studies The business of rock ’n’ roll
Music composition Music and cultural engagement
The performance of rock ’n’ roll The Spirit in/of rock ’n’ roll
Artist, audience and fan dynamics Peace efforts and social justice
Art and the rock aesthetic The rock star activist
Artistic collaboration The multi-genre modern rock star
Technology in the studio/on the stage Notions of celebrity and fame

We encourage proposals from established or independent scholars; faculty, graduate or undergraduate students; journalists, critics, musicians and fans. Please submit 300-350 word abstracts for papers, presentations or panels. Individual presentations should last 15-20 minutes, with panels designed to last one hour. Submissions should include a cover letter with relevant contact information and a vita or resume for each presenter.

Proposals, with any attachments, should be e-mailed to by November 1, 2008. Please direct questions about proposals to this same address.

Monday, October 20, 2008

NAFSA has a Wikipedia Entry

I just found that NAFSA has a Wikipedia entry. You can access the entry here: Readers who are NAFSA members way want to add to the Wikipedia entry.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Global Horizons for UK Universities by Fielden for CIHE (2008)

During my recent research efforts I came across the executive summary from a report by The Council for Industry and Higher Education (CIHE) entitled “Global Horizons for UK Universities” to be very interesting so I thought I'd inform readers.

You can access this six page document here:

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Fortress Embassies

I just read an interesting blog entry on the Foreign Policy Association Public Diplomacy and the 2008 U.S. Presidential Election blog that I thought readers would find interesting. The blog entry entitled “Our Backward Public Diplomacy” discusses how the traditional forms of U.S. public diplomacy efforts are decreasing/retreating and are now changing to the virtual world of the State Department website and to relocating U.S. Embassies from the center of cities to more fortified structures on the outskirts of world cities.

You can access the blog entry here:

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Les Etudiants Internationaux: chiffres clés / International Student Mobility: Key Figures

CampusFrance recently published the following French-English paper Les Etudiants Internationaux: chiffres clés / International Student Mobility: Key Figures. It’s a good read and should be of interest to many readers. You can access the report here:

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

THE-QS World Rankings

Readers who are interested in the various rankings of world universities are probably aware that the THE-QS (Times Higher Education and British publish QS) rankings were recently published. You can access the rankings here:

Monday, October 13, 2008


The Association of Academic Programs in Latin America and the Caribbean (AAPLAC) seeks proposals for papers and panels for its 20th Annual Conference, to be held at Central College in Pella, Iowa, on February 19-21, 2009

In honor of AAPLAC's 20th anniversary, the 2009 Conference theme is: The Role of Study Abroad in Preparing the Next Generation for the New "Global Century" Paper topics might include but are not limited to:
Increasing Diversity in Study Abroad
Intercultural Communication
Program Evaluation and Assessment
Reflective Practices

Please submit proposals for panels and/or abstracts of papers to:
Dr. Diana Rodríguez-Lozano
Department of Foreign Languages
Mount Saint Mary's University
Emmitsburg, MD 21727
Phone: 301-447-5820 / extension 4826
Fax: 301-447-5806

Deadline for submissions of proposals for panels or abstracts is November 15, 2008. For more information about AAPLAC, please visit our website:

Friday, October 10, 2008

Call for Proposals - NC State Undergraduate Assessment Symposium

Call for Proposals - NC State Undergraduate Assessment Symposium
Aligning Pedagogy, Curriculum & Assessment
Embassy Suites, Cary, NC April 24-26, 2009
Proposals are due by 5:00pm on October 31, 2008

The NC State University Office of Assessment will begin accepting proposals on September 1, 2008, for presentations at the 2009 Undergraduate Assessment Symposium. Our theme this year is Aligning Pedagogy, Curriculum & Assessment. Consistent with this theme, we are especially interested in proposals that highlight assessment efforts that seek to enhance undergraduate student success by illuminating the interactions between pedagogy, curriculum, assessment and learning. The Symposium, now in its seventh year, brings together faculty members and administrators from around the country to share ideas and learn from each other about the assessment of the total undergraduate student experience. We are pleased to have Dr. Arthur Levine, president of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation and co-author of When Hope and Fear Collide: A Portrait of Today's College Student, as our keynote speaker.

GUIDELINES FOR PROPOSAL proposals should present assessment efforts that are in a mature stage of development, rather than in a planning or pilot stage. Special consideration will be given to proposals that address how assessment results were used for planning and improvement. Sessions should engage participants and should focus on how participants can implement the methods and strategies presented in a more general sense in addition to focusing on how the presenters made them work on their campuses. Participants should leave each session with something that can help them to improve assessment on their campus. Sessions should be interactive, engaging and provide opportunities for audience participation. Please note that strong preference will be given to proposals describing assessment practices, activities, and/or methods that have been implemented for at least one cycle. The sessions will be 60 minutes in length; laptops and LCD projectors will be provided in each room. See instructions below for submitting your proposal.

I. Academic Disciplines: This track is for proposals addressing unique challenges faced by the various disciplines in carrying out assessment including how to more effectively assess academic disciplines, how faculty and administratorscan work together to develop effective assessment strategies and how disciplinary accrediting bodies impact assessment activities.

II. Academic Support Services: This track is for proposals that address effective ways of dealing with the special challenges presented when assessing academic supportservices, including tutorial services, advising services, library services, honors programs, orientation programs and living-learning communities.

III. Assessment Tools: This track is for proposals submitted by sponsors at the Silver level or above addressing sponsor solutions to campus assessment issues. Proposals should give background on the issues faced at the institution that led to the use of the product and how the use of the product impacted assessment, planning and improvement at their institution. Proposals must have wide appeal and cannot be simply a product demonstration.

IV. Community Colleges: This track is for proposals that address proven approaches for meeting the unique assessment challenges faced by community colleges. Topics may be from any of the other tracks with particular relevance given to their application at community colleges.

V. Experiential & International Education: This track is for proposals that address how to assess the impact of international education and experiential education (including service-learning, undergraduate research, cooperative education and internships). Topics include how to more effectively assess international and experiential education programs that are tied to the academic curriculum, assessment aspects that are unique to international and experiential education, and best practices regarding assessment in these areas, including specific tools and methods.

VI. General Education: This track is for proposals that address innovative approaches to assessing general education and how assessment of general education has been connected to planning and improvement. Other topics that may be included in this track are how commercially available tests are being utilized to assess general education and how portfolios can be integrated into general education assessment.

VII. Institutional Effectiveness: This track is for proposals that address assessment of institutional effectiveness. Topics include how assessment results can be more effectively linked to strategic planning and budgeting, effective institution-wide systems for assessment, organizational levelassessment, and institutional accreditation.

VIII. Student Development: This track is for proposals that address how to assess the impact of S tudent Development programs and services on student learning and development. Proposals should address how the unique relationship these units have with students provides special assessment opportunities and challenges.

IX. Symposium Theme ~ Aligning Pedagogy, Curriculum & Assessment: This track is for proposals addressing the interactions between pedagogy, curriculum and student learning, and assessment practices that lead to enhancements in all three areas.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR PROPOSALS All proposals must be submitted electronically. Faxed or mailed proposals will not be considered. If you cannot submit your proposal via the online form, please fill out the proposal form completely and emai lit to

Thursday, October 9, 2008


Familiar with this acronym? If not, you’ll probably know it in due time. Plans are underway for DIAC (short for Dubai International Academic City) to become the Middle Eastern hub for approximately forty universities educating 40,000 students. You can read more about DIAC here:

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Expanding Education Abroad at U.S. Community Colleges

The Institute of International Education (IIE) just released the third white paper in their study abroad policy research series. This third paper entitled Expanding Education Abroad at U.S. Community Colleges was written by Rosalind Latiner Raby with contributions from IIE’s Membership and Higher Education Services and Research & Evaluation colleagues. You can access the paper here:

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

NAFSA TLS Call for Poster Session Proposals

The TLS/KC welcomes you to submit a proposal for a poster presentation for the 2009 conference on the theme “Fostering Global Engagement through International Education.” The submission deadline is Friday, November 14, 2008.

Proposal guidelines and additional details about the submission process can be found on the NAFSA Web site:


Internationalizing the Curriculum and Campus Poster Fair
This poster fair wishes to focus on the following aspects of campus and curriculum internationalization: Curriculum integration of study abroad; innovative approaches to internationalizing on-campus curricula; innovative methods of integrating intercultural elements into on-campus programming; effective use of international education research for internationalizing the campus and curriculum; and innovative programming for international students for integration into campus life.

International Education Research Poster Fair
Topics may cover research related to any area of international education, especially those emphasized by NAFSA. Those areas include: international student and scholar services; international education and internationalizing the curriculum; intercultural and cross-cultural communication; recruitment and preparation of international students; English language training; education abroad; international education leadership and linkage agreements; cross-border educational issues.

There is a new online proposal format for the 2009 Annual Conference. Please do not wait until the last minute to submit your proposal.

TLS welcomes poster proposals on the following topics:

What pedagogies of international education exist and how can they inform our work? Do we need new models?

Identity Issues Emerging from International Educational Exchange
One frequent result of an international educational experience is questioning one’s cultural/personal identity. While the intensity of such experiences varies by population (global nomads, heritage-seeking students, minority groups, etc.) such challenges need to be effectively addressed by sponsoring institutions. How can international educators deal with such identity issues?

Cross-cultural and Intercultural Education
Where are the intersections between intercultural learning and critical thinking, civic engagement, global civil society, service learning and other complementary themes?

How is citizen diplomacy influencing international education and vice-versa?
What does research suggest about the outcomes for international students in the U.S. and U.S. students studying abroad? Are the outcomes the same or different? How do these outcomes compare with other international studies?

Teaching and Learning Challenges in Internationalizing the Curriculum and Campus
The pedagogy of internationalizing the classroom poses challenges for faculty, both in identifying the level of awareness and learning styles of their students and in addressing students who are at different stages of awareness but in the same classroom. What research and practices exist to assist in the process?

What is the role of faculty in internationalization?

What are the linkages between foreign language learning and culture learning?

Cross-Border and Transnational Educational Movements
Cross-border, “borderless” and transnational education movements are influencing higher education worldwide. What must international educators know about these trends to prepare for the future? How will GATS influence the standing of the U.S. and other nations as education continues to grow as a service traded internationally? How are joint and dual degree programs breaking down borders in education? What models and approaches are working, and what issues exist in implementing them in various countries and in various types of institutions?

Research and Trends in International Education
What are the burning topics in the field of international education that need to be researched? Where are the gaps in the literature that need to be filled? What research exists in other fields that can contribute to the TLS mission?

Challenges in International Education
What will international education look like in the next decade? What global trends will influence higher education globally? How does international education influence global trends?

How is assessment being driven by accreditation? What is the relevance for International Education?

How do you use international education research for advocacy in your organization?

How can researchers in international education publish their work?

How are you using old theories in new ways?

What is the role of the faculty in the internationalization of higher education?

Please contact the TLS Knowledge Community team members:
Intercultural and Cross-Cultural Communication: Gayle Woodruff
Internationalization: Joe Hoff
Research: David Comp
Workshops: Barbara Kappler
Annual Conference General and ESL: Joann Halpern
Faculty Representative: Bruce LaBrack
TLS Chair: Inge Steglitz

Monday, October 6, 2008

Learning Across Cultures

As the Teaching, Learning & Scholarship (TLS) representative to the NAFSA: Association of International Educators Subcommittee on Information Management (SIM) I'm involved with finding and working with authors on NAFSA publications. At the August SIM meeting in Washington, DC it was decided that a revision of Learning Across Cultures was needed. The first edition of Learning Across Cultures was edited by Gary Althen and published by NAFSA in 1981. The second edition, also edited by Althen, was published by NAFSA in 1994. While this publication continues to sell at a consistent rate each year it's time that a revised edition come to market. Anyone interested in contributing to this publication should feel free to contact me.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Higher Education Groups Send Letter to Presidential Candidates

On September 24th the seven major higher education groups (AACC, AASCU, ACE, AAU, NAICU and NASULGC) sent a joint letter to both presidential candidates that discussed many higher education issues including the importance of increasing international education efforts in the United States.

You can access the letter via the NAFSA: Association of International Educators vol.13 no.36 here:

Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Pearson Test of English

In today’s I found an interesting article about the publishing company Pearson throwing its hat into the English language testing for college admissions. The Pearson Test of English, with time, will increasingly challenge the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS), which has experienced increased competition over the years from the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). What’s unique about the Pearson Test of English is that it will provide institutions with applicant scores as well as digital recordings of the students speaking portions of the examination.

You can read more here:

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Cross-Border Higher Education in the Caribbean

IHEC readers who are interested in global cross-border higher education trends will find a new publication (155 pages) focusing on the Caribbean to be of interest. The book Foreign Providers in the Caribbean: Pillagers or Preceptors? provides analysis of cross-border higher education in Barbados, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands. You can access the abstract and the entire book in PDF format here:

Foreign Providers in the Caribbean: Pillagers or Preceptors? (2008)
Edited by: Stewart Marshall, Ed Brandon, Michael Thomas, Asha Kanwar and Tove Lyngra
Publisher: Commonwealth of Learning, Vancouver

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

High School Give-and-Take

In the September 2008 issue of National Geographic there is an article on high school international education exchanges. This article, while brief, provides an interesting data chart on the flow of secondary school students to and from the United States.

You can access the article here:

Monday, September 29, 2008

Bono on CNN American Morning

On Friday, September 26th, Bono was interviewed by CNN anchor John Roberts about the ONE Campaign and last week’s UN General Assembly. You can access the interview here:

Friday, September 26, 2008

School Choice Continuum

On one side of the school choice continuum (the left) you have public-public choice which is a liberal egalitarian perspective and on the right side of the school choice continuum you have the public-private choice which is more of a neo-liberal or neo-conservative perspective and in the middle is the semi-private choice. According to Martin, the public-public choice options include: a school within a school, intra-district schools, inter-district schools and magnet schools. The semi-private choices include charter schools and home schooling and the public-private choices include vouchers and tuition tax credits.

In his article, Sweetland reviews the economics principles that have been brought into the school choice debate. Sweetland discusses free markets and the concept of competition and notes “today the school must cater to multiple social, political, religious, and economic demands. A consumer orientation is developing, but who is the customer?” Sweetland answers this question with “everyone” is the customer as “the public school complex was designed to serve everyone, not just the best, brightest, or most able.” By introducing competition (i.e. vouchers) as a choice for parents will “drive schooling costs down and effectiveness up.”

Fowler goes beyond the “superficial levels” of the school choice debate which are “how students should be assigned to schools? and which schools should receive public funding?” to briefly discuss the “deeper levels” of this debate. These “deeper levels” of the school choice debate include “the nature of human beings and society, the purpose of education, the right of parents to make crucial decisions about the welfare of their children, religious freedom, and the social prerequisites of democracy.” Fowler also discusses market ideology and provides a good example of inviting the chairman of the Ohio Senate Education Committee to his graduate education policy course and the chairman describes schools as businesses like McDonalds and are encouraged to compete against each other.

Gorard, Taylor and Fitz discuss the concept of “spiral of decline.” The authors describe a “spiral of decline” and how markets lead to this decline “rests heavily on two key components: a fall in numbers and an increasingly disadvantaged intake of children.” The authors conclude that it is very difficult to answer the question of school choice leading to spirals of decline primarily due to lack of longitudinal data and a “lack of agreed definitions."

Jellison Holme’s article provides a very interesting look at adult social networks and status in relation to school choice. The parents in this study had the financial means to either attend a private school or to move to a neighboring city and send their children to public schools they felt would be the best. Rather than investigating all of the educational opportunities available to them in their local and surrounding areas they relied on the advice of their social network of peers to guide their decisions to purchase a new home in a new community. Regardless of this being an appropriate method or not, those families who did decide to move were, in a way, increasing their social capital.

Sliwka and Istance provide an interesting European perspective and overview to the school choice debate. One of the main focuses of their article is on diversity through alternative forms of schooling such as selective vs. non-selective, public vs. private, and formal vs. home schooling. In there article, Sliwka and Istance look at “exit” behavior as a result of school choice. They describe this “exit” behavior as “choosing a different school, or even abandoning formal schooling altogether, means to leave another school behind. A key issue for school systems today is thus the impact overall of these aggregated ‘exit’ decisions – on quality, on the schools that are predominantly left behind, and on equity in general.”

While there are many “levels” to the school choice debate as seen in the literature and identified by Fowler, the main issue I see is one of economics. Economics on a personal level (micro) and what one can and cannot afford in terms of schools for their children to economics at the school level (macro) and the debate about free markets and competition have a heavy presence in the school choice debate.


Fowler, Frances C. “The Great School Choice Debate,” The Clearing House, 2002): 4-7.

Gorard, S., Chris Taylor and John Fitz. “Does School Choice Lead to ‘Spirals of Decline’?” in Journal of Education Policy, Vol. 17 no. 3, (2002): 367-384.

Jellison Holme, Jennifer. “Buying Homes, Buying Schools: School Choice and the Social Construction of School Quality,” Harvard Educational Review, Vol. 72 no. 2, (2002): 177-205.

Sliwka, Anne and David Istance. “Choice, Diversity and ‘Exit’ in Schooling – A Mixed Picture,” European Journal of Education, Vol. 41 no. 1, (2006): 45-58.

Sweetland, Scott R. “Theory into Practice: Free Markets and Public Schooling,” The Clearing House, (2002): 6-12.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Changing the Face of Study Abroad

On September 26th the Chronicle of Higher Education published an article entitled “Changing the Face of Study Abroad”. It’s an interesting read and I thought many readers might find it of interest. You can access the article here:

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Grateful Dead to Reunite and Play PSU in Support of Barack Obama

Following up on the February, 2008 show of the surviving members of the Grateful Dead in support of Barack Obama they will reunite again October 13th at Penn State University in support of the Obama campaign. The Obama campaign has received support from other musicians when Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds performed a benefit for Obama at the University of Indiana in April.

You can read more here:

Monday, September 22, 2008

Increase in the number of German students studying abroad

The DAAD reported in its September 12th weekly newsletter that Germany is seeing an increase in the number of German students studying abroad at foreign universities. According to the German Federal Statistics Office (Destatis), the number of German students studying abroad increased 7.5% over last year and that the number has nearly doubled since 1996. Approximately 4.8% of German students study abroad each year with top destinations being the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Austria and Switzerland.

Call for Papers - Phi Beta Delta Honor Society for International Scholars

Phi Beta DeltaHonor Society for International Scholars

Twenty-Third Annual International Conference on the World’s Shared KnowledgeComing together at the Water’s Edge: Cooperation and Collaboration in a Changing Global Environment

April 2–3, 2009 — Miami, Florida

Phi Beta Delta’s annual conference is intended to provide a welcoming and collegial venue foracademicians, students, and professionals in all fields to engage in discussion on international topics and issues across disciplines. The emphasis is to engage in discussion and professional growth with others inside and outside one’s own particular discipline. Consequently, we encourage submissions representing all areas of study; ones that offer insights from multiple disciplines and perspectives will be particularly welcome.

As we gather together at the water’s edge on the southeastern tip of the Florida peninsula, we seek to explore what it means to be a member of the community of international learners faced with the challenges—and opportunities—that arise out of a changing global environment. How can cooperation and collaboration expand our ability to overcome these challenges and avail ourselves of the opportunities that exist? What do these new challenges and opportunities mean for those of us who seek greater cooperation and collaboration within our community of international learners? What lessons have we learned from the past and what insights can we gain from our artistic and literary expression of the human experience that can help us face the challenges of a changing global environment? It is questions like these that we will explore “together at the water’s edge.”

Instructions for Authors: Submissions require the following:
(1) one page that includes author’s name, title/position, institution, postal address, email address, office phone, fax number (if available), and the title of your paper; and

(2) a second page with the title and short (300 words) abstract of your paper, list of key words, and an introduction that summarizes the contributions of the paper at a level appropriate for anon-specialist reader.

Please submit these items via electronic means in MS Word to by November 15, 2008. Submissions will be acknowledged via email by December 1, 2008. Final abstracts of accepted submissions will be posted on the Society’s website after the conference’s conclusion. Additional details regarding registration for the conference will be posted on the website shortly.

For more information regarding paper submissions, please contact:
Guillermo de los Reyes, Ph.D.

Department of Hispanic Studies

University of Houston

413 Agnes Arnold Hall

Houston, TX 77204-3006

Fax: 713-743-0935


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Status of Posts this Week

Dear Readers,

On Friday, September 12th my wife and I had a baby boy so I've been a little busy adjusting to life with a third child and have had limited access to the internet as well as news on international education issues for postings. I hope to resume regular posts in the coming days.

Friday, September 12, 2008

HR1070 Study Abroad Bill in Illinois General Assembly

During my recent research efforts I came across a bill (HR1070) submitted to the Illinois General Assembly which essentially requests that the Illinois Board of Higher Education investigate funding options to State universities for study abroad programs. The bill was first introduced by Rep. Maria Antonia Berrios on March 6th with additional co-sponsors Reps. Kevin McCarthy and Jack McGuire joining in May. The bill was re-referred to the Rules Committee on July 1st where it currently remains today.

Simply google "HR 1070" and it will be the first link in the search.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Short-Term Study Abroad Credits

There was an interesting article in today’s entitled “Calculating Credits for Short-Term Study Abroad”. The article demonstrates a great variety of approaches to institutional policies in awarding transfer credit for courses (taken internationally or domestically). You can access the article here:

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

American International Recruitment Council (AIRC)

An interesting new organization has been formed recently to focus on international recruitment efforts of U.S. higher education institutions. The American International Recruitment Council (AIRC) is a non-profit organization made up of educational institutions in the United States. The AIRC website indicates the organization’s purpose as follows:

“The purpose of the organization is to i) develop standards of ethical practice pertaining to recruitment of international students to American educational institutions, such standards to address two constituencies: Educational Institutions and Student Recruitment Agents; ii) develop best practices and training to assist overseas student recruitment agents and institutions themselves to better serve both students seeking admission to American educational institutions, and iii) establish a framework through which participating agents can have their practices certified. In addition, the organization may undertake other activities as are necessary to accomplish its goals.”

You can access the AIRC website here:

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

NAFSA 2008 Presidential Election Resources

I thought several readers might be interested in the resources NAFSA has compiled and is hosting on its website about the 2008 Presedential Election. For frequent readers of this blog you know that I feature and discuss public diplomacy and soft power from time to time and this web resources provides many great resources in this area. You can access NAFSA's site here:

Monday, September 8, 2008

Key Conceptual Frameworks of Social Justice of each of the Three Social Theoretical Perspectives Concerning Education

Defining social justice can be a difficult thing. Not only individually but also collectively. When applied to the three social theoretical perspectives concerning education, the concept of social justice can have very different meanings. Within the functionalism perspective, the concept of social justice generally refers to the equality of educational opportunity. Specifically, rewards will be granted and achieved on the basis of achievement (Feinberg and Soltis). Feinberg and Soltis further explain this as “the idea of equal opportunity means that individuals are to be chosen for certain roles and rewarded on the basis of achieved, rather than ascribed, characteristics.” A good example of educational advancement based on achievement can be found in the Kjeldal, Rindfleish and Sherridan article “Deal-Making and Rule-Breaking: Behind the Façade of Equity in Academia.” In Australia (and arguably in numerous other countries, including the United States), women have been historically underrepresented in academic positions above the senior lecturer level. Kjeldal, Rindfleish and Sherridan provide interesting data showing that 15.5% of men are above the senior lecturer position while only 3.5% of women were in positions above the senior lecturer level. While there is certainly a system of achievement equaling advancement the authors found that due to academic employment in historically lower level positions led to lower levels achievement. In other words, women were not in positions to receive grant funds or have the time outside of teaching to conduct research, both of which can lead to advancement beyond the senior lecturer level. Another example of this is found in the O’Connor article where she is discussing Kingston’s theory that teachers place high value on certain characteristics such as ability, hard work, staying out of trouble, etc. and that this does not reflect social biases that produce high achievement but “professionally informed assessments of which characteristics are essential to high academic and subsequent social achievement.” O’Connor further describes Kingston’s view and states “hard work, ability, articulateness, and staying out of trouble are wholly objective and culturally unambiguous phenomena.”

The conflict theorist’s view of social justice in education would be one of structural equality. In other words, there would be no struggle for power and that competition and achievement would have no place in the school. In a certain way, the EEO legislation in Australia (and in the United States) is an effort to create such a structural equality. Certainly functionalism is at play in this article about women academic in Australia as competition and achievement are driving the desire to gain power by advancing to high levels in the educational system. However, the conflict theorist would argue for a level playing field in the selection of academic positions beyond the senior lecturer position. The real question is how does one determine who is qualified and what would the selection criteria be? O’Connor provides a good discussion on social identity and what I believe relates to conflict theory. Specifically, O’Connor states:

“At the structural level, social identities reflect divisions in society that are marked by systematic material and/or power inequalities. Thus, class identity is marked by the fact that those with wealth have privilege and power compared to those without…Thus women, unlike men, are subordinated by sexism; minorities, unlike whites, are subordinated by racism; and the poor and working class, unlike the middle class, are subordinated by classism. It is these three structural divisions – race, class, and gender – that have generally preoccupied sociologists of education.”

The concept of social justice in the interpretivist approach to education can, in my opinion, vary from school to school of from culture to culture. The interpretivist approach to social justice is society specific (society can be any size) and not universal. In the Kjeldal, Rindfleish and Sherridan the issue of social justice from an interpretivist viewpoint is limited to women advancing in academia in Australia and the country’s EEO legislation and hiring practices and does not apply to the United States or other countries of the world. O’Connor provides an interpretivist’s view of social justice by stating “making sense of social identity is further complicated by the fact that social identities are also reflected and refracted differently across space…Thus, the experience of being black, male, and poor for example, is not exactly the same from one nation to the next, one school to the next, one family to the next, or one historical period to the next.

All three social theoretical perspectives concerning education have a different concept of social justice and how it can be realized in schools.


Feinberg, Walter & Jomas F. Soltis. School and Society. (4th ed.). (2004). New York: Teachers College, Columbia University Press.

Kjeldal, Sue-Ellen, Jennifer Rindfleish and Alison Sherridan. “Deal-Making and Rule-Breaking: Behind the Façade of Equity in Academia,” Gender and Education, Vol. 17 no. 4 (2005): 431-447.

O’Connor, Carla. “Making Sense of the Complexity of Social Identity in Relation to Achievement: A Sociological Challenge in the New Millenium,” Sociology of Education (2001) 159-168.