Posts Tagged 'foreign'

Exporting American Universities – Lessons From the Japanese Experience

A recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education gives some background on the failure of American Universities in Japan during the 1980s.  Of the forty American Universities which opened in Japan during that period, only one university, Temple University, has managed to survive to the present as a full university.  Generally, these branch universities were meant to serve as sort of a portal to the central University back in the United States in the first years, allowing Japanese students to earn university credits back home before transferring to the central University in the U.S.  However, the hope was that many of these branch universities would establish themselves as full-service universities eventually.  Those hopes were clearly overoptimistic.

The failure of American universities in Japan has not stopped American universities from attempting to export higher education, although it does seem to have taught university administrators a few lessons.  An increasingly popular model now is for American universities to partner with local universities in China, South Korea, and Vietnam, for example.  Thus, schools have found a way to reduce the risk of opening a campus abroad, but will this partnership approach diminish the quality of the university education being exported?

U.K. Universities and Recruiters Criticized for Treating Foreign Students as "Cash Cows"

In a scathing criticism of university administrators in the U.K., British Council Chief Executive, Martin Davidson, accuses certain U.K. universities of treating foreign students as “cash cows”.  Davidson implies that the students are being admitted for their tuition dollars instead of their minds.  He frames their new appreciation of international students as a gimmick meant to patch up their budgets at a time of financial hardship.  Davidson’s criticism gets to the crux of an increasingly prevalent phenomenon among Anglophone universities worldwide.

Can one really blame universities for adjusting their admissions policies to bring in more tuition revenue?  The British Council seems to think so.  Perhaps the element missing in the approach of these universities is a true commitment to diversity and international engagement.  That commitment would make a university’s efforts to attract international students more constructive and enduring.

For now, the number one priority for U.K. universities should be to mitigate the damage of this attack from the British Council.  The reverberations of this criticism could extend into the admissions cycle for next year.