When American colleges propose forging collaborations or building campuses in places like Abu Dhabi or Dubai, questions about human rights and whether gender, religion or sexuality could limit access or opportunities are never far behind. In most cases (though not all), colleges succeed in largely quelling those concerns when it comes to operating in the United Arab Emirates.
In many discussions about the international standing of American higher education, China is the 800-pound gorilla -- the emerging scientific and technological superpower whose newfound focus on building a first-class postsecondary system poses a major threat to the national economic competitiveness and individual well being in the United States.
In many quarters within American higher education, Education Secretary Margaret Spellings is viewed (unfairly, she and her supporters would argue) as an almost single-minded advocate for more, and more standardized, measurement of how well college students are educated. The position of Spellings's Education Department on testing has made her unpopular with many college leaders and faculty members in the United States.