WASHINGTON -- Sudirman, a graduate of the Muhammadiyah teaching college in Surakarta, Indonesia, did not need an American education to wind up memorialized in a six-foot portrait on the wall of the Indonesian embassy. But then again, driving out Dutch colonialists is not as big an industry today as it was in the 1940s.
The enrollment of foreign students in undergraduate and graduate programs in the United States has suffered as a result of the worldwide economic crisis -- but perhaps not as much as many have feared, a report from the National Science Foundation suggests.
In 2000, researchers began an ambitious effort to document the academic outcomes of study abroad across the 35-institution University System of Georgia. Ten years later, they’ve found that students who study abroad have improved academic performance upon returning to their home campus, higher graduation rates, and improved knowledge of cultural practices and context compared to students in control groups. They’ve also found that studying abroad helps, rather than hinders, academic performance of at-risk students.
NEW YORK -- What do you do, asked a fund raiser in the audience, when a prospective donor from Asia asks how much he has to give to get an honorary degree?
From a scan of the room here at the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, it appeared that some were horrified that the question was asked and others were unfazed. (Not coincidentally, the audience was a mix of those who already have ambitious fund raising goals abroad and those hoping to start them.)
It’s not uncommon for colleges to discontinue academic programs overseas for financial reasons. But Centenary College, in New Jersey, is shutting down an M.B.A. program in Asia to contain a plagiarism epidemic. About 400 students are currently enrolled in the program at locations in Beijing, Shanghai and Taiwan.
U.S. colleges have increasingly turned to for-profit companies for help in recruiting international students. Now, with the growing popularity of “pathway” programs -- which feature a hybrid of credit-bearing coursework and instruction in English language and academic skills -- some institutions are also outsourcing the responsibility for teaching and supporting international students their first year on campus.
The status of the United States in the international higher education ecosystem -- and, particularly, whether it is losing its longstanding place atop the global pecking order -- is a topic of escalating discussion and, in some circles, hand-wringing.