Liz Reisberg

Liz Reisberg is an independent consultant in higher education, formerly associated with the Center for International Higher Education at Boston College. In the past she has worked in university administration at several universities and taught in the graduate program in higher education administration at Boston College.  Whe works with ministries of education, universities and international donor organizations throughout the world. Themes of her research and other activities include quality assurance in higher education, the challenges of access and equity, and new approaches to university curriculum and pedagogy. Much of her work has focused on Latin America.

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Most Recent Articles

November 25, 2012
More than orientation for international students, institutions that welcome students from abroad need to consider international orientation for their professors and national students. We tend to put the burden of bridging the cultural divides on the international students — they are in a new country and expected to adapt. After all, they made a choice.  But when this accommodation moves in only one direction, much is lost.
November 14, 2012
Canada’s Waterloo University is shutting down after failing to make enrollment targets in Dubai at the same time that George Mason University is going to give it another go in Korea after a failed venture in the United Arab Emirates. What makes the desire for a foreign outpost so appealing?
October 8, 2012
It is too easy to forget that communicating is much more than words and that language is anchored in culture.  There are many words and phrases that simply do not translate and when people attempt to convey cultural concepts in a foreign language, meaning is often lost, or at least changed. 
September 18, 2012
Emory’s decision to shut down several programs should not be so shocking as it represents the trend in US higher education to follow, not lead, American society.  The decision reminds us that even established, prestigious institutions like Emory are not free from the influence of “the market”.  Although Emory’s decision is understandable on practical grounds, this should set off alarms for educators everywhere.  
August 30, 2012
Latin America remains locked into a content-laden notion of university education.  After all, universities in the region have a long tradition of preparing professionals. In many countries the university degree is equivalent to a professional license, making it more critical to stuff a student’s brain with as much discipline-specific knowledge as possible. This paradigm may have been effective during the last century, but is it still the best way to prepare future generations of university graduates?  
July 15, 2012
Why do universities want foreign students? If institutions are willing to pay a commission for them, then it feels a lot like a business transaction with the expectation of a good ROI (return on investment) — pay a commission and expect an ROI in the form of full tuition and fees.
December 13, 2011
Peru is one of the last countries in South America to implement an accreditation program for higher education.  And the experience has been different than elsewhere. 
November 14, 2011
The good news is that at several public universities in Brazil, students are being allowed space in the curriculum to add classes of their own choosing to the pre-defined program of study.  Okay, most of these choices must be made within their area of study.  But there is also an allowance to choose a certain number of credits from any degree program offered at the university.  That’s where the good news ends
November 2, 2011
A few nights ago I was sitting at the dinner table with colleagues from Brazil trying to explain the US higher education system.  You never realize how complicated US higher education is until you try to explain it to someone. What does it mean to be a private university in the US? 
October 4, 2011
Accreditation is about as ambiguous a measure as anyone could imagine. Yet, being “accredited” has tremendous value in the academic world. In the United States, it is a benchmark that suggests that a “certain” standard has been met. But that benchmark covers many very different kinds of institutions with different missions, resources, infrastructure, and constituents. We are invariably awarding the same level of validation to apples, oranges, bananas, kumquats, and lingonberries.


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