Journal of Continuing Higher Education, 57:1–9, 2009
Copyright © 2009, Association for Continuing Higher Education
ISSN 07...
2 • Global Connections to Global Partnerships

dimension into the purpose, functions and delivery of
higher education.
The Journal of Continuing Higher Education • 3

employment during their studies and upon completion.
Moreover, they are an...
4 • Global Connections to Global Partnerships

resources, strategic goals, and international experience
and expertise. The...
The Journal of Continuing Higher Education • 5


Comprehensive and in-depth opportunities to master
6 • Global Connections to Global Partnerships

continuing education leaders in these discussions? A partial
answer is that...
The Journal of Continuing Higher Education • 7

Does the unit partner with the campus international office
(e.g., managing ...
8 • Global Connections to Global Partnerships

presented at The Guardian Higher Education
Summit, London, UK.
Olcott, D. J...
The Journal of Continuing Higher Education • 9

Appendix A
Recommendations on Managing Effective



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  1. 1. Journal of Continuing Higher Education, 57:1–9, 2009 Copyright © 2009, Association for Continuing Higher Education ISSN 0737-7363 DOI: 10.1080/07377360902804085 Global Connections to Global Partnerships: Navigating the Changing Landscape of Internationalism and Cross-Border Higher Education Don Olcott, Jr. Abstract. The purpose of this article is to provide continuing higher education leaders with a comprehensive overview of the major considerations for doing business in the global market. Included is an analysis of the driving forces in global higher education and current trends in cross-border programs and a brief review of activities that may be part of a university’s internationalism strategy. This is followed by a discussion of selected challenges for universities exploring global opportunities. The article concludes with perspectives on the role of continuing education units in supporting a university’s internationalism strategy and offers a summary of effective strategies for managing global partnerships. The author argues that continuing education leaders must position their units strategically at the internationalism table and conduct an inventory of the unit’s proven attributes that align with global program delivery. Most important, they must recognize that the ‘rules of the game’ for doing business globally require openness to different language, cultural, social, legal, and educational norms. uring the past decade the international higher education landscape has changed dramatically. We have seen increased mobility among students and more universities engaged in cross-border delivery of higher education programs through branch campuses, distance education, and blended approaches to educational delivery (Verbik & Merkley, 2006). New public and private providers have entered the global higher education arena. Cross-border higher education has increasingly become a competitive feature of the international landscape. In some instances, home country students may forego formal study abroad programs if foreign providers are offering flexible, culturally sensitive, academic programs in their home language and/or English via distance technologies or a hybrid of distance and faceto-face delivery modalities (Olcott, 2008a). Conversely, distance education and cross-border delivery inherently faces some major pedagogical, logistical, language, D cultural, and social challenges. It truly is a brave new world in the international higher education arena. Driving this global transformation are diverse and complex forces, including economic competition, advances in technology, English as the global language of commerce, employee mobility, workforce development, multiculturalism, emerging markets, and global migration (McBurnie & Ziguras, 2007). University leaders are redefining the international dimensions of their institutions in response to globalization. Globalization may be viewed as the worldwide flow of people, technology, economy, ideas, knowledge, and culture. Internationalism may be viewed as part of globalisation by its focus on relations between nations, people, and culture (Knight, 2005). Internationalism, viewed as a major response to globalisation, evolves in colleges and universities in diverse ways and for varying institutional reasons. Knight (2005) has discussed the role of internationalism in universities and the importance of integrating an international, intercultural and/or global Don Olcott, Jr. is chief executive of The Observatory on Borderless Higher Education in London.
  2. 2. 2 • Global Connections to Global Partnerships dimension into the purpose, functions and delivery of higher education. The increasing development of campus-based internationalism and cross-border higher education is, to a large extent, a direct response by universities to building an economic competitive edge that is driving the national agendas of many countries. For many nations, the short-term strategy of tapping into the expertise, research, and knowledge base of highly developed educational systems (e.g., U.S., UK, Australia, Germany, France, and so on) is preferable to expending exponential resources domestically to gear up. The long-term strategy is for these nations, particularly in East Asia and the Gulf States, to develop a high quality, sustainable higher education system domestically. The purpose of this article is to provide continuing higher education leaders with a comprehensive overview of the major considerations for doing business in international markets. The first section will examine the driving forces in global higher education, current trends in cross-border programs, and a brief review of the internal and external activities that may be part of a university’s internationalism strategy. The second section will examine some selected challenges for universities exploring global opportunities. These include global resistance to distance learning, factors influencing international student destination choices, and the importance of responsive student services for campus and cross-border international students. The final section examines the role of continuing education units in supporting a university’s internationalism strategy, internal and external, and offers a summary of effective strategies for managing global partnerships. Playing on the International Stage: The Driving Forces for Higher Education What forces are driving this international transformation for higher education? First, the reductions in government funding for higher education in many countries has driven colleges and universities to become more entrepreneurial (McBurnie & Ziguras, 2007). This is certainly true in the U.K, the U.S., Australia, and other major international players. These ‘Big Three’ host the largest numbers of international students and unsurprisingly are also the three major providers of cross-border higher education (Verbik & Lasanowski, 2007). Although institutional leaders are reluctant to articulate publicly that the pursuit of alternative revenue sources is a primary goal for their international programs, it is certainly a driving factor for most universities. University leaders typically offer politically correct rhetoric that focuses on educational goals such as interna- tionalising the curriculum, preparing students for a global society, collaborative research, and the value of exposing and immersing students (and faculty) among and within a diverse multi-cultural, global society (Olcott 2008d, 2008a). Indeed, these factors are also important and valuable dimensions for visionary leaders. However, attracting more international students who pay significantly higher tuition and fees is, in fact, a major motivation for many institutions. Similarly, cross-border programs are also focused on revenue enhancement to strengthen institutional budgets. Olcott (2008a, p. 5) sums up the challenge for institutional leaders attempting to build international programs and placate stakeholders on their campus. He writes: And, if you have to redistribute existing institutional resources to even contemplate supporting your internal or external international program activities, who benefits and who loses? The academy is made up of competing interest groups all having a stake in institutional resources. Are you going to take resources away from academic programs? No. Are you planning to limit faculty raises or professional development funds? No. Are you going to propose tuition and/or fee increases for the fifth time in four years? Not if you’re smart. What are you going to do and how are you going to do it? Common sense suggests that your internationalism strategy must be an extension of your mission and long-term strategic plan. Paradoxically, the mounting pressures for universities to secure alternative funding sources sometimes mean common sense does not prevail. A second factor is that the demand for higher education globally is out-pacing capacity. Paradoxically, this demand over capacity is misleading because many qualified students often face various barriers and obstacles such as available resources, family obligations, employment commitments, and selecting the ‘right time’ to go to university. The result is that despite the increasing pool of qualified applicants, the competition among institutions for the current market is very competitive. In countries that charge major tuition and fees, many leaders are concerned that providing affordable and accessible public higher education is becoming increasingly difficult. Additional factors are driving this global transformation. The growing interconnectedness of a global society and economy is creating a more diversified and mobile workforce (Knight, 2005; McBurnie & Ziguras, 2007). Today’s students are seeking international destinations for
  3. 3. The Journal of Continuing Higher Education • 3 employment during their studies and upon completion. Moreover, they are analyzing the global market for countries that recognize their credentials and provide employment opportunities. In Europe, the Bologna Process and the Lisbon Declaration are collaborative initiatives designed to create a European Higher Education Area and a European Credit Transfer System that will (in theory) facilitate the transfer and recognition of credentials across borders and the mobility of students for employment with Europe (Adelman, 2008). The emergence of ‘English’ as the global language of commerce and a global society is also driving universities into the international arena. International students are increasingly exploring foreign institutions that offer a comprehensive English language program throughout their university program and supported by mentors and high quality international student services. These programs are growing particularly in the post-graduate arena. These students see their future employability and career aspirations intimately tied to having English in their arsenal of skills and talents. Trends in Cross-Border Higher Education The delivery of cross-border programs, research, and related services is a complex enterprise for most universities. Despite the growing number of international providers over the past five years, emerging trends suggest that this market will become increasingly competitive and that host countries will focus on partnerships with foreign institutions that can help them build their own high quality, sustainable higher education system and economy. Some of the current trends include the following. • • • • Host nations (nations and/or universities hosting foreign programs in their country) are becoming more selective of foreign providers (Helms, 2008). Asia, the Middle East, and Gulf States are the most active cross-border regions yet increasingly interregional partnerships are arising in these geographical areas Fazackerley & Worthington, 2007; McBurnie & Ziguras, 2007). Cross-border research exchange is a rapidly growing priority among nations (McBurnie & Ziguras, 2007; Thomas, 2007). Quality assurance oversight agencies, internal and external, are paying increasing attention to universities operating abroad (Helms, 2008; Stella, 2006; UNESCO/OECD, 2005; Woodhouse, 2006). • • Competition for internationally mobile students is growing more intense each year (Verbik & Lasanowski, 2007). New models of public-private partnerships are emerging in cross-border higher education among business, higher education, government, and community organizations (McBurnie & Ziguras 2007). The Dimensions of Internationalism for Colleges and Universities The various activities and functions that define internationalism have been categorized as either internal or external dimensions of internationalism (Knight, 2003; Middlehurst & Woodfield, 2007). The following are key dimensions of internationalism at home. • • • • • • • • Internationalizing the curriculum Study abroad programs Internationalization of research Comprehensive English language programs International recruitment of staff International faculty exchange programs Services and extra-curricular activities for international students Bologna process and Lisbon declaration The external dimensions of internationalism focus on the extension of academic programs, research, technology transfer, strategic partnerships, and related services and activities in the international arena. A few of the key external dimensions of internationalism (Middlehurst & Woodfield, 2007) of universities include: • • • • • • • • Establishment of branch campuses or regional offices abroad International distance learning programs Recruitment of international students Strategic alliances and partnerships with foreign universities, private corporations, and governments Overseas consultancy, exchange of curriculum and learning materials, quality assurance, and validation Staff and student exchanges International branding, marketing, and public relations for the institution Joint research and publication The scope and focus of these activities, internal and external, vary across institutions based on mission,
  4. 4. 4 • Global Connections to Global Partnerships resources, strategic goals, and international experience and expertise. The key strategic consideration, however, is that institutional leaders build their internationalism strategy in a coherent way that integrates the various internal and external activities into the educational mission of the institution. The pursuit of revenue, in and of itself, by recruiting international students to campus or establishing cross-border programs is not a valid strategic or mission related rationale for engaging in these activities by institutional leaders. Challenges for Universities Lost In Translation: Challenges for Global Distance Education Institutional leaders often convince themselves that distance delivery will accelerate their welcome on the international stage. In some respects, this would be an excellent strategy if the rest of world would just see the value-added simplicity in this approach. The rest of the world, however, is not quite ready to play. China, North and South Korea, Japan, the Gulf States, Eastern Europe, Russia, Malaysia, India, and other nations have publicly stated they want Western technology, academic programs, research, and technology transfer to help create sustainable economies, develop a multi-talented workforces, and ultimately build stable higher education systems at home (Olcott, Papi, & Newbould, 2008). At the same time, the credibility of these Western resources appears to be directly related to having real people (academics, researchers, business executives, and so on) on the ground in country (Olcott, 2008d). The net result of these views is that the majority of cross-border higher education is being delivered at branch campuses, corporate sites, and through unique public-private partnerships. There are, of course, exceptions, and international students do take online and video-based courses, but proportionally these numbers are relatively small. From an instructional design perspective, it is not surprising that foreign universities and governments have been resistant to embracing external distance learning providers. Faculty can relate anecdotes demonstrating the inherent challenges in teaching foreign students and the potential for language, cultural, and social miscommunication. Online teaching exacerbates these issues and creates a whole new range of challenges for faculty (Olcott, Papi, & Newbould, 2008). Technology is not culturally neutral, and even English is contextual, like most other languages, with potential for miscommunications. The fact is we know very little about the interconnected dynamics of culture, language, and social norms of academic communications delivered via media. We have many assumptions but these do not equate to sound teaching and learning paradigms that are grounded in empirical research. Given that China may be the largest English-speaking nation on the planet in the next few years, it would seem prudent to begin addressing these pedagogical issues now rather than later (Helms, 2008; Olcott, Papi, & Newbould, 2008). These teaching challenges are also intimately tied to the quality assurance measures of international programs (Helms, 2008; Knight, 2003; Knight & de Wit, 1999; Stella, 2006; UNESCO/OECD, 2005; Woodhouse, 2006). We might argue that we employ the same quality standards for international student programs, yet we have not accounted for these language, cultural, and social differences. Going international through distance education will require these issues to be addressed in systematic and meaningful ways. This can only be accomplished through research and the development of new pedagogical models. Visionary leaders who desire to play on the international stage will take the necessary time to ensure these issues have been addressed. Factors Affecting International Student Destination Choices As competition for international student markets increase, competing institutions will conduct more sophisticated analyses of the factors that influence student choice. Perhaps historically institutional reputation and quality may have driven where international students desired to study abroad. Today, however, the increasing mobility of students globally suggests that additional factors will become increasingly important. This does not suggest that institutional credibility, brand, and quality are less important in the global market. Rather it suggests that these composite factors will play a more influential role in student choices in the immediate future. Verbik & Lasanowski (2007) reported the following factors that are increasingly influencing student destination choices for international study. • • • • • Institutional and program reputation Social and cultural opportunities of institution, country, and region Cost Financial assistance and employment opportunities during and following program completion Streamlined immigration and visa requirements and procedures
  5. 5. The Journal of Continuing Higher Education • 5 • • • Comprehensive and in-depth opportunities to master English Historical linkages between home country and the UK Research facilities and resources The key, however, is predicting which combinations of these factors will drive international student choices for the future. More and more international students are looking regionally rather than internationally due to increasing costs and the proliferation of study abroad opportunities in their region. As this market becomes more competitive, assessing the relative importance of these choice factors will become equally important. The 3S Global Village on Campus: Socialization, Support and Services The East Asian region, for example, includes the countries of China, North and South Korea, Japan, Mongolia, Taiwan, and eastern Russia. East Asian students comprise a large sector of the international student populations in the U.S. and the UK, and these numbers are likely to increase over the next decade. What must administrators do to ensure a quality education experience for these students and other international students? The socialization process is the first major challenge. Most East Asian students will align with their peers from their home country or region, even when attending an institution in the U.S. or UK. This is natural but somewhat antithetical to creating a dynamic learning and living environment for international students. Campus administrators, faculty, and staff must help these students ‘reach out’ to English students and engage in mutually rewarding intellectual, social, and cultural activities. Most international students are thousands of miles from home, and they need both home connections and new connections with the campus community (McBurnie & Ziguras, 2007; UNESCO/OECD, 2005). Universities must equally provide high levels of personal support for international students. Counseling, advising, employment opportunities, academic tutors, and health services are all important ‘personal’ support issues to these students. Moreover, university staff must educate the local community about their international student population and build international bridges between the university and the community. Given the often controversial issues arising over immigration policy in the U.S. and the UK, the university must embrace its responsibility for ensuring their international students feel welcome in their new living environment (Helms, 2008; Olcott, 2008d). Developing an agenda of social activities, clubs, travel excursions, and cultural celebrations all send a message to these students about the value the university places on their welfare, education, and assimilation into the local campus and community. Continuing Higher Education: Navigating Uncharted Waters at the Global Level The interplay between the delivery of continuing higher education (CHE) at the local and state levels versus national and international delivery creates a range of complex challenges for most continuing education units. This is particularly true in the U.S., where the majority of continuing education units have primarily served students within a specific state due to regulatory issues restricting interstate delivery, the broader resistance to using public moneys to fund academic delivery outside the state, and the preference by many academic units to ensure their programs remain within reasonable proximity to the campus. Although there are certainly a number of exceptions to this focus on local and state delivery, new opportunities for CHE in the global higher education marketplace may provide increased possibilities in the future. Moreover, historically continuing education units have played a minor role in campus internationalism strategies such as the recruitment of international students, internationalizing the curriculum, faculty exchange programs, international research partnerships, and even negotiating global program delivery. As we have seen, the number and type of external international activities (e.g., credit programs, noncredit programs, research partnerships, creation of branch campuses, and multi-discipline training programs) is growing globally. The first challenge facing continuing education leaders is how to position the unit within the mainstream of campus internationalism and strategy discussions. Continuing education leaders must be at the discussion table. At first glance, the reason would appear obvious. The overwhelming majority of international programs delivered abroad are financed on a cost-recovery, self-sustaining business plan. These programs, similar to continuing education programs, must pay for themselves. Continuing education units also have vast experience in developing partnerships for various types of credit and noncredit programs delivered externally. These units have worked closely with academic units, technology services, quality and assessment units, and the various student services units who support off-campus students. Why overlook
  6. 6. 6 • Global Connections to Global Partnerships continuing education leaders in these discussions? A partial answer is that global partnerships often emanate from different places and by different players in the university. The exclusion is not necessarily intentional; it is simply the complexity of factors in today’s global market. One university president noted how much more complex a partnership negotiation with the Chinese was compared with a new program negotiated with a school district or local corporation. This observation accentuates the fact that international partnerships with other universities and countries usually involve the senior leadership team of the university. The president usually is the point person in the development of these partnerships, particularly during the early stages. In some instances, the potential partnership may involve research exchange(s) which require key campus administrators and faculty in this arena to participate in the discussions. And, as Helms (2008) clearly points out, most global partnerships have a personal ex-patriot from the potential host country at the U.S. institution who has been instrumental in getting initial discussions off the ground. These personal ambassadors are often critical and convey a level of credibility and cultural sensitivity to potential foreign partners. If we add in the dean of the college, the department chairperson, the vice president for finance, institutional legal counsel, and various faculty and governance representatives, it becomes clear that the number of players involved is significantly broader than those involved in a new noncredit program or degree program offered within the state. The key strategy for continuing education leaders is to engage key campus colleagues involved in various aspects of internationalism on a continual basis, not just when a specific program is proposed to Brazil, China, or another country. Administrators who are left out may simply not be paying attention to where their campuses are going, literally. CHE leaders need to ask if their units are considered a value-added asset of the institution’s global arsenal of services, why or why not, and by whom. A second challenge for leaders is to recognize that continuing education does not need to be a partner in every global initiative. As a unit that must nominally be self-sustaining from program revenues, it needs to be well positioned enough to gracefully bow out of certain partnerships without alienating campus allies. Paradoxically, one moment we worry we are not included in these partnerships, while the next moment we might vividly recognize that a particular partnership is not in the best interests of the unit. One primary example in today’s global higher education marketplace might be China. A U.S. university partnering in China absolutely must have a Chinese partner institution as part of the agreement (Helms, 2008). Moreover, even with the recent quasideregulation of government oversight of higher education in China that gives more autonomy to the provinces, the delivery of foreign degree programs must still have approval by the Ministry of Education in Beijing. Conversely, the delivery of noncredit, graduate, or undergraduate programs, can be done at the provincial level. This means that a U.S. university must enter into a legally binding partnership with a Chinese university which can only be authorized following campus approvals by the president. The point is that a continuing education unit which may often enter into legally binding partnerships within the state (along with the academic dean of the program offered) does not have the legal authority to finalize partnerships in other countries. There is also a requirement in China that program partnerships generally recycle financial revenues back into refining and strengthening the program. Viewed from another perspective, it is very difficult to transfer moneys out of China. Given continuing education’s reliance on self-sustaining revenues, this is problematic in many cases. These examples illustrate just a few of the challenges, and China is not unique. If we consider additional obstacles such as a general preference for face-to-face instruction (hence the predominance of global branch campuses) over global distance learning, cultural and language differences, and different approaches to negotiation, expectations, and legal systems, going global involves a complicated myriad of issues faced by most U.S. universities. Noncredit programs provide continuing education units with program, pricing, and instructional flexibility to offer these program with few restrictions on locales, duration, timeline formats, and delivery approaches (e.g., blended learning, e-learning, and face-to-face). One of the fastest growing sectors of American continuing education is in the area of graduate and post-graduate certificate programs. Prudent universities and their continuing education units may wish to explore this market nationally and internationally over the next three to five years. Universities that can integrate sensitive curriculum that addresses language, culture, and geographic preferences will likely be able to develop market niches on a global level. A third challenge is related to the ‘international’ characteristics of the university’s continuing education unit. Most often this is an area that few CHE units have even contemplated. Does the unit reflect cultural or language diversity in its staff, the type of and disciplines of programs offered, in its internal and external partner organizations?
  7. 7. The Journal of Continuing Higher Education • 7 Does the unit partner with the campus international office (e.g., managing the English language program for the campus)? Does the unit have any global experience? Has the unit conducted an inventory of these attributes and addressed them in its strategic plan and how these align with the international dimensions of the institutional strategic plan? Last, has the unit (and institution) documented its partnership history for managing effective partnerships and the fundamental strategies for partnership creation and sustainability? (Appendix A provides a summary of effective strategies for managing international partnerships). Summary The dramatic increase in internationalism and crossborder higher education by universities is changing the face of global higher education. Today, universities have more opportunities for serving campus-based international students and extending their programs and research on the international stage. Students also have more choices than ever before in navigating their educational future. Continuing higher education has many valuable assets and expertise for supporting a university’s internationalization strategy, particularly external initiatives. Moreover, continuing education units have a unique opportunity to foster stronger collaborations with the diverse campus units that serve international students and faculty on the campus. At the same time, the university and its outreach units must recognize that doing business with global partners is not synonymous with doing business with partners locally or across the state. More importantly for U.S. institutions, is the willingness to embrace and understand the diverse language, cultural, social, legal, and educational values of their foreign partners. We can never understand or be successful in building global partnerships if we believe that the only rules of the game are the ones we normally practice or the ones we with which we are most comfortable. They do not work, and they will not work no matter how convinced we are they are right. In the end, this will take more than just a superficial familiarity with another country and its culture. It means unlearning some of the strategies that work well in our world view yet are often barriers when building global relationships. References Adelman, C. (2008). The Bologna Club. What U.S. higher education can learn from a decade of European reconstruction. Washington, DC: Institute for Higher Education Policy. Retrieved January 31, 2009 from TheBolognaClub.pdf. Altbach, P. G., & Peterson, P. M. (2007). (Eds.). Higher education in the new century: Global challenges and innovative ideas. Boston: Centre for International Higher Education, Boston College and Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Sense Publishers. Connelly, S. T., Garton, J., & Olsen, A. (2006). Models and types: Guidelines for good practice in transnational education. London: The Observatory on Borderless Higher Education. Fazackerley, A., & Worthington, P. (Eds.). (2007). British universities in China: The reality beyond the rhetoric. London: Agora. Retrieved January 31, 2009 from docs/Agora_China_Report.pdf Helms, R. M. (2008). Transnational education in china: Key challenges, critical issues and strategies for success. London: The Observatory on Borderless Higher Education. Knight, J., & de Wit, H. (Eds). (1999). Quality and internationalisation in higher education. Paris: Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. Knight, J. (2003). Internationalisation: Developing an institutional self-portrait, readings for EOTU Project. Toronto: University of Toronto. Retrieved January 31, 2009 from events/Illinoisnovfinal.pdf. Knight, J. (2005). Borderless, offshore, transnational and cross-border education: Definition and data dilemmas. London: The Observatory on Borderless Higher Education. McBurnie, G., & Ziguras, C. (2007). Transnational education: Issues and trends in offshore higher education. London: Routledge. Middlehurst, R., & Woodfield, S. (2007). International activity or internationalization strategy? Insights from an institutional pilot study in the UK. Tertiary Education and Management, 13, 263–279. Olcott, D. J. (2008a). Rock n’ on the international stage: Commentary on internationalism, cross-border higher education and distance learning—Lessons for presidents who care enough to do what is right. Distance Education Report, 12(11), 5–7. Olcott, D. J. (2008b, February). Managing international partnerships. Strategies for success. Paper
  8. 8. 8 • Global Connections to Global Partnerships presented at The Guardian Higher Education Summit, London, UK. Olcott, D. J., Papi, C., & Newbould, D. (2008). Building global bridges to the future: Opportunities and challenges for cross-border distance education. Proceedings of the 2008 European Distance and E-Learning Network (EDEN) International Conference. Budapest, Hungary: EDEN Secretariat. Olcott, D. J. (2008d). Going global: Perils and promises for open and distance education, Distance Learning, 5(3), 81–89. Stella, A. (2006, September). Quality assurance of cross-border higher education in Australia. Presented at UNESCO Seminar on Regulation in Cross-Border higher Education: Issues and Trends: 21–22, New Delhi, India. Thomas, E. (2007, November). Defining the global university. Position paper presented the OBHEWUN conference “Realising the Global University,” London, England. UNESCO/OECD. (2005). Guidelines for Quality Provision in Cross-Border Higher Education. Paris: Author. Verbik, L., & Lasanowski, V. (2007). International student mobility: Patterns and trends. London: The Observatory on Borderless Higher Education. Verbik, L., & Merkley, C. (2006). The international branch campus: Models and trends. London: The Observatory on Borderless Higher Education. Woodhouse, D. (2006). The quality of transnational education: A provider view. Quality in Higher Education, 12(3), 277–281.
  9. 9. The Journal of Continuing Higher Education • 9 Appendix A Recommendations on Managing Effective Partnerships • • • What are the most effective techniques? (a) You never have a second chance to make a first impression. Do your homework before, not after, you establish an international partnership. Research your partner organization, its culture, language, history, current partners, partnership record, financial stability, and how the organization is perceived in its own country. What do they bring to the table that you need? What are the potential benefits for both partners? (b) Build partnerships that compliment your organizational strengths? Does your potential partner view these attributes as your strengths? Why or why not? Do not attempt to be all things to all people. (c) Establish formative and summative performance review processes (managerial, programmatic, and financial) from the outset. Presume from the start that you will need to make adjustments, modifications and perhaps major alterations to your partnership strategy. Global economic, cultural, political, and social environments can change rapidly. Can you? How do you create sustainability? (a) Create a diversified investment strategy—one partner, but additional stakeholders who perceive value in the endeavor and may invest money, people, and time. Remember international partnerships particularly in higher education must be approached as a business venture. (b) Build contingencies into your budget planning. Every higher education budget on the planet looks good on paper, but when it hits the real world, the problems can start. Build your budgets based on real costs plus inflation and the projected costs of doing day-to-day business. (c) Conduct extensive market research on your customer(s) base. If your financial plan is highly dependent on student enrolment tuition and fees, analyze the changes that are occurring in this sector for the partnership country and surrounding region. Students are becoming more mobile and more selective with more higher education choices. Collaboration and the curriculum. (a) If your university-department is the primary content provider, you retain control of the curriculum, • • period. From a practical standpoint, however, connecting your faculty with international faculty in the partnership country can be beneficial and strengthen partnership collaboration. (b) Align curriculum delivered abroad with the process of ‘internationalizing’ the curriculum on the campus. Developing curriculum that is culturally, socially, historically, ethnically, and gender accurate and sensitive are prerequisites for all international curriculum. (c) Diversity your delivery modes. Can you deliver a significant part of the curriculum via educational technologies (distance learning)? How do you present your partnerships to internal and external stakeholders? (a) Leaders must be able to articulate how the partnership aligns, strengthens, and enhances the mission of the university. How will the partnership impact specific stakeholders? (b) Benefits–benefits-benefits. What are the benefits from the partnership? How will these benefits be assessed and by whom? (c) Provide status reports to all key stakeholders, particularly academic deans, faculty, and board members. (d) What is your exit strategy if the partnership must be terminated? Do you have an answer? Indeed, you will be asked this question by multiple stakeholders. Have you considered this from a public relations, reputation, and marketing perspective? Staff diversity to reflect the partnership. (a) For foreign-based partnerships, hire local staff to strengthen instruction and support services. Take advantage of the culturally- and languagerich human resources available to support your program and partnerships (b) For campus-based partnerships, ensure you have diverse staff with the communication, language, cultural awareness, and social skills to interact effectively with your international students. (c) Ensure that partnership staff, faculty, and students have multiple opportunities for sharing comments, suggestions, and recommendations. This should be an essential part of the partnership and program assessment process. Note: Sources for recommendations are Altbach & Peterson, 2007; Connelly, Garton & Olsen, 2006; McBurnie & Ziguras, 2007; Olcott, 2008b