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Global Education

The Fulbright program is designed to facilitate cultural exchange and understanding, and Fulbright’s Group Projects Abroad allow small, focused cohorts of American teachers and scholars to travel and to learn together. In June 2017, a number of Gettysburg College faculty and K-12 teachers from South Central PA traveled to China to study points of similarity and disparity between the American and Chinese educational systems.

There are many ways in which higher education engages in cross-border education. The most common remain study abroad opportunities for students. In the last decade, however, colleges and universities have begun to extend their international presence to include branch campuses to better position students to enter a globally-connected workforce, improve global rankings, tap into alternative revenue streams and respond to foreign investment interests.  

American colleges and universities are becoming far more internationally focused. The rise in the number of foreign students on U.S. campuses is well-documented, with an 8 percent increase in foreign students seeking education at a U.S. college or university between the 2013-2014 school year alone, according to the Institute for International Education’s Open Doors report. Our higher education institutions are continuing to be recognized around the world for top-quality research and education.

Cultivating a campus culture that embodies both global diversity and interconnectivity should be central to the mission of universities today. Reminders persist that our current environment and economy are not confined to our immediate geographic surroundings. Modern-day technologies, transportation, international trade, and politics significantly diminish distances that used to seem great.

Bill S.744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, passed in the Senate in late June with bipartisan support

The Senate-approved approach to immigration reform could improve the country’s competitiveness by allowing green cards for STEM master’s graduates, and it would also create a pathway to citizenship for students brought to this country illegally as children.

And though the Republican controlled House is likely to produce its own, narrower immigration reform bill, the Senate bill is seen as a symbolic step forward in the higher ed community.

Homeland Security has since ordered all border agents to verify that every international student who arrives in the country has a valid student visa.

The student visa process has come under scrutiny after investigators in the Boston bombings learned that a friend of suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev entered the U.S. with an expired student visa.

Azamat Tazhayakov, a student from Kazakhstan, was arrested on suspicion of obstructing justice after investigators say items were removed from Tsarnaev’s University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth dorm room three days after the attack.

While the role of international campuses of U.S. institutions of higher education has been much debated in recent years, their primary purpose and capacity for constructive, new developments is often overlooked. With much controversy over motives, money and visions of soft power, the critics rarely look at the realities that brought these overseas ventures to fruition in the first place—or the drive that keeps them operating and expanding.

This year, the iconic black and white Oreo cookie celebrates its centennial. One hundred years since the chocolate wafer sandwich first went on sale in the U.S., this favorite treat is now beloved around the world with $2 billion in global sales. Second only to the U.S. in Oreo cookie consumption is the world’s most populous country of China. But if you’ve traveled to the Far East, you’ll find the cookie you dunk in Shanghai is nothing like one you savor in St. Louis. In fact, the first Oreos sold in China crumbled.

In 2008, Sunil Khambaswadkar came on board as the assistant vice chancellor of HR at the Abu Dhabi campus of New York University, which now supports 450 students and is growing strong. “It was a great opportunity for HR and me, personally, to be part of the campus right from the beginning, participating in the planning process, being able to determine what would be required from an HR perspective,” he says.

Map with a push pin point to Qatar

The trend of opening branch campuses overseas is cyclical. When things are good, institutions look outside their borders. When things get bad, institutions tend to retract those tentacles. However, Education City in Qatar, which opened in 2001 after six years of planning from the Qatar Foundation and now has seven higher ed institutions, is going strong.

In November, Northwestern University in Qatar broke ground on a new 32,520-square meter building to house its media, communication, and journalism school. Northwestern University (Ill.) founded its Qatar branch in 2008.

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