Building Communication Bridges to Mitigate Language and Culture Barriers
Every university which exists in an environment where English is not the first language is going to encounter obstacles in communicating with its international students. While developing towards a polylingual solution might seem preferable, in reality universities choose a less costly decision — English in addition to the local language(s), since it is the de facto lingua franca of international education.
Nonetheless, specific challenges and ways to address international students greatly depend on how widespread the knowledge of English is in the country and university environment. For example, the Netherlands and Sweden have many natural opportunities for universities to recruit people who will not experience the language barrier with international students. However, many other countries, including Russia, have very different starting conditions: according to the 2010 census, only 5.3% of the Russian population indicated knowledge of English. Of course it calls for deliberate extra efforts aimed at developing information channels and English interface of university services.
On peut aujourd’hui rencontrer un nombre assez important d’Africains qui ont terminé des études supérieures européennes et qui doivent faire un choix : retourner dans leur patrie ou rester en Europe (ou partir en Amérique, au Canada, en Australie). Pour la plupart d’entre eux, le choix est néanmoins évident : ils restent. Ayant passé plusieurs années dans un pays européen, ils n’accepteront plus pour eux-mêmes les conditions qui existent chez eux sur le Continent, tant en ce qui concerne la politique, l’économie, que la vie quotidienne. Pourquoi leurs parents, qui étaient étudiants eux aussi dans des établissements d’enseignement supérieur européens au milieu du XXe siècle, firent-ils tout leur possible pour retourner en Afrique, alors que ceux de la génération actuelle affirment que, pour eux et pour leurs enfants, la seule possibilité est de rester vivre dans la société européenne ? Qu’est-ce qui pousse aujourd’hui les jeunes gens originaires des pays africains à refuser de marcher dans les pas de leurs parents, à refuser d’accepter les règles de la société de leur pays d’origine, et refuser, au fond, de repartir de zéro, plutôt que de rester en Europe ? Et qu’est-ce qui est déterminant dans ce choix : les années de formation dans un autre pays, qui leur permettent de voir autrement le monde, un monde qui ne ressemble pas à celui dans lequel ils sont nés, ou est-ce la situation politique et économique des Etats africains, qui explique pourquoi les jeunes gens éduqués ne souhaitent pas revenir ?
Universities which produce massive open online courses (MOOCs) and offer them on global e-learning platforms define internationalization as one of their main objectives. Empirical research that test the impact of MOOC production on international students’ enrollment is still rare. Present study is the first stage of bridging this gap. To do so, correlation analysis is applied to two data sets, which are universities MOOC portfolio derived from Class Central aggregator and international students statistics from QS World Universities Ranking. Three hundred top MOOC producers which are universities from different countries were analyzed. No strong statistically significant correlation was found. The same is true for the US universities as a subsample. Further research regarding annual statistics is required to continue the discussion and to approach the interrelation between MOOC production and its impact on university key performance indicators.
The article presents the results of a study of the international educational activities of Russian universities. The goals of the study were to identify groups of universities that have similar international educational activity indicators in a number of areas (based on a cluster analysis of the data) and to analyze the characteristics of universities in each of the identified clusters (the number of enrolled international students, the size of the university, specialization, geographical location, level of selectivity of the university, number of international research and teaching faculty members, and research activities). The study results may be of interest to university administrators, since they can help them to obtain a general idea of the current state and main directions of international educational activities at Russian universities. The proposed classification of universities can provide a basis for analyzing the university’s own position on the international educational market and adjusting strategic plans for expanding and strengthening the university’s position in various segments of this market.
The article is devoted to the problem of training tutors to support international students in multicultural educational environment of modern university. Scientific interest in this problem is caused by the processes of internationalization of higher education, the need to solve the tasks connected with international students’ academic and sociocultural adjustment, their full participation in the process of education. The authors discuss the specific problems of tutoring international students, in particular organizational and pedagogic, managerial and methodological problems. The article presents the educational technology “Tutors’ psychological and pedagogical workshop” which allows to build flexibly the content of activity, to respond to the requests, to integrate different types, forms and methods in the process of training tutors to support international students in modern multicultural educational environment. The educational technology is considered in the article as systematic, stage-by-stage implementation of pedagogical process with the use of personal, instrumental and methodic means for the development of the stuff professional competence in higher education institution. The authors prove unit-modular structure of the technology discussed, analyze and explain the content of the target unit, experimental-training, constructive-research, reflexive-analytical units. The results of the research are of pedagogical interest, they can serve as a basis for technological approach implementation in the process of teaching the university staff to support international students at all levels of higher education.
We investigated the acculturation process of international students (N=319, 162 female) from 62 countries who were residing in the Netherlands, using the acculturation framework by Arends-Tóth and Van de Vijver (2007).We applied SEM to test the model that acculturation conditions (perceived cultural distance [PCD], personal growth initiative [PGI], proficiency in English and the host language, and length of residence) in conjunction with acculturation orientations as mediators (host, heritage, expatriate) predict psychological adjustment as acculturation outcome (acculturative stress, satisfaction with life, mental health problems). We found direct and indirect effects of acculturation conditions on adjustment; high PGI,high English and Dutch proficiencies, and low PCD were associated with better adjustment. Host orientation (predicted by high PGI, Dutch proficiency, and low PCD) was positively associated with adjustment. Heritage orientation (predicted by low English proficiency) was negatively associated with adjustment. As a novel aspect, we included expatriate orientation - an orientation towards other expatriates in the host community. Expatriate orientation was predicted by low Dutch proficiency and was positively associated with adjustment. We also observed direct links between acculturation conditions and outcomes: positive associations between PCD and acculturative stress and between length of residence and acculturative stress; and negative associations between PGI and mental health problems and between English proficiency and acculturative stress. We provide evidence that including expatriate orientation is relevant among international students: It is stronger than both host and heritage orientations, there by underlining the importance of studying acculturation in a contextualized way.
Institutions affect investment decisions, including investments in human capital. Hence institutions are relevant for the allocation of talent. Good market-supporting institutions attract talent to productive value-creating activities, whereas poor ones raise the appeal of rent-seeking. We propose a theoretical model that predicts that more talented individuals are particularly sensitive in their career choices to the quality of institutions, and test these predictions on a sample of around 95 countries of the world. We find a strong positive association between the quality of institutions and graduation of college and university students in science, and an even stronger negative correlation with graduation in law. Our findings are robust to various specifications of empirical models, including smaller samples of former colonies and transition countries. The quality of human capital makes the distinction between educational choices under strong and weak institutions particularly sharp. We show that the allocation of talent is an important link between institutions and growth.