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Educational Exchanges: What World-Class Universities Should Not Adopt from U.S. Higher Education

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  1. Educational Exchanges: What World-Class Universities Should NotAdopt from U.S. Higher Education Kathryn Mohrman University Design Institute Arizona State University Sichuan University April 2008

  2. My background • College president and dean—Colorado College, Brown University, University of Maryland • Executive Director, Hopkins-Nanjing Center • Taught at Sichuan University Fall 2000 • Fulbright Scholar, Chinese University of Hong Kong, 2002-2003 • New Century Scholars, 2005-2007 • Research on current reforms in Chinese higher education

  3. What NOT to adopt from American universities • Uni-dimensional definition of quality • Publications as the only legitimate form of scholarship • Rankings define excellence • Bigger is better • Financial aid for institutions rather than the public good

  4. Context

  5. Gross enrollment ratio • Number of students in tertiary education, regardless of age, as a percentage of the college-age population, 2003 (UNESCO) CHINA 16% Macau 81% (today approx 20%) Malaysia 29% Australia 74% Mexico 22% Canada 60% Mongolia 37% Chile 42% Philippines 30% Cuba 34% Thailand 38% France 56% Turkey 28% India 12% United Kingdom 64% United States 83%

  6. 32% Postgrad and regular HEI 22% Vocational and other 7% Branch colleges 13% Adult univ 26% Private 35% 4 yr public and not for profit 18% 2 yr public & nfp 6% Non-degree public and nfp 37% For profit PRC and US comparison

  7. 1. A uni-dimensional definition of quality

  8. Research = prestige in U.S. • “Best” professors conduct research • Bring in large grants and contracts • Teach fewer courses • Focus on PhD students • Recognition beyond home campus • Potential for mobility • Quality easily measured

  9. 2. Publications as the only legitimate form of scholarship

  10. New definition of scholarship Boyer,Scholarship Reconsidered • Scholarship of discovery—quest for knowledge for its own sake • Scholarship of integration—making informed connections across the disciplines • Scholarship of application—bridging the gap between the academy andworlds outside • Scholarship of teaching—transmitting, transforming and extending knowledge

  11. 3. Rankings define excellence

  12. Defining world-class universities • Altbach—”Costs and Benefits of World Class Universities” • Excellence in research • Top quality professors • Favorable working conditions • Job security/good salary and benefits • Adequate facilities • Adequate funding • Academic freedom • Atmosphere of intellectual excitement • Faculty self-governance

  13. Shanghai Jiaotong (China 2005) • 10 %Quality of education(alumni winning Nobel Prizes and Fields Medals) • 40%Quality of faculty • 20% Staff winning Nobel and Fields • 20% Highly cited researchers • 40%Research output • 20% Articles in Nature and Science • 20% Articles in citation indices • 10% Size(above factors compared to numbers of academic staff)

  14. Times Higher Education Supplement (UK 2005) • 40% Peer review • 10% Employer opinion • 20% Citations in high-impact journals • 20% Faculty-student ratio • 5% International faculty percentage • 5% International student percentage

  15. Maclean’s (Canada 2005) • 23% Quality of students • HS grades, retention, out of province, national awards • 18% Quality of instruction • Small classes, first-year classes taught by profs • 17% Quality of faculty • Profs with PhDs, awards, and research grants • 12% Finances • 12% Library • 19% Reputation

  16. US News and World Report (US 2006) • 25% Peer review • 20% Retention • First-year retention and graduation rates • 20% Faculty resources • Small classes, faculty pay, profs with PhD, full-time faculty, student/faculty ratio • 15% Student selectivity • Test scores, HS rank in class, acceptance rate • 10% Finances • 5% Graduation rate compared to prediction • 5% Alumni giving rate

  17. Melbourne Institute (Australia 2005) • 40% Quality/international standing of faculty • Publications, citations, grants, honors received • 16% Quality of graduate programs • Degree completion, student opinion • 14% Quality of undergraduate programs • Retention, student opinion, S/F ratio, graduate school enrollment • 11% Quality of undergraduate students • Test scores • 11% Finances • 8% Peer review

  18. Guardian University Guide (UK 2005) • 15% Teacher score • Qualifications, faculty PhDs, teaching/research split • 20% Student quality—test scores • 10% Spending per student • 20% Student/faculty ratio • 10% Value added • Actual achievement compared with prediction • 17% Student destinations—jobs, grad school • 8% Inclusiveness • Ethnic minorities, disabled, mature students

  19. Usher and Savino, A World of Difference: A Global Survey of University League Tables (Educational Policy Institute, Canadian Education Report Series, 2006) • The Educational Process • Beginning characteristics • Learning inputs—staff • Learning inputs—resources • Learning outputs • Final outcomes • Research • Reputation

  20. Comparisons

  21. Defining world-class universities • Altbach—”Costs and Benefits of World Class Universities” • Excellence in research • Top quality professors • Favorable working conditions • Job security/good salary and benefits • Adequate facilities • Adequate funding • Academic freedom • Atmosphere of intellectual excitement • Faculty self-governance

  22. 4. Bigger is better

  23. Univ. of Phoenix on-line 117,309 Miami-Dade 54,169 Arizona State Univ. 51,612 Univ. of Minnesota 51,175 Western International Univ. 50,663 Ohio State Univ. 50,504 Univ. of Texas 49,696 Univ. of Florida 49,693 Michigan State Univ. 45,166 Texas A&M Univ. 44,910 Chronicle of Higher Education, 2007-08 Almanac of Higher Education Ten largest American colleges and universities (2005)

  24. Harvard Univ. 25,017 Stanford Univ. 19,042 Univ. California-Berkeley 33,547 California Institute of Technology 2,169 Columbia Univ.21,983 Princeton Univ. 6,773 Yale University 11,483 Cornell Univ. 19,642 Univ. California-San Diego 25,320 Univ. California-Los Angeles 35,625 Univ. of Pennsylvania 23,704 Univ. Wisconsin 40,793 From SJTU Academic Rankings of World Universities 2006 Enrollments from U.S. Dept. of Education Prestige U.S. universities are not the biggest institutions

  25. 5. Financial aid for institutions rather than the public good

  26. Institution-based system of admissions in the United States • Students apply directly to as many colleges as they wish • Individual universities admit the students they want • No government involvement in the admissions process

  27. Key policy goals of U.S. higher education • Access—education available to all who can benefit • Variety of institutional types • Large, small; public, private; community college, undergraduate, research university; full-time, part-time • Open to all ages • Financial support for needy students • Low tuition institutions • Publicly subsidized grants and loans • Choice—allow students to choose the school that best meets their needs

  28. American financial aid • Multiple sources of financial aid * Government grants and loans * University funding * Private donors Over last 50 years, scholarships and loans have usually been given on the basis of need to help poor students afford college

  29. Shifts in financial aid policies

  30. Market competition and merit aid • Universities want high quality students • Students are worried about costs • But little or no impact at the margin from merit aid • Doesn’t increase the total number of students going to college • No benefit to the nation as a whole • Concern as market systems expand

  31. What NOT to adopt from American universities • Uni-dimensional definition of quality • Publications as the only legitimate form of scholarship • Rankings define excellence • Bigger is better • Financial aid for institutions rather than the public good

  32. For further discussion Kathryn Mohrman University Design Institute Arizona State University kmohrman@asu.edu