International Student Mobility and the Impact of Technology on International Recruitment
There will probably be no greater impact on higher education worldwide than the integration of technology into educational delivery methods. The internet has rendered geography irrelevant and digital options, especially in India and parts of Africa, are changing the way higher education is consumed in those countries. Many students may study abroad but they may do so never leaving their home countries.
The numbers are staggering and change daily but, according to the report, Digital Learning Compass: Distance Education Enrollment Report 2017, 30 percent of students worldwide are enrolled in at least 1 online course.
I realize the jury is still out on the potential and sustainability of online education. But the major MOOC providers, Udacity, Coursera and edX in the United States, FutureLearn in Britain and Iversity in Germany, among others believe that online and MOOC courses have the potential to educate millions of students, democratize higher education and build global communities.
Two technology giants, Google and Bertelsmann, also believe in the potential of MOOCs to transform how higher education is delivered and have launched a scholarship program to fund and enroll 75,000 students from the European Union, Egypt, Israel, Russia and Turkey in MOOC courses.
Google education writer, Brigitte Hoyer Gosselink, wrote the following: “Technology can bypass the geopolitical and financial boundaries that block educational resources from reaching students, while making those resources more engaging, interactive and effective.”
The jury is still out on the potential and sustainability of online learning and MOOC courses. But I believe the greatest promises of online learning and MOOCs, as well as the greatest threats, have yet to materialize.
Debate and disagreement will continue among members of the higher education community. But, in my opinion, the colleges and universities that will successfully maneuver around the headwinds of change will be the schools that realize that tomorrow’s technology is already today’s reality.
This article is excerpted from my new book, International Student Mobility and the New World Disorder, to be published in December, 2017.