Research digest for practitioners: September 2017

Research digest for practitioners: September 2017

It’s time for another Journal of Studies in International Education wrap-up. This issue addresses a range of topics from staff satisfaction and motivation in transnational education settings to an in-depth look at the results of an evaluation of a student mobility programme in South Korea, Japan, and China. The main aim of the research digest is to bridge research with practice. We hope this blog serves as a teaser to entice you to explore the articles in more detail.

The Effects of Employee Commitment in Transnational Higher Education: The Case of International Branch Campuses

By: Stephen Wilkins, Muhammad Mohsin Butt and Carrie Amani Annabi
Topic: Employment at international branch campuses
According to the Cross-Border Education Research Team, in 2016 there were over 230 international branch campuses in operation around the globe with 24 in the process of being created. With the continued evolution of international branch campuses, this study explores employee/committee attitudes and behaviours to branch campuses compared to those working at home campuses. Using a convenience sample, a questionnaire was administered to teaching/non-teaching staff of campuses in the UK (3), Malaysia (3), and the United Arab Emirates (2). Out of 795 surveys sent, 502 were included in the sample. Findings suggest that employee motivation and commitment at branch campuses were lower than employees at home campuses. This study highlights a need to improve employment conditions at branch campuses where most employees have short-term contracts and have a lived experience as an expat.

Leveraging Process Evaluation for Project Development and Sustainability: The Case of the CAMPUS Asia Program in Korea

By: Seon-Joo Kim
Topic: Student mobility programme evaluation
To foster new generations of Asian leaders, a student mobility pilot programme, named the Collective Action for Mobility Program of University Students in Asia (CAMPUS Asia), was launched in 2011. The mobility programme was created and funded by South Korea, China, and Japan. This article highlights the findings from the programme evaluation after three years of running the pilot programme. During the pilot phase 10 trilateral consortia were selected wherein 30 students per institution were selected for mobility (10 outbound and 20 inbound). The philosophical foundation of the evaluation focused on how well the inputs impacted the long-term value added of the programme and how it connected with intended goals. Five evaluation criteria were established:

  • Purpose of the academic programme and efforts of fulfilment
  • Student support system
  • Operation of academic programme
  • Learning outcomes
  • Quality assurance

The evaluation consisted of four stages: self-analysis, analysis by external evaluators, site visits and interviews, and outcome assessment and feedback to the programmes. Overall the evaluation showed promising outcomes and ways to improve as the CAMPUS Asia was fully implemented in 2016.

Engaging Academic Staff in Transnational Teaching: The Job Satisfaction Challenge

By: Danny Toohey, Tanya McGill, and Craig Whitsed
Topic: Academic job satisfaction in transnational education (TNE)
How satisfied are academic staff who engage with transnational education (TNE)? The research question explored in this study is: How does the nature and degree of involvement with TNE influence academics’ job satisfaction? Through a mixed-method research design, the authors sent a questionnaire, with both open-ended and close-ended questions, to Australian academics (from 14 institutions) involved in TNE courses located in the information technology discipline. Out of 202 questionnaires sent, 41 valid responses were included in the sample, yielding a response rate of 20.3%. Findings suggest that academics feel more satisfied when there is teaching-related interaction with host country students and staff. In addition, feelings of ownership and control of the TNE course results in more job satisfaction of academics.

Development of the Community College Internationalization Index

By: Jacqueline Marie Copeland, Carmen L. McCrink, and Gerene K. Starratt
Topic: Internationalisation measurement
Measuring internationalisation continues to be a hot topic. The authors of this study employed a mixed-methods study to create a Community College Internationalization Index (CCII) for US Community Colleges. The findings fill a gap in the literature by constructing a quantitative instrument that measures internationalisation efforts at the institutional level for Community Colleges. While quantitative data was used to create a measuring instrument, qualitative data was used to develop a theoretical framework for the instrument.

Internationalization Management in Japanese Universities: The Effects of Institutional Structures and Cultures

By: Yukako Yonezawa
Topic: Approaches to the internationalization of Japanese universities
Context helps us understand how internationalisation is organised differently in institutions. This study explores the research question: “How do institutional structures and cultures affect the internationalisation of education in Japanese universities?” Using a qualitative case study method, the author focuses in on the structure and culture of internationalisation at four institutions of different types. A conceptual model (quadrant) is created using key points: centralised vs. decentralised structural approaches and specialised vs. universal cultures of internationalisation. The institutional case studies are placed in the quadrant according to data analysis. Special cultural consideration of the role of senior leadership, the international office and internal communication is noted by the author. Overall, the findings show that there is significance between structure and culture in internationalisation efforts at these Japanese institutions.
Leasa Weimer is Knowledge Development Adviser at the EAIE. 

Leasa Weimer
EAIE, the NetherlandsLeasa is Senior Adviser for Knowledge Initiatives for the EAIE.