Issue Briefs

AIEA Issue Briefs inform AIEA members and the larger international education community about key issues in the internationalization of higher education and potential responses.  Author guidelines for these concise pieces of 1,000 to 1,500 words, can be found here.  

Why International Educators Should Care About Interfaith
Shauna M. Morin, Interfaith America
Janett I. Cordovés, Interfaith America
December 2022

Missing in discussions within the frameworks of diversity, equity, and inclusion; global leadership; faculty and staff capacity-building; and good practices for international student orientation within the college setting is the subject of interfaith competencies. This piece examines this oversight and proposes how to address it, while highlighting what some institutions are doing.

Training the Trainers: Preparing the Faculty to Become Better Mentors of Intercultural Competence

Tracy Rundstrom Williams, Texas Christian University
Spring 2020

As short-term, faculty-led programs grow in popularity, it is more essential than ever that faculty leaders are given the support and guidance needed to provide such interventions and guidance to students. This issue brief provides resources for training and developing faculty’s own intercultural understanding as well as their skills and abilities for mentoring students through the process.

Expanding Portfolios in International Programs: Non-Credit Experiences Abroad
Marcia Henisz, Drexel University; Sean Gordon, University of Massachusetts Amherst; and Kalpen Trivedi, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Fall 2018

International travel safety, often the realm of the SIO’s responsibilities, is beginning to evolve beyond ‘just’ study abroad. This issue brief discusses the growing challenges that SIOs and those responsible for international travel safety and risk management must address as international program portfolios expand to include a wide range of non-credit activities.

The Seven Habits for Sustainable Education Abroad Growth
Anthony C. Ogden, Michigan State University and Kalpen Trivedi, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Fall 2017 

At a time when political rhetoric begins to favor isolationism and American exceptionalism, that challenge for senior international officers to maintain momentum in favor of campus internationalization is no doubt intensifying. In this Issue Brief, the authors encourage SIOs to consider strategies for education abroad beyond enrollment numbers. They offer seven habits for sustainable education abroad enrollment growth for SIOs to consider and also provide thoughtful corresponding questions that may prove useful in maintaining and boosting the proportion of students that participate in education abroad programming.

Far Beyond Recruitment: Understanding Chinese International Students and Helping Them Succeed 
Jun Liu, Stony Brook University 
Spring 2017 

Over the last decade, the number of Chinese international students has exceeded 30% of all international students in the U.S. Along with increasing numbers, issues and concerns have been raised about these students’ English abilities, communication skills, academic integrity, and career and internship opportunities. The AIEA Thematic Forum "Far Beyond Recruitment:  Understanding Chinese International Students and Helping Them Succeed" at Stony Brook University in April, 2017 focused on this target group via plenary speeches, panel presentations, in-depth discussions, and a post-forum workshop. During the forum, more than 70 university administrators, faculty and staff together with SIOs addressed the issue by sharing cutting-edge research and recommending and discussing best practices.  This Issue Brief presents the following themes, which emerged from the Forum:
1.     Complexities and heterogeneity of Chinese students 
2.     Challenges and opportunities for building intercultural communicative competence 
3.     Understanding and breaking Chinese silence in US classrooms
4.     Life cycle of Chinese international students

Internationalizing the Tenure Code: Six Strategies for Policy Design and Implementation
Robin Helms, American Council on Education
Fall 2016 

As higher education systems and institutions seek to internationalize, there can be no denying the centrality of faculty to these efforts. How faculty are rewarded for their contributions to internationalization is a crucial question for institutions undertaking this process. Although U.S. higher education is increasingly relying on “contingent” faculty, tenure and promotion are still the primary incentive and reward structure for faculty performance at many colleges and universities.

The American Council on Education’s (ACE) 2011 Mapping Internationalization on U.S. Campuses survey found that just 8% of institutions had incorporated internationally-focused criteria into their promotion and tenure policies. In a follow-up study, ACE analyzed such policies from the institutions comprising the 8%, and interviewed their provosts and other leaders about the process of doing so. Six strategies for policy design and implementation emerged from their advice.

Managing from the middle: Eight tips for new international education administrators for working with faculty 
Nick J. Gozik, Boston College
Fall 2015 

New SIOs may be surprised to realize that while they are charged with internationalizing their institutions, they have little authority over those needed to carry out the work, including the faculty who do the day-to-day work of educating students.  Thus, SIO's must learn to manage from the middle, persuading and enticing stakeholders to get on board with internationalization.  This Issue Brief offers eight tips for new SIOs on managing from the middle, with a focus on working with faculty members.


Moving to the Center: Five strategies for strengthening institutional commitment to global initiatives
Susan Bender, University of Idaho; and Victoria Jones, University of California–Irvine
Summer 2015 

The importance of global competencies for students is widely acknowledged, yet SIOs and the units they lead are often on the periphery of colleges and universities  Fortunately, formal power is not the only way to increase the impact and prominence of global initiatives.  This Issue Brief, which emerged from a workshop sponsored by AIEA's Strategic Issues Committee, offers five strategies SIOs can use to better understand their institutions and help them “Move Global to the Center.”

Ten quick tips for working with education abroad provider organizations 
Anthony C. Ogden, University of Kentucky 
Summer 2015 

The proliferation of provider organizations working in the broadly-defined "industry" of U.S. education abroad, has made it increasingly challenging for even the most experienced education abroad professional to differentiate organizations and to determine with whom to partner.  Long-standing affiliations and professional loyalties are being tested by the arrival of a new cadre of innovative and entrepreneurial organizations and without doubt competition for students and attention is intensifying. This issue brief provides ten quick tips for working with study abroad providers.

Five (more) reasons why diversity and international offices must collaborate
Christopher Johnstone, University of Minnesota
Fall 2014

This brief provides an overview and rationales for the collaboration of Equity and Diversity and Internationalization offices in higher education institutions. Building on the momentum of AIEA’s October 5, 2014 webinar focusing on the same topic, this brief seeks to explore and expand upon themes discussed by Dr. Harvey Charles and Dr. Benjamin Reese. “Five (more) reasons” is intended to keep the conversation alive in our field and to offer suggestions to SIOs for collaborations with the equity and diversity offices on their campuses. 

State engagement in higher education internationalization efforts: What should international officers know? 
Jason E. Lane, State University of New York and Taya L. Owens, State University of New York
Fall 2014

In many parts of the world, the internationalization of higher education is increasingly influenced by government policies and initiatives.  While there has been some effort to track national government engagement in this area, there has been little attention paid to what is occurring at the level of sub-national governments. This brief addresses that gap by identifying four broad areas in which state governments in the U.S. are influencing international higher education. Although the focus is on the U.S., SIOs outside the U.S. should find questions applicable to their own contexts.