What’s trending in higher education?
When 34 higher education leaders from 15 countries agree on a set of principles to guide universities and graduate schools in preparing doctoral and masters students to meet the demands of the global workforce and economy, as reported in University World News, and when the Council of Higher Education and Accreditation (CHEA) launches an international division because there is a pressing need to establish a shared global system of quality assurance, also reported in University World News, and when IASAS and NASPA host a Global Summit on Student Affairs with 24 countries represented and close to fifty participants, what’s trending is the realization that geographic boundaries have no influence on the competition students will face in employment and in their careers, and we must prepare students to live and work with people from all over the globe.
What the IASAS–NASPA Global Summit participants realized is that the important skills needed for job acquisition and career advancement that have historically been referred to as “soft skills” are even more important with the advent of the internationalization of opportunity.
The IASAS–NASPA Global Summit was invigorating and inspiring, with educators talking about the similarities and differences in how student services and education outside the classroom are provided. Respecting each approach to serving and educating students, we had very similar concerns about students who are presenting similar issues worldwide around financial ability to attend and remain in college, the hard lessons from alcohol abuse, and anxieties about securing jobs upon graduation.
I was encouraged as we spoke about sharing best practices, collaborating, and the possibility of adopting a common set of student learning outcomes that are global in nature and that student affairs can help students acquire, such as those “soft skills” that are becoming more critical than ever in a global and transnational environment.
Stay tuned for more news on the IASAS–NASPA Global Summit as the proceedings and summaries from the gathering are finalized.