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Globalization of Education CaseAssessment

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Strategic Management

Facts of the Problem

DePaul University is interested in increasing its level of internationalization. The internationalization program is as yet only loosely-defined. As a result, Caryn Chaden is struggling to identify the key issues with respect to globalization. Her letter shows that she is not really working with enough guidance -- she's worried about adding a class when the entire vision for internationalization has yet to be defined. Chaden is also working on the idea that students themselves should gain some sort of international experience. While this is common in business schools, it is uncommon in liberal arts programs, so there is naturally some trepidation about how such a requirement would be executed. Such a requirement is, however, a fair consideration at this point because it is a critical element in any vision for internationalizing the school's programs.

DePaul needs to step back and begin to lay out of coherent vision for the internationalization of the school as a whole. Only then can this vision be translated into the different colleges and departments. At this point, however, nobody seems to recognize that there are several different issues, presently independent of each other, that need to be tied together. There is the internationalization of the student body; internationalization of programs, and digital internationalization as major components of this process, and the change effort thus far seems to lack a clarity of vision with respect to how different each of these is, but how they can all fit together for Vision 2018: DePaul for a Globalized World. Yes, this needs an appropriate slogan, to help with the buy-in.

What few efforts that have been conducted thus far with respect to centralizing the internationalization of DePaul have been met with resistance. The organizational change effort appears to have made some fairly major mistakes -- not having a vision (Cole, Harris & Bernerth, 2006), not creating urgency and using too much political capital to placate the entrenched interests, all of which run against organizational change orthodoxy. Failing the make the organization ready for change and then failing to communicate a clear vision for the change has substantially hampered this effort (Armenakis, Harris & Mossholder, 1993).

Causes/Antecedents

There are two unrelated antecedents of this push for internationalization. The first is pretty basic -- money. DePaul University is 90% dependent on tuition for its funding. The school has a very good reputation, and the north side of Chicago is a great area that should be attractive to students around the world, even against other American schools. U.S. schools are among the most attractive in the world to foreign students because of their quality, and because America is an attractive destination in general. The competitive landscape is mainly going to be against other American schools, with only light to moderate competition from the UK, Canada and Australia. Foreign students typically pay higher tuition rates than domestic students, and many are from wealthier families and thus require less financial assistance. Thus, increasing the number of foreign students will increase the tuition revenue of DePaul, possibly by a significant percentage.

The second antecedent is that the world is becoming globalized. Situated in the middle of a big, insular country, DePaul is actually late to the party in recognizing this -- schools on the Pacific coast have been courting Asian students since the mid-90s. But the increase in wealth and growing size of the middle classes in India, China and the Arab countries in particular has given rise to rapidly-increasing demand for places in Western schools. Those countries do not have the capacity in higher education to meet demand, Western schools have greater prestige, and people want to get an education in English. This influx of potential students, and increased competition for them, has been part of the landscape of higher education for a while, and DePaul is just starting to get on board (Vaira, 2004). Moreover, the school has finally latched on to the reality that the world is becoming increasingly globalized, and it is not just business students who can benefit from this. So DePaul's international push is part a response to one of the most critical trends in the world today, and partly a response to the changing external environment of its industry (Wagner, 2004).… [END OF PREVIEW]

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