International Higher Education

The Center for International Higher Education (CIHE) at Boston College, has a great quarterly publication that features a broad range of perspectives and reports on international education from around the world. The articles are all very short and readable, and together with some very informative twitter updates (bc_cihe) it provides some fantastic take-away information (eg. Mumbai University has 354 affiliated undergrad colleges and over 650,000 students!!). It’s also notable and admirable that the newsletter is published in Chinese and Russian, in addition to English.


  • Stian Håklev

    Yes! I love IHE! It’s a great publication – pulling together short and succinct information about so many interesting locales and topics. Much shorter than long journal articles, but packed with information. They’ll even send you a free paper copy if you request it.

    I’m in comparative education, and sometimes I feel it’s sad that there are so few people doing “traditional comparative education” these days. Even looking at my own department, there are lot’s of advanced theories, studies of internationalization and marginalization etc. Simply descriptively comparing different educational systems is seen as quaint and old-fashioned…

    But how much do we really know about what goes on in the world? When I explain the Swedish system – where students only study one subject at a time, but several subjects after each other, to get a BA – people are shocked. Such a novel idea… Or what about a really detailed description of an undergrad in China – from the curriculum of their politics (marxism) classes, to the setup of the classrooms, the living arrangements (does it do anything to your personality that you spend the most formative years in a tiny room with 4-6 other people)? Etc… You can’t find this stuff anywhere…

    I’m hoping to publish some pieces in IHE about my own research on OER around the world as well. A great way to get comparative educators interested, since this is very widely read.

  • T Morgan

    Hi Stian,

    I’d love to see your research on OER around the world, as well as some examples of higher ed models like the ones you mentioned. For the record, had I known that the field of international comparative education existed, I might have done my studies in that!

    There is so much to learn about education by looking at different models in different institutions. I find it interesting that so many current critiques on higher ed are failing to account for the diversity of institutions even in Canada. For the past 3 years I’ve worked in applied education institutions, and they use very different educational models than the universities…yet the critiques assume that we are functioning with the same type of instruction, delivery and goals.

  • Stian Haklev

    Hi Morgan,
    not to push my own stuff, but if you are interested in OER globally, all my presentations are available on my blog (using the same title as your tab does: I’ll recommend the “Innovative Projects in the Publishing of OER”, and “Open Education around the world”. When it comes to more general surveys of education, I haven’t come across much that is really interesting and worth reading, other than big surveys of numbers and lists of institutions.

    One thing I enjoy is reading academic fiction – about students lives, or professors lives, from different settings. There are a few good ones from Norway, for example, but they haven’t been translated I think. And I learnt a lot about my students lives in China by reading novels about university students – it’s a huge genre there.

    You are right about the diversity in Canada too. My institution actually does some really interesting research on community colleges, but one thing that struck me is that comparative education, and more theoretical research on higher education models etc (as opposed to more practical training of BEds and future teachers) is something reserved for the “elite” schools… So it’s always looking at the whole higher ed system from the vantage point of UofT, UBC, Harvard, Columbia etc… Rather than from the vantage point of a community college, or an undergraduate teaching institution.


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