ACADEMIC SENATE: SAN DIEGO DIVISION
November 30, 1999

 

ANNUAL REPORT
COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION
1998-99

I.   Committee's Charge

The charge of the Committee on International Education is to (1) "represent the Division in all matters concerned with the Education Abroad Program," and (2) "represent the Division in all aspects of international education and exchange."

Once again, UCSD is among the leaders in the UC system in sending students on both the UC Education Abroad Program and other study, internship, and fieldwork abroad opportunities. We append figures compiled by the campus Programs Abroad Office specifying numbers of students on Programs Abroad during the 1998-99 year.  1998-99 Programs Abroad Participation by Country

II.  Overview

The Committee continued to monitor issues of study abroad, exchange, and visiting scholars that came under our purview last year. These included efforts to involve more faculty, departments, and programs in various study abroad concerns, particularly the appointment of departmental liaisons to advise majors and minors on study abroad; ongoing issues of reciprocity, in the form of housing visiting students and accepting graduate level exchange students into campus graduate programs; new INS legislation that affects both the compensation of visiting scholars from abroad and the monitoring of international students on campus; and the responsibilities of the divisional committee to respond to the numerous issues of quality and the initiation of new programs for the systemwide EAP committee. The Committee began a process of examining its duties and relationships to campus and systemwide entities, with the goal of clarifying its scope and potential service to the Division. The first step in this self-examination was to appoint a subcommittee to canvas the counterpart divisional committees of all the other UC campuses, asking what their various duties and responsibilities entailed, and what they felt would be productive tasks for the future. The Committee further considered suggestions from the Council of Campus Directors of Study Abroad--the systemwide committee that consists of faculty who oversee and/or work with the various study abroad offices on each campus. Campus Directors of Study Abroad were particularly concerned this year with increasing the number of short-term language and culture programs offered by EAP. The Committee monitored and, in the person of our Chair, took part in the work of the International Studies Advisory Committee that evaluated the campus programs and the faculty involved in all forms of international research, teaching and exchange with a view towards consolidating and coordinating these various programs. Finally, the Committee worked with the personnel of the Programs Abroad Office and the International Center to monitor the ongoing efforts of those offices in international exchange and related procedures.

III.  Efforts to Increase Campus/Departments/Programs Participation in Study Abroad

While UCSD is among the leaders in the UC system in numbers of students sent on study abroad programs, many faculty members and students are not aware of the existence of many such programs and, in some cases, do not consider some of these programs to be of high quality. As a result of these long-held perceptions, students at times are not encouraged by their departments or programs to study abroad. In some cases, in fact, study abroad is discouraged by certain individual faculty or departments. While our committee is clearly biased in favor of study abroad participation, it is also involved in assuring the quality of programs, particularly EAP. The UCSD Programs Abroad Office and the Campus Directors have worked in concert to visit departments and programs and encourage them to appoint advisors for their majors and minors for study abroad opportunities. This is an ongoing effort, but it shows great promise in bringing more faculty up to speed on current options for their students. Our committee does encourage its members to interact with their own colleagues in promoting solid study abroad programs and, at the same time, works with the Universitywide Office of EAP in evaluating existing programs and guiding the development of new ones. We include in this report the specific details of the Programs Abroad Office efforts to improve advising and participation by faculty in study abroad programs. Moreover, the Committee has been involved in non-EAP study abroad efforts as they come to our attention, in the form of working out problems of credit earned, articulation with department offerings, financial aid for non-EAP students going abroad, and related concerns.

Questions regarding visa requirements for visiting international scholars and students have also come to our attention over the last few years, especially as they apply to new immigration legislation. The Committee has written to Chancellor Dynes on problems involved with first getting international colleagues into the country for collaborative work and exchange, and secondly with being able to properly compensate them under existing regulations. A different but related concern was the requirement by the State Department that international students from certain targeted countries be monitored by university offices regarding their visa status, work, and political activities. While earlier reservations expressed by campuses nationwide seemed to have stimulated some amending legislation to ameliorate these concerns, there remain significant barriers to their resolution. The Committee should, in concert with the International Center, keep abreast of these issues until they are clearly resolved.

IV.   Evaluation of the Committee's Tasks and Purview

At our first meeting of the year, the Chair both commended the work done by the Committee and raised some concerns about its focus. For example, historically the Committee has reacted to problems in study abroad or international exchange as they were raised by various campus entities: the Programs Abroad Office, the International Center, Campus Housing, the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, the Universitywide Office of EAP, or individual committee members. As such, we are a reactive rather than a proactive body. This may well be our main duty -- to represent the Division in these various issues. But another way of looking at our work would be to consider what we could regularly be doing to improve on what is already an impressive campus participation in international exchange. The Chair appointed a subcommittee to contact the divisional committees from the other eight campuses to find out what their duties are and what they see as concerns they would like to address.

Briefly put, the findings of our three-member subcommittee suggests that UCSD seems unusual in its successful integration of the various arms of the study abroad effort. Some campuses reported great difficulty in first staffing, then getting faculty to attend meetings of their committees. Further, although most campuses have gone to "Committees on International Education," rather than "Committees on EAP," there remains for some of these committees a near adversarial relationship with other international education entities on their campuses. At UCSD, as a Committee on International Education," we can address non-EAP concerns, intervening, albeit very diplomatically, with offices such as the Registrar, Housing, or Financial Aid, on behalf of students' study abroad concerns. On other campuses, due to a different administrative model, similar committees have a much smaller radius of influence.

One area where other campuses are more active than UCSD is in the processing of students wanting to go on EAP or similar programs. At some campuses, the divisional committees are active in interviewing students, providing them with orientation, and advising them on their return. While this is perhaps not the best use of our own committee, it would perhaps be helpful for our members to have more hands-on experience in the process than they generally do.

Finally, the Chair recommends pursuing this self-evaluation next year, looking into the position of the Committee as the Division's eyes and ears on international education and exchange. If nothing else, an annual presentation to the Division or its executive council would both keep relevant committees informed of our study abroad status as well as allow the Committee to ask for help on issues that require the cooperation of other campus offices and administrators.

V.  Short Term Programs for EAP

The Committee was impressed with the case made by our three Campus Directors of Study Abroad for the necessity of developing more short term study abroad options for EAP. Several arguments were put forth for this kind of new programming. First, the growing crisis in language instruction systemwide would, in part, be addressed if students could attend short term intensive language programs in various countries. This would permit them to gain basic proficiency in specific languages in a carefully organized, quality program overseen by UC faculty and carried out in an immersion environment. Second, these students would theoretically form a cohort of enthusiastic participants in advanced language study at the second and third year levels when they return to campus. Some of them would go on to do year-long study abroad work, while others would enroll in upper division language and literature course work at their home campuses. Third, students who are in majors that make it difficult to spend an entire year abroad would be able to fulfill language requirements and have a positive international experience by participating in either summer or semester programs. Finally, for languages that are actually overenrolled at most UC campuses (the obvious example is Spanish), there would be a strong alternative to overcrowding such courses by doing the basic course work abroad.

UOEAP is currently in the process of developing the short term options described above. It already has several programs in place in Italy, Germany and, now, Spain. The language and culture courses were covering the second year level, but are now, in some cases, even offering first year level language instruction. It is noted here, and will be repeated below, that these programs, if properly monitored and carried through, can also represent a way of enrolling more students at UCSD, thus making more places on campus for other students while various cohorts are studying abroad.

VI.   International Studies Advisory Committee

Senior Vice Chancellor Chandler appointed an advisory committee to evaluate the various internationally-oriented programs on campus and suggest ways in which these can be coordinated in an effort to both add value and improve their cooperation and administrative effectiveness. The Committee met throughout the academic year, closely examined the UCSD international programs, looked at international studies programs on other campuses, invited speakers to address the group on how other campuses consolidated their programming, and held a meeting with members of the general campus community to solicit ideas on how this consolidation could best be done. While this is not the place to go into the details of the report that resulted from these efforts (it has been made available to the Academic Senate), it is worth mentioning some aspects of the recommendations that will effect study abroad.

The report proposes an as yet unnamed program in International Studies. The program will have some financial resources to coordinate efforts to bring scholars on campus together for collaborative research and teaching. Further, a major and minor in International Studies has been proposed and, while the details of such a major have yet to be finalized, this will have positive repercussions for students wishing to study abroad. In conjunction with advisors for the major and minor, students will be able to do course work towards a degree in International Studies. In some cases, it will also mean that more students will need to fulfill language requirements for the major, here or abroad. The many EAP offerings, as well as non-EAP opportunities, will make for an inviting set of possibilities for students in this new program. The Committee on International Education therefore supported the spirit of the report and will examine it in detail during the coming year.

VII.   International House and Construction Plans for Eleanor Roosevelt College

A last brief item is our committee's reception of Provost Craig's report on the construction plans for Eleanor Roosevelt College (ERC) at our final meeting in the spring. The Committee was impressed with the design and substance of the plans for the College's new site. We were especially pleased to see the care and planning that has gone into their International House living space. It is clear that ERC will continue to be a leader in both study abroad and exchange among the five colleges, and this space will promote creative and productive interaction between visiting international students and UCSD students. In particular, we supported Provost Craig's efforts to raise outside funds for the proposed "Great Hall," that would be both the landmark architectural centerpiece of the college and the locus of much of their international programming. We strongly endorse all efforts to secure funds for this part of the new campus.

VII.   Conclusion

Looking at this report, it seems a lot like last year's. Many of the same issues remain on the table and have not entirely been resolved. Some of them are ongoing and tied to the evolution of how UCSD handles students going abroad and scholars coming to our campus. Others are based on wider concerns of the state and nation, especially as they pertain to the ways in which we interact with other nations and their students and scholars.

I would like to emphasize the dynamic nature of study abroad within the UC system in the coming years. EAP remains the highest quality and most rewarding way for our students to study abroad. The course quality is assured, and the procedures for sending students out and receiving them back at their home campuses are always being reviewed and streamlined. Due to the mandate of the Regents and state legislators to enroll many more students in the state's college and university systems, study abroad, in all its versions, will increasingly be a significant way to increase enrollments with a minimal space or financial impact. This committee, in its interactions with the staff of the International Center and the Campus Directors of Study Abroad, will remain the central conduit to the Division. I strongly recommend that the Division maintain strong communication links with the Committee and provide the Chair with at least one annual visit to either the Representative Assembly or Senate Council to report on important issues.

One last ongoing issue of note has to do with space and resources for the Programs Abroad Office. These needs are in some part being addressed by extra funds provided by UOEAP for the processing of the increased number of students desiring to study abroad. Some provisions are being made locally for increases in staff and space. It is important to reiterate these concerns because the number of study abroad students may, consonant with the new directives to increase enrollments at all campuses, begin to increase exponentially in the near future. It is vital to ease the workload of our already over-burdened staff, if for no other reason than to insure the effective processing of our students and their reciprocity cohorts coming from our partner institutions.

In conclusion, the Chair again commends the work of the Programs Abroad Office, the Dean of International Education, and the Campus Directors of Study Abroad. They are invaluable to the campus mission of international study and exchange and have been cooperative and obliging participants on the Committee on International Education. The administrative assistant for the Committee, Janice Stearns, came aboard just this year and has done outstanding work. Her initiative and attention to detail has made the Committee run smoother and more collegially than in other years. I want to thank and recognize Ms. Stearns on behalf of the entire Committee.

Respectfully submitted,

William Chandler
Todd C. Kontje
Michael Meeker (F,W)
Xuong Nguyen-Huu
Jann C. Pasler (W/S)
Mary K. Corrigan
William A. O'Brien
Robert J. Schmidt
Jason Adelman (Undergraduate Student Representative)
Brook Garrettson (Graduate Student Representative)
Yasu-Hiko Tohsaku, Vice Chair
Robert Cancel, Chair