Globalization of Doctoral Education in Social Work

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1 Globalization of Doctoral Education in Social Work SSWR San Antonio, TX January 16, 2014 James Lubben & Nancy Morrow-Howell 1

2 Introductions Please share a brief overview of your doctoral program: a. What is the current status of international students in your program? b. What do you hope to learn from today s session? 2

3 Agenda for the session 10:15-10:30 Introductions 10:30-11:30 Presentation by Jim & Nancy 11:30-11:45 Sharing of other strategies by participants 11:45-12:15 Discussion 3

4 Total Social Work Doctoral Programs in U.S. by Decade s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s GADE Programs 4

5 Number of doctorate in Social Work recipients Social Work Doctorates Awarded Year National Science Foundation, National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics Doctorate Recipients from U.S. Universities: Special Report NSF Arlington, VA. Available at

6 Special Challenge #1: Serving multiple markets Competing social work academic markets: - Training top-notch research scholars - Training faculty who can teach practice - Training specialists versus generalists Product differentiation among programs 6

7 Special Challenge #2: Slow response to new needs Doctoral education in general tends to be slow to respond to social change. Quality doctoral education demands tremendous resources and labor. The production of new doctorates is done on a relatively small scale which limits strategies for change. 7

8 Special Challenge #3: Training the future professorate Number of social work doctoral graduates seeking full-time academic appointments remains less than demand for new faculty. This shortage likely to worsen with the retirement of Baby Boomer faculty. There is a growing global market for social work educators. Should we recruit international students to meet our domestic demand or the global academic market? 8

9 History of Foreign Enrolled Students in SW Doctoral Programs Survey Year Total number Full Time Students % Students who are Foreign Total number of Graduates % Graduates who are Foreign NOTE: Separate analyses suggests that the increase in international students has not come at the expense of ethnic minority doctoral students. 9

10 Foreign Applicants & Newly Enrolled Students in SW Doctoral Programs Survey Year Total # % Foreign 2007 Applicants Newly Enrolled 2008 Applicants Newly Enrolled 2009 Applicants Newly Enrolled 2010 Applicants Newly Enrolled 2011 Applicants Newly Enrolled

11 Important decisions Are we training for US job market or training for academia/research in countries of origin? Curriculum and training experiences must be shaped by that decision. Does the Science of Social Work differ? Can we do both? Should we do both?

12 Current Response to international doctoral students Mission of most doctoral programs remains focused on domestic students; Numerous challenges in trying to adjust this mission for international students Cultural competence of faculty constrained. Not practical for any one program to try to address all countries and all cultures

13 Brain Loss/Brain Gain 13

14 Brain Drain/Brain Gain Perspectives In some fields of research, international students are especially valuable social capital for which there is competition for their talents. For example, U.S. deliberately tries to recruit and retain international STEM students (science, technology, engineering and math). Home countries try to bring STEM back

15 Is there similar competition for talent in social work academia? Do social work schools need the brain gain? Do social work schools have a demand for this labor? Do home countries want to/try to get them back? Is there a market at home?

16 Challenges to Brain Gain Perspective: International students face barriers to being hired for U.S. social work faculty positions: Must teach content that is highly specific to U.S. social work policy and practice Expected to be culturally competent with an increasingly diverse student body Demonstrate English language skills on par with native speakers

17 Additional Challenges to Brain Gain Perspective: International students experience multiple dynamics that encouraging return home: Personal and family influences Professional prospects Research opportunities Social dynamics

18 Brain Circulation 18

19 Brain Circulation Another perspective International students obtain knowledge and skill for application in home country Talent returns to home country to augment human capital Gain to home country but U.S. also enriched

20 Challenges of brain circulation Relevancy of curriculum to home country Adaptation and transference of knowledge to home country Still many countries and cultures

21 Brain Exchange 21

22 Brain exchange: Yet another perspective A two-way flow of expertise between countries of origin and destination Cross-national, cross-cultural teaching and learning Gain to both countries

23 Hallmarks of Brain Exchange: Prepare both international and national students: Conduct cross-national research Teach international & comparative content Demonstrate cross-cultural competence

24 Brain Exchange Opportunities: Globalization of social work education Development of more international curriculum Growth of international and cross-national research and research funding

25 Challenges of brain exchange US market demand for training for domestic social work Inclusion of national students Tension between national needs and international needs, in face of limited resources Still many countries and cultures

26 Brain Loss/Brain Gain Brain Circulation Brain Exchange 26

27 Washington University 27

28 Newly Enrolled Doctoral Students in Social Work at Washington University Survey Year Total # % Foreign 1998 Newly Enrolled Newly Enrolled Newly Enrolled Newly Enrolled Newly Enrolled Newly Enrolled Newly Enrolled Newly Enrolled Average 38% 28

29 Brown Students from 24 countries Country Total Number of Students Korea 17 (28%) China 10 (17%) India 8 Singapore 3 Nepal 2 Zambia 2 Albania, Argentina, Canada, Chile Columbia, England, Estonia, Ghana Israel, Lithuania, Kenya, New Delhi, Peru, Puerto Rico, St. Kitts, Taiwan, Trinidad & Tobago, Uganda 1 from each of these 18 countries

30 Brown School International Strategies 30

31 PhD curriculum in a nutshell Courses include: Introduction to Advanced Research Introduction to Social Measurement The Role and Use of Theory in Applied Social Research Foundations of Data Analysis Computer Applications for Data Analysis Multivariate Statistics Following coursework, individualized program of study, focusing on a substantive area of specialization within the field of social welfare. 15 credits of course work in the social sciences. 3 teaching assistantships; 3 research assistantships Independent study with mentor Qualifying exam on substantive topic and dissertation process

32 Brown School s strategy Individualized: students develop their own scholarship with a mentor and select courses from across the University to meet their needs Growth in institutional capacity to provide international opportunities: more international faculty, more international research projects, more international data sets available, more support in developing international research assistantships, more courses on global content across campus Introduction of fellowships to support international dissertation work Growth in support of international student support services and informal student support systems across campus Increase in training for teaching for all students; international students are advised on training needs in response to career goals (example: which classes to TA to prepare for US job market) Discussion of new course on cross-national, comparative methods

33 Boston College 33

34 Foreign Applicants & Newly Enrolled Doctoral Students at Boston College Survey Year Total # % Foreign 2005 Applicants Newly Enrolled 2007 Applicants Newly Enrolled 2010 Applicants Newly Enrolled 2013 Applicants Newly Enrolled COUNTRIES: Albania, Argentina, Canada, China (2), Denmark, India, Italy, Japan, Korea (4), Mexico (5), Palestine, South Africa & Spain 34

35 PhD in Social Work 35

36 International PhD in Social Welfare 36

37 International PhD in Social Welfare Year 1: In Home Country (2 online courses) Year 2: In residence at BC Year 3: In residence at BC Year 4: In Home Country* Year 5: In Home Country* *Periodic visits to BC or BC faculty to student s country 37

38 What happens to international students upon graduation? No national data Using BC and Washington University data, it appears that a majority of international graduates seek to stay in the United States Some subsequently return to home countries

39 Other strategies? Please share strategies that your doctoral program employs to train international doctoral students. 39

40 Questions for open discussion How would you best characterize your program? What are we training international students for now? How would we train if goal is retaining international students to meet needs of US schools of social work? How would we train if goal is for newly minted PhDs to return to home countries? How would we train for a real brain exchange?

41 Data on Foreign and Minority Students in Social Work Doctoral Programs Survey Year % FT Students who are Minority % FT Students who are Foreign % Graduates who are Minority % Graduates who are Foreign % +98.8% +11.7% % 41

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