This project compares strategies for internationalization in higher education in the US and the EU.
Ever since the 1924 Immigration Act, U.S academic institutions were the prime higher educational destination globally. During the Cold War, the attractiveness of an “American education” became a pivotal instrument in U.S. public diplomacy. However, times have changed. The US is dramatically falling behind in internationalization of higher education. Only 1.4 % of the total student population takes part in study abroad, principally at undergraduate level. And after years of steady growth, international enrollments in US institutions were declining already before COVID. When it comes to the more complex process of internationalization the first U.S. institution is MIT, ranking #30. Harvard ranks #52; Stanford #56; Princeton #58. The top universities in the ranking are all European and Asian.
In Europe, internationalization has grown out of, and been strongly influenced by, the Erasmus program. It piloted the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) and it paved the way for the Bologna Process and the realization of the European Higher Education area. The original Erasmus program was later grouped together with similar initiatives under Socrates and more recently under Erasmus+, which among other things, finances this project.