No increase in funding for international full-time students

Skrevet af Jannick Friis ChristensenFelix Kasperek - Foto: Tao Lytzen - 14. marts 2013 - 16:192 kommentarer
The desired funding for the international full time students couldn’t be found – the task force applied for 240,000 kr. for the International Office’s activities in 2013, but only 100,000 kr. could be a set aside for them.

The effort to improve the integration of CBS’ international full-time students has to go bargain hunting. The International Office was granted less than half of what it had planned in its 2013 budget, aimed towards improving the conditions of the international full-time students.

Applied for 240,000 kr. - got 100,000 kr.
In its annual report of 2012 for CBS’ Board of Directors, the Academic Council concluded that far too many international full-time students have a hard time getting integrated socially. And that’s in spite of the fact that CBS’ International Office, in collaboration with the Study Administration, in 2012 launched a new program meant to ensure a better start and
integration at CBS as well as in the daily life at CBS for this group of students.

That the efforts are being made towards a pressing issue is supported by the critique from the Academic Council, who wants a new strategy for the area with increased support. CBS’ president Per Holten-Andersen considers the integration of CBS’ international students one of CBS’ important challenges.

With the launch of the new project and the collaboration between the Study Administration and The International Office (TIC), the first small steps for ensuring better integration were taken. In 2012, a total of 85,000 kr. were allocated for the TIC activities, in addition to allocation of man-hours at both TIC and the Study Administration.

The program and TIC’s activities were started in the fall semester of 2012, with the expectation that efforts and activities were to be fully launched in 2013. But when the task force behind the project applied for funding for the effort, support from the Study Administration was nowhere to be found.

Implementing low-rent version of planned activities
In specifics, the task force applied for a budget of 240,000 kr. to cover former and new activities that The International Office were to be responsible for throughout 2013.

The Study Administration chose to prioritize the funding differently and was only able to provide less than half; 100,000 kr. TIC did not have the additional funding either.

Even though the 100,000 kr. is a marginally bigger budget than last year’s approximately 85,000 kr., which was the Study Administration’s contribution to a better start at CBS and integration for the international full-time students, there’s a long way op to the amount of money that the task force had applied for.

Tom Dahl-Østergård, head of The International Office still thinks that the planned activities for 2013, that include a reception, networking events and the International Student Ambassador (ISA) program, can be realized, albeit in a bit more low-rent version.

- The task force had applied for a significantly larger budget this year, in order to further develop the activities that were launched in the fall of 2012. Unfortunately, the funding to meet these goals wasn’t available, he explains and elaborates:

- We plan on being able to carry out all planned activities this year, and we hope that we’ll be able to find more funding over the course of the year.

Extra funding would have made a noticeable difference
From a memo prepared by TIC and the task force, it becomes obvious that the extra funding would have made a big difference.

For example, approximately 50,000 kr. had been allocated for the ISA program, meant to cover training and support for project initiatives. The money was meant to make becoming a volunteer in the program, that currently only has one full-time employee attached, more attractive.

The current funding of 100,000 kr. makes it necessary to reduce the number of intro seminars that were budgeted to cost 54,000 kr. , including a reception, so the rest of the planned activities can be carried out.

Financing is a matter of prioritizing
Director of the Study Administration Rie Snekkerup, who’s responsible for the allocation of the majority of the funding of the Study Adminstration aimed towards the international full-time students, thinks that it’s a question of prioritizing:

- The money available for us to allocate is determined by CBS’ top management and since this initiative isn’t part of a more general strategy pertaining o how international students can be integrated at CBS, then It’s not a project that gets its own independent funding on this year’s budget, says Rie Snekkerup and adds:

- I receive a lot of inquiries regarding lots of good ideas and initiatives that all cost money. That’s why we have to prioritize and choose what to support. The activities for the international full-time students are in tough competition with a lot of other initiatives. But we want to help them financially, which is why we’ve chosen to continue the support from last year and add a little extra.

Slim chance of increased support later this year
Rie Snekkerup supports the effort to strengthen the international environment at CBS, but still calls for strategic considerations and results, as well as a more thorough analysis of which efforts strengthen the integration of the international students in their respective programs.

Regarding the original budget application of 2013, Rie Snekkerup won’t make any final decision yet.

- I might be able to find more money for an increased budget for the international full-time student effort, but I won’t know for sure until after the second quarter of 2013, Rie Snekkerup tells CBS OBSERVER.

Kommentarer

This university needs a change of mentality. Calling the efforts for improving CBS's support for international full-degree students "a good idea" that is "in tough competition with a lot of other initiatives" expresses in short the core of the problem: the issues is not taken seriously at all.

And yes - it is part of CBS's general strategy. CBS is an internationally renown institution and has continuously and increasingly tried to attract foreign talent. This makes additional efforts in order to help new international full-degree students and faculty integrate mandatory. The lack of recognition that internationals face different and higher challenges when coming to CBS does not only affect these students and employees personally but also the overall image of CBS. When going back home, they are an important voice when improving, altering or deteriorating CBS's reputation. If you want to become a truly international university, appropriate services that target these people cannot be a taken out of the strategic effort.

Furthermore, students have constantly expressed their interest and underlined the importance of internationalisation at CBS, for instance at the last university elections. While both Danish and international students seem to be aware of these deficits, the administration hardly appears to be worried, even though Per Holten-Andersen has been quoted several times expressing strong support for further internationalisation.

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it really should be mentioned that the prioritizing was done as part of the 30 million DKK all over cutbacks this winter.

Bjørn Hyldkrog

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