Enhancing the Academic Experiences of Internationally Mobile Students: The Philippine Experience
Keywords:Higher Education, Internationalization, Student Mobility, Student Services
With the increasing trend in international student mobility at the dawn of the ASEAN Integration 2015, higher education institutions (HEIs) in the Philippines started preparing and enacting new policies and structural reforms. Integrated into the process of establishing a university's framework for internationalization, benchmarking had emerged as one of the measures for institutions to learn from each other. These perspectives provided the impetus for this research. This qualitative and exploratory study described the implementation of the academic support services made available to internationally mobile students in private and public HEIs in the Philippines. Best practices and different challenges encountered were also noted during the benchmarking. Purposive in its sampling approach, with a preference for expert informants, the researchers visited schools and interviewed administrators, registrars, guidance counselors, faculty members, and internationally mobile students. Findings showed that HEIs in the Philippines, be it private non-sectarian, private sectarian, or universities, have institutional and policy-based academic support services for internationally mobile students and counseling, tutorial, research consultations, student group projects, and community engagement. The universities had their share of best practices and challenges and the curriculum, administration, and socio-cultural aspects in offering these services. The insights drawn from interviews, documents, observations, and focus group discussions provided the empirical bases to the suggested action options to build efficiency in school administration and enhance the academic learning experiences of the students.