Language Departments Could Influence College Rankings

A+, grade, blackboardInstitutional rankings can make a big difference in the further success of a college or university. As reported by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2014–2015, high rankings can help institutions recruit talented faculty, as well as demonstrate quality to potential students and their parents. This type of momentum is invaluable.

What’s the Secret?
So how might a college or university jump-start their rankings? According to THE, there are a few stand-out factors that influence student decisions. Here’s a list that breaks down what really matters to students in assessing the quality of a higher ed institution:

  • An institution’s total resources
  • Faculty/student ratio
  • Teaching environment
  • Internationalization on campus
  • Global reputation
  • An institution’s links to business and industry

Concrete Solutions
How can a college or university address these big-picture ideas in meaningful but realistic ways? With global reputation, internationalization, and employability so closely linked, language solutions can play a role in helping institutions remain competitive.

  • Supporting foreign languages and English for ELLs and native speakers—including developing IEPs—with one language-learning suite can increase revenue and even save on recruitment costs by developing new pipelines.
  • Utilizing language-learning resources that support a flipped classroom—where students dive into new material outside of class and come together to apply it—enables instructors and students to have more personal and meaningful interactions regardless of classroom size, as outlined in this presentation at the Innovations in Teaching and Learning Conference.
  • Providing students with cutting-edge, cloud-based learning systems and assessing individual student progress in real-time with built-in monitoring systems allows instructors to provide an advanced teaching environment tailored to student needs, both individually and as a class.
  • Using ELL/ESL software with a range of options—from tracks focused on developing advanced academic skills, to workforce development, to accent reduction and fundamental skill development—can help higher ed institutions improve their international reputation by better addressing the diverse needs of international students, and a strong reputation around international student success leads to further internationalization.
  • Improving language offerings and proficiency of students and faculty studying or working abroad reflects positively on the university as a whole, facilitating communication in key international partnerships, exchanges, and research.
  • Using learning systems that interface with current news and events in business and industry (for example, the new Rosetta Stone® Language Learning Suite for Higher Education, with a solution that partners with Euronews to provide meaningful content) prepares students for the global workplace. Some institutions, like the Yale Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children, have even used Rosetta Stone® solutions to prepare students and faculty for career-specific needs, like medical practice abroad.

Students are putting their money on colleges and universities that tackle top issues head-on, and at a time when internationalization and global employability are so important, language can be key.

Where you work, are language programs integrated into the larger institution in a holistic way that addresses the points that really matter to students (internationalization, global reputation, links to business and industry, etc.)? Join the conversation here, or pass this article along to an interested colleague!

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