2+2: Bringing the $$$ value back to the U.S. Higher Education

The global middle class is growing as is the global demand for International Higher Education. It is projected that student mobility will grow 70% by the year 2025. International Students contributed approximately 18.78 billion to the US economy during the 2009-2010 academic years; it is this country’s fifth-largest service-sector export, according to the Department of Commerce. However as more countries get into global recruitment, U.S. is losing its global market shares due to the perception of high education costs, and the budget cuts that is effecting all institutions of higher Education and visa issues. U.S. global market share has fallen from 28% in 2001 to less than 20% in 2009.

What can U.S. Institutions do to remain globally competitive?

The answer lies in enhancing, articulating and marketing of 2+2 jointly by community colleges and four year institutions. The 2+2 process provides huge savings to students and all institutions of higher education. As the global middle class grows the 2+2 can bring affordability of a U.S. Degree to these families who would have otherwise looked at other countries. Properly presented this will create a new segment of the global market and a new pathway for U. S. Community Colleges and Universities. “The globalization of economies, the rise of China and India, advances in science and communications technology, acceleration of global mobility—and the fact that virtually every major health, environmental, and human security challenge Americans face can be solved only through international collaboration—will require our graduates to be far more knowledgeable about world regions, cultures, and global issues.” U.S. education must prepare students for a world where the opportunities for success require the ability to compete and cooperate on a global scale.

Zepur Solakian
Center for Global Advancement of Community Colleges (CGACC)
Executive Vice President, 
Global Communication & Public Relations


Filed under Education

13 responses to “2+2: Bringing the $$$ value back to the U.S. Higher Education

  1. I agree with you, Ms. Solakian. As the Center Director for ELS Language Centers in Santa Monica, I can testify to the fact that the majority of our international students are using the 2+2 plan. Most matriculate to one of our community college partners before finishing up at a 4 year university. The savings to these students is huge.

  2. Thank you Ms. Hylen for your comment and for confirming the benefits of the 2+2 plan.

  3. As the Director of an ESL school I must correct my poor grammar. I meant to say the savings “are” huge not “is.” 🙂

  4. Carol Bryan

    I also agree with the comments posted by Dr.Solakian. I believe the 2+2 program will benefit both international and national students. I work in an associate degree program that is in a university setting. We have international students from Russia and India. We also have a new university president that is focusing on enhancing globalization in education.l

    Do you believe that universities will resist this movement? This will certainly decrease the number of freshman and sophomores enrolled in the university setting. With the budget cuts in higher education this may further reduce funding with decreased enrollment.

    Also what training would be required for faculty who teach in global programs related to cultural diversity and sensitivity.

    I look forward to your response.

    Carol Bryan

  5. Carol Bryan

    I also agree with Dr. Solakian regarding the potential benefits of a 2 plus 2 program. I work in an associate degree program in a university setting. Ourpresident is very interested in globalization. We currently have students from India and Russia.

    With our current cuts in higher education, do you believe their would be resistance on the part of universities. This program would reduce the number of freshman and sophomores in the university setting.

    Are faculty prepared for globalization? What training would be needed to prepare faculty for global students?

    Carol Bryan

  6. Thank you Carol. You are raising very interesting points which encourage continued discussion. Coincidentally, I came across a webinar series sponsored by NAFSA entitled “International Student Retention: Three Measured Approaches,” scheduled for June 21, 2011. You may wish to visit NAFSA’s website at http://www.nafsa.org and look for this webinar. The writeup for the webinar appears to address concerns similar to yours. I may sign up myself!

  7. Great post. You bring up a very good point, Ms. Solakian. While U.S. institutions of higher education still hold a greater sense of prestige than many alternatives around the world, the perceived cost/value of our institutions compared to the variety of alternatives overseas is decreasing as proven by your statistic showing our drop in market share over the last decade. We must continue to uphold our perceived prestige while simultaneously offering a more viable means for the global middle class to access our higher education. 2+2 seems to be one such great solution moving forward. Keep up the good work.

  8. Thank you all for the great comments!

    We at CGACC are working very hard to elevate the profile of the community colleges globally as well as working closely with universities to make the 2+2 option seamless, natural and attractive to international student. More than ever it is most essential that we all work together not to loose our edge globally.


  9. Dawn

    It is good that International students have this opportunity. In the U.S., students from the lower socioeconomic status are also using this plan for their education. However, there is still a lot of room to grow. I was reading an article the other day about the access to education that people from a lower socio economic class have. It discussed the fact that grants, student loans, etc, have given students from a lower socioeconomic status access to education, but the upper classes are still ahead in the education department because they are getting graduate degrees, while the other students are earning associates and undergrad degrees. However, it is a start.

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