Reshaping Workforce Dynamics for International Higher Education

Reshaping Workforce Dynamics for International Higher Education
Durvine Sindiga

In the rapidly evolving landscape of international higher education, institutions are confronting unprecedented challenges that demand innovative and adaptable solutions. The volatility in employment patterns, exacerbated by global uncertainties, highlights the need for flexible staffing strategies. The rising prevalence of understaffed departments, significant turnover rates, and the unique requirements for diverse executive skill sets underscore the importance for international higher education institutions to explore strategic partnerships in navigating these complexities.

Navigating Challenges in Workforce Dynamics: International higher education institutions are operating in an environment characterized by volatility, uncertainty, and shifting trends in employment. Swift shifts in market dynamics, economic fluctuations, and unexpected events are calling for agile strategies in managing the workforce. Shortages of staff contribute to decreased productivity, heightened stress levels, and compromised service quality. High turnover rates come with financial costs and disrupt team cohesion and institutional stability. Moreover, identifying executives with distinct and diverse skill sets that align with institutional needs presents a complex challenge requiring specialized guidance.

Adapting Staffing Strategies: Tailoring workforce management strategies is crucial for addressing these challenges. Institutions are exploring innovative approaches to staffing that enable them to quickly adjust to changing circumstances while maintaining operational effectiveness and service quality. This may involve responding to sudden surges in demand, addressing seasonal requirements, or managing specialized projects. Partnering with specialized service providers can aid institutions in overcoming the difficulties associated with understaffed departments, resulting in a workforce model that can adeptly meet their specific needs.

The Search for Exceptional Executive Talent: In the pursuit of capable executive talent, a critical aspect of institutional growth, institutions are focusing on identifying and recruiting executives with not only the required expertise but also a diverse range of skills. The selection process involves comprehensive evaluation, leveraging industry insights, and aligning executives with an institution’s values and culture. Established networks and expertise can facilitate connections between institutions and high-caliber executive talent, contributing to stability and growth in leadership roles.

Strategic Partnerships for Success: Collaborating with strategic partners can yield significant benefits in addressing workforce challenges in international higher education institutions. Here are some factors to consider:

  1. Industry Insight: Partnering with experienced entities provides institutions with valuable insights into the challenges posed by dynamic employment landscapes.
  2. Agile Solutions: Flexibility in staffing solutions ensures institutional resilience amid market fluctuations and unforeseen demands.
  3. Diverse Skill Sets: Access to networks of professionals and executives with varied skill sets encourages innovation and fresh perspectives.
  4. Tailored Approaches: Customized services that align with institutional goals and objectives lead to more effective solutions.
  5. Diversity and Inclusion: Prioritizing diversity in executive recruitment enriches leadership teams and contributes to a broader range of perspectives.

In summary, adapting workforce strategies to meet the demands of the international higher education sector is essential in ensuring institutional success. The challenges posed by employment volatility, understaffed departments, high turnover rates, and the search for capable executive talent require thoughtful approaches. By exploring partnerships and leveraging industry expertise, institutions can position themselves for stability and growth within an ever-changing landscape.

About the author: Durvine Sindiga is an accomplished Marketing and Communication scholar practitioner in International Higher Education. Sindiga serves as a subject matter consultant in the areas of, IHE Business Models, Market attractiveness, EdTech Recruitment Platforms, 3rd Party complimentary Systems, Brand positioning, IHE trends & Insights, and HIE Innovation in Africa.
Share this on:

Sponsored ad

Sponsored ad

Sponsored ad

Sponsored ad

Episode 29: Cultural Lens on U.S. Higher Education: Analyzing International Perceptions of 'Anti-Woke’ Discourse

Dive into a nuanced exploration of the global discourse surrounding higher education in the United States. Join us for a panel discussion with esteemed international educators as we embark on a journey through the lenses of culture and international perspective, examining how global audiences interpret and engage with the ‘anti-woke’ discourse within the context of U.S. higher education. This engaging panel discussion will delve into the intersections of culture, ideology, and education, and the complex landscape of how international audiences perceive the ‘anti-woke’ narrative that has emerged within U.S. academia.

Whether you’re a senior international officer, or simply curious about the diverse viewpoints shaping U.S. higher education, this podcast episode will provide an invaluable space for critical analysis and insightful conversations.

Speaker Biography:

Fanta Aw is a distinguished leader in international education, renowned for her extensive contributions to global learning, cross-cultural understanding, and educational equity. With a deep commitment to fostering connections between diverse cultures and promoting educational excellence, she has significantly impacted the international education community.

Fanta Aw’s career has been characterized by her dedication to advancing global education initiatives, promoting diversity and inclusion, and nurturing partnerships that transcend borders. She has held influential roles in various organizations, advocating for the importance of international collaboration and learning experiences that empower individuals to navigate an increasingly interconnected world.

As a thought leader and visionary, Fanta Aw’s insights and expertise have shaped discussions on the future of international education, emphasizing the significance of equitable access, cultural exchange, and lifelong learning. Her work has not only elevated institutions but has also inspired countless individuals to embrace the transformative power of global education.

Date: September 14th, 2023
Time: 12 noon ET

Sponsored by:

Mark Beirn


An experienced global researcher and administrator, Mark Beirn brings a critical approach to risk management, factoring structural racism and identity-based violence into his rubric for supporting equitable global mobility.

Specialization Areas:

– Global Risk Management
– Education Abroad
– Diversity, Equity, Inclusion in International Education
– Health and Safety
– Curriculum Development


Stephen Appiah-Padi​


Stephen Appiah-Padi is an international educator with several years of teaching and administrative experience in both 4 and 2-year HEIs. An experienced global education practitioner-scholar, with a demonstrated history of success in the field.

Dr. Appiah-Padi has a Ph.D. from the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada in Educational Policy & Administration with a specialization in International/Intercultural Education.

At Northwestern College, he provided oversight in the administration of education abroad and international student services. In Lansing, Michigan, he first oversaw diversity and intercultural education at Lansing Community College, and later created the Center for International and Intercultural Education (CIIE) which merged intercultural engagement and international education programs of the institution, and he became its first director. Additionally, Dr. Appiah-Padi taught a course, “Diversity in the American Workplace”, to undergraduate management students of the College. In his current position, he provides leadership and vision in advancing strategic internationalization initiatives, including international partnerships and study abroad programs at Bucknell University.

Dr Appiah-Padi has created and facilitated several workshops for faculty and staff development in higher education and in business organizations. He has presented at several national and international conferences. In NAFSA, among several volunteer leadership positions, he has served as Dean of the Fundamentals of Intercultural Communication Workshop, the Leadership Development Committee member, Chair of the Africa Special Interest Group, and a Fellow of the Global Fellowship Program for mentoring emerging leaders of internationalization in African HEIs. He currently serves as a member of the NAFSA Board of Directors.

Subscribe to Gateway Edge Newsletter & Spotlight Episodes

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing.

Rosa Almoguera


Dr. Rosa Almoguera has worked as an international educator for over twenty years. She was trained as a Hispanic Philologist at the Universidad Complutense, in Madrid, and did her M.A. at the University of Pennsylvania. Her Ph.D., from Universidad Complutense included a field study and edition of written balladry “Romancero”. During many years Rosa combined teaching and her role as a senior administrator at the Fundación Ortega-Marañón in Toledo, Spain. At the Foundation, Rosa directed and, in many cases created, programs for the University of Minnesota, Notre Dame, Princeton, Ohio State, Arcadia, and the University of Chicago. She has also been a visiting professor at the University of Minnesota, University of Portland, and Interamericana de Puerto Rico.

Beginning in 2016, Rosa works as an international education consultant for both public and private European and US higher education institutions. Rosa has been successful in developing new partnerships and programs, as well as helping improve already existing ones.

Rosa is a member of Forum and NAFSA and has presented with higher education professionals on innovative academic and research programming, STEM in study abroad and Nationalism in Europe. Rosa is currently completing the final Professional Certification from the Forum on Education Abroad.

%d bloggers like this: