Folks who look at my blog know how much I focus on applying evidence-based approaches to mastering well-defined learning outcomes - a key component of what I think learning environments need to become good at, as technology enhances and expands the types of learning experiences available, and the kind of learning evidence that can be used to judge progress.
However, there's more to learning than a narrow focus on key skills for individual productivity. I frequently recall Dana Gioia's very good formulation of the purpose of education: to build "productive citizens for a free society." Yes, "productive citizens" comes first, but on its heels, we cannot forget "citizens for a free society." One important component that contributes to both goals is exposure to global experience - learners, at many stages, getting experience with cultures, thinking, and meaning outside their home territory.
Overall, I think the most telling outcome is how many learners discover only after they graduate how valuable transnational experience while in school actually would have been. And how this does not connect with the opportunities: in some countries, the opportunities to get abroad appear to be quite limited, even though students later see the importance of "getting out there." It's not just a broadening experience - graduates see that employment opportunities, later, are significantly enhanced by that kind of experience.
Kaplan has a range of opportunities to help students around the globe get outside their starting countries and gain experiences elsewhere. This includes Pathways programs to bring international students to universities in Australia, the UK, and the US, as well as English language learning programs in a variety of countries. No surprise, in keeping with all of Kaplan's efforts across our learning environments, we're applying evidence-based methods and best-practice learning measurement approaches to analyze how these programs work for learners and to improve them.
It's clear that in this increasingly interconnected world, we need more folks with rich, cross-cultural exposure to help navigate the complex inter-cultural decisions that companies, governments, and other organizations have to make well. Getting these experiences earlier, and sorting out exactly what kinds of experiences are the most helpful, should be a part of every adult/university learning environment at scale.