Up close and personal with - Dr. Rahul Choudaha

Dr. Rahul Choudaha is the co-founder and CEO of DrEducation, a U.S.-based global higher education consulting firm, and interEDGE.org, a social venture focused on international student success. He is a contributor to Forbes, Huffington Post and University World News and a frequent presenter at conferences. He received the Tony Adams Award for Excellence from the European Association of International Education in recognition of his research on international student segments. Dr. Choudaha holds a doctorate from the University of Denver.



What do you like best about your job?

Originally from India, I followed a very conventional career path of working in the information technology sector after receiving my engineering and management degrees. However, this path ended when I followed my passion for higher education. I came to the U.S. to earn a doctorate in higher education and work in the sector. What I like best about my job is that I am staying true to my passion and feeding my curiosity. As an entrepreneur I learn something every day and get to work on diverse projects. These are challenging and stimulating times for higher education, and I am glad that I play a small part in shaping its future direction.

What is your current country of interest and why?

While I am not focusing on one particular country, I am taking a deeper dive into regional differences within key source and destination countries. For example, when we talk about China or India we often miss the significant regional variances and its implications for institutional strategies and student experiences. Also, with the increasing sophistication of technology, many higher education institutions have a prime opportunity of scaling their internationalisation strategies, if they can manage several challenges related to quality, recognition, and reputation.

What is your greatest challenge?

The biggest challenge I face is striking a balance among various competing priorities. One such challenge is keeping up with information, making sense of it and sharing it in a meaningful manner. Likewise, as the network of professional relationships expand, another competing priority is how to control my time and make sure that I am responsive and relevant to my connections.

What keeps you up at night?

The current geopolitical narratives and corresponding responses suggest that countries are becoming more insular and inward-looking. It is antithesis to our work, which recognises differences and promotes outward-looking, global citizens. Another disturbing issue is that some institutions are boiling down internationalisation to a unidimensional motivation of meeting budgetary shortfalls through international student recruitment without providing commensurate services to support the student success. Overall, a combination of these two factors do not bode well for the health of the international higher education sector.

What's your guilty pleasure?

In my down time, I am more of a watcher than a reader or a doer. I enjoy satires - political, news or otherwise. I am an unconditional fan of John Oliver's Last Week Tonight, and look forward to his weekly rants which are hard-hitting and hilarious. I have watched The Office (both US and UK versions) twice and still like to watch my favourite clips on YouTube.

18/08/2016 - 04:20