Senior International Officers (SIOs) are charged with delivering creative, competitive, cost-efficient, and impactful global programming which contributes to their institution’s mission. At the same time, they are required to do so with limited funding, requiring them to have, at a minimum, a rudimentary knowledge of financial structures and strategic budgeting.
However, most university and college leaders are not trained in accounting or finance and may find budgets intimidating. This is not unique to higher education. According to NAFSA: the Association of International Educators, a “2018 survey of U.S. managers revealed that 34 percent had no prior training—and this number jumps to 59 percent for managers supervising one or two people.”
Within this context, here we provide the basics that any SIO will need in becoming adept at strategic budgeting, including: 1) an overview of principal higher education funding and budgeting models, and their impact on internationalization; 2) considerations for how SIOs can budget in strategic and sustainable ways; and 3) tips for how SIOs can communicate their plans and advocate for additional resources.