IIE Network - Spring 2014 - (Page 25)

FEATURE: THE IMPACT OF GLOBALIZATION ON INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION Internationalization as Acquisitions, Mergers, and Synergy: A Value-Based Framework of Internationalization By Jenny J. Lee GLOBALIZATION AND INTERNATION ALIZATION are fast becoming inextricably linked. Beyond the traditional goals of educational diplomacy, internationalization in higher education can be likened to an arms race, as colleges and universities are seeking to amass international students and the many financial, educational, and cultural benefits that they offer (Lee 2013). The international student market is hardly in short supply, with more than four million students studying outside their home country (OECD, 2013) and projections that the number will escalate to seven million by 2020 (Altbach, Reisberg, and Rumbley 2009). Given growing demands, there has also been an increasing range of international activities beyond traditional student exchange and study abroad programs, such as branch campuses, dual and joint degrees, online courses, and other forms of delivery and partnerships (Deschamps 2013). While internationalization has shifted considerably during the past decade, there have been substantial public disinvestments in higher education. More than ever before, international education is being perceived as a major export particularly in countries where international students pay more than domestic students, such as the United States, Canada, New Zealand, and the UK (OECD 2013). What used to be mostly driven by diplomacy and student learning (i.e., study abroad, faculty exchange) is now driven by market interests to offset declining public allocations (Deschamps 2013). Consequently, we are now witnessing greater attention than ever before on enrolling international students and implementing international programs and activities. For many institutions, the recruitment of full-paying international students as "cash cows" is being targeted as a quick way to generate much-needed revenue. While this rise in internationalization interest and activities can be attributable to the changing economics of higher education, direct financial gains offer only part of the explanation. Internationalization has also become a marker of what it means to be "world class." In an increasingly globalized society, institutions strive to compete in international Internationalization is not simply the means to something else but a worthy goal in and of itself. rankings and showcase their internationalization efforts as evidence of calling themselves a world-class university. On a national scale, internationalization has become the means for countries to compete in the global marketplace. The U.S. Department of Education, for example, recently released its first-ever internationalization strategy, indicating that it is no longer sufficient to simply focus on reading, writing, and arithmetic, but that students must also develop international competencies in order to complete globally (U.S. Department of Education 2012). As such, public and private lines of interest have become blurred. Private interests entering higher education have been observed for decades as "academic capitalism," as institutions are becoming increasingly resource-dependent (Slaughter and Rhodes 2004). The market has pervaded internationalization efforts as well (Altbach and Knight 2006). In other words, internationalization is not value-free, uniform, or without consequences (Lee, 2013). Thus, I provide a framework to better gauge internationalization efforts and more importantly to raise some warning on the possible effects. I also introduce a third way of considering internationalization that is less common but has the potential to transform universities into true global institutions. As a way to analogize higher education's turning academic capitalism trend, I introduce three metaphors to identify and differentiate current internationalization practices. Given the prevalence of financial interests, I employ financial metaphors: acquisitions, mergers, and synergy. From a higher education internationalization perspective, acquisitions are activities to simply acquire talent from abroad. Mergers are programs that simultaneously benefit both partnering institutions and countries. Synergy relates to behaviors that not only involve and benefit both partners, but also have the potential to transform them in such a way that the sum is larger than the two parts combined. Acquisitions Internationalization in the form of acquisitions is most evident in higher education. There are more than 818,000 international students in the United States (IIE 2013) and more than four million in the world (OECD, 2013). There are also an undeterminable number of scholars and staff working outside their home countries. Given that 20 to 50-plus percent of international students, depending on the home country, do not return (Dumont and Spielvogel 2008), such academic mobility can produce limited benefits for sending countries, often referred to as brain drain. Even more concerning, among those who do stay abroad, some research suggests that there are many who work in fields that have little to do with their area of study (Mattoo, Neagu, Özden 2008), also known as brain waste. A major consequence of acquisitions is that such a winner-take-all approach reinforces global patterns of inequality, with developing countries continually striving but rarely truly competing with the West. In a past study, Brendan Cantwell and I demonstrated how the UK and U.S. remain the top global producers of scientific knowledge despite domestic still shortages. A steady supply of international scientists as temporary laborers (i.e., postdocs) are crucial in these countries' and universities' placements on the global stage, but these opportunities provide limited professional advancement for the participating individuals (Cantwell and Lee 2010). Mergers A more recent phenomenon that is also fast growing is internationalization as mergers. As evidenced in almost every university international affairs conference, institutions are seeking or engaging in joint or dual degrees. These partnerships allow for students to study in two countries towards a single or two degrees. Mergers can also 25

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IIE Network - Spring 2014

A Message from Allan E. Goodman
News
2014 IIE Andrew Heiskell Awards for Innovation in International Education
An Interview with Torbjørn Røe Isaksen, Minister of Education and Research, Government of Norway
Introduction to the Globalization of International Education
Internationalization as Acquisitions, Mergers, and Synergy: A Value-Based Framework of Internationalization
Globalized Internationalization: Implications for Policy and Practice
Advocating the Value of Experiential Learning in the Age of Globalization
The Translocal Urban Nexus in International Education: Trinity College in China and Southeast Asia
Mission Apt: Evolving Strategies for Global Student Recruitment
Global Research Networks: Experiments in Internationalization
Two Models of Global Learning
Advertisers Index
Final Thought: Fostering Global Research Capacity Through Multilateral Partnerships: The Global Innovation Initiative

IIE Network - Spring 2014

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