IIE Network - Spring 2014 - (Page 39)

FEATURE: THE IMPACT OF GLOBALIZATION ON INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION Global Research Networks: Experiments in Internationalization By John Hearn GLOBALIZATION THROUGH HISTORY has been inevitable and relentless and is arguably at its most extensive in current times, with economic, environmental, political, social, and cultural change all accelerated by improved communications and information. Internationalization may be considered as the strategies adopted to respond and adapt to and engage with globalization. In the arena of international higher education and research, the role and influence of leading universities have advanced as they become thought leaders and participants, rather than the ivory towers of the past. On the frontiers of such developments, international university networks have encouraged teamwork in order to achieve more than the capacity of individual universities. There are more than 50 established networks, largely developed in the past 15 years, each with their distinct regional or global objectives in research, teaching, mobility, and service. Drawing on this experience, what are the indicators for success or failure? It is a convenient truth to claim advantage for international networks in accelerating internationalization and best practice, creating opportunity and innovation, and attracting resources to address global challenges. Yet there are also inconvenient truths in higher education and research that cannot be ignored, including the challenges of rapid expansion versus quality, rising costs versus limited improvement, and inadequate rote learning versus the development of talent. What are the priorities, possible solutions, and contributions that can be gained through international partnerships and networks? Future Framework The logic behind the internationalization of higher education is powerful. The purpose includes communication and transfer of knowledge (two-way), innovation in approaching global challenges, cultural understanding and appreciation of different strengths, and the development of talent among students and staff to be fit for the future. Higher education has become recognized globally as a vital ingredient in economic and social advancement. Yet the current currents are not simple, and the storm winds require vigilance and expert navigation. There are rocks to sink those without charts and experience, and the opportunity costs of staying away include loss of competitiveness, advancement, and resources. In recent years the various ranking systems claim to benchmark and show how the best are building, but there are risks with rankings as they can channel towards uniformity and loss of diversity in national culture and practice. They can encourage unrealistic expectations and a pride that leads rapidly to a fall. In 2009 the OECD predicted that the waves of the global financial crisis would take longer to surge around academia and universities than the immediate effects on banking and business. The effects would be serious reductions in resources, including state and private funding and philanthropy; threats to the links with businesses and the community; and threats to international access, diversity, and employability of talent. UNESCO stated that at no time in history was it more important to maintain and increase investment in education, both in lesser and in more developed countries. The global financial crisis is an opportunity to question the excess and return to basic principles and core values. To the extent that this opportunity is taken, higher education and research will emerge stronger. The major international partnerships and networks are pioneers of innovation and the acceleration of internationalization. Their distinct objectives and strengths in research, teaching, mobility and models of engagement can be experiments and pilot studies to test what works and what does not. Retaining the historic values and strengths of tradition are ever more important at a time of drift. There is nothing new about international cooperation in higher education and research, but what is emerging is a will to develop more equal partnerships, engage in multi-institutional teams, work for longer term results, and join in international networks that must achieve more than is possible for individual institutions. The 2011 meeting in Shanghai of the Presidents of the Worldwide Universities Network, who form a global think tank of WUN fosters the next generation of internationally networked researchers through its innovative Researcher Mobility Program. The program funds visits of up to three months for postgraduate and early career researchers between network members. In 2010, Priyanth Mehta from the University of Southampton's Optoelectronics Research Centre visited the Material Research Institute at Penn State. The visit has sparked ongoing collaboration between the two labs. leaders from 18 research universities in 11 countries and 5 continents, composed a list of the key drivers of university reform to 2020. These included: * The war for talent, in diminishing supply while generational change in academia is upon us; * Privatization of universities and higher education, with new models to meet the market; * Real interdisciplinarity of research, requiring vision and support from funding agencies; * Access and equity, creating opportunity for the best and brightest; * Reform of the curriculum and its delivery through new technologies, including the experiment with MOOCs. 39

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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