IIE Network - Fall 2013 - (Page 19)

FEATURE: THE GLOBAL NETWORK UNIVERSITY The Promise of International Education: Building a More Just and Elevated Civil Society By John Sexton IN THE COMING academic year, New York University will mark two milestones: the arrival of the inaugural class at NYU Shanghai and the graduation of the inaugural class at NYU Abu Dhabi. In the five years since NYU has embraced the identity of a global network university, we have experienced rapid change, both in the concrete details of how the university functions and in our concept of what international education can mean in the 21st century. Thus, it is a fitting moment to pause and reflect. Has the global network university model lived up to our goals and vision? What has it allowed NYU to accomplish, and what remains to be strengthened? Does it respond effectively to the major international shifts shaping higher education today? NYU’s global network university—which today comprises three comprehensive, degree-granting campuses in New York, Abu Dhabi and Shanghai, complemented by 11 study-away sites1 on six continents—evolved in part in response to two trends recognized by many observers of globalization. The World is Miniaturizing The first trend is that the world is miniaturizing: what happens in distant places is known almost everywhere—by almost everybody— immediately and unavoidably. As the global flow of people and knowledge has accelerated, the economy, politics, environment and cultural life of each nation are impacted more than ever by events beyond its boundaries. Although these exchanges offer unparalleled opportunity, they can also bring confusion and conflict. NYU believes that universities are uniquely qualified to offer a positive response to the challenges of globalization. As homes of thought, creativity, understanding and progress, universities forge pathways of comprehension and communication across established divisions and nurture citizens who can face complex problems with nuance. Idea Capitals The second trend is the evolution of a world in which collections of talent, resources, and opportunities are increasingly clustered in specific locations, which I have come to think of as “idea capitals.” Just as during the Italian Renaissance, thought leaders and their ideas flowed among Milan, Venice, Florence, and Rome, so in the decades to come will those who generate ideas move easily among Shanghai, New York, London, Abu Dhabi and other key cities. The architecture of the global network university strives to accommodate and foster the global flow of ideas and talent that characterizes these trends. In contrast to a hub-and-spoke model, it works as an organic circulatory system, facilitating by design the seamless mobility of students and faculty among the various sites and allowing them to teach and learn in a set of the world’s idea capitals without compromising connectivity to the rest of the university. It challenges students to address the world’s problems not as individuals but as teams of colleagues and partners with the citizens of the countries they come to know. In short, it creates at the university level the fluid structure that cosmopolitan students will encounter upon graduation, as well as the opportunities that In these emerging models of international education, the principles of cross-cultural learning and understanding will continue to thrive, but will do so most fully in systems that reflect the dynamic, interdisciplinary and multicultural flow of ideas characteristic of a globalized society. cosmopolitan faculty often seek for themselves and their families. Encouraging Cooperation It is important to note that our global network structure, based more on locally inflected NYU coursework than on direct enrollment in host-country institutions, is not designed to lead to an insular study-away experience or to “academic tourism.” On the contrary, because each of the NYU centers is part of the local community, students are afforded access to local institutions such as schools, workplaces, governments, research centers, museums, businesses and nonprofit organizations. This way, they can participate in the community in a variety of ways, from service to internships. For instance, students in NYU Accra serve as teaching assistants in local middle schools or deliver health care to Ghanaians. Students in NYU London and NYU Prague study acting and filmmaking with some of the great artistic companies of those cities. And students in NYU Shanghai intern at global companies headquartered there. As students circulate among sites, they deepen and reframe their experiences and perspectives. The circulation made possible through the global network also encourages significant integration of faculty, with appointments at NYU Abu Dhabi, NYU Shanghai, and the 11 global sites enhancing NYU’s faculty and academic programs network-wide. Local faculty at the global sites circulate, as well, allowing students throughout the network to benefit from scholars and leaders with distinctive perspectives on global issues. The global network has also encouraged new modes of cooperation among faculty. To take one example, after serving as a visiting professor in New York last fall, professor Anna-Kazumi Stahl from NYU Buenos Aires has continued to work with New York faculty on a “Global World Texts” course, which will incorporate experiential learning. This kind of relationship springs naturally from the dynamic of the global network model. 19

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IIE Network - Fall 2013

A Message from Allan E. Goodman
News
Megatrends: Predicting the Future of International Education
Considering Study Abroad’s Past to Prepare for its Future
The Promise of International Education: Building a More Just and Elevated Civil Society
Global Research and Commercialization: An Under-the-Radar Next Big Thing
Clustering Innovation and Industry: New Opportunities for Europe
Connecting the Dots: Integrating Engagement with International Stakeholders
The Rise of Real-time, Online International Recruitment
Hold on to Your Hats, MOOCs... Here Come the TOQUES!
The Global Youth Engagement Platform: A Peace Corps for the 21st Century
Growing Globally Competent Students to Achieve True Internationalization
Beyond Ourselves: Embracing Our Global Responsibilities
India: Expansion, Equity, Excellence
The Growing World of Collaborative Internationalization: Taking Partnerships to the Next Level
From Multi-national Universities to Education Hubs to Edu-glomerates?
Advertisers Index
Beyond the Numbers: The Who, How and What of Global Student Mobility

IIE Network - Fall 2013

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