IIE Networker - Spring 2006 - (Page 26)

Feature Globalization and Higher Education By Van R. Wood Eight Common Perceptions from University Leaders What are institutions of higher education doing to create the environment that nurtures future knowledge workers to compete globally? The author’s research reveals eight commonly shared perceptions of the realities of globalization and higher education. The term globalization represents the international system that is shaping most societies today. It is a process that is supercharging the interaction and integration of cultures, politics, business and intellectual elements around the world. Driven by technology, information and finance, a full spectrum of views exist, some praising, some disparaging, as to the value of globalization. However, most observers believe that the ability to harness the good from globalization and avoid the bad lies in the cultivation of knowledge (Robertson 1992; Ali 2000; Friedman 2000; Newman, Couturier and Scurry 2005). Today, possessing knowledge and having the ability to use knowledge in a worldwide arena is critical to personal and societal advancement. Likewise, having a skilled and globally focused workforce is perhaps the most important ingredient to any organization’s competitiveness in a world where competitors can come from next door or around the world. Any entity that does not support an environment that attracts, sustains and retains creative, imaginative, and globally resourceful individuals will eventually fall behind. The role of higher education in such nurturing is most apparent as universities and colleges are considered by many to be the primary suppliers of such individuals (Florida 2002, Friedman 2005). What are institutions of higher education doing to create an environment that nurtures promising individuals and allows future knowledge workers to compete globally? How are such institutions responding to the needs of students, faculty and their communities such that each has the ability to prosper in the interconnected milieu of the 21st century? Do the leaders of such institutions profess a common body of thought, wisdom or insights with respect to higher education and globalization? The following represents findings of a year-long investigation into these questions. Eight commonly shared perceptions of the “realities” of globalization and higher education were revealed from this effort. Each represents what leaders of U.S. universities, in general, are thinking in terms of the internationalization of their institutions and communities. In the research, 110 U.S. institutions of higher education (drawn primarily from the Institute of International Education’s 2004 Open Doors Report) were benchmarked. “Benchmarking” entailed: (1) extensive perusal of institutional perspectives on internationalization or globalization as illuminated on official web pages; (2) reviewing relevant secondary documents/reports, scholarly articles and conference proceedings; and (3) interviewing presidents, vice-presidents, deans, directors and others who guide the international education at the universities examined (a complete list of references related to this study is available from the author upon request). The vast majority of participating institutions were research-focused universities, with 77 percent classified as Doctoral Research Extensive and 15 percent as Doctoral Research Intensive. One hundred and one of the 110 were publicly funded. Eight Common Perceptions 1. The internationalization of campus and community is both an opportunity and a challenge that must be dealt with today. Study results indicated that university leaders understand and embrace this point and feel an urgency to deal with it. Those in charge of programs, curricula and initiatives are looking for solutions to the challenges of globalization. Key questions posed by those interviewed included: • What kind of careers are emerging in today’s interconnected world, where are they emerging and how do we prepare our students and communities for them? • How can our departments, schools and university as a whole achieve an

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IIE Networker - Spring 2006

IIE Networker - Spring 2006
Message from Allan E. Goodman
Up Front: The International Education Diary
The “Global Campus”: Andrew Heiskell Awards for Innovation in International Education
Paths to Global Competence: Preparing American College Students to Meet the World
Globalization and Higher Education: Eight Common Perceptions from University Leaders
The International Branch Campus
Investing in Communities and Capabilities Worldwide
Institutional Leadership Internationalizing the Campus through Institutional Leadership at University of California, Davis
International Students Could Anthropology Be an Answer to Exchange Students’ Cocooning?
Study Abroad The Study Abroad Superhero Search: A Practical Approach to Marketing Study Abroad on Campus
Internationalization in the UK UCL: London’s Global University
Community Colleges The International Negotiation Modules Project: Using Computer-Assisted Simulation to Enhance Teaching and Learning Strategies in the Community College
Country Focus: Brazil Institutionalization of International Education in Brazil
The Browser: Index of Advertisers

IIE Networker - Spring 2006