Globalization and Internationalization in Education
Category : Education, Education Issues, Globalization
Selecting an overall model of globalization, show how and why you believe it is related to the internationalization of education, focusing on ONE of the aspects treated above (students, staff, curriculum, or IT). You may choose your example from ONE of the following: higher education, vocational education and training, or the school sector. 1500 words formal academic essay. APA
Globalization has been one of the profound trends that is having dramatic effects on how universities operate. It requires and dictates the academic arena to prepare the students for the labor market which is now organized on a transnational level. According to the OECD and World Bank report, education is one of the sectors that globalization impacted upon and the growth in cross-border education is perceived as one of the direct results of globalization (2007, 23). Indeed, globalization compels the higher education institutions to provide to compete on a global basis. Education is internationalized through the process of integration of intercultural dimensions on the purpose, functions and delivery of higher education. This is most evident in the development of a curriculum which is in accordance with international requirements. Higher education programmes through its curriculum in particular is increasingly internationalized through shaping the content of such wherein it can provide relationships and comparisons at all levels – local, national and international. The academic quality of the programmes is central to curriculum development in universities.
Various reasons can be accounted for this. First, curriculum development as required at serves as a mean of strengthening research and knowledge production. Now, it would be easy to understand that local institutions are benchmarked against international standards. This is also a way to say that one of the most obvious signifiers of globalization is technological advancements, allowing students and institutions to interact in ways that are conventionally hindered by geographic, economic and social boundaries (OECD and World Bank, 2007, p. 33). Enhancement of research according to international standards is a shift of strategy in the internationalization of education. The idea is that research and knowledge is fundamental in sustainable development of education because this aspect of internationalization is critical to international recognition -- that is why it is important for institutions to cultivate a nascent research culture (Hayhoe and Lin, 2008).
Research excellence of higher education institutions is increasingly becoming a yardstick of relationship building, identifying sources of funding and promoting institutional caliber. Collaborative research and education initiatives are also seen as productive ways to develop closer geopolitical ties and economic relationships among countries and enhance competitiveness in the process (World Bank, 2007, p. 31). Throsby (1996, p. 92) sealed the argument that the internationalization of curricula had economic underpinnings behind it, much of which is dictated by globalizing initiatives. With creation of new knowledge at the helm, universities are forced to promote efficiency through aligning their curriculum with that of the international requirements.
Second, international curriculum development directs is moving toward the creation of an international profile and reputation. Universities acknowledge the fact that the development of the curriculum is an overall strategic decision, as this is important in the quality of higher education aside, from being a core element of institutional strategies. As such, developing the curriculum is perceived to be a goal in internationalization, and therefore the extent of international content of curriculum is a significant indicator. A curriculum with international elements is therefore relevant in raising the institution’s profile at a global level. Universities recognize another fact that the development of an effective international curriculum is a multi-disciplinary approach (OECD and World Bank, 2007, p. 34-35). As universities are becoming an agent of global change, universities are engaging in the practice of increasing social sophistication whereby science and reason other than custom and tradition are key. Such a stance is also pivotal because globalization is also shaping universities’ action to widen the old social class. Universities are expected to serve both local and regional communities needs which is the reason why universities are investing in a strong reputation as an international high- quality institution (OECD and World Bank, 2007, p. 34; Scott, 1996, p. 202). Globalization therefore affects the development program of international studies in terms of funding, standards and academic drift. These are the problems with academic development in line with globalization initiatives where a strong temptation for less prestigious institutions to indulge in international collaborations not for its intrinsic benefits but because of its impact on reputations (Scott, 1996, pp. 205-206).
Third, international curriculum development also points to the creation of diversification in both the teaching and the learning environment. The level of engagement of the faculty is another way globalization is manifesting itself in the development of the curriculum. With this, globalization was the basis why more and more universities involve international scholars and visiting experts and develop joint programs with different international partners. Hayhoe and Lin (2008) made mention that the competence of the teaching faculty is one strong way to attract students. The growth in the number of foreign language programs is one perfect example of this. Wachter (2008) recognizes that while English is essential in the exchange and sharing of information among governments and enterprises specifically, the problem is that the poor quality of curriculum content would be evident as both teachers and students may be deficient in the command of English. Universities also require the integration of student mobility into academic requirements. Student mobility in particular has served as a capacity development, allowing access to recent knowledge and research (OECD and World Bank, 2007, 13).
When it comes to how internationalized universities are perceived, indicators could include the percentage of international enrollees and the numbers of countries represented in the student body. The number of students under international scholarships and participating joint programmes are also considered to be indicators of internationalization (Throsby, 1996, p. 93). In China, for instance, attracting high quality international resources from abroad and introducing globally advanced curriculum and teaching materials are important endeavors. The exchange was seen to be an action to enhance the performance of higher education while also maintaining, developing and empowering own higher educational institutions (OECD and World Bank, 2007, p. 50; Hayhoe and Lin, 2008). Welch and Zhen (2007), on the other end of the spectrum, argued that this process could only deepen the existence of global inequality in knowledge creation and application.
When China works to attract talent from developing countries, the problem is that these talents only consolidate the already strong knowledge base of the countries where the talent may come from, which commonly are the developing countries, by which process, jeopardizes the capability of Chinese intellectuals (p. 339). Scott (1996) termed this process as the ‘push from below’ or the rising social demand for higher education opportunities as a consequence of the rising tide of democratic aspirations and a ‘pull from above’ where the growing demand for advanced skills and knowledge is concentrated from increasingly sophisticated economies (p. 201). He continued that the international orientation of universities impacts on the transition from elites to the massification of education that created new ways to develop academic programs. Institutional reputations are coupled with the international orientation of continuity then where both the mass and elite can co-exist with curriculum as their common foundation (p. 205).
Fourth, international curriculum development purports to facilitate the production of a globally competent workforce. Globalization has made the world more interdependent and complex, affecting the economy, prominently the labor market and cultural integration. Virtually all enterprises are now counting on education and knowledge, competence and skills development more particularly. Education is therefore required to meet the demands of the ever-changing economic force (OECD and World Bank, 2007, p. 49). The most basic need is a skilled workforce equipped with multicultural competence and able to mobilize transnationally. The goal is to prepare graduates that are internationally knowledgeable and competent. Such a goal is brought by the changing interests of governments also wherein the political-economic-educational tie up is influenced by global competition and markets. The interest on the first two dimensions are combined to influence and impact on that of the education dimension, obliging this to increase the quality of higher education systems in meeting both the domestic and global demands of a skilled workforce in the global economy (Scott, 1996, p. 202).
Quality is perennial; Farquhar (1999, p. 9) states that quality must be evident on curricular materials and validate such via level of performance, competency identification and measurement and credential recognition and transferability. Governments therefore influence the responsiveness and delivery of education among higher education institutions (OECD and World Bank, 2007, p. 49). The strategic importance of the governments and their people is central to academic mobilization, apparent in combating the effects of the more intense engagement between higher education systems such as the more intrusive surveillance of academic standards, downward pressure on higher education budgets, attempts to align university missions with national goals (Scott, 1996, p. 205).
In sum, globalization is evident in the internationalization of curriculum development in higher education. In particular, it is apparent in shaping the content of curriculum intended for universities. Internationalization of curriculum is perceived as a mean to strengthen research excellence to leverage the image of universities hence attract more international students who are willing to subject themselves in transnational mobility in the future. As a strategy at institutions-level, internationalization of curriculum is a key in achieving social sophistication where universities are striving to be competitive at a global scale. Apart from student mobility, institutions also invest in the engagement of the faculty, which is a significant attracting factor of universities. All these three elements points to the realization of the fourth which is the creation of competence and expertise necessary for the global information economy. This, nevertheless, requires that curriculum and its content must be of highest quality if it means to produce graduates that are equipped with necessary skills, capability and knowledge.
Farquhar, R. H. (1999). Integration or isolation: Internationalism and the Internet in Canadian higher education. Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, 21(1): 5-15.
Hayhoe, R. & Lin, J. (2008). China’s Private Universities: A Successful Case Study. International Higher Education, 51.
OECD and World Bank. (2007). Cross-border Tertiary Education: A Way Towards Capacity Development.
Scott, P. (1996). Massification and Globalization: Two Principles in Conflict? International Strategies for Internationalization of Higher Education. Conference Proceedings, Hong Kong.
Throsby, D. (1996). Progress Report on financing and effects of internationalized teaching and learning. Internationalization of Higher Education. Paris, OECD. pp. 91-111.
Wachter, B. (2008). Teaching in English on the Rise in European Higher Education. International Higher Education, 52.
Welch, A. R. & Zhen, Z. (2007). The Chinese knowledge diaspora: Communication networks among overseas Chinese intellectuals. In D. Epstein et al (eds.) Geographies of knowledge, geometries of power: framing the future of higher education (pp. 338-354). Rutledge: London.
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