Globalisation of University Education
• M.G. JACKSON (2003): Internationalising the University Curriculum, Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 27:3, 325-330
By not questioning globalisation, all universities are by default serving the interests of the powers that be, which in today’s world are corporate business interests, Western governments which have beensubsumed by these interests and the co-opted elites of the non-Western World. For these interests, business as usual requires a steady supply of compliant, technically competent manpower for the global economy, and a mass of enthusiastic consumers. Pag. 328
Involving students at the ground level of this questioning and reconstruction process is not only good pedagogy but would also ensure that theywill be committed to the new directions that emerge from the classroom. Curriculum planning would focus on providing a format for this joint learning process (Jackson, 2002b). Pag. 329
Professor Haigh, and the numerous academics he refers to, see the introduction of some form of multiculturalism into the university curriculum as a logical response to the demands of globalisation (Haigh,2002). Clearly, however, there is a contradiction here. Globalisation can only succeed by erasing all non-Western cultures and the world-views on which they are based. Pag. 329
Non-Western cultures might be seen as valid alternative points of view, offering Western academics opportunities to ‘stand outside themselves’, so to speak. In the reconstruction process that would follow if thebasic concepts of the Western world-view were to be rejected, a variety of alternative concepts would need to be examined and evaluated for their possible value. ‘Internationalisation’ would have a new meaning. It would stand for a process in the university of truly multicultural, indeed ‘universal’, debate on the future of humanity. Pag 329
• Haigh, M.J. (2003) Internationalising theUniversity Curriculum: Response to M.G. Jackson, Journal of Geography in Higher Education, Vol. 27 No. 3 p.331-340
Professor Martin Haigh has given us a comprehensive account of the contemporary project to internationalise the curriculum in Western universities in an attempt to meet the demands of the globalisation process (Haigh, 2002). Pag 325
Internationalisation of thecurriculum in Western universities is driven by two processes. First is the globalisation and commodification of higher education, which taps the financial advantages to be gained from the international marketing of higher education services. Second is an attempt by teachers to gain some educational benefits for students from this process. Pag 331
Western universities are contributing to the ‘GreatTurning’ of core values in the West
as witnessed by the current ascendancy of the ‘Education for Sustainable Development’
(ESD) movement. Pag 331
If educational borders are completely open, the strongest and wealthiest education providers will have unrestricted access. Countries and institutions that cannot compete will find it difficult to flourish. This means that developing countries andsmaller industrialised nations will be at a considerable disadvantage. Local academic institutions will find it difficult to compete with providers that choose to set up institutions in their country. Foreign providers will focus on the most profitable segment of the market—today including business and management studies, information technology, and a few others—and leave the rest to the localinstitutions. Such fields as the basic sciences, requiring expensive laboratories and other equipment and offering little immediate profit-making potential, not to mention support for libraries, will be ignored by the foreign providers. (Altbach, 2001, p. 1) Pag 332
Our goalis to recast our ‘new university’ as a ‘community of learning’, a place where the needs of learning (including...
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