Examining the Factors Shaping the Debate Around the Globalization of Higher Education: Key Factors and Influences

Examining the Factors Shaping the Debate Around the Globalization of Higher Education: Key Factors and Influences

Vlasios Sarantinos (University of the West of England, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7259-6.ch001

Abstract

The chapter explores the impact globalization has created for the higher education sector, looking at how the landscape evolved across the world and how the role of universities has been transformed. Extending the analysis further, there is an investigation of how institutions have tried to respond to the emerging challenges and opportunities presented as a consequence of the shifting field. The focus then moves to the African continent and peruses the particular development of higher education under the influence of colonial legacy and globalization, examining how institutions have endeavored to adapt. The chapter draws to an end with a reflection of the main issues, inherent limitations, and how the research agenda could be taken further.
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Key Concepts And Theoretical Underpinnings

Trying to define globalisation and its key drivers is a vital starting point, and from there to assess its ties with HE. Historically, globalisation rose to prominence in the 1980s when Peter Dicken’s (1986) seminal work Global Shift tried to map the changes occurring at a global level, especially the move from the idea of a nation-state to worldwide interconnectedness brought about by advances in technology and communication, and the prevalence of neoliberal philosophies in the economic and business spheres (Dicken, 1986; Held & McGreew, 2002). However, the difficulty of defining globalisation explicitly lies in its inherent complexity, the multiplicity of the forces that shape it, and the very subjectivity of the paradigm (Scholte, 2002). Nevertheless, despite the conceptual issues, its importance and impact in terms of affecting the world’s societal structures are commonly accepted (Baylis et al, 2017). In his 1986 book, Dicken also makes an important distinction between internationalisation and globalisation. Internationalisation is the expansion of predominantly economic activities across nations and the increasing speed with which that takes place, which at its core was not new and had been occurring since antiquity. On the other hand, globalisation is a more advanced form of internationalisation that goes beyond transactional elements and requires the sharing of a common base to enable the interconnectedness of economic activities (Beck, 2015).

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