Stages of Globalization and Their Reflections on Higher Education

Stages of Globalization and Their Reflections on Higher Education

Oya Tamtekin Aydin (Istanbul Bilgi University, Turkey)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-4459-4.ch017
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Globalization refers to the case wherein individuals' demand the fulfillment of their needs and desires from the world that they cannot fulfill within national borders and the dynamism these demands create within themselves. Moreover, this dynamic structure, which exists to satisfy needs and desires, has massively impacted the financial, political, and social lives of societies. Shaped around globalization, a global market was established in the world. Further, the communication emerging due to the establishment of a global market necessitated the development of a common perspective among distinct cultures and revealed a need for people who could perceive this aspect. Thus, an inevitable bond was formed between globalization and education; this relationship is evidently observed in higher education institutions, as they are one of the essential components of an information society. This study therefore deals with different periods wherein the effects of globalization were noticed and the interaction between these periods and the field of higher education.
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Globalization can be summarized either as an indispensability or a voluntary dance between nations of the world. The roots of globalization, which refers to the mutual interaction among people living in different regions of the world, date back to the early ages when people practiced the barter system. The trade conducted through the Silk Road and the Spice Road, which began Before Common Era and continued until the Age of Discovery, forms the basis of the concept of globalization. Although differences seem to prevail in the understanding of globalization in parallel with the developments and changes in the world, the interdependence of countries stands as an ever-existing factor, i.e., some countries depend on others countries to sell what they produce, and some countries depend on the others countries to buy what they cannot produce. The period between the Age of Discovery and the late 1800s was a time of countertrade, which was established due to the economy’s exploitative perspective. Therefore, it can be deduced that a chain of trade in these years developed under the colonialism domination instead of a global world. Relevant literature (e.g., Baldwin 2018; Kıvılcım 2013; Vanham 2019) divides the stages of globalization as follows: Stage 1, the period between the Industrial Revolution (1870) and World War I (WWI) (1914); stagnation period of globalization, the period between 1914 and the end of World War II (WWII) (1945); Stage 2, the period between 1945 and 1990, ending with the Fall of the Berlin Wall and the Dissolution of the Soviet Union; and Stage 3, extending from the 1990s to the early 2000s, is a period influenced and shaped by the technological revolution. The digital revolution, which is a product of the rapid development of technology, became the most essential aspect that left its mark on the last period.

It can be said that globalization has broadly adopted various façades in each stage. The unchanging rule of this dynamic phenomenon is the fact that the developments in the world affect the actors in the market; the leading actors, whoever they are, dominate the world; and those possessing financial powers are the bosses of this order. Another unchanging truth is the need for a common market, which emerged as a result of globalization, for “labor force.” As the world develops, the need for educated individuals has increased, and this aspect motivated researchers to think more about higher education institutions that are expected to train the human resource. Hence, the answers to the questions such as “Can higher education institutions train a human resource suitable for every era?”, “Can they keep up with the dynamism in the world?”, “Do they lead the global world or just try to catch up with it?” became more important. Of course, it is not very easy to answer these, but we believe that considering what happens within the field of higher education and within the stages of globalization might provide researchers with a perspective to answer these questions.

Just as it is in economy, in the field of higher education, every country has its national domain and international mobility integrated in the world. Therefore, it is difficult to think about the relationship between globalization and higher education independently of the concept of “internationalization.” Internationalization is a process that affects many areas ranging from school curricula to diploma equivalences, from student exchanges to teaching staff exchanges, or from international cooperation among universities to international universities jointly established by two countries. Knight’s (2004) definition of internationalization as “the process of integrating an international, intercultural, or global dimension into the purpose, functions, or delivery of post-secondary education” served as an essential source of reference for the literature. The relationship between globalization and internationalization was pointed out by many authors (e.g., Altbach 2004; Şimşek and Bakır 2016; Teichler 2009), and these works argued that internationalization emerged as a result of globalization. Yılmaz (2016) stated that the field of higher education, which is traditionally accepted as a national issue, turned into an international field where the number of global and regional actors continuously increases. Teichler (2009) viewed globalization as an initiative that blurred the concrete lines between borders and national systems and characterized internationalization as an effort to increase the operations between the blurring borders.

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