University Internationalism – Reaching Beyond Traditional Boundaries
Globalization has accelerated the internationalization of universities. Today, many universities offer their programs and research across national boundaries, sometimes even building branch campuses in far-off locales such as China, Malaysia, and the UAE. Internationalism has become a cultural facet of the entire university community, whilst recognizing that its implications and scope vary across institutions. Faculty collaborate on research with their international peers, foreign students bring diverse and insightful cultural perspectives to their ”home” campus, and online learning courses enroll students who live 250 meters from the faculty member in a student dormitory, as well as international students who live 10,000 kilometers away. Indeed, the world is not only flat, it is at our fingertips and readily accessible for teaching and learning and building a truly dynamic and vibrant global village.
Going global, regardless of the potential benefits, carries a variety of risks for universities. Institutional leaders first and foremost will face tough questions about how international endeavors will benefit the “home” institution. These questions will emanate from all key stakeholders of the institution. Faculty will decry the use of resources for foreign ventures (or adventures) during an era of reduced government funding to higher education. Some leaders will claim international initiatives will result in new revenue streams to support home campus initiatives; the evidence for this assertion, in fact, is mixed at best.
Conversely, there are many valid reasons that recruiting international students and delivering borderless programs abroad are sound educational initiatives in an increasingly interconnected, and culturally diverse global economy.
Papers/project proposals/ video documentaries/short films for this sub-theme should cover one or more of the following:
- Discuss the role of English as the global language of commerce. Is this an economically valid argument for a single currency language? What is the threat of English to preserving native languages, cultural and heritage?
- As a student, what do you believe are the benefits of a comprehensive university internationalism program on campus and abroad? Why?
- If you have taken a study abroad experience or taken courses from a foreign provider, discuss and comment on your experiences educationally and personally?
- New York University has established a new campus in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
- The UKIERI (UK-India Education and Research Initiative) is a successful partnerships focused on the exchange of research and technology transfer.
- University of Maryland University College delivers online degrees to international students across the globe.