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Peter SCOTT ** Vice-Chancellor, Kingston University, United Kingdom Introductory Speech Plenary Session 2 Cross-Border Higher Education and Internationalisation OVERVIEW OF CONCEPTS, TRENDS AND CHALLENGES IAU International Conference Alexandria, Egypt 15-16 November 2005SummaryIn my presentation I will discuss two different kinds of taxonomy. The first is the conceptualdistinction between different forms of internationalisation – and, in particular, the keydifferences between globalisation and internationalisation, terms which are sometimes (butmisleadingly, in my view) used interchangeably. The second is an empirical description of thedifferent forms of internationalisation in which higher education institutions engage – forexample, recruitment of international students, establishment of branch campuses,franchising / validation of academic programmes, collaborative research and so on. I will thenattempt to link these two taxonomies – and, in doing so, outline some of the challenges facinguniversities (and higher education systems).Globalisation and internationalisation are distinct phenomena. One view is to regard theformer, globalisation, as simply an extended and more intensive form of the latter,internationalisation; in other words the two concepts have a linear relationship. Another viewis to align globalisation with the ‘market’ and to regard internationalisation as an essentially‘public’ phenomenon (whether linked to the diplomatic objectives, both cultural and economic,of states or the academic objectives of universities, in terms of the internationalisation of thecurriculum, the diversification of the student body and/or research collaboration); in otherwords the two concepts have a dialectical relationship. In my view the latter provides a moresatisfactory account than the former – but it is also important to recognise that globalisation isnot simply a ‘market’ phenomenon.One of the most striking characteristics of cross-border higher education is its growingheterogeneity. Once it was dominated by (generally one-way) of students from the developingworld to the developed world – although the motives for encouraging these flows changedover time (from post-imperialism through aid and development to growing ‘market share’).Today there is a much wider range of forms of cross-border higher education – fromrecruiting international students, selling academic services, establishing branch campuses topromoting global research networks and even borrowing policy frameworks. According to oneview this diversification has amounted to the ‘commercialisation’ of cross-border highereducation (which consequently and logically should now be embraced with the GATS andother bi-lateral trade frameworks). But other views are also possible which emphasise othergeo-political trends – for example, the emergence of ‘world cultures’ (not necessarily ‘westernculture’) and the shift from ‘Atlantic’ to ‘Asian’ hegemonies. I will argue that these morecomplex and more nuanced views offer a more satisfactory framework for discussing thechallenges facing universities in the international sphere.Introduction 1. Thank you very much for inviting me to speak at this very important conference. I cannot think of a better time to assert the more positive andIAU International Conference 1
more hopeful face of internationalisation (and I believe that academic, scientific and cultural exchanges represent the most positive and most hopeful face of internationalisation) – because the media are filled with much more negative, more pessimistic and much darker faces of internationalisation (the threat – and counter-threat – of war and terror; the growing evidence of global environmental challenges; the increasing number of natural disasters, the power of multi-national corporations, apparently beyond democratic accountability). A decade ago perhaps the internationalisation of higher education was less important because, on the whole, internationalisation was seen as a benign process. Today it could not be more important – as an essential counter-weight to these darker forms of internationalisation. 2. But, as well as being more important than ever, the internationalisation of higher education is more complex than ever. Once it took a limited number of familiar forms – scientific exchanges at the highest level, and international student recruitment. Today the internationalisation of higher education comes is many, often less familiar forms. Some are the result of technological change (especially the revolution in information and communication technologies) – hence the growing importance of so-called ‘borderless’ education. But other new forms of internationalisation are less easy to describe – and, therefore to predict. For example, the internationalisation of higher education is becoming a ‘business’ – as such it may be just one ‘business’ in the global knowledge economy (which is typically seen as an almost entirely free-market and high-tech formation – wrongly so, in my view – although the GATS debate is of fundamental importance). But the internationalisation of higher education is also being shaped by other forces – for example, large-scale geopolitical shifts (away from the West, despite the current dominance of the United States) or the development of ‘world cultures’, intriguing amalgams of secular liberal cultures and more traditional cultures (often, misleadingly, labelled ‘fundamentalist’). 3. I do not have time today to more than scratch the surface of this complexity (which, I would argue, in the other-side-of-the-coin to the growing importance of the internationalisation of higher education). I only have 20 minutes – and I have been asked to provide an overview of concepts, trends and challenges. Each of these deserves at least 20 minutes in its own right, so I will have to be very brief – and also simplify what are really very complex subjects. I have also been asked to concentrate on cross-border higher education – although it is not always easy to distinguish between cross-border higher education – the establishment of global partnerships, the emergence of rival ‘virtual’ institutions, the creation of branch campuses in other countries; and so on – and more traditional forms of internationalisation. 4. My talk is divided into three parts: i) The first is the wider context of globalisation, a word that is on everyone’s lips (and is often over-used by politicians). What do we mean by globalisation – American hegemony, multi-national capitalism, the ICT revolution? I want to argue that globalisation is many other things besides (and that these other forms of globalisation may actually be more relevant to discussions about the internationalisation of higher education). In other words – the CONCEPTS;IAU International Conference 2
ii) In the second part of my talk I want to focus on trans- national higher education itself – the various forms it takes from the high-level scientific exchanges (and patterns of academic immigration and immigration) and traditional forms of international student recruitment, with which we are familiar, to the potential threat of new corporate and virtual ‘universities’. In other words – the TRENDS; iii) And in the final part of my talk I plan to talk about the CHALLENGES – which, for the sake of argument (and also because I only have a little time) I will reduce to a choice between what I will call ‘GATS road’ and a very different, more democratic and more emancipatory, road, a road along which higher education is a leader not a follower, because we assert the priority of our core values (of science, enlightenment, emancipation) rather than simply submit to the values of others whether confrontational ideologies, rival states, competing corporations.Concepts 5. Let me start then with concepts – what exactly is globalisation, and what is its impact on the internationalisation of higher education (and cross-border higher education, my particular topic)? I want to talk about four different accounts of globalisation – and link each to a particular view of the internationalisation of higher education: i) The first account is the most familiar – globalisation as a kind of gigantic round-the-clock round the globe ‘market’ powered by ever more powerful information and communication technologies. In this first version of globalisation the power of national states, even of regional blocs of states, has been radically curtailed; ‘free’ markets, out-sourcing (often on a global basis), privatisation and the rest are irresistible forces. Now, if you accept this version of globalisation, two things are important for higher education. The first is that universities, especially so-called ‘world class’ research universities, are key players because they produce much of the fundamental science and advanced technology on which this global knowledge economy depends. The second thing that is important for higher education is that it has to embrace ‘market’ values and ‘market’ practices – without qualification (because there is, literally, no alternative). So, according to this first version of globalisation, what kind of internationalisation matters? First, high-level scientific exchanges (and also emigration / immigration of scientists – the ‘brain drain’ and all that); and, second, universities as ‘knowledge businesses’ battling for ‘market share’; ii) The second account of globalisation emphasises the very wide distribution of knowledge production (and the inter- twining of knowledge production with its dissemination, transfer and end uses). In other words we are talking about innovation (not just in a technological or even economicIAU International Conference 3
sense, but also in the social, political and cultural arenas). Some people – including myself – have written of a shift from ‘Mode 1’ research to ‘Mode 2’ knowledge production. Now, if you accept this rather different view of globalisation, the implications for higher education are also different. There is a much stronger focus on the role universities play in regional and national development, in the part they play as ‘transaction spaces’, ‘trading zones’, access points, translational arenas between global knowledge and local ‘knowledges’ (which cannot just be dismissed as subordinate or inferior forms of knowledge. So, again, what kinds of internationalisation matter? First, perhaps, internationalisation-at-home – embedding global perspectives into the curriculum and also bringing together local agendas, particularly those concerned with ethnic, religious and cultural diversity within nations, with international agendas. Second, maybe, more – and more equal – academic exchanges. Third, perhaps, a stronger emphasis on development as a key driver of internationalisation; iii) The third account of globalisation is more concerned with the humanities and social sciences. It emphasises both the growth of so-called ‘world culture’ (or, at any rate, ‘global brands’ which may not be the same thing) but also the persistence of cultural differences – and, in particular, what happens when this ‘world culture’ (or these ‘global brands’) and these cultural differences either come together in a positive, synergistic, way or when they collide (maybe even violently). Two quick comments. First, once that ‘world culture’ would have been labelled ‘western’ and seen perhaps as a hang-over of imperialism (or a continuation of imperialism by other means); today it is more likely to be labelled ‘Asian’ and be seen in the light of the dynamic technologies being produced in that region of the world. Second, how that ‘world culture’ is interpreted by, absorbed into, different national cultures is an extremely complex (and even ambiguous) process. So – what are the implications of this third account of globalisation for the internalisation of higher education? Perhaps the most important is that universities are key mediators; they have a big effect on whether this encounter between ‘world culture’ and national cultures produces synergy or confrontation. In simple terms internationalisation is, or should be, about promoting international understanding, mutual respect of cultural differences, creating a shared sense of humanity, universal values that are not the property of a particular nation, religion, culture, continent but belong to all; iv) The fourth, and final, account of globalisation is – you could call it, anti-globalisation, the forces that have set themselves up in opposition to free-market high-tech globalisation. Some of these forces are political and peaceful – I am thinking of the worldwide coalitions thatIAU International Conference 4
oppose the degradation of the natural (and human) environment, a social ecology that has succeeded traditional forms of social democracy. After all Green Peace is as much a global brand as Coca Cola. In many ways these social and environmental movements represent a purer forms of globalisation than the ‘free-marketers’. But there are other forces more violent and more confrontational. Global terrorism is an aspect of globalisation, both in terms of what it opposes but also in terms of the advanced technologies it uses. So – what forms of internationalisation in higher education does this fourth account of globalisation suggest? One, certainly, is to reinforce the point I have just made about promoting international understanding by respecting differences. But a second implication, surely, is the need for universities to be placed where these turbulent and complex forces that are shaping our world are properly understood, in terms both of research and teaching – and it is impossible to do this without free and vigorous international exchanges (I say ‘exchanges’ because essentially one-way ‘market’ flows will never be enough in this respect). 6. The point I want to emphasise that, if we concentrate only on the first account of globalisation (as a free-market, high-tech, ‘western’ phenomenon, we are inevitably pushed in the direction of one particular version of internationalisation, also as largely concerned with the development of ‘markets’ in knowledge products and services (and products and services are predominantly concerned with scientific and technical expertise). But, if we pay more attention to the other accounts of globalisation, we may come to different conclusions about the future direction of the internationalisation of higher education – and also of trans-border education, which is often seen as the most entrepreneurial (and market-oriented) form of internationalisation.Trends 7. I would now like to move onto the second part of my talk – a discussion of trends in internationalisation (and, in particular, in cross-border higher education). I am very conscious that one of the other speakers in this session, Professor Jane Knight from OISE, is one of the leading experts in this field. So I will be brief – and, I hope, that, if I get anything wrong, Jane will correct me. I would like to cover three broad topics: 8. My first topic is the size of the total market (just how big a business is international higher education – and how significant an element in that overall market is cross-border higher education?). There are a lot of big figures being bandied about – which are not always easy to reconcile with past and present growth trends. In the past five years a number of studies have suggested that the market in ‘international education’ is expanding – almost exponentially. Yet the main countries that ‘import’ international students (the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, France and Germany) have not seen numbers increase to anything like the same extent – and, indeed, have fought each other to protect, or increase, their ‘market shares’. This contrast demonstrates very clearly, I believe, that ‘international education’ and ‘international student recruitment’ are not the same thing (and I will say a bit more about this in a moment). It is perfectly possible that one – ‘internationalIAU International Conference 5
education’ in its broadest sense – is boomed, while the other – ‘international student recruitment’ – is growing much less rapidly. 9. My second topic is what I will call the ‘big picture’. I believe we need to see the internationalisation of higher education (and the growth of cross-border higher education) in the wider contexts of (a) mass tourism and mass-media culture, which have given large sections of the population some knowledge (and even experience) of other cultures (what I like to call the home-at-abroad phenomenon; and (b) large-scale emigration (and immigration) flows which have produced much greater diversity within once more homogeneous national societies (what I like to call the abroad-at-home phenomenon). To take a simple example, it is clear that many students choose to study abroad not because they are seeking a directly ‘international’ experience, but because they see it as opening up opportunities that are not available at home; in other words their choice has as much to do with upward social mobility, or opting for a higher-quality experience, than it is to do with a thirst for ‘internationalism’ (still less, for multi-culturalism). Viewed in that light, their choices are not so very different from those made by so-called ‘economic migrants’ or even refugees – although they may occupy a more privileged socio-economic position (at the top – as opposed to the middle, for ‘economic migrants’; or the bottom, for many refugees). 10. My third topics is the most important shifts that are taking place within the market for international education: • One such shift is from physical to virtual mobility – or, perhaps, more accurately, blends of actual and virtual mobility. This is linked to the changes taking place in how we conceive of, and experience, time and space in the post-modern world with its faux familiarities and fractured communities. • A second shift is from traditional to ‘alternative’ providers – or, once again more accurately, a combination of the two often in uneasy alliances. I will say more about this in the last section of my talk today – challenges. • A third shift is from fixed patterns of mobility [i.e. full- time study abroad] to more flexible patterns [shorter study visits, mixtures of home and international, and actual and virtual, experiences and so]. Linked to this are initiatives designed to provide an ‘international’ experience at ‘home’ – for example, by establishing branch campuses. • A fourth shift is from institution-level and national policies to, in the case of institutions, alliances of similar institutions and, in the case of the latter, regional blocs (of which the best example is the European Higher Education Area, being produced by the so-called Bologna process).IAU International Conference 6
Challenges 11. In the final part of my talk today I would like to talk about just two (of the many challenges) facing universities in the context of cross-border higher education. The first is the potential impact of rival institutions; and the second is the challenge posed by GATS.Rival institutions 12. The first challenge is the impact, short-term and long-term of more so-called ‘borderless’ institutions. These may be virtual universities, corporate universities or for-profit universities like the University of Phoenix. The standard account often suggests that, if conventional universities do not get their act together (by which is often meant the abandonment of traditional academic culture and professional practices), they will be superseded by these ‘alternative’ institutions which will be much more responsive – at national but particularly at international level. In fact there is rather limited evidence that this is happening. Attempts to create virtual universities have generally failed – the collapse of the e-University in Britain demonstrated the limits of purely technical solutions to complex socio-cultural problems. Interestingly the Open University, based on much more traditional principles, continues to flourish. The hey-day of corporate universities appears – for the moment – to have passed, as companies downsize or out-source their corporate universities (often preferring to contract with traditional universities). The scope for for-profit universities also appears to be limited – both by the range of subjects that can be turned into profitable products and also by the progressive introduction of fees into many public universities. And, if anything, the impact of so-called ‘borderless’ education may have been more limited in the international sphere where it might have been expected to be greatest. The international education market is probably a rather conservative market. 13. The lesson I draw is that the challenge comes not so much from ‘outside’, from the ‘other, brand-new kinds of universities that are completely different from traditional universities – but from ‘within’, from the growing importance of more market-oriented activities within traditional universities. Universities are likely to become hybrid public-private institutions in which fairly traditional forms of teaching and research co-exist with much more entrepreneurial forms. This would be entirely consistent with the way that the State itself is developing. But I think it would be wrong to conclude that international education would automatically fall into the latter, entrepreneurial, category – because, as I have emphasised more than once, there are many faces of internationalisation and globalisation some of which are actively opposed to the application of market principles to higher education.GATS 14. The second challenge (many people would call it a threat) comes from the proposed extension of GATS – the WTO-led General Agreement on Trade in Services – to cover higher education. This is a very complex matter. As you probably know four separate modes of higher education: (i) cross-border supply [which would cover distance education]; (ii) consumption abroad [in other words international students studying abroad]; (iii) commercial presence [branch campuses established in foreign countries or franchise deals]; and (iv) ‘presence of natural persons’ [teachers or researchers working abroad]. These four modes raise very different issues. While there might be fewIAU International Conference 7
objections to adopting a free-market approach in one mode, there might be serious objections in the case of another. To take an obvious example, many Governments will be reluctant to extend the same financial subsidies to what are, in essence, foreign institutions and / or commercial organisations as they do to their own universities. There is also a particular concern in developing which want to protest themselves, and their institutions, against unregulated asset-stripping and talent-stripping. One effect could be that public institutions in developing countries are crowded out of profitable markets, for example business schools, and be left with the more expensive subjects such as engineering or medicine. 15. A number of concerns have been expressed about the inclusion of higher education within the GATS framework (and on this American and European universities are at one): i) The first is an ideological objection – higher education is not, or should be treated simply as a tradable commodity. Not only are universities immensely significant in terms of expressing national cultures and traditions, they are also key sources of investment in social and community development as well as being engines of individual and democratic entitlement; ii) The second concern is a more restrained version of the first – the language, concepts and values of economic liberalisation, such as is used by the WTO and GATS, are antithetical to those of higher education. So there is a real risk of mutual misunderstandings arising; iii) A third concern – an example of the problems with language – is the ambiguity of GATS. For example, can higher education be included among the ‘services provided in the exercise of governmental authority’ that are provided on a non-commercial basis and are not in competition with services from other providers? As I said a moment ago, many universities today are hybrid institutions embracing both traditional and more entrepreneurial elements; iv) Finally, there are concerns that the dynamics of trade liberalisation encourage Governments to offer trade-offs – and access to higher education ‘markets’ could become one of these trade-offs (especially because negotiations are being handled by non-Education Ministries, higher education leaders are not being properly consulted in many countries and the longer-term unintended consequences of liberalisation in higher education are poorly understood).Conclusion 16. It is now time for me to bring my remarks to a close. I have just spoken of GATS – and certainly that is one way in which the future of the internationalisation of higher education (and of cross-border higher education, in particular) can be viewed. But, whatever you may think about the GATS agenda (and I have to admit that my political values tend to make me critical of that agenda), if you accept the kind of analysis that I have offered youIAU International Conference 8
today, GATS cannot be the whole story. There are other aspects of globalisation – and of international education – that must be viewed in different terms. I would suggest to you that older ideas of democracy and liberation, of enlightenment and emancipation, may offer us better terms of reference for understanding (and steering) the future direction of international education. Than k you for listening to me. Peter Scott Kingston University** PROFESSOR PETER SCOTTProfessor Peter Scott is Vice-Chancellor of Kingston University. Prior to this he was ProVice-Chancellor for External Affairs at the University of Leeds. He was also Professor ofEducation and Director of the Centre for Policy Studies in Education. Before going toLeeds in 1992, he was for sixteen years Editor of the Times Higher Education Supplement.He was educated at the University of Oxford where he studied history and at the Universityof California at Berkeley where he was a visiting scholar at the Graduate School of PublicPolicy while holding a Harkness Fellowship from the Commonwealth Fund of New York.He has honorary doctorates from the University of Bath, the University of ManchesterInstitute of Science and Technology, the (former) Council for National Academic Awards,Anglia Polytechnic University and Grand Valley State University. He is also a Member ofthe Academia Europea, an Academician of the Academy of Learned Societies for the SocialSciences and a member of the Board of the Higher Education Funding Council for England.His research interests are the governance and management of universities and colleges,non-standard access to higher education and the links between further and highereducation. His most recent books are The Meanings of Mass Higher Education (1995),Governing Universities (1996), the Globalization of Higher Education (1998) and HigherEducation Re-formed (2000), University Leadership: The Role of the Chief Executive(2000), Ten Years On: Higher Education in Central and Eastern Europe (2000) and Re-Thinking Science: Knowledge Production in an Age of Uncertainties (2001).IAU International Conference 9