Rethinking the ‘global’ in global higher education
by Vishakha N. Desai – June 29, 2019
University World News
From the rhetoric of ‘America First’ to the promises of the Brexiteers, all things ‘global’ are under attack.
A recent cover of the well-respected weekly The Economist declared that globalisation has trickled down to snail-paced ‘slowbalisation’, with a picture of a snail on the edge of the globe.
Many political pundits have published books attributing the rise of right- and left-wing populism and backlash against globalisation to the failure of globalism, resulting in increasing sentiments of ‘Us vs Them’.
It is undeniable that in economic terms global trends are spiralling downwards: foreign direct investments have fallen to their lowest level since 2004 and cross-border bank loans are among the lowest they have been in the same period. Anti-immigration sentiments are at an all-time high in the Euro-American world.
In United States institutions of higher learning the bloom is also off the global rose, once flowering at breakneck speed. Discouraged by the exclusionary sentiments coming from the White House and increasingly strict visa regulations, fewer foreign students have been coming to the US than over the rest of the past decade.
Disappointed by the lack of financial returns on their investments in overseas campuses, universities are also moving away from once highly touted global models.
As mentioned in a recent article in The Chronicle of Higher Education, there is a corresponding decline in the emphasis on global education in the mission statements and strategic plans of universities and colleges.