What is the role of higher education in globalisation? How does the global higher education landscape look today and how will it look tomorrow? Will we see the emergence of new research poles in the world? How can countries cope with the global competition? Who will pay for higher education?
Globalisation can be characterised as increasing worldwide interconnectedness that combines economic, cultural and social changes. Higher education is implicated in all the changes related to globalisation – even if these implications vary across different kinds of institutions. Highly skilled workforce and strong research capacity contribute to innovation, attractiveness and global economic competitiveness of a country. Higher education holds a central role with regard to knowledge, language and cross-cultural encounters. At the same time, development of information and communication technology, together with cross-border mobility of students, faculty and institutions is expanding knowledge flows in a global scale. Globalised market forces reflect to higher education as globally ranked institutions compete for scholars, students and financing.
The perception of global economic competition as knowledge-driven phenomenon, coupled with increased pressure for higher education expansion, has posed significant economic and academic challenges both for governments and institutions worldwide. In global environment, future higher education potential is influenced by the size and wealth of the economy, coupled with cultural and linguistic framework and nature of inherited system. At the same time, national or institutional capacity to act reflects investment in higher education, research performance and prestige as well as governance arrangements.
In this context, market or quasi-market mechanisms have been perceived as a promising solution to the challenges of increasing demand for higher education worldwide. In addition to diversifying sources for financing, this would imply changes in the roles of and relationships between different higher education stakeholders.
Related project documentation
Related OECD work on Education