I found a recent post in one of my favourite blogs (or is it an online magazine?) on the demands that globalisation makes on higher education systems around the world. After reading it I noticed how global this debate has become and how it is so similar in very different parts of the world. Here are some summarising sections of the article:

The four challenges of globalization – the flight of talent, benchmarking to global standards, the possibility of education as a business opportunity, and the mismatch between supply and demand – have a common thread running through them. Inflexible and overtly regulated education systems are unlikely to respond to these challenges. Rigid academic systems all over world struggle to reposition themselves to respond to the challenges posed by globalization.

The ***** education system is one of the most tightly controlled in the world. The government regulates who you can teach, what you can teach them and what you can charge them. It also has huge regulatory bottlenecks. There are considerable entry barriers: Universities can be set up only through acts of legislation, approval procedures for starting new courses are cumbersome, syllabi revision is slow, and accreditation systems are extremely weak and arbitrary. The regulators permit relatively little autonomy for institutions and variation amongst them.

Globalization requires two contradictory transformations in the state: On the one hand, successful globalization requires that the state invest heavily in increasing access to education. But in higher education, globalization also requires the state to respect the autonomy of institutions so that a diversity of experiments can find expression, so that institutions have the flexibility to do what it takes to retain talent in a globalized world and, above all, respond quickly to growing demand. Globalization demands a paradigm shift in the regulation of higher education. In ***** the debate has only just begun.

You can fill in the *****. I think it could be Germany as well as France. China as well as Pakistan. Australia as well as Thailand. Uganda as well as South Africa. Greece as well as Italy…etc…etc. The solution can be found here.

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