India Rising (or part of it)

Last year October I made my first visit to India. I had heard a lot of stories and read numerous articles about the 'Rise of India' (Thomas Friedman probably topping the list in terms of optimism). So...I arrived with high expectations. After arriving in Delhi Airport, staying three days in Delhi and travelling two weeks through Rajasthan, I was becoming more and more fascinated and disappointed at the same time.Of course I hadn't expected India to have turned in to one big IT science park in just one or two decades (although some…Read more …

Legrain on immigrants

Tonight I attended a lecture (in the Sydney Ideas Series) from Philippe Legrain on his latest book: Immigrants: your country needs them. It was also the occasion of his Sydney book launch but luckily - in this open world - I ordered the book a month ago from the UK (and thereby avoided the high Australian book prices).   Legrain's lecture will be available on the University of Sydney podcasts site, but here's a short impression of both book and lecture. In short, Legrain's message is: Let them in! Because it's better for…Read more …

More Europeanisation

On the 24th of January, a so-called 'letter of formal notice' has been sent by the European Commission to the governments of Austria and Belgium. The letter concerns the 'Europeanisation by stealth' that I have addressed before here for the case of Austria and here for the case of Belgium. These governments thought they found a solution for the high influx of foreign students (respectively German and French) in some of their universities. European law - Article 12 of the EC Treaty - prohibits discrimination on the basis of nationality. In Austria, they…Read more …

Whose European Higher Education?

Last Month, the Dutch Central Planning Agency (CPB; international name: Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis) published a report on the role of Europe in higher education: "Higher education: Time for coordination on a European level?" (in English). More specifically, they asked the question whether there are valid reasons for more European (as opposed to national) coordination of higher education. Their final conclusion is NO: there is little empirical data that supports a shift towards European coordination of higher education. The authors claim that neither economies of scale, nor the existence of external…Read more …

Globalisation & Higher Education in *****

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…Read more …

Scarcity in China

A few interesting articles appeared recently on the availability of talent to support China's economic growth. Even though China has a vast pool of human resources, the Asia Times warns about China's impending talent shortage. Firms in the south now complain that they cannot recruit enough cheap factory and manual workers. The market is even tighter for skilled workers. As the economy grows and moves into higher-value-added work, the challenge of attracting and retaining staff is rising with the skill level, as demand outstrips supply.Only a few of China's vast number of university…Read more …

The Globally Integrated Enterprise

IBM's CEO Samuel J. Palmisano claims that the Multinational Corporation (MNC), one of the primary agents of globalisation, is taking on a new form: The Globally Integrated Enterprise. A post of the Dutch blog Sargasso pointed me to this article in this month's edition of Foreign Affairs (the article can also be downloaded from the IBM website).Although international trading enterprises were already in existence in the 17th and 18th century (e.g. the British or the Dutch East India Company), the first international corporations emerged in the mid-nineteenth century. These corporations were mainly based…Read more …

…and keep your tray table and seat in the full upright position

For my flight to the United States I took some news articles that might be of interest and on which I might post later on. Here's a list of what I thought might be worthwile:An article on the risks that Australian universities are taking by focusing so (too?) heavily on the international student market. Universities are risking their academic reputation by rushing into dubious offshore ventures and are leaving themselves financially exposed as the boom in overseas students tapers off. A report from NSW Auditor-General Bob Sendt finds universities have become too reliant…Read more …

ASEAN (and the EU)

The foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are meeting in the beautiful mountain resort of Ubud in Bali this week. An editorial in the Jakarta Post calls for renewed action in the association:"ASEAN risks becoming irrelevant if it does not respond to the huge challenges it faces today, nearly 40 years after it was first formed. The foreign ministers have the task of convincing the international community that the regional grouping continues to be relevant by taking strong action against any members who threaten the existence of the association.Established…Read more …

The Pot and the Kettle?

Joseph Stiglitz, in Globalization and its Discontents, shows how the principle of conditionality is increasingly used as a political instrument by institutions like the World Bank and the IMF. According to this article in the International Herald Tribune, current World Bank president Paul Wolfowitz now speaks up for including freedom of the press as one of the conditions for loans of the Bank.Wolfowitz and senior World Bank economists know that strong, independent news media play a key role in promoting transparency and good governance, which in turn lead to economic and political development.…Read more …

Solid Growth, New Challenges

This morning I attended the launch of the World Bank's East Asia and Pacific Regional Update. For the first time, the launch came directly from Sydney; previously it was launched in Washington and presented in Australia by videoconferencing. This twice yearly snapshot of economic development in East Asia was presented by Jeff Gutman (WB Vice President for East Asia and the Pacific) and Dr Homi Kharas (WB Chief Economist for East Asia and the Pacific). The title was 'solid growth, new challenges' and pretty much covered the message: a lot of optimism, but…Read more …

Giddens & Co. on Europe

The Guardian published the transcript of an interview with Anthony Giddens about New Labour, the Lisbon Agenda and labour market reforms. The message for Europe, or better, for Germany, Italy and France: a flexicurity model. Reform of the labour market and at the same time taking care of those who lose out. Here are a few of his statements.About Lisbon and the European Social Model:You get all these detailed prescriptions about what should be done at the level of the economy. Even this great hit list which countries are supposed to follow. But…Read more …

Technonationalism and Economic Globalism

This month's Far Eastern Economic Review featured an interesting article about Asia's nationalist policies in the globalised field of science and innovation. Here are a few sections, but read the full story here (free access).P.V. Indiresan, the former director of the Indian Institute of Technology Madras: "The future of both China and India is at risk, because neither owns the technology it operates; the intellectual property continues to remain in the West. The short answer to this problem is that we should develop our own technology; we should acquire so much intellectual property…Read more …

Globalisation: 99 Definitions & Perspectives

While I was looking for a file in my computer I stumbled upon an old document. It's a file with a list of different perspectives and definitions of globalisation that I assembled for my doctoral research some years ago. I thought it might be of useful for students and scholars that are trying to grasp the possible meanings of the term. It is a list of 99 (give or take a few) views from different disciplines and different sectors. Most are from academics, ranging from anthropologists to economists and from philosophers to business…Read more …

Lisbon and Washington

A bit over a week ago, President Bush has delivered his State of the Union. Last Wednesday, the Budget for 2007 was presented. In both, the American Competitiveness Initiative (ACI) played an important role. The ACI sets the following goals:300 grants for schools to implement research-based math curricula and interventions 10,000 more scientists, students, post-doctoral fellows, and technicians provided opportunities to contribute to the innovation enterprise 100,000 highly qualified math and science teachers by 2015 700,000 advanced placement tests passed by low-income students 800,000 workers getting the skills they need for the jobs…Read more …