How does globalisation interact with higher education? The continuing lack of consensus:The continuing lack of consensus
This essay attempts to ascertain whether a particular meaning of globalisation, and view on its effects and the appropriate response to it, are becoming standardised across academia. To do so, it content-analyses a representative sample of new scholarship, mapping the various approaches of current researchers towards globalisation. The essay shows how globalisation remains a contested concept within studies of higher education, as in many other fields. Rather than globalisation being taken to refer unambiguously to global flows, pressures or trends, its meaning continues to depend on the particular perspective adopted by contemporary researchers. The same conflict is apparent concerning the impacts which are reputed to globalisation and with regard to the appropriate response to globalisation amongst academics and higher education institutions (HEIs) more generally. Perhaps the only apparent point of consensus amongst contemporary researchers is the claim that globalisation affects HEIs, rather than HEIs themselves being implicated in the promotion of globalisation. This position underplays the often important role of HEIs in encouraging cross-border flows and pressures, and global trends such as marketisation.
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