Beyond the University: International university co-operation and network capital
Contributor(s)University of New England
Comparative and Cross-Cultural Education
Educational Administration, Management and Leadership
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AbstractThe idea of a university has evolved from Newman's view of an institution that imparts knowledge to one which not only imparts but also advances it. At present, the university plays an essential role in developing people who are engaged in their communities and who are concerned about key social issues. It also helps individual students to live better lives. At institutional levels, internationalization is seen as becoming increasingly important while, at global levels, there is greater emphasis on students attending internationally oriented universities in hopes of becoming better prepared for the workforce. According to the World List of Universities, there are 17,500 universities and other institutions of higher education, roughly half public, the other half privately sponsored. Given the variety of institutions that represent the higher education sector worldwide, to what extent are higher education institutions responding to global change? Are they guiding nation-states toward knowledge-based economies? Are they concerned with global rankings and introducing key performance indicators to improve quality in research and teaching? Are they doing more for less, particularly since the Global Financial Crises of 2008 and 2011? Are they becoming more elitist and exclusive? Drawing upon data collected from studies of international university co-operation, this analysis suggests that universities are struggling with internationalization strategies and are undertaking major structural adjustments. It is argued that educational mobility, access, equity, and quality are important elements in any educational institution and that the more an entity utilizes its network capital for engagement and collective will, the more likely it will gain in its reputation. This is true whether it directs its attention to societal or individual outcomes. This study utilizes a unique computer technology program (StatPlanet) to present dramatic statistics pointing to virtually unconsidered deficits in the developing world's capability of meeting future educational needs at the university level. Attention is specifically directed to the Asia-Pacific region.