Higher Education in a Global Society

Higher Education in a Global Society

Edited by D. Bruce Johnstone, Madeleine B. d’Ambrosio and Paul J. Yakoboski

Higher education functions in a global environment of consumers, employees, competitors, and partners. It has been a force for globalization and a model for adaptation, but nonetheless faces challenges. This volume of essays examines emerging issues and opportunities for advancing education across borders.

Chapter 3: Higher Education Crossing Borders: Programs and Providers on the Move

Jane Knight

Subjects: business and management, management and universities, economics and finance, economics of education, public sector economics, education, economics of education, management and universities


Jane Knight Internationalization is one of the major forces having a profound effect on higher education in the beginning decade of the 21st century. Internationalization is a multifaceted process aimed at integrating an international dimension into the purpose, goals, functions, and delivery of higher education. A key element of the internationalization process in universities is academic mobility/cross-border education. The fact that “universe” is fundamental to the concept of universities demonstrates the presence of the international dimension since their establishment as institutions of higher education and research. Furthermore, the mobility of students, scholars and knowledge has been a central feature of higher education for centuries. But, it is only during the last two decades that there has been an explosion of interest in education programs, universities and new commercial providers moving across national borders and education hubs have emerged as part of the new knowledge economy landscape. Table 3.1 looks at the evolution of terms related to the international dimension of higher education over the past 60 years. It shows that even though the term “internationalization” has been used for years in political science and governmental relations, its popularity in the education sector has really only soared since the early 1980s. Prior to this time, “international education” and “international cooperation” were the favored terms, and they still are in some countries. In the 1990s the discussion centered on differentiating the term “international education” from “comparative education,” “global education” and “multi-cultural education.” Today, the emphasis is on cross-border, transnational and borderless education...

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