Globalization, Universities and Issues of Sustainable Human Development
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Globalization, Universities and Issues of Sustainable Human Development

Edited by Jean L. Pyle and Robert Forrant

This volume raises an important question: Given the fast-changing global economy and the challenges it presents, what is the role for the university as an institution promoting sustainable human development? The editors begin by outlining the changes associated with the recent wave of globalization, particularly transformations in the relative power of institutions internationally. They analyze the constraints universities face in industrialized and developing countries in promoting sustainable human development.
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Chapter 10: Managing the Interface with the Region: The Case of Universiti Sains Malaysia, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia


Morshidi Sirat I. INTRODUCTION It is commonplace these days to point to the ‘the globalization process’ when one discusses causes for the significant economic, social and political changes reshaping developing countries. Certainly globalization has posed significant challenges to social institutions including universities, and in this chapter I provide evidence on how in Malaysia the Universiti Sains Malaysia Pulau Pinang has responded at the regional level. Historically, universities developed service roles guided by notions of philanthropy, obligation or a desire to ‘civilize.’ Today, Malaysia’s public universities regard their commitments and obligations to the needs of national economic and social development as a top priority and often remain oblivious to the needs of their local community. Of interest here is how the university is managing its interface with its geographic region, particularly as it applies to purposeful community service. With the heightened integration of regional and global economies a new wave of frameworks has emerged in the developed and the more advanced developing countries to address the issues and opportunities this has engendered. In this context universities are recognized as important entities because of the capacity they have to make significant contributions to the kinds of skill formation required by knowledge-intensive global firms. For as Michael Best notes ‘The growth process in knowledge-intensive industries is limited by the supply of engineering and scientific personnel required to staff rapidly growing firms.’ Best adds that ‘regional growth will be choked if the requisite number and types of graduate engineers are...

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