The broad objective of this chapter is to carry out an analysis of the changing context of higher education (HE) and how the major forces of change are transforming universities and national education systems. Because what occurs in HE cannot be seen in isolation in society and the economy, this chapter also considers the competing demands from the state, civil society and market forces on the mission of universities. These demands are shaping a new global borderless context. Against this backdrop this chapter also considers how universities are adapting to trade liberalization, preferential agreements, neoliberalism and market forces. The combination of these forces is reshaping the idea of the university and how universities are seeking to interconnect across borders, and for this purpose the author uses Castells’s network approach to consider existing university alliances (global, multi-regional or domestic in scope). The chapter concludes with some parting thoughts about the changing geopolitical environment and what it means to universities over the next few decades.
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