The Challenges of Globalisation for the 21st Century

The article argues that the challenges facing higher education in the new millennium cannot be understood unless proper account is taken of the phenomenon of globalisation. Two points are emphasised. The first is that globalisation cannot simply be seen as a higher form of internationalisation; it is a much more turbulent phenomenon that not only transcends but ignores national boundaries.

The second is that globalisation is one element within a larger shift from modernity to post-modernity, which involves not only the radical reconfiguration of society but also an even more radical reconstitution of the concepts and mentalities of the modern world. The university is caught in the middle – as both an institution that embodies modernity but also one of the instrument that is most actively transcending its limits. The article ends by considering whether the university can survive in this brave new world of globalization and post modernity or whether its place will be taken by new forms of `knowledge’ organisation.

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It concludes that, although the new environment will test the resilience of the university to its limits, it can – and will – survive. INTRODUCTION According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word “globalization” was first employed in a publication entitled Towards New Education in 1950, to denote a holistic view of human experience in education. [4] An early description of globalization was penned by the founder of the Bible Student movement Charles Taze Russell who coined the term ‘corporate giants’ in 1897,[5] although it was not until the 1960s that the term began to be widely used by economists and other social scientists.

The term has since then achieved widespread use in the mainstream press by the later half of the 1980s. Since its inception, the concept of globalization has inspired numerous competing definitions and interpretations, with antecedents dating back to the great movements of trade and empire across Asia and the Indian Ocean from the 15th century onwards. [6] The United Nations ESCWA says globalization “is a widely-used term that can be defined in a number of different ways.

When used in an economic context, it refers to the reduction and removal of barriers between national borders in order to facilitate the flow of goods, capital, services and labour… although considerable barriers remain to the flow of labor… Globalization is not a new phenomenon. It began towards the end of the nineteenth century, but it slowed down during the period from the start of the First World War until the third quarter of the twentieth century. This slowdown can be attributed to the inward-looking policies pursued by a number of countries in order to protect their respective industries… owever, the pace of globalization picked up rapidly during the fourth quarter of the twentieth century. According to Jagdish Bhagwati, a former adviser to the U. N. on globalization, although there are obvious problems with overly-rapid development, globalization is a very positive force that lifts countries out of poverty. According to him, it causes a virtuous economic cycle associated with faster economic growth. [50] Workers in developing countries now have more occupational choices then ever before. Educated workers in developing countries are able to compete on the global job market for high paying jobs.

Production workers in developing countries are not only able to compete, they have a strong advantage over their counterparts in the industrialized world. [51] This translates into increased opportunity. Workers have the choice of emigrating and taking jobs in industrial countries or staying at home to work in outsourced industries. In addition, the global economy provides a market for the products of cottage industry, providing more opportunities. [50] Globalization has generated significant international opposition over concerns that it has increased inequality and environmental degradation. 52] In the Midwestern United States, globalization has eaten away at its competitive edge in industry and agriculture, lowering the quality of life. [53] Some also view the effect of globalization on culture as a rising concern. Along with globalization of economies and trade, culture is being imported and exported as well. The concern is that the stronger, bigger countries such as the United States, may overrun the other, smaller countries’ cultures, leading to those customs and values fading away. This process is also sometimes referred to as Americanization or McDonaldization. [54] [edit]

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