Critical Perspectives on Global Competition in Higher Education: New Directions for Higher Education, Number 168
This volume delivers a cutting-edge analysis on vernacular globalization, or how local forces mediate global trends. It delves into the vital facets of the quest for global competitiveness, including:
- Global university rankings
- World-class universities
- University mergers
- Quality assurance
- Cross-border higher education
- International education hubs.
The authors situate their topics within current international scholarship and demonstrate the myriad avenues through which local actors in higher education may respond to global competition. They pose critical questions about the impact of global competition in an increasingly hierarchical higher education environment, interrogating the potential for social injustice that arises.
By providing an alternative perspective to the descriptive, normative approach that dominates the scholarship on global competition in higher education, the chapters in this volume open a fresh and invaluable dialogue in this arena.
This is the 168th volume of the Jossey-Bass quarterly report series New Directions for Higher Education. Addressed to presidents, vice presidents, deans, and other higher education decision makers on all kinds of campuses, it provides timely information and authoritative advice about major issues and administrative problems confronting every institution.
EDITORS’ NOTES 1
Laura M. Portnoi, Sylvia S. Bagley
1. Setting the Stage: Global Competition in Higher Education 5
Sylvia S. Bagley, Laura M. Portnoi
In this chapter, the issue editors set the stage for the chapters that follow by delineating recent developments in higher education and common strategies for creating globally competitive higher education institutions. The editors consider social justice concerns that arise with global competition and contend that contextualized priorities can and should mediate global trends.
2. Rankings and the Global Reputation Race 13
This chapter delves into the growing influence and impact of rankings on higher education, as a lens through which to view how the race for reputation and status is changing the higher education landscape, both globally and nationally. The author considers the extent to which rankings are driving policy choices and institutional decisions and the implications of these developments.
3. The Global Quest to Build World-Class Universities: Toward a Social Justice Agenda 27
Robert A. Rhoads, Shuai Li, Lauren Ilano
This chapter provides a critical perspective on the global quest to build world-class universities (WCUs), including global “ranking mania,” excessive emphasis on university branding, and the attending threats to the traditional public good mission of the university. Alternatively, we offer suggestions on how rankings may be used to advance a social justice vision of WCUs.
4. University Mergers in Finland: Mediating Global Competition 41
Jussi Välimaa, Helena Aittola, Jani Ursin
University mergers have become a common strategy for increasing global competitiveness. In this chapter, the authors analyze the implementation of mergers in Finnish universities from the perspective of social justice as conceived within Finland and other Nordic countries.
5. Questioning Quality Assurance 55
Quality assurance is a key component of higher education systems around the world, and questions about its purpose and functions should be understood in both global and local contexts.
6. Cross-Border Higher Education: Global and Local Tensions Within Competition and Economic Development 69
Taya L. Owens, Jason E. Lane
In this chapter, the authors explore various types of cross-border higher education, considering equity and quality issues within these developments. With a particular focus on international branch campuses, the authors discuss the ways in which global competition for knowledge and economic development interact with tensions at the local level.
7. International Education Hubs: Collaboration for Competitiveness and Sustainability 83
This chapter focuses on the development of education hubs, a recent phenomenon in international higher education. Three models of hubs are examined in relation to the forces, risks, and opportunities of globalization and how local and international collaborations are essential for both global competitiveness and sustainability.
8. A Critical Analysis of Global Competition in Higher Education: Synthesizing Themes 97
Laura M. Portnoi, Sylvia S. Bagley
In this final chapter of the volume, the editors synthesize key themes that emerge from the preceding chapters. They also highlight the contributions the authors make through emphasizing critical perspectives and the tension between global and local forces.