Economic and cultural globalisation has ushered in a new era in higher education. Higher education was always more internationally open than most sectors because of its immersion in knowledge, which never showed much respect for juridical boundaries. In global knowledge economies, higher education institutions are more important than ever as mediums for a wide range of cross-border relationships and continuous global flows of people, information, knowledge, technologies, products and financial capital.
Even as they share in the reinvention of the world around them, higher education institutions, and the policies that produce and support them, are also being reinvented. For the first time in history every research university is part of a single world-wide network and the world leaders in the field have an unprecedented global visibility and power. Research is more internationalised than before and the mobility of doctoral students and faculty has increased. The specifically global element in academic labour markets has gained weight, especially since the advent of global university rankings.
This working paper explores the issues for national policy and for individual institutions. Part I provides an overview of globalisation and higher education and the global responses of national systems and individual institutions of higher education. Part II is focused on certain areas of policy with a strong multilateral dimension: Europeanisation, institutional rankings and typologies and cross-border mobility.
July 13, 2007