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A new era for universities

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By Michael R Czinkota and Andreas Pinkwart

Universities and their internationalization are important. Traditional knowledge exporters,such as the United States, Germany, France and England, aim to maintain their high share in the growing international academic market. They recognize the economic benefits of educating students who, when back home, will decide about purchases for infrastructure, engineering and other economic goals.

Exporting higher education generates income for universities and encourages them to become global entrepreneurs. The market is growing. Higher education students have increased by 53% since 2000 to more than 150 Million in 2007.In Australia and New Zealand, education is the third and fourth ranking services export. In the United States, international students and their dependents contributed $ 18.8 billion to the economy during the 2009-2010 academic year.

Universities shift their role from a provider of human resources to an innovation engine and entrepreneurial hub. Academic knowledge is transferred to new products and processes.Due to its ability to integrate international students and researchers, academia can commercialize knowledge and research in ways that companies cannot replicate.

Traditional internationalization within universities was a bottom-up activity, based on personal connections by an individual faculty member or by research teams. Increasingly, however, leading universities grow internationally as part of a top-down activity driven by institutional directives. Several key reasons account for this shift: A scientific approach demands awareness of and interaction with international work in order to benchmark one’s own competence. Internationalization is also part of becoming a competitive enterprise and contributes to capacity utilization. As part of their mission, universities need to provide a global social infrastructure and networks for their graduates. They also can assume new roles as incubators and connectors for emerging ideas and innovations. Asian countries in particular undertake major efforts to enhance the position of their universities.

For centuries, universities were leaders in international activities. They exported and imported students and faculty members by either admitting them or by sending them abroad. Latin as the lingua franca facilitated exchanges of personnel. New locations were sought out, and international partnerships helped expansion, or were a means to escape poor conditions. For example, Georgetown University, a Jesuit school in Washington DC, was left in legal limbo in the late 18th century, when pope Clement XIV suppressed the Jesuit order. However, by working with Jesuits in Byelorussia, the order continued to be recognized by Czarina Katherine the Great. For several decades, the Georgetown Jesuits were members of the Russian Province. Universities also raised funds on an international scale. They ensured international quality control, when in 1233 A.D. a papal bull ordered that those admitted as teachers in Toulouse, had the right to teach anywhere without further examinations.

Today, companies are the international leaders. They differentiate their international activities into investments (inflow and outflow) and trade (imports and exports). They shift entry approaches based on market needs. To some markets they export. Global sourcing and offshoring is used in others. Firms conduct franchising or licensing and often recruit their staff from around the globe. They make investments, either as sole owners or in joint ventures, and shift venues whenever necessary.

Universities have limited their response to globalization. Typically, they do not translate their experience into an institutional strategy. Many exchange programs do not outlive their faculty founders. International hiring decisions are mostly made in isolation rather than as part of a planned direction. Research collaborations tend to be temporary and international investments have been very limited – be it due to budget or risk constraints.

Since the 1980’s, globalization has moved university activities towards the market. Though universities are the prototype of knowledge institutions, there is only a very limited body of internationalization research in this important service sector. Experience is insufficiently recorded and not remembered. Insights tend to be peer reviewed based on academic criteria, with scant links to constituency needs. In consequence the knowledge and guideposts on internationalization is thin, and constitutes for many universities merely a search for student markets or respect among colleagues. International partnerships often only are intriguing wallpaper for a university president’s office. University implementation of international strategy often remains at the level of international business activities by smaller and medium sized businesses: limited, ad-hoc, unsystematic and frequently inconsistent.

Universities need to demonstrate the international benefits they can offer. The Roman Empire mainly expanded by offering market places, roads, language, laws, and linkages. Outsiders joined because affiliation offered the opportunity to live better. Universities need to achieve such voluntary interest as well. Given their knowledge base, their human talent and their cross-disciplinary capabilities, universities need to make the cost of non-collaboration so high that firms seek them out as knowledge source and partner. In addition to funding, universities need freedom. Just has universities helped define the openness and knowledge of principalities and kingdoms, today they can help define global society, competitiveness and influence.

In developing content, universities should concentrate on specific aspects in which to become multidisciplinary experts. Specialization has worked for firms, and will allow universities to provide more value added to society. It will also be important to provide the connectivity between business, research and policy. Profits alone are insufficient for societal prosperity. Religion, family, culture, security are only a few of the components which universities can incorporate a systemic perspective. This will set their thinking apart and lets their educational efforts become the transmission belt for the internationalization of their economy.

_Michael Czinkota is a professor of International Marketing and Business at Georgetown University and the University of Birmingham in the UK. He served in the Reagan and Bush administrations in international trade positions.

Andreas Pinkwart is professor of Entrepreneurship and the president of the Handelshochschule Leipzig. He served as Minister for Innovation, Research and Science in NorthrheinWestfalia and as Deputy Chair of the Free Democratic Party in Germany._

© Japan Today

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

17 Comments
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I believe that universities need to the improve their writing courses and require their professors to take them if they write anything like this article.

There are fun facts in this article but little else except annoyingly vague generalities.

To wit. "Today, companies are the international leaders."

Yeah, in what? Not education.

When obtuse factory owners like Bill Gates start to pontificate on schooling their either make asses of themselves or cause a great deal of damage when their actually get into administrating schools. As administrators, they enrich themselves at the students' expense. This in part accounts for the insanely high tuitions at American universities.

There is a totalitarian agenda to this article. Another unsupported generalization says:

Traditional internationalization within universities was a bottom-up activity, based on personal connections by an individual faculty member or by research teams. Increasingly, however, leading universities grow internationally as part of a top-down activity driven by institutional directives. Several key reasons account for this shift: A scientific approach demands awareness of and interaction with international work in order to benchmark one’s own competence.>

There is not evidence given that any of this is true. But the hidden agenda here is a justification for taking power away from faculties and putting it in the hands of administrators, who are, in fact, businessmen. This is justified because this supposed to be "scientific."

Anyone want to scientifically translate this piece of gibberish: "Several key reasons account for this shift: A scientific approach demands awareness of and interaction with international work in order to benchmark one’s own competence." Also, note, the "several reasons" ought to follow this colon. All we get is another vague and unsupported generalization.

There nothing but one unsupported generalization on top of another is this stupid article. But the subtext is clearly this: universities should put themselves into the hands of businessmen. They should cease being "knowleged bases" institution and become for-profit monsters like companies. You need to ready between the obtuse lines but it is there:

Since the 1980’s, globalization has moved university activities towards the market. Though universities are the prototype of knowledge institutions, there is only a very limited body of internationalization research in this important service sector. Experience is insufficiently recorded and not remembered. Insights tend to be peer reviewed based on academic criteria, with scant links to constituency needs. In consequence the knowledge and guideposts on internationalization is thin, and constitutes for many universities merely a search for student markets or respect among colleagues.>

Well, here are your future leaders, oh you poor scholars. People who cannot write simple declarative sentences and who cannot support their generalizations with concrete examples. These are people whose ability to produce intelligent prose falls below that of what would be expected to be minimum competence on a freshman composition.

Imagine getting "top down" directives from clowns like these.

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LoL, that's a lot of words without actually saying anything!. Just showing off, with the usual words in fashion, globalization, multidisciplinary.. and plenty of international. But it's part of the game, right?

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is a professor of International Marketing and Business at Georgetown University and the University of Birmingham in the UK.

That sure sounds like a tough commute.

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Education? We don't need no stinkin' education. Find the typo:

Bill Gates start to pontificate on schooling their either make asses

And,

Today, companies are the international leaders.

As opposed to the 1600s when the British East India Company manipulated the government of Great Britain and forced much of India to submit to its (the company's) control? As opposed to the Jardine Company that managed to win a war (between the UK and China) in the 1800s? Or the Dutch East India Company - the first multi-national/stock company - that dominated Asian trade in the 1600s and could mint its own money?

And

become the transmission belt for the internationalization of their economy.

What does this mean, anyway?

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More globalization babble, high on pomposity (higher education and The Roman Empire?), light on details. I did notice this:

"Religion, family, culture, security are only a few of the components which universities can incorporate a systemic perspective."

Not only is this missing a preposition (!), but it is also reinforcing faith and kin at the expense of critical inquiry. The Enlightenment project apparently never happened.

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Globalization died in 2008. Nobody told them yet.

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Managed to struggle right through this article to the bitter end, despite the grammatical and stylistic mistakes requiring constant double-takes. Phew! Will somebody give me a medal?

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No medal. You should have shown better judgement, but instead, you read the entire article, start to finish.

this is no laughing matter - jibberish this complex could seriously damage your brain.

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Totally agree, Kevin. This is a textwall with no direction or point, randomly flopping into irrelevant history. And I say that as a history major. I suppose when you're dealing with a topic as nebulous and conceptual as globalisation you're always going to struggle... but this is so unsure where it's going, I thought it was a translation of a terrible Japanese article (seeing that it's written by a business specialist also explains the carefully crafted rubbish, though). There are way too many thoughts begun and then left without any sort of explanation. It's like the writer had a word limit and desperately wanted to cram in every possible angle without actually exploring any of them.

Which is a pity, because the overarching point is a good one: That universities don't just disseminate technology and knowledge, but also create run-on affects if you can inculcate your ideas in exchange students. The professor needs to ratchet it back and actually talk about some consequences rather than just stuffing so many ideas in.

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kabukilover: exactly!

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It puts notice to the reader to be confused.

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Ditto, on the above comments. It's a shame to take an important concept and bury it in generalities. Kabukilover--your specific comments were spot on.

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Big snore-fest, this article. A skill I teach in academic reading is "skimming," and I did it in about 2 seconds for this drivel.

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These guys are academics? Talk about an essay being all over the place! And what a scintillating opening line this is:

Universities and their internationalization are important.

Starts like a high school essay and goes downhill. 6/10 Must do better

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I believe that universities and internationalization are so important that it should be at the top of the agenda for strategic development. Nowadays multinational companies want graduates to have a sound understanding of world matters, different cultures, world politics and international relations. Therefore it is the universities task to educate students for the international labor markets. The market for education has become more global because education itself has become an international tradable. New sources of university revenues are constantly explored by exporting on-line courses, creating branch campuses in foreign markets which is technically a foreign investment and by importing foreign, full-tuition paying students. Futhermore the degree of internationalization affects where a university is placed on university ranking lists. These rankings are important for the university marketing and student recruitment. Internationalization confronts students with something new and stimulates them to reflect about their own lives, their ways of thinking, personal behaviors, social norms and values. In my view during the past decade their has been a increasing economization of university education worldwide and universities are being managed more like companies or in some cases a multinational corporation. Therefore lectures, the students and administrators are controlled and monitored like parts of business processes. However we must not forget that the edification of individual students is the most important and unique value by itself. This can never be converted into cash terms and does not fit into the world of accountancies, ratios, balance sheets, benchmarking, ranking and accreditation. Thus internationalization should never been seen as an end in itself or as a means to fulfilling the interest of the university. Hence the focus should always be the individual student and its process of edification.

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The internet will decimate universities. Professors will be getting about the same salary as checkout operators by 2030.

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What were they saying? It does read like someone just got their first history book and Thesaurus and said lets write something for JT. So I will say something too and hope it adds to the item.

International student education is a $20 billion a year industry for Australia with overseas students coming mainly from China, South East Asia and Africa for a good tertiary education. Living in Australia and experiencing how an advanced Society operates is part of that educational experience. Many students choose to stay after graduation and are a welcome addition to Australian Society. Chinese students in particular fit in very well to Australian Society and culture especially, in Melbourne which has a long history with the Chinese and they are very popular.

The internet is a just a tool, and as a University teacher from a strong industry background as most of my colleagues are at Deakin University, students get the benefit of the text book and the wide experience of the teacher. Many older professors and tertiary qualified teachers from industry get little or no pay but see a university as an Institute for the betterment of Society and like most Australians, are committed to volunteerism and it widespread benefits.

Melbourne is the fourth biggest University City in the World and values its relationship with international students. It also values the enormous financial and cultural contribution they make to our economy.

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