Global challenge in higher education

Published: 2019-01-14 18:31:22
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University of Richmond
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How forces of globalization impact provision of education

Globalization has been identified as a complex process that increases the linkages between countries while ensuring that countries benefit differently (Celik & Gomlksiz, 2000). It has been established that some countries tend to rip more than other nations. The political, social and economic differences between countries around the globe are responsible for the difference in the way countries rip from globalization. Globalization has had a greater impact on the education system since it has led to the development of international education standards (Takwale, 2003). Many institutions of higher education have found it necessary to consider the option of globalization in the learning process. The presence of the internet has significantly increased the impact of globalization on higher education. Globally standards of training students in higher education have been linked to the universality in skills requirements, social requirements, technological changes as well as the prevailing workforce needs around the globe. For instance, the developing nations have reduced access to modern learning resources as compared to the developed nations. With globalization, such a position is considered inferior as well as incapable of producing quality students.

The entire concept of globalization is a force that the education system has to match the pace (Singh, 2016). The impact is felt more at the higher educational level as compared to the lower levels of learning. Aspects of disparities among nations also translate to the disparities of the institution of higher learning in different countries. The forces of globalization tend to bake content and transfer spread it across institutions of higher learning around the globe. It has been established that the institutions of higher learning based in developed countries tend to spearhead research. The knowledge derived from these researches is then transferred to learning institutions in developing countries. This has been referred to as colonization of the curriculum by Colonel (2017). As much as the colonization of education may be a reality, to a greater extent, it helps raise the levels of institutions of higher learning. The forces of globalization such as certification of universities as International standard organizations often enhance the competitiveness of universities. However, most of these principles when applied directly to every learning institution may fail to yield the expected results. An institution in a developing country may not directly adopt a system from a developed country. Every country has its specific needs, abilities as well as limitations in which they have to live within.

Globalization and education inequality

Globalization has been predicted to have a greater impact on the future of higher education (OECD, 2009). Higher education has greatly affected by the development in the sector of globalization as well as technologies driving globalization. There is a possibility of the emergence of a cross-border landscape impacting higher education. The past decade has already witnessed a diversification which has elevated the status of other universities while relatively depressing the status of universities in most developing nations. Student mobility has significantly increased with the OECD region recording 56 percent increase between 2000 and 2006. The increased mobility has been identified to have its costs and risks that create inequality. According to OECD (2009) report, the impacts of globalization have shaped the global competition of institutions of higher learning. There is a possibility of academic research to goo global while at the same time characterized by increased competition and collaboration. As universities strive to establish themselves as centers of international excellence, the disparities are bound to widen since the development is never universal (Okoli, 2012).

The primary source of inequality in the globalization of education is the fact that countries around the globe operate at different levels (Rikowski, 2002). Institution most institutions of higher learning have been compared and ranked globally. One factor that has been evident is the existing disparities among institutions from different parts of the world. Education inequality is often a factor of the economic positions of countries. Geopolitics also plays a crucial role in increasing inequality among institutions of higher learning (Robertson, 2010). For instance, the US will only support the development of infrastructure in countries identified as allies of the US. Therefore, global politics create inequality in education, but the UN has been instrumental in its attempt to regulate the existing disparities.

Okoli (2012) claimed that globalization has two impacts of pulling learning institutions up as well as pushing others downwards. Internet facilities that support education in the institutions of higher learning have also been singled out as one major cause of the disparities among universities around the world. Developing countries often find it hard to access the same type of resources as the developed countries, and this also translates to learning technologies. As a matter of fact, some processes of scientific research in institutions of higher learning cannot be conducted in developing countries due to the deficiency of resources. It has been argued that universities in the developed countries play a major role in the development and diffusion of knowledge.

Globalization of education and its impact on culture

The loss of talent and ‘best brains’ has also been identified as a major challenge facing universities in developing countries (Okoli, 2012). Many scholarships are awarded to best-performing students in developing countries to study abroad. Most of these students tend to benefit universities in developing nations in the form of spearheading research and development. Universities in the developing nations end up not getting the recognition due to deficient learning resources as well as existing disparities due to globalization.

One major impact of globalization is that the practice erodes then the culture of a given society in two main ways which are construction and destruction (Vesajoki, 2002). The same can be said about impacts of the globalization of education. Through construction, a society interacts with the rest of the globe and acquires new important features. According to Chinnammai (2005), the new features help construct a given society but at the same time destroy the culture of that society. An example can be drawn from the African context where informal education was the common approach to interacting with communities from the West. Globalization of education has helped in replacing informal education with a formal education which can be identified as a positive impact of globalization of education. Through destruction, a society interacts with the rest of the globe and acquires undesirable features that affect it negatively. Similarly, this is also responsible for the erosion of the culture of a given society. One of the most evident instances of destruction is the deletion of indigenous knowledge. Globalization of education brings to a community new ideas and knowledge which does not take into account the aspect of indigenous knowledge. With time, native communities tend to forget their indigenous knowledge.

Globalization is a process that increases the connectivity among countries around the globe. Globalization has both advantages and disadvantages, which also affects the position of universities around the globe. The states of higher education are greatly affected by the technologies driving the process of globalization. Global competition, movement of students across the border and the disparities in economies all contribute to the challenges of globalization on higher education.



Celik, V., & Gomlksiz, M. N. (2000). Critical Examination of Globalization and  Its Effects on Education.  Firat University Journal of Social Science, 10(2), pp 133-144,  ELAZIG-2000.

Chinnammai, S.  (2005). Effects of Globalization on Education and Culture. ICDE  International Conference. 

Colonel, R. (2017). Decolonising  the Curriculum. 

OECD. (2009). Globalization  and Higher Education: What might the Future Bring? Programme on  Institutional Management in Higher Education. 

Okoli, N. J. (2012). Effects of Globalization on Education in  Africa, 1983-2008. Academic  Research International 2(1)

Rikowski, G. (2002). Globalization  and Education. 

Robertson, S. L.  (2010). Challenges Facing Universities in a Globalising World.  

Singh, S. (2016). The impact of Globalization on Higher  Education in India: Issues, Challenges, and Alternatives. The International Journal of Indian  Psychology, 3(2), No.4, DIP: 18.01.058/20160302

Takwale, R. (2003). Challenges  and Opportunities of Globalization for Higher Education in India–Alternatives  through e-Education. UGC Golden Jubilee Lecture Series. 

Vesajoki, F. (2002). The  Effects of Globalization on Culture. Cultural Anthropology. 


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