From globalisation to internationalisation: Stepping back to move forwards in progressing higher education in overseas markets

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By using the MBA as an example, this paper questions whether we should be globalising education on economic grounds, or inter-nationalising to promote learning. With regard to education, globalisation has already begun. We see universities having 'franchise' arrangements with partners in foreign countries; there are staff and student exchange schemes between universities; there are international research collaborations; and there is the growth of the on-line virtual learning environment. Truett Anderson (1998:37) mapped the changing nature of global change and summarised the 20th century as 'increasing globalisation and cultural pluralism influenced by the idea of socially constructed reality'. He refers to the 'reaction against the doctrine of inevitable progress', implying conflict and resistance to the progression of global society (ibid). The question arises as to whose socially constructed reality it is that dominates the global agenda. Sentamu (2000:51) argues that we should be valuing cultural diversity in education, presenting a relatively liberal view that offers a more inclusive view of globalisation. 'Education must challenge our complacency, our prejudices and our misconceptions.' To him globalisation is an opportunity for further development and exchange of ideas, rather than the one way opportunistic approach currently being practised. This paper explores patterns of globalisation of Higher Education, paying particular attention to the MBA qualification. By questioning whether we are really achieving 'globalisation' or merely spreading a western view of capitalism throughout the rest of the world, the paper presents an emergent international model of higher education and offers an alternative model as a more collaborative, inclusive way forwards.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-184
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Learning
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Globalisation
  • Higher education


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