Globalization “is the flow of technology, economy, knowledge, people, values, ideas…across the borders. Globalization affects each country in a different way due to a nation’s individual history, traditions, culture and priorities.” To cope with the ‘Globalization’, the higher education system has to re-orient its structure and function besides enlarging the scope of its provisions to meet the challenges of Globalization. This re-orientation process is termed as Internationalization. Internationalization of Higher Education is one of the ways a country responds to the demands of globalization.
Thus, the terms ‘Globalization’ and ‘Internationalization’ are to be seen as distinct but linked concepts so far as the higher education is concerned. Globalization is the cause and the internationalization is the effect in response. In broad terms, the strategies to be followed to internationalize the higher education at the national level and to respond to the various demands rising out of the globalization of economies and related activities, must be outlined. Developing this strategic plan and implementing it speedily is crucial for any nation to succeed in the highly competitive knowledge driven global economy.
The globalization of economies brings in the mobility of knowledge workers and seekers across the world in volume unprecedented in the history. If a particular country cannot produce the graduates with the skills that employers want, especially in areas like information technology, then the employers in that country may seek the employees from wherever they are available. This need not necessarily mean an influx of skilled labor into that country. There are already examples of employment in the ‘knowledge based industries’ moving to the workers rather than the workers moving. Whether the employer moves or the potential employee moves, the mobility will be dependant on the quality and standards of the qualifications offered by the educational institutions. Ensuring the quality and standards of the educational offering will constitute the first step towards internationalization of higher education. This in turn would involve restructuring of the contents, duration, quality and standards of educational offerings in line with the broad frame of higher educational systems in vogue in most of the countries of the world. Fortunately, ensuring the parity of the content and the duration of studies with those of others may not be a major problem, since the qualification framework followed in most of the countries by and large fall into a common pattern, though there may be some extent of contextualization to the national culture, language and values. This is largely due to the fact that the higher education system – universities and colleges- through out the world are patterned after the medieval European model by the historical accident. Almost all the third world countries have had their institutions built on the pattern in vogue in the countries of their European rulers. On the other hand, the issues of quality and standards are the main concerns, and they need to be ensured to internationally acceptable levels through careful planning.
Outlines and trends towards globalization in the Asia Pacific Region Massification of higher education i. Through Expansion ii. Through Distance Education iii. Through Privatization iv. Through Diversification