The Context of Internationalization of Higher Education: Challenges and Opportunities

In 1991’s World Development Report, the World Bank made an interesting observation: Scientific and technological advancement and increased productivity are closely linked with investment in human resources and the quality of the economic climate. However, scientific and technological abilities are not evenly distributed around the globe and are closely linked to the education system of a country.

There have been significant changes in the higher education system in the 21st century in terms both of their complexity and its utility in converting education into a useful tool for economic and social change. There is a fascinating relationship between education, knowledge, the conversion of knowledge into appropriate entities from a trade point of perspective, wealth, and economy.

Internationalization in education refers to the practices and policies that academic institutions and individuals use to adapt to the global academic environment. Internationalization can be motivated by commercial advantage, language acquisition and knowledge, as well as enhancing curriculum with international content. Specific initiatives such as branch campuses, cross-border collaborative arrangements, programs for international students, establishing English-medium programs and degrees, and others have been put into place as part of internationalization. International higher education is characterized by efforts to ensure quality and monitor international initiatives.

Two more revolutions have occurred in higher education worldwide. The first is related to the use of computers for teaching, learning and research. The second is related to the communication revolution. Education today transcends geographical borders. The context and structure of academic work have also changed dramatically. Academic life is characterized by student diversity and new delivery methods.

Teachers must be open to learning new methods and innovative approaches in order to make any educational improvement possible. This paper aims to explore the role of teachers in India’s internationalization efforts. This paper will examine the opportunities and challenges faced by faculty when internationalization of higher education takes place and how they can adapt to these changes.

Literature review:

There are increasing numbers of studies and papers that document the numerous ways in which students’ experience at university has changed [Chandler & Clark 2001; Deem 2001]. Academics work in a diverse environment that is characterized by student diversity and the administrative as well as pedagogical challenges of new curricula delivery modes. Academic identities are constantly challenged as academic staff assume multiple roles, often in conflict, as they act as counselors, consultants, teachers, counselors, and international marketers. International activities require a lot of support from academics. The central strategic control of resources and its demands for flexibility make academic life difficult.

This qualitative study explores the impact of international experiences on the transformational learning of female educators in relation to professional development in higher education. The study also examines how these learning experiences were transmitted to the home country of the participants. This study involved nine American female administrators and faculty who were employed at universities in the Gulf. The study revealed that female educators experienced transformative learning. These included changes in personal and professional attitude, new classroom environments that accommodated different learning styles and classroom behaviors, and a broadening of global perspectives. Another study examined how higher education institutions responded to globalization, and how university culture affects their responses. Four Canadian universities were examined in empirical research using a mixed-methods, qualitative approach. To gain a deeper understanding of the universities’ cultural, institutional, and practice responses to globalization, a multi-case study approach was employed.

The context of the study

Educational and political context

Everybody knows that India has serious problems with higher education. India’s third-largest higher education system with over 13 million students is a serious problem. It only educates about 12 percent of its population, which is well below China’s 27% and half in middle-income countries. It is therefore a challenge to provide access for India’s growing middle class and young population. India is also facing a serious quality problem, as only a small percentage of higher education institutions can meet international standards. The Indian Institutes of Technology, the Institutes of Management and a handful of specialized schools like the Tata Institute of Foundation Research are just a small part of the elite. There are also a few private institutions, such as Birla Institute of Technology, Science and Technology, and maybe 100 top-rated undergraduate colleges. Nearly all the 480 Indian universities and over 25,000 undergraduate colleges are, according to international standards, poor. India has complicated legal arrangements that allow for the reservation of higher education places to people from various groups of the disadvantaged. This places additional stress on the system by allowing up to half the seats to be reserved for these groups.

Problem with capacity

India is facing serious problems with its education system due to underinvestment over many years. After more than 50 years of independence, nearly a third of Indians are still illiterate. While the new law makes primary education compulsory and free, it is admirable in a context that has a shortage of qualified teachers, poor budgets, and poor supervision. The University Grants Commission (or All-India Council for Technical Education), which were responsible for the supervision of the universities and technical institutions respectively, is being dissolved and replaced by a new entity. It is not known how or who the new entity will function. The National Assessment and Accreditation Council (India’s higher education accreditation and quality assurance agency), was known for its slow movements. It is not clear how this might change.

 

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