Global Academics: The Internationalisation of Higher Edcuation
What is the future of Higher Education? Find out with the interview with Nigel Healey of Nottingham Trent University and Sichuan University as he discusses the internationalisation of Higher Education.Transcript
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About this video
Nigel Healey is Professor, Pro-Vice Chancellor (International) and Head of the College of Business, Law and Social Sciences at Nottingham Trent University and an adjunct professor at Sichuan University. He has served as pro-vice-chancellor and dean at the College of Business and Economics at the University of Canterbury (2004–11) in New Zealand and dean of Manchester Metropolitan University Business School in the UK (2000–04).
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My name is Nigel Healey. I am a professor and pro-vice chancellor international at Nottingham Trent University. I think internationalisation directly contributes to the core mission of a university in two fundamental ways. Most obviously students who are graduating today are joining a global labour force. They will be working for companies that are multi-national, that are working alongside co-workers from different parts of the world. They will need to be internationally mobile across cultures and borders
to have a successful career, over probably what will be a 50 year working life for them. So first and foremost, if we are going to graduate students who will be successful in a global labour market, they need a world view, they need to appreciate the difference between cultures and languages, religion and so on. And be comfortable in that space. Which is why I think it is very important that we have a diverse international population on campus
in British universities, but we also have a very outward looking connected curriculum with opportunities for mobility. The second is more subtle, and I think this is something that connects with this notion of oncological shock. Which is that we, in universities, we aspire to produce graduates who are critical and independent thinkers. One of the easiest ways to create critical independent thinkers is to expose people to other cultures and other ways of doing things
that challenges them to understand the way we do things, because the way in which our orthodox is not the global orthodoxies, there are many different ways of being. I think that you can see the maturity of students who come back from a year abroad and have been immersed in another culture, and seen the world through the eyes of another culture. They have a different approach.
I think it contributes in that way as well, so it is more subtle but perhaps in the long term it is actually more meaningful. In terms of strategies that universities have adopted towards internationalisation, I think that there is a growing trend towards universities selecting partners, international partners, with which they intend to forge quite deep relationships. Whether it might be exchanging both faculty and students,
building research teams across both campuses. You have seen a number of these initiatives. Warwick’s initiative with Monash is quite well known. Monash is a very similar university to Warwick, similar in terms of history and mission. So there is quite a close fit there. Some of these have been bilateral relationships, along those lines. Often they are on a network basis, like Universitas 21,
the world university’s network, where you have actually got a club of universities that are cooperating to promote students and staff, and research collaboration. I think that is a growing trend.
What is the future of higher education? That is a very good question. Higher education has become in 30 years one of the most important sectors on the planet.
30 years ago we educated about 50 million people. It is now 200 million. So one in three 18 year olds globally now go to university. And it is likely that number will grow further. Participation rate globally is about one in three, participation rate in the OECD is one in two. So you might expect it to stabilise around 50%, which means considerable further growth.
I think what you will see is one of the trends that we are already observing will be much greater mobility of both faculty and students. We already, in this country, have about 25% of our faculty are foreign born. 40% of our researchers are foreign born. That is a trend I can’t see reversing. Many of the Asian countries are now becoming competitive in the space for international students.
So there are, for example, countries like Malaysia are now major destination countries for international students. I think that degree of competition will increase. But I just see it going the same way as other industrial sectors becoming globalised.
The future of higher education, I think we all spend a lot of time thinking about this and contemplating the implications of technology, of MOOCs and so on. I am relatively unconvinced that those developments will materially impact
higher education. I think that higher education will continue to grow. I expect that higher education enrolments, globally, will probably stabilise at around about 300 million. About 50% of the eligible cohort. So we are going to see considerable growth in this sector for the next 10-20 years.
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