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Globalization and the university: myths and realities in an unequal world

Altbach, Philip

Much has been said about the impact of globalization on higher education. Some have argued that globalization, the Internet, and the scientific community will level the playing field in the new age of knowledge interdependence. Others claim that globalization means both worldwide inequality and the McDonaldization of the university. It is argued that all of the contemporary pressures on higher education, from the pressures of massification to the growth of the private sector are the results of globalization. There is a grain of truth in all of these hypotheses—and a good deal of misinterpretation as well. The purpose of this essay is to “unpack” the realities of globalization and internationalization in higher education and to highlight some of the ways in which globalization affects the university. Of special interest here is how globalization is affecting higher education in developing countries—the nations that will experience the bulk of higher education expansion in the coming decades.

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Title of Paper: Globalization and the university: myths and realities in an unequal world

Document Type:Journal Article
Subject Area:National Systems and Comparative Studies
Keywords:Globalisation and Higher Education, Massification of Higher Education, Internet, Internationalisation of Higher Education, Developing countries, International Comparisons, Models, Multinationals, Inequality in Education

File Size:91 KB
Rights:Author deposited his version of the post-print
Date Added:20 February 2007

Altbach, P G (2004). Globalisation and the university: myths and realities in an unequal world. Tertiary Education and Management , 10 (1): 3-25