IAU Lyon Conference, April 12-13, 2002
Internationalization of Higher Education
Closing plenary (2)
Internationalisation of Higher Education: The Role of University Organisations
Rector, University of Surabaya - Indonesia
2nd Vice President, Association of Universities of Asia and the Pacific
Dialogue on internationalisation of higher education has intensively taken place since 1990, which then followed by the efforts from various parties sharing common interests in the activities such as the government, universities and other educational institutions. Globalisation in multidimensional aspects of life also triggered every nation to make adjustments and be more ...view middle of the document...
Â The spirit of free competition should be upheld; yet this should also consider the spirit of fairness.Â All these aim at the destination to bring humankind on earth to be able to live together in peace and harmony.Â To get there-amidst the circumstances where conflicts between nations, business, and political interests are so immense, coupled with the existing gaps in economic, socio-cultural, and human resources capacity-is simply not easy.Â All parties should take part in the journey, including the universities.Â Internationalisation of higher education is the most-effective way to establish mutual inter-university partnerships. The challenge is how to balance the spread of skilled human resources across countries so that the gaps mentioned above can be reduced.
Why internationalisation of higher education instead of globalisation of higher education?Â There is a very strong and relevant rationale: internationalisation lays its foundation on national elements by standardising knowledge and skills containing local attributes.Â The local culture still has to be preserved and does not necessarily have to follow global standard.Â Thus, internationalisation does not pose a threat to the existence of national cultures and interests.Â Cultural diversity is one of the key principles to be respected in internationalisation of higher education.
Globalisation, on the other hand, tends to accommodate processes-shielded by perspective on "global standard"- that have the potentials to diminish some local cultures and values that live and grow within the soul of every nation/society.Â Needless to say that this is also against the principles of human rights.Â The effects could also be counter-productive, as this will ignite resistance from efforts to defend one's self-identify.
Setting up standards on graduates' competence from the same study programme that are acknowledgeable by universities in partners is the main principle for internationalisation.Â Quality of the graduates as one of the significant factors should be guaranteed.Â Learning process embedded in the curriculum, delivery method, academic atmosphere, and educational facilities, should therefore be made able to guarantee the quality of graduates.
Therefore, the initial step to be taken by universities for international collaboration toward the internationalisation is to inter-promoting and acknowledging curriculum of the study programmes.
Forums and/or events where universities can meet and open the discussion on potential collaboration that leads to internationalisation is university organisations at the regional level such as the Association of Universities of Asia and the Pacific (AUAP), the European University Association, the Association of African Universities, etc., as well as international organisations such as the International Association of Universities, the International Association of University Presidents, etc.
Through participation in these types of...