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Enhancing diversity through globalised higher education?

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Through globalisation strategies, universities worldwide are developing universal qualifications frameworks, aligning taxonomies for educational programmes, and sharing institutional currency (e.g. ECTS credits). This makes student mobility possible, the scope and content of course-work comparable, and the knowledge and skills developed transferrable (Francois, 2015; Nerad & Evans, 2014; Nerad & Heggelund, 2008). In these ways, universities are able to align educational policy, the production of social capital and higher education curricula. As a result, students are not confined to their home countries when studying for a higher degree, and the evaluation of teaching quality and assessment of learning may be compared across national and regional borders, which makes it possible to further develop international ranking systems. However, educational programmes and their curricula are often tied to regional and national job market policies and local professional contexts, and the skills and forms of knowledge required do not easily transfer across socio-political and cultural paradigms (Musselin, 2010; Teichler, 2004; Andres et al, 2015). This symposium aims to contribute to a critical understanding of globalised academic practice, work, careers and cultures through a multi-layered analysis and discussion of the academic domains of: undergraduate education, doctoral education, junior and mid career academic work and careers, and inter-university digital communities. We ask: What are the meanings of local-national-global in higher education, and how do they relate to each other? What are the challenges and possibilities of the relations between them? The first contribution will address these questions in relation to the academic practices of undergraduate education. This contribution focuses on the tension inherent in global measurements of the local phenomenon of teaching quality. The second contribution will address the academic practice and career trajectories of doctoral students. This discusses how the globalisation strategies, paradoxically, make visible the great diversity in doctoral education worldwide. The third contribution will address the changing work and career patterns of academics. This discusses how a highly differentiated academic profession can be positioned very differently in relation to international research networks and local and regional communities, with significant implications for individual working patterns and career prospects. The fourth contribution discusses how globalisation, seen through the lense of the digitalised university, does not have to lead to uniformity in higher education learning and teaching practices, but may advance and bring forward local and personal life-worlds, mergings of public and private learning spaces, and enhance diversity and playfulness in higher education.
Original languageEnglish
Publication yearNov 2016
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2016
EventSRHE Conference 2016: Exploring Freedom and Control in global higher education - Celtic Manor Resort, Newport, United Kingdom
Duration: 7 Dec 20169 Dec 2016


ConferenceSRHE Conference 2016
LocationCeltic Manor Resort
CountryUnited Kingdom
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