Building transnational higher education capacity

  • DATE / TIME:
    2011•06•16    11:00 - 11:55

    JSPS-UNU Postdoctoral Fellow Rasmus Bertelsen will discuss how transnational universities in the Middle East, China and Japan have contributed to enhancing transnational flows of information, ideas, talent and financial resources.

    “Building Transnational Higher Education Capacity for Knowledge Economies: Historical and Current Cases and Lessons from the Middle East, China and Japan”

    Higher education and its institutions have played a central role in economic development and state building, historically and currently. Throughout the world today, states are seeking to become knowledge economies, sometimes transitioning from natural resource dependent economies.

    Transnational flows of information, ideas, human talent and financial resources play a key part in both the development of knowledge economies and of higher education institutions. Universities are quintessential transnational knowledge actors, historically and currently moving information, ideas, people and money between societies. However, universities have been overlooked in international relations literature on transnational relations in world politics.

    First the Global North and later the Global South has seen a great expansion of higher education, massification. In the Global South, this expansion has been driven by demographics of large young populations and previous investments in primary and secondary education producing many more secondary school graduates for higher education. However, the Global South has usually not been able to expand national higher education to match this demand, which has led to a great expansion of — often for-profit — private higher education in the Global South. This expansion of for-profit private higher education raises governance, quality assurance and funding issues. The expansion of higher education in the Global South, both non-profit and for-profit, has often had strong transnational elements for quality assurance and knowledge transfer purposes.

    In this talk, Rasmus G. Bertelsen, JSPS-UNU Postdoctoral Fellow, UNU-IAS, will present work on transnational universities in the Middle East, China and Japan and how these universities have contributed to transnational flows of information, ideas, talent and financial resources as well as state building and development of knowledge economies. He will focus on the importance of public policy and university governance for such contributions; show the transnational and academic success of original missionary universities in the Middle East and East Asia based on non-profit governance; and analyse and discuss the public policy and governance challenges to recent developments of transnational universities in the Middle East and East Asia for contributions to knowledge economies.

    Based on this analysis and discussion, he will present policy lessons for using transnational higher education institutions for building knowledge economies in the Global South.

    For more information, see the event webpage on the UNU-IAS website.