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Internationalization versus Globalization of Higher Education and Education for Peace

Dr. Ravindra Kumar - 2/10/2013

1. Internationalization versus Globalization of Higher Education

In these days of continuously increasing process of globalization it is but natural that a subject like that of higher education emerges predominantly at international level, or discussions pertaining to internationalization of higher education becomes vital all over the world. It is because globalization and internationalization are, despite being two different subjects –having different meanings, purposes and basic spirits in their roots in particular, connected to one-another.

Taking a deeper dive on the context and understanding the important questions that arise for how they are connected to one another and what are the dissimilarities it is essential to be clear upon their respective meanings, purposes and basic spirits. This clarity will make the context easier to discuss and to be analyzed.

Firstly internationalization! The word internationalization is made of international, which generally means involving at least two nations, in political and economic activities in particular. Contrary to it, globalization, made of the word global, covers the whole world, the globe. In other words, all those who are living on this planet are within the scope of the word global, it does not matter which country or state they belong to. Along with academic and educational activities all other subjects related to life, which can be counted for the larger welfare of humanity, are essentially within the ambit of global, globalization.

Hence, with this acquaintance in short with the word-meanings and purpose of the both, international and global, the spirits which remain in the roots of the words internationalization and globalization become evident automatically. However, for more clarity the following three points can be counted in this very context:

• In comparison the scope of globalization is far extensive than internationalization;

• Globalization is in its true meaning and purpose fully dedicated to the larger welfare of one and all; for, it calls for ample cooperation. Contrary to it, it is not necessary that activities related to internationalization pave the way for the larger welfare of people or develop the spirit of cooperation at large scale;

• The process of globalization is more natural in comparison with internationalization. Furthering steps of globalization are definitely the outcome of continuously increasing process of development, at all levels and in all walks of life. It is undoubtedly mounting steps towards transforming the ancient Indian slogan of VasudhaivKutumbakam into a reality.

Therefore, I firmly believe that it would be better and more appropriate if any of the events related to higher education is connected to the word globalization, and not to internationalization. I will also try to express my views having globalization of higher education as the nuclei.

In principle education is in its real meaning and purpose a subject of globalization. Therefore, all accomplishments or gains by education should pave the way for the welfare of one and all. Education is a subject of realization and knowledge. It paves the way for all-round development of personality on the basis of knowledge with continuously development of study and skill, to be more precise the two foremost aspects of it. Therefore, paving the way for the welfare of one and all, and gathering people’s cooperation at larger scale are the prime expectations from education. That is why; scholars of repute, while deciding for scopes of the two, globalization and internationalization, keep aspects related to academic and educational fields within the range of the former, and not the later. Thus, the state becomes clear. To say, education is connected to globalization. Therefore, discussions on a subject like that of globalization of higher education stands rather sound. It is important and significant to discuss it widely and properly.

Just to mention especially today is that there is no harm at all from globalization or to an extent from internationalization of education if the process concerned goes ahead according to basic spirit in the roots of education itself. Rather, outcomes of this process will definitely be pleasant. This will accord well more or less to one and all. Moreover, the manner the process of development at all levels and in all walks of life is going forward, the globalization of education is necessary –inevitable. It is because causes are step-by-step becoming common now. Effect of any of the events that takes place in any of the nations of world, it does not matter if it is small or major, could be categorically noticed despite its being more or less in quantity on one and all inhabitants of the earth, which is now transforming very quickly into a global village. Therefore, joint ventures and common accomplishments are continuously getting proximity for common achievements. It is but natural and inevitable.

It is the upshot of this very necessity and natural inevitability that many organizations at regional or to say international, continental and global levels have emerged with a clarion call for collaboration and cooperation in the field of education, higher education in particular, and among them the name of the International Association of Universities** could be of special mention. This organization for its significant undertaking through the HEDBIB [Bibliographical Database on Higher Education] that is its chief functioning programme is supported by many known agencies of the world like that of the British Council***, the NAFSA [the National Association of Foreign Student Advisers**** and the Association of International Educators], the CONAHE [the Consortium for North American Higher Education Collaboration]*****, and the UNESCO and many of its sister organizations in particular. The HEDBIB provides supports, financial in particular, for a number of causes, system, plan, policy, maintenance and development in higher education. It supports sometimes unprecedentedly for studies, research and publications. Today, the number of collaborative research works in different subjects at international-global level is not in some thousands, but in lacs, which divulges itself the significance, necessity and inevitability of internationalization or in fact globalization of higher education.

Through their gigantic tasks the IAU and other agencies or organizations, names of which have been mentioned above in particular, while contributing unprecedentedly to the process, make the situation quite clear, make known the significance and importance of the subject in hand. They, along with this, call for a joint forum, collaborative works and wide cooperation at the global level. This is for the attention of all of us on the one hand and to step forward with extra care on the other.

Extra care, particularly in the sense of proper watch, observation and examination of this process so that this continuously increasing and inevitable development could prove to be productive at large scale, more and more effective and eventually productive and approachable to one and all in the world to accord opportunities in prevailing circumstances of space to rise. For this, it must be accountable if to be proved befitting accordingly. Hopefully, some important points as guidelines must emerge from the broad and prejudice free discussion and analysis by educationists and subject matter experts to pave the way for a true internationalization of higher education, globalization in the real sense.

REFERENCES (text continued after the references)

1. Having 601 universities of almost all the continents of the earth as its members.

2. Especially for the fourth global survey for internationalization of higher education covering more than eight thousand institutions around the world.

3. Founded in 1948 with its headquarter in Washington DC [USA], and having currently ten thousands members representing approximately three thousand institutions of higher education. The NAFSA is in fact for the advancement of international education and exchange and for global workforce development in particular. Moreover, the NAFSA is serving well the international educators, their institutions and organizations by establishing principles of good practice, providing training and professional development opportunities, networking opportunities and advocating for international education –to say global education.

4. Founded in 1994 with its current headquarter at the University of Arizona in Tucson [USA], and having one hundred thirty members to advice and connects higher education institutions interested in establishing or strengthening educational-academic collaborative programs in the North American region. It is the largest and most comprehensive network of institutions from the NAFTA region, offering student exchanges, annual conferences, professional development programmes and direct advice to its members.

2. Education for Peace

“Peace must first be developed [through education] within an individual. And I believe that love, compassion, and altruism are the fundamental basis for peace. Once these qualities are developed within an individual, he or she is then able to create an atmosphere of peace and harmony. This atmosphere can be expanded and extended from the individual to his family, from the family to the community and eventually to the whole world.” –The Fourteenth Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso

Education for peace, a theme or topic, which seems although drawing very much attention of one and all on this planet in general and academicians, educationists and intelligentsia in particular in these days of continuously increasing development at all levels and in all walks of life, or in the era of globalization, yet this has, in fact, been important in all the previous ages. It will be equally significant in all times to come as well. How? It is but natural if a question like this emerges in one’s mind. To get an appropriate and befitting reply to this, it is necessary to comprehend the meaning and purpose of education and peace both, and that too separately.

The English word education is derived from the Latin word Educare, which is further originated from Educere, to reveal expression –manifestation as its basic spirit in the root. If one goes further in depth of this spirit, it will become obvious that through this a human being realizes and learns till her/his last breath and acquires knowledge. Moreover, this divulges the inner capability of a human being to guide her/him throughout at different levels in all walks of life. It is, in the words of Socrates “to draw out what are already within” and Plato “the acquisition of virtue by child.”

From the East, India in particular, whether it is Buddhist teachings of ancient times, or views expressed in this regard by Vivekananda, Tagore, Aurobindo and Gandhi, the four great contemporary-modern thinkers, all of them also seem in one way or the other agreeing more or less to the view that education is to bring out what one has within.1

Hence, as a whole, from the meaning, basic spirit and broad purpose of education [Shiksha] viewpoint, both, the Western and the Eastern concepts pertaining to education are not at all different. Rather, both of them are, to a large extent, similar to each-other divulging that it is a lifelong process for an all-round development of one’s personality.

Now peace! The popular English word peace is originated from the Latin word Pax. The use of this word can also be found in other words like Shalom [Hebrew], Aloha [Hawaiian] and Eirene [Greek]. Along with desiring harmony in day-to-day human practices at individual and social levels in particular, the urge for a state free from civil disorder, especially from conflicts and struggles is derived here. In a broad-spectrum a situation free from strain, struggle, quarrel-clash or conflict, in social and economic spheres precisely, is considered as the state of peace. This fact denotes the absence of fight or war between or among the nations and is usually the accepted notion of peace at the international level.

From the Eastern viewpoint –India in particular, the word Shanti, made of Shant and originated from Sanskrit, if is analyzed in broad perspective, divulges categorically a wish for freedom from spiritual sufferings [especially sufferings of the self and mind], physical sufferings [sufferings-pains of the body, illness-diseases etc.], sufferings caused by natural reasons [specially by earthquakes, floods, and attacks or bites of wild animals-fauna or poisonous insects], and the state emerged of conflicts, confrontations, hostilities, fights and wars.

Hence, similarity between the Western and the Eastern, particularly Indian concepts pertaining to peace, can be well perceived. Despite this, peace in the Indian view is categorically and fully an active and dynamic situation to lead to the pathway to development in an atmosphere free from anxieties and stresses. Further, in a state of peace of the Indian view efforts are made for healthy co-existence to extend the welfare of the people. Peace accords morale and enthusiasm to the people and motivates them to move forward. In this regard, the statement of Vinoba Bhave in which he says, “Shanti [peace] means something dynamic, something that develops the force of the individual, which [further] develops the dynamic strength of the people to a degree that they enable to meet any situation”2 stands sound to a large extent.

As sufferings-pains are inevitable in life; the state of conflicts is unavoidable in society, therefore, efforts have always been made to get rid of sufferings-pains and for resolving disputes and conflicts to create the atmosphere of harmony to lead to peace. It is a continuous process, a lifelong process.

Now, what we emphatically observe from the above discussion and analysis pertaining to education and peace, both, from their respective word-meanings, purposes and basic spirits in roots viewpoint precisely is that both of them are necessities of life. Both of them are dynamic states on one hand and on the other they undoubtedly emerge as lifelong processes.

Further, it also becomes quite evident that if education is the foremost basis for an all-round development of an individual, or if it is the chief means of developing one’s personality, the state of peace definitely creates an atmosphere, or prepares the ground to move forward smoothly on the pathway to progress. Similarly, if the process of education greatly helps a human being making her or his life purposeful, the state of peace gets her or him free of confusion and fear, and along with this inspires her or him to seek necessary cooperation of others for the purpose. Therefore, we can say with certainty that education and peace are linked to one-another. They supplement each other as both of them eventually contribute to the progress, welfare and well-being of one and all. That is why; I am of the firm opinion that education for peace is not only important or significant, but it is absolutely necessary for each and every human being on this planet.

II

After grasping well the significance and necessity of peace education in life of one and all, it is also equally important and necessary to think about practical aspect related to the application of peace education, the way or method of imparting it in current perspective or in ongoing process of education.

For years, I have been of the firm opinion that peace, which has in fact its root in the supreme, eternal and natural human value of Ahimsa [non-violence]3, should be made an essential part of the process of education of the day. Having Ahimsa as the nuclei special courses related to peace education should be included in all syllabi and peace education should be imparted at all levels of studies, from primary to higher level. Not only this, as I have suggested to the community of academicians, educationists and professors gathered recently in Durban, South Africa, especially to discuss methods of developing pedagogy of non-violence education4 that it does not matter if a particular branch of knowledge is the major of one’s study or research; science, commerce or art may be the field of one’s prime learning, but she or he should necessarily study and analyze issues related to inevitable disputes and conflicts as one of the subjects to enable her or him to contribute to create the state of peace or to take the way to peace that is necessary for progress and welfare of one and all.

Accepting Ahimsa as a science for existence and development and as an art of living, a compulsory Ahimsa-centred course under an appropriate or suitable name must be introduced particularly with the sole purpose of growing a culture of peace. Essentially, under this scheme, besides imparting knowledge with the purpose of developing the spirit of duty and responsibility that are the basis of morality and ethics, in theoretical perspective, stress should be laid on settling inevitable day-to-day problems, disputes and struggle related to family, community and society in particular on the basis of non-violent peaceful means, whatever maybe befitting in prevailing situation or as per the demand of time as its practical aspect as is essentially done in almost all the branches of sciences, to accord strength to the culture of peace.

This method can also be introduced in educational institutions; for, I have had a very good experience in Spain where during teaching a short-term UNESCO sponsored peace related course5, I observed students nicely settling their disputes themselves with mutual understanding and following a well established guideline6 without involving or approaching professors and managers. Moreover, it is also in my knowledge that this method is adopted in some other institutions, the European University Centre for Peace Studies of Stadtschlaining, Austria in particular. Hence, it is the time to expect from the communities of professor, teachers and educators that they not only ponder over it, but taking it as their individual as well as the collective responsibility, will step forward.

In this regard, I can also venture to suggest a special and compulsory paper precisely at graduate degree level to study the teachings of leading philosophers-thinkers and practitioners of peace as was the provision in many of the universities to study culture related issues. I do not know as the same provision still exists, but I emphasize the need of provision for a compulsory paper to study peace in theory and practice. I also lay stress on the need of this in these days of continuously increasing process of globalization, when the tempo of development is awfully fast on one hand and disputes and conflicts are increasing in numbers at different levels in all walks of life on the other. Once again, I urge the communities of teachers-professors, intellectuals and academicians to realize and comprehend the significance of the issue and come forward to do something concrete as per the expectation.

REFERENCES

1. The Buddhist teachings categorically reveal that in knowledge, true education, the first thing is to know oneself. Vivekananda is of the opinion that education is the manifestation of the perfection already in man and Tagore, while describing the scope of education, includes the high head, free knowledge, and truth coming from the depth, tireless striving arms towards perfection within it. Aurobindo while expressing views on the integer education in particular says that it must help flourish the very best in a human being, the unique and exquisite, something which every individual is born to offer to the world. Not only this, he has also been of the firm opinion that education is meant to bring out the best in man, to develop his potentialities to the maximum, to integrate him with himself, his surroundings, his society, his country and humanity to make him the complete man, the integrated man. Gandhi, the Mahatma points out in this regard, “Real education consists in drawing the best out of yourself.” He while clarifying his viewpoint says further, “By education I mean an all-round drawing out of the best in child and man –body, mind and spirit.” [Global Peace: August, 2012. Special Issue-2]
2. Kumar, Ravindra. 2007. Towards Peace, page …. New Delhi [India]: Gyan Publishing House.
3. Realizing the fact that Ahimsa [non-violence], is not momentary; it is a subject of continuous development and practice, and moreover, it is the condition of existence, progress and achieving a goal, making life meaningful-purposeful.
4. Held in August, 2012 at the Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa.
5. In 2001 at the International Centre for Peace and Development Studies (IBPD) of the Universitat [University] Jaume I, Costello, Spain under the title, Theory and Practice of Gandhian Non-Violence.
6. Any such guideline can be prepared as per the demand of space and time.


Indologist Dr. Ravindra Kumar is a former vice chancellor of CCS University, Meerut [India]; he is the editor of Global Peace International Journal.

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