Moral Challenge to International Educators

See the new report by the International Association of Universities, Affirming Academic Values in Internationalization of Higher Education: A Call for Action

I am concerned about the “asymmetry” of access to international experience which the IAU report gently labels an “adverse consequence” of globalization.

There is much research supporting, for example, the advantages which accrue to those students able to participate in an international work, study or internship program.  I’ve written extensively about this advantage in terms of how employers value skills and competencies among the minority of American students who do access such experiences. Certainly the opportunities for students from other than developed nations to gain a real strategic advantage in the global job market is quite limited.  So what we face is a growing inequality of access built into the higher education system – both here and in other societies- for students without the economic resources to join the global job market and realize the benefits of membership in a globalized economy.  The academic discussion of “brain circulation” and student mobility – when examined through the prism of economic equality – surely highlights a new moral challenge facing international educators.

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