In my previous post, I talked about Susan Gillespie’s critique of international education during an era of globalization. Clearly, Gillespie’s concerns are still part of a global conversation, because last week 24 international higher education organizations passed a resolution in favor of more equity in their field. The participants expressed concerns that for-profit programs were increasingly dominating international education, which has shifted the focus in this field away from concerns about ethical and equitable relationships. At the core, the declaration called for making sure that international activities (study abroad, exchanges) guarantee mutual benefits to both sides, so that higher education policy is value-driven. While valuable, the devil is in the details in these agreements, particularly when higher education in North America is under increasing financial pressure. I know that at my institution there is a real desire to create truly equitable international partnerships, but that can be challenging to do at an urban institution with limited resources. What I’d really like to see are some examples of such programs that are sustainable and large scale, particularly at public, urban institutions.
Prof. Smallman, Portland State University