A Good Global Neighbour?

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Universities Scotland, the organisation representing and promoting Scotland’s higher education sector, has avowed its desire to raise its profile as a 'good global neighbour' (1). Claiming that higher education '… is one of the most outwardly-looking parts of Scotland' and, noting its intent to help 'developing countries establish their own higher education systems', such statements apparently signal an ethic of global social justice in Scotland’s university internationalization policies. Simultaneously, a competitive drive to increase the share of revenues from the recruitment of international students remains high on the agenda. Although globalization has both afforded and necessitated internationalization, we shall suggest that its realisation as a force for social justice remains predominantly bound within national borders. Asking how Scotland’s higher education policy is addressing both prevailing economic imperatives and the implications of internationalization for global social justice, we focus here on dislocations between national and global drivers. Proud of its egalitarian and inclusive traditions, we question the extent to which inclusion and neighbourliness are being played out in Scotland in ways that transcend the borders of sovereignty. Stressing tensions between competition and collaboration, inclusion and exclusion, we ask if the imaginary of internationalisation can stretch beyond current horizons dominated by the extended marketplace in which education can be traded as a premium commodity available only to those who can afford it. How might we shift to a different perspective in which higher education might be regarded as a public good contributing to a more just world and what would it really mean to be a good neighbour in higher education on the global stage?

(1)Universities Scotland at http://www.universities-scotland.ac.uk/uploads/publications/Transforming%20Scotland%202007.pdf


Keywords: Values, Social Justice, Globalization, Internationalization, Higher Education
Stream: Equity, Social Justice and Social Change; Community, Culture, Globalisation
Presentation Type: 30 minute Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Dr. Nicki Hedge

Faculty of Education, University of Glasgow
Glasgow, UK


Prof. Penny Enslin

Faculty of Education, University of Glasgow
Glasgow, UK


Ref: L09P0536