Globalization and Higher Technical Education

Ashok Misra, Director


Borrowed from economics, 'Globalization' is a term used to sum up the contemporary world order. Enabled by advances in information technology, the speed of communications has made our world a global village. The convenience of travel has brought people all over the world closer. The compression of barriers of time and space has linked lives of people across the world more intensely and at a faster rate than ever before.

         There is now an increased movement of knowledge, ideas, goods and money across natural borders, which in turn has increased interactions between nations in the areas of economics, politics and education. This phenomenon today embraces all sections of the society and its people - their lives, their livelihood, their interactions and really speaking almost all aspects of life in the present era.

Globalization and the Knowledge Economy
Advances is productivity are increasingly based on knowledge and learning. Since knowledge once disclosed spreads further than capital or people, today's knowledge economy is by its very nature global. All countries stand to benefit when new knowledge is internationally shared. It is against this backdrop that higher education is assuming an amplified role and significance than ever before.

         Institutions of higher learning where knowledge is transmitted and new knowledge is created forms the true prop of a country's future. The country that has a superior higher education system will have the edge in today's world. Thus, it is a special responsibility of the nation to provide the best education possible both at the high school and the university levels. The focus of such attention must be on creativity and innovation, especially in the higher education arena. Institutions of higher learning therefore must foster research and provide opportunities to students for developing new ideas.

Transforming Higher Technical Education
In today's world, the Institution or University has to have global standards. Students must be aware of the knowledge that is being transmitted to their counterparts in other parts of the world. Thus the quality of teaching has to be as good as anywhere else in the world. Moreover, students must be able to adjust to jobs anywhere in the world; which implies that cross-cultural aspects should be part of the curriculum. Higher technical education which is the engine for the technological growth of a country needs to transform today so as to be based soundly on all the sciences, emphasize cross-disciplinary areas, and promote interactions with other fields such as economics, business administration, finance, law, entrepreneurship etc..........more on next page

Challenges in Higher Technical Education

  • Attract and retain highest quality faculty
  • Inculcate the culture of research, creativity, innovation
  • Enhance interactions with the industry
  • Develop meaningful collaborations with international institutions
  • Attract funding from industry - free up the government from funding to the extent possible
  • Address autonomy related issues
  • Address fee related issues
  • Address responsibility related issues, especially in developing countries