To discuss the implications of globalisation on higher education in the Asia Pacific region and the challenge of resurgent nationalism on the trend of globalisation, Lingnan University co-organised the international symposium “Contesting Globalisation and Implications for Asian Pacific Higher Education: Resurgent Nationalism in International Higher Education” with the Asia Pacific Higher Education Research Partnership (APHERP) in the US, University College London in the UK, Peking University in Mainland China and Hiroshima University in Japan from 19 to 20 October.
The Symposium has invited distinguished scholars from the UK, the US, Mainland China, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Taiwan, Hong Kong and India to discuss how tertiary institutions from different regions in Asia responded to the resurgent nationalism and its challenges to globalisation, as well as internationalisation in higher education.
Professor John N Hawkins, a professor from University of California, Los Angeles and Co-Director of APHERP pointed out at the Symposium that localism, populism and nationalism, which are regarded by some scholars as forces that drive the retreat and reconfiguration of globalisation, have become prominent again in higher education in the Asia Pacific region. He discussed on issue of whether higher education institutions are beginning to reflect an “inwardness” which in turn effects a shift in presence of international students, scholars, joint-research projects, joint publishing ventures and interinstitutional agreements. He shared his views on these issues through a reprise of the trend of internationalisation of higher education in the Asia Pacific region two years ago.
Meanwhile, Professor Deane E Neubauer, a professor from University of Hawaii and Co-Director of APHERP argued that a growing nationalism is occurring at the expense of what was previously accepted as a “globalised” international environment. Nationalism is being spread throughout the world with significant effects on the concept of “international education” over the past two decades. Professor Neubauer suggested that a “reframed nationalism” may help to produce the current movement of anti-globalisation. And at the same time he offered several hypotheses about the possible courses of a “revised-internationalisation” of higher education within these environments.
As an economic leader in the Asia Pacific region, Japan’s higher education also experienced profound changes under the impact of the trend of globalisation. Professor Huang Futao from Hiroshima University pointed out that internationalisation of universities in Japan is on-going despite changes in university leaders’ views on internationalisation and related practices. Furthermore, internationalisation of Japan’s universities exhibits strong non-commercial characteristics. On the other hand, economic reform has deep impact on Mainland China as an emerging economy over the past 40 years. Professor Wen Wen from Tsinghua University discovered the solid foundation of ideology in Mainland China by analysing the development of international education for its inbound international students, and that a type of new nationalism is emerging in China’s recent global strategy.
Apart from strengthening its international research collaboration, this international symposium Lingnan University also enhanced its teaching and research standards and benefited its student by enriching their learning experience. In particular, the symposium offered opportunities for students of the newly launched Master of Arts in International Higher Education and Management programme to exchange with experts and leading scholars in higher education studies from different parts of the world.