16 May 2021
by Simon Marginson

Globalisation of HE: the good, the bad and the ugly

Globalisation – the tendency to global convergence and integration – has wonderful potential in the abstract. It offers the possibility that we can work our way out of the national container blocking collaborative action, for example, on climate change.

Global convergence suggests a full and formative encounter with the diversity of human ideas, knowledge, imagination, government, institutions, social habits, on the basis of unity in diversity, heer butong, in tianxia, all under heaven, the Chinese terms.

No one country or culture has all the answers and we have much to learn from each other. That is the ideal.

In practice, global integration has not worked so well. It has been a mixed blessing at best.

In social science we need descriptive categories for mapping space and time. When ‘globalisation’ is defined simply as integration and convergence it carries no baggage. But globalisation in practice has baggage. It is permeated by relations of power and politics, a zone in which different agents, including ourselves, work the global in their own interests.

Read the full blog entry on University World News.