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Global Perspectives on Higher Education

, 352 pages

1 line drawing

January 2016



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Global Perspectives on Higher Education


Over the past half-century, globalization has had a profound impact on postsecondary education. The twin forces of mass higher education and the global knowledge economy have driven an unprecedented transformation. These fundamental changes have pulled in opposite directions: one pushes for wider access and accompanying challenges of quality, the other toward exclusive, "world class" research-oriented universities.

In Global Perspectives on Higher Education, renowned higher education scholar Philip G. Altbach offers a wide-ranging perspective on the implications of these key forces and explores how they influence academe everywhere. Altbach begins with a discussion of the global trends that increasingly affect higher education, including the implications of mass enrollments, the logic of mass higher education systems around the world, and specific challenges facing Brazil, Russia, India, and China. He considers the numerous implications of globalization, including the worldwide use of the English language, university cross-border initiatives, the role of research universities in developing countries, the impact of the West on Asian universities, and the expansion of private higher education.

Provocative and wide-ranging, Global Perspectives on Higher Education considers how the international exchange of ideas, students, and scholars has fundamentally altered higher education.

Philip G. Altbach is a research professor and the founding director of the Center for International Higher Education at Boston College. He is the coeditor of American Higher Education in the Twenty-First Century and In Defense of American Higher Education.

"Altbach provides impressive insight into the way globalization and internationalization have impacted and changed higher education. An important contribution by the leading scholar in the field."

"Phil Altbach is the pre-eminent scholar of worldwide higher education. Not only has he been immensely productive, and has contributed to the development of many country systems, he is always closely focused on university autonomy and academic freedom as the essential conditions that enable higher education to make its contribution. Global Perspectives on Higher Education is a state-of-the art repository of the best Altbach insights, supplemented by fine contributions from other leading scholars."

"Higher education is key to the social, political, cultural, and economic betterment for both individual citizens and nations, and Philip Altbach is the preeminent American scholar, chronicler, and lecturer on higher education worldwide. This work will be an invaluable source for those new to the field as well as those long familiar with Altbach’s contributions."

"... the issues treated in this book are wide reaching and cause for thought for higher educators."

"... comprehensive account of contemporary post secondary education worldwide. It marshals complex and interrelated data by themes that introduce, describe and compare global higher education with remarkably little repetition in a way unlikely to be surpassed by other centres for similar research..."

"... readers looking for an overview of the ways globalization has driven the internationalization of higher education will appreciate the broad sweep of this volume."

"[ Global Perspectives on Higher Education] offers an impressive summation of Altbach’s work."