In the last several years, national boundaries are only a matter of geographical location. The exchange of ideas, goods, and people have long been a feature of human history. Therefore, what is new today in the trend of globalization is the easiness of this contact between nations. Furthermore, it is also the speed and the volume of this contact. Certainly, the main reason that stands behind this new change is technological advancements. Globalization has completely transformed our world into a common terrain where financial, political, and social relationships are growing. The economic, cultural, political, and social interconnections is a subject of passionate debate worldwide.
The Benefits Rendered by Globalization
The globalization of education is no exception in today’s world. It has been on the agenda for decades all over the world. It has been because various stakeholders can benefit from the internationalization of higher education. There is something to gain for each of these- international and domestic students, HEIs, companies, and home and host countries. Students gain an international experience which contributes to their personal and professional growth. Higher education institutions and host countries benefit both financially and academically by attracting international students. In addition, countries sending students are also increasingly becoming student receiving nations. Thank the global political climate and the high cost of study in the developed world for it. Therefore, various overseas programs have been created to encourage and enhance the process of the globalization of higher education.
Erasmus: One of the Heralders of Globalisation
Meanwhile, one of the most popular student exchange programs is Erasmus. It has been established in 1987 and combines all the European nations for education, training, youth, and sport. The programs as these provide students with intercultural experiences and various overseas opportunities. Erasmus opportunities exist for students inside the European continent. However, to cater to more students, Erasmus Mundus aims to globalize European education. For this, it also has opened its gates to non-European students.
Overseas study programs and the willingness of students to have international experience are enhancing the globalization of education worldwide. Therefore, there are numerous emerging trends that are rapidly growing and spreading.
Study Abroad Numbers Grow
Studying abroad is one of the most powerful tools used for the internationalization of education. Student mobility programs allow students to go to different countries and experience completely different education systems. Statistics prove that the number of students who decide to study abroad continues to steadily increase compared to the previous years. The profile of the students who study internationally continues to become more racially and ethnically diverse. Still, students may have second thoughts for starting a long-term university degree abroad. For this reason, short-term and summer programs are increasing in popularity.
There are several strong reasons why students embrace the international experience of studying abroad. From experiencing a completely different education system to creating better career opportunities, studying abroad enriches both their CV’s and their personal development. Studying overseas has become the most valorous way used by students to globalize themselves and broaden their horizons. Our world has become a fast-changing one forcing both individuals and enterprises to adapt or perish. Hence, young generations wish to keep up with all the changes to benefit from worldwide prosperity.
Emerging Digital Learning Trends
The development of various overseas study programs may have taken place from time to time. Still, our modern world has seen the rise of digital learning as a tool used for the globalization of education. Online learning has not only contributed to globalization but it has also revolutionized higher education in many ways. The rapid advancements of technology have had a high influence on eLearning. The number of college and university students taking online learning classes continues to rapidly grow. According to various studies, a third of all students are taking at least one online course to deepen their understanding of various subjects including foreign languages, finance, business, chemistry, or history.
The rise of digital learning has many reasons and benefits that stand behind it. Online learning is empowering every individual to have access to unlimited information 24/7. Therefore, it brings time-efficient and cost-efficient solutions which encourages even the busiest individuals to have learning solutions one click away. Moreover, online learning and the globalization of education are strongly linked for one good reason. We are all able to connect online with specialists from all over the world who can share their knowledge and skills without the necessity of face-to-face interaction.
Although some still doubt the benefits of online learning as they claim that it has many drawbacks such as reducing the motivation of students, it is an increasingly popular trend. It is the most comfortable learning environment as there is no need for physical class sessions and no fixed study schedule. The modern world we live in is moving fast causing individuals to have less and less free time. Therefore, digital learning is the best solution that offers convenience and flexibility.
Challenges of Overseas Study Programs
During the last decade, overseas study programs have enhanced the process of the globalization of higher education. Impressive numbers of students have been enrolled in such study programs aiming to both personally and professionally develop during the international experience. However, despite the numerous benefits and rapid growth of the trend, few challenges still remain. For instance, international students are facing many challenges upon their arrival in the host country. Issues including adjustment, integration, financial costs, discrimination, and administrative legal hurdles are still on the agenda for overseas programs to overcome. Different cultural, political, and social norms are still making students experience homesickness, financial difficulties, culture shock, and language barriers.
To overcome the challenges and to meet their needs for students and the workforce, several developing countries are making great efforts. Therefore, they have adopted policies to attract international student to come to study and, perhaps, even join the workforce after they finish their studies.
On the Ending Note…
Globalization is multi-dimensional by encompassing economic, political, social and cultural changes. Yet, the main purpose of the globalization of education is to prepare individuals from all over the world to function in an increasingly international, culturally relevant, and diverse environment.
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