Development Management Policy Seminar “Divergent Approaches to Internationalizing Higher Education: What to Support and What to Avoid?”

Dr. Robert Arnove, delivered a lecture on “Divergent Approaches to Internationalizing Higher Education: What to Support and What to Avoid?” Dr. Arnove is a distinguished scholar in the field of International and Comparative Education, and is currently a Chancellor’s Professor Emeritus at Indiana University in the USA. The lecture organized under the development management policy seminar, was held on July 10th 2014 in the Main Conference Room of Kobe University’s Graduate School of International Cooperation Studies (GSICS).

During his presentation, Dr. Arnove talked about various efforts which have been made towards internationalizing higher education at various levels and for various purposes, including personal, institutional, national and global levels. He began by summarizing typical characteristics of the approaches taken at each level. For instance, he pointed out that a curriculum might be internationalized for purposes of attracting more talented students to enable the university get higher ranking at the institutional level. In addition, he touched on the economic, diplomatic and military purposes hidden behind the internationalization of higher education at the national level.

Dr. Arnove went on to cite some examples to illustrate the difference and divergence between these approaches. One of the outstanding examples he cited was the voices from the American students who participated in the foreign exchange program in China way back in 1983. According to him, these voices basically demonstrate some of the unique and profound life-long impact of international programs in higher education. He also touched on some factors which are weakening this impact including the constant communication with family members using the internet. To conclude his presentation, he gave an overview of the Japanese government’s recent efforts towards internationalizing higher education and raised some issues that have emerged from these efforts.

020Commentary to Dr. Robert Arnove’s presentation was given by two professors, namely; Dr. Yukari Mitsuhashi, a Professor responsible for international relations at Kobe University, and Dr. James Williams, an Associate Professor at George Washington University in the USA. Dr. Mitsuhashi spoke about specific approaches taken at an institutional level in Japan and pointed out their challenges based on her experience working on promoting international exchange program at Japanese national universities. Dr. Williams on his part provided additional information on some of the topics raised by Dr. Arnove, drawing from his own experience with George Washington University in the USA.

Inspired by the informative presentation and subsequent discussions between the speaker and the commentators, the participants comprised of Japanese and international students actively took part in the question and answer session. The participants used this opportunity to enrich their knowledge about internationalization in the context of higher education and think about its challenges and possibilities, drawing from the insightful viewpoints of the leading experts.

Authored by Katsuki Sakaue
Doctoral Student

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