Universities See Risks and Rewards in Internationalization

November 2, 2006

A recent survey of university leaders in 95 countries by the International Association of Universities (part of UNESCO), and authored by a professor at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), found that 96% see benefits of internationalization, but 70% also see risks to the quality of higher education. The goal is "to increase student and faculty international knowledge and intercultural understanding" and "to strengthen research and knowledge capacity and production." The risks include growing commercialization, the rise in foreign "degree mills," and the threat of brain drain. Distance education, identified as a fast-growing segment in 2003, is now regarded as one of the least active. The report can be obtained by writing to iau2 [at] unesco.org