Knowledge and education as international commodities

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Knowledge and education as international commodities

Education is becoming an international traded commodity and a key addition to the common good of society. It has been gradually viewed as a commodity to be invested by a consumer in order to build a “skill set” to be utilised in the global market or an item to be bought and sold by international organisations and academic institutions that have remodeled their business models.

Globalisation is perhaps both imminent and implacable, and is largely positive. In the knowledge industries, of which education plays a fundamental role, globalisation is already a key component. At present, there is a large group of students who have crossed borders in the pursuit of education, and a global marketplace that is present for faculty and researchers. The World Wide Web has largely expanded the international flow of knowledge.

This is the start of distance transition in higher education. As digital technology advances coupled with improved curriculum, distance offerings will escalate. Currently “open universities” are using primarily distance means of course delivery to enroll international students, particularly those in the developing countries. As such, if the governments fail to carry out substantial control over institutions providing distance higher education in their countries, quality control will become a challenge.

Open markets, at least in higher education, further demonstrate the existing inequalities. This is because it will only allow pronounced and wealthy education providers to have open access to the market. Countries and institutions that cannot compete will face huge challenges. This also means that developing countries and smaller industrialised nations will be at a relative disadvantage. Local academic institutions will find it challenging to compete with these education providers as well.

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Therefore, what does this surfacing issue mean for local universities in Russia and the other emerging countries? Join us in the upcoming QS WORLDWIDE 2018 from 22-23 May 2018 in Moscow, Russia, as we discuss the topic on “In Search of University Excellence: Perspectives from Russia and Emerging Countries”.