EDEV_506 Week 6_5

W, your graphics are always wonderful. I wonder, though, which of the figurines represent which actor in your case study? Adding that would have been a nice touch.

In your unavoidably truncated report, you leave out what I consider to be the key piece of information: a judgement about the success of the local dean’s initiative in terms of how well it addressed the issues it tackled. Without that, the report can be read as imperialism and ideology building instead of a comparative analysis. The key assumption seems to be that a global strategy is necessarily the correct one, that homogenisation of disparate cultures, methodologies, ideologies and value systems leads to a better educational product. Do you really mean this? Is it possible that the service has more meaning, import and effect due to its differentiation? Again, without knowing the details, I just pose these questions rhetorically, but there is behind them a serious question of the need to examine how global can exist locally, if at all.

Dodds (2008) studied forty-one articles that significantly discussed globalisation within higher education and concluded that “no fixed overall view of the relationship between globalisation and higher education” (p. 506). One major section in Dodds is a description of the notion of globalisation-as-ideology, and she continues by distinguishing between the neo-nationalist subtext of internationalism and the non-nationalist framing of globalisation (Dodds, 2008).  This is not unproblematic. Spring (2015) centres on the three aspects of economicisation, audit and corporatisation of education in his discussion of the globalisation of education with echoes of Marginson and Rhoades (2002) who list efficiency, self-sufficiency and accountability. Within this wide-ranging exposition that ultimately supports the idea of globalisation (Spring, 2015), he refers to indigenous and religious attitudes on difference, hegemony and othering that indicate a substantial divide between a simplistic, monolithic idea of globalisation and the current situation in many geopolitical areas. At the core of these issues, and a core that is often assumed rather than explicated, is the understanding that even simple terms, such as efficiency, are value laden. For example, the Western commercial world typically defines efficiency in financial terms. A Confucian definition may centre on the smoothness of interpersonal relationships, even if a financial burden was implicated. A (Catholic Christian) religious definition may focus on the sense promotion of spiritual values of the shared community.

I concur with your assessment that the Paris head failed in his leadership. He neglected to fully comprehend Morrill’s advice about the contingency aspects of ‘strategic’ planning (Morrill, 2007), and his lack of implementation of any type of distributed leadership (Marshall, 2007) smacked of top-down corporatisation and possibly cultural imperialism.

How would you assess the strengths or weaknesses in the ‘global’ programme and in the local Qatar one? Was the local dean right in implementing his own version?



Dodds, A. (2008). How does globalization interact with higher education?- The continuing lack of consensus. Comparative Education, 44(4), 505–517. doi:10.1080/09700161.2015.1090687

Marginson, S., & Rhoades, G. (2002). Beyond national states, markets and systems of higher education: A glonacal agency heuristic. Higher Education, 43, 281–309.

Marshall, S. (2007). Leading and mangaging strategic change. In S. Marshall (Ed.), Leadership of Change in Higher Education: What’s new?(pp. 1–16). Milton Park, UK: Routledge.

Morrill, R. L. (2007). Strategic Leadership: Integrating Strategy and Leadership in Colleges and Universities. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, INC. and the American Council on Education.

Spring, J. (2015). Globalization of education: an introduction. Milton Park, UK: Routledge.

About theCaledonian

Scot living in north Japan teaching at a national university.
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