Globalisation, internationalisation and the knowledge economy in higher education: A case study of China and New Zealand

by Jiang, Xiaoping (Isadora)

Abstract (Summary)
This thesis analyses the contemporary phenomena of globalisation, the knowledge economy and internationalisation in terms of their synergistic impacts on higher education and with special reference to China and New Zealand. Globalisation and the knowledge economy are seen to fuel each other as well as driving trends in higher education. Internationalisation is shown to be intimately related to, but conceptually distinguishable from, globalisation, and to occur partly as a consequence of the latter (and of developments in the knowledge economy) but partly also as a response to these forces. All three phenomena are addressed through assessments of their dominant economic imperatives. As a prerequisite to understanding and critiquing these forces and their dominant imperatives, the early chapters expound a further tripartite structure, this time of political-economic theories: neoliberalism, neo-Marxism, and Giddens' 'Third Way'. The lens through which the analysis is made is explicitly neo-Marxist. The thesis critiques the ascendancy of neoliberalism in the discourse of globalisation, and the knowledge economy and the internationalisation of higher education. Neoliberalism's ascendancy is shown to be promoted through global, regional, national and sub-national entities, and this promotion is found to be often covert. The middle section of the thesis traces the effects on higher education of the economic, and specifically neoliberal or global-capitalist imperatives that the foregoing analysis reveals. Policies of deregulation, liberalisation, marketisation, privatisation and commercialisation are shown to exert largely negative influences on universities and, by extension, on other higher education institutions. They over-emphasise the private value of both knowledge itself and higher education as a knowledge agent, something which leads to a homogenising, devaluing 'commodification' of higher education. Having made the general case, the thesis then considers the Asia-Pacific region before focusing in depth on China and New Zealand. This structure makes for a macro-meso-micro approach to the development of the inquiry but with emphasis on the macro and the micro. Key questions raised in the thesis concern the establishment of a 'counter-hegemony' to oppose the dominance of neoliberal principles and policies. The study culminates by recommending the emergent concept of interculturalism as both an accurate description of the intersection of cultures on campus and a desirable nonnative policy which should complement internationalisation as part of national and institutional response strategies. The thesis argues for the legitimation and encouragement of neo-Marxist interculturalisation and outlines its relevance to New Zealand higher education institutions, which host many international and new immigrant students, above all from China.
Bibliographical Information:


School:The University of Auckland / Te Whare Wananga o Tamaki Makaurau

School Location:New Zealand

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:education higher 0745 economics general 0501 political science 0615


Date of Publication:01/01/2005

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