Global or World Universities?
At the height of the millennial frenzy announcing the imminent advent of globalization and the reign of a knowledge economy, a number of universities, mostly but not only from Australia, Canada, Great Britain and the United States, launched expansion projects, entering into partnerships with foreign universities, and, increasingly, building new campuses, from Shanghai to Abu Dhabi, Durban to Singapore and many other venues in Asia and the Middle East. Although the financial crisis of 2008 has slowed these efforts, it has not stopped them, even though the clamor of triumphant globalism has considerably abated recently if not died down altogether. Are these universities embarked on a course rendered obsolete by geostrategic and economic changes? What should the role of universities be in the emerging order? What sort of knowledge and knowledge practices should they promote? These are the questions at the heart of this talk.
Wlad Godzich is Distinguished Professor of Literature at the University of California, Santa Cruz.