OUTLOOKS FOR THE INTERNATIONAL HIGHER EDUCATION COMMUNITY IN CONSTRUCTING THE GLOBAL KNOWLEDGE SOCIE

OUTLOOKS FOR THE INTERNATIONAL HIGHER EDUCATION COMMUNITY IN CONSTRUCTING THE GLOBAL KNOWLEDGE SOCIE

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United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization Organisation des Nations Unies pour l'éducation, la science et la culture Original: English ED-2002/HED/AMQ/GF.1/07 9 October 2002 Distribution: meeting First Global Forum on International Quality Assurance, Accreditation and the Recognition of Qualifications in Higher Education “Globalization and Higher Education” O UTLOOKS FOR THE I NTERNATIONAL H IGHER E DUCATION C OMMUNITY IN C ONSTRUCTING THE G LOBAL K NOWLEDGE S OCIETY BY D IRK V AN D AMME F LEMISH I NTER -U NIVERSITY C OUNCIL (VLIR) / I NTERNATIONAL A SSOCIATION OF U NIVERSITY P RESIDENTS (IAUP) UNESCO, Paris 17 - 18 October 2002 Room IX Division of Higher Education Section for Access, Mobility and Quality Assurance http://www.unesco.org/education/studyingabroad/index.shtml
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O UTLOOKS FOR THE I NTERNATIONAL H IGHER E DUCATION C OMMUNITY IN C ONSTRUCTING THE G LOBAL K NOWLEDGE S OCIETY BY D IRK V AN D AMME F LEMISH I NTER -U NIVERSITY C OUNCIL (VLIR) / I NTERNATIONAL A SSOCIATION OF U NIVERSITY P RESIDENTS (IAUP) Towards the global knowledge society Enormous changes are taking place in the world’s economic, political, social and cultural systems. The interconnectedness and combined effects of these changes make it difficult to distinguish analytically between them. In their aggregate impacts they form a massive and powerful social transformation of which the final stages and resulting equilibriums – if we will ever reach a new stability – are not yet clear. Umbrella concepts such as globalisation and the knowledge society then offer the best conceptual frameworks to understand these changes, even if there still is a lot of debate about the actual meaning and explanatory power of such concepts. These concepts indicate that the contemporary world is increasingly operating at a global scale and that these global processes tend to transform societies into knowledge societies. The importance of a number of specific trends within this overall transformation to global knowledge societies is evident. The World Bank (2002) lists four crucial trends, each representing sources of great opportunities and big threats: (i) the increasing importance of knowledge as a driver of growth in the context of the global economy, (ii) the information and communication technology revolution, (iii) the emergence of a worldwide labour market, and (iv) global socio-political transformations. There is much empirical evidence to document these trends and to demonstrate their significance. Globalisation also can be approached in other ways. On a higher conceptual level Giddens (1990) distinguishes four interconnected dimensions in the globalisation of modernity: (i) the world capitalist economy, (ii) the nation-state system, (iii) the world military order, and (iv) the international division of labour. Essential in the nature of globalising processes to Giddens is the reordering of space and time, and more specifically the compression of space-time. To Castells (2000) this space-
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OUTLOOKS FOR THE INTERNATIONAL HIGHER EDUCATION COMMUNITY IN CONSTRUCTING THE GLOBAL KNOWLEDGE SOCIE

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