As the European Union copes with a continuing financial crisis and growing pessimism over European integration, the Erasmus Programme has proven surprisingly resilient. Since its inception, it has expanded to more than 4000 participating education institutions in 33 countries offering mobility opportunities for more than 4 million people. Xavier Prats Monné, director-general for Health and for Food Safety of the European Commission, previously served as director general for Education and Culture of the European Commission, where he was responsible for EU policies in the field of education and for the EU education programs for the 2014–2020 period, including Erasmus+ and Marie Sklodowska Curie.
Our experience suggests that fragile states cannot succeed without major investments in higher education. Accordingly, neglecting academic needs during and after armed conflict raises the risk of failure once peace is restored—with security implications for the rest of the world. As noted by IIE Vice President Daniela Kaisth, “there is widespread recognition that education at all levels must be protected during war for the vital role it plays in preserving leadership, stabilizing societies, and once conflict subsides, rebuilding peaceful and prosperous communities.”
Three weeks before IIE's fall Generation Study Abroad commitment deadline, I packed a suitcase full of newly released IIENetworker magazines and flew back to Oregon, my home state. My destination was Idealist.org headquarters in Portland, where PDX Abroad had gathered 26 higher education professionals from Oregon and Washington to hold a Generation Study Abroad Think Tank. The event, which was modeled after IIE's March 2014 roundtable discussion titled "What Will it Take To Double Study Abroad?" was the first such event organized spontaneously.
The answer to this question, according to the authors of IIE’s spring 2014 edition of IIENetworker is, “it depends.” While we tend to think of internationalization and globalization as harmonious, even synonymous, this issue of IIE’s biannual magazine makes important distinctions between the two and points out the benefits—along with potential drawbacks—of rapid globalization.
So how might globalization be bad for international education?