Rectors from around the world see the internationalization of universities as an essential process

14/03/2011 - General

Rectors from universities worldwide attending the international conference on 'Reinventing Higher Education', held at IE University’s Segovia campus, agreed that internationalization is essential for institutions that want to be at the leading edge of new university models which respond to the needs of a globalized world driven by technology. Attendees included rectors and presidents of universities, as well as media groups and businesses, from China, US, UK, Germany, Italy, Hungary, France, Finland, Mexico, Colombia and Spain.


The objective of the conference, the only one of its kind in Europe, was to discuss change and improvement in university education in the face of globalization and new management models. Participating academics included the Vice-chancellor of Leeds University, Michael Arthur, who shared with attendees the strategic map of this prestigious university; Carlos Cruz Limón, Vice-President of Tecnológico de Monterrey; Werner Muller-Esterl, President of University of Frankfurt (Germany); Massimo Egidi, Rector of LUISS Guido Carli University (Italy); and Zhongming Wang, Rector of Zhejiang University Business School (China).


These experts concurred that it is now impossible to imagine a university that was not international. They pointed to a need to accelerate the transformation of universities by opening up new alliances among institutions worldwide, strengthening research and the exchange of knowledge, promoting international networks, and fostering the mobility of students and professors.


The experts also agreed on the importance of providing universities with greater autonomy and better training programs for managers, and they also stressed the need to attend to the demands of society by making a commitment to meet corporate needs, which is a vital part of university education.


Further subjects for debate at the IE University conference included the globalization of future professionals, the classroom revolution resulting from new technologies, the new student profile, trans-border mobility, the funding and management of institutions, and relations between universities and the corporate world. There was particular emphasis on the role of governments and new players in educational policymaking, the change in learning processes with the advent of new technological tools, the new generation of students, --digital natives—who are now arriving at university with new skills and attitudes, and the reinvention of the figure of professor.


Finally, participants discussed the important role of rankings in gauging the quality of universities, of alternative sources of income and how universities now serve as catalysts for innovation in collaboration with business organizations.


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