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ERIC Number: EJ914905
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0190-2946
Human Rights, Academic Freedom, and Offshore Academics
Ross, Andrew
Academe, v97 n1 p14-17 Jan-Feb 2011
Despite the carnage wrought on higher education by the Great Recession, evidence persists that the sector is still host to a speculator psychology. One example is the unabated stampede to set up branches and programs overseas. Colleges have many reasons to go offshore: (1) to reduce costs; (2) to build their "brands" in "emerging markets"; and (3) to spread their assets. Some have even been driven by genuine faculty interest in international education. But the rush to respond to lucrative offers from local governments, especially in China and the Gulf states, has all the hallmarks of high-risk investment. In the corporate world, casualties of overseas joint ventures are legion. It should be no surprise that several universities have crashed and withdrawn from this line of business: a major recent example is Michigan State University, which in July abandoned its Dubai campus. Nonetheless, the long-term prognosis for such ventures is rosy. According to analysts of the global market for higher education, demand will grow to as many as 200 million "seats" by the year 2020--those currently enrolled number from 110 to 115 million. What speculative investor would not salivate at the prospect of a market with a potential growth rate of 80 percent over the next decade? Yet the culture of higher education is not well-suited to the gold-rush mentality, and adapting to it at high speed puts at risk some bedrock principles. This article discusses how the rush to create universities abroad, especially in countries with authoritarian governments, can come at a high cost: from exploitation of migrant labor to uncertain protection of free speech and basic rights. The author discusses the New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) experience which demonstrates some of the perils intrinsic to fast-track investments in locations that require close cooperation with, and funding from, authoritarian governments.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York; United Arab Emirates (Abu Dhabi)