RECENTLY, in his regular column on economic issues in The Washington Post, Sebastian Mallaby praised the current state of the U.S. business community's ability to compete effectively in the global economy. He noted a recent study by Stanford University and the London School of Economics that shows that mid-sized U.S. companies are notably better managed than their European competitors and that this management difference accounts for more than half of the productivity gap that has been seen in other studies. Mallaby attributes a significant amount of the credit for this to U.S. higher education.
"American executive suites and M.B.A. courses are full of talented immigrants, so American managers think nothing of working in multicultural firms. The immigrants have links to their home countries, so Americans have an advantage in establishing global supply chains. The elites of Asia and Latin America compete to attend U.S. universities; when they return to their countries, they are keener to join the local operation of a U.S. company than of a German or Japanese one," he says.
Globalization and multicultural education are inseparable. To be competitive in the twenty-first century, higher education in all countries will need to adjust to this economic paradigm. In this issue of IE, we present two articles that explore the current state of global workforce development in higher education. …