Internationalization of Higher Education and Its Market - Taking International College as an Example

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Abstract

This paper is intended for looking into the inevitability of the internationalization of higher education with the prime causes of it resting in the facts that given such large-size Chinese population, the resources allocated to higher education in China remain insufficient to meet the demand for higher education and that universities in the UK, USA, Australia, and Canada enjoy comparatively "sufficient" or surplus resources on one hand and on the other many of them have sustained a cut in the revenue from the government of ten percent in real terms in the past five years and they will face a further ten percent cut by the end of the decade. Also lassoed in the focus in the paper are the subsequent reciprocity arising from the internationalization of higher education and the various forms of collaboration between the International College, Guangdong University of Foreign Studies and its partners overseas.

Keywords: Internationalization of higher education, International college, Collaboration, Programs

1. Introduction

Over the recent years, China has experienced significant changes in the structure and delivery of its higher education policy as may be observable by its shifting emphasis from an education policy based on the 'elite' to a new one underpinned by 'mass' education. The year 1999 can be regarded as the watershed between the past and current educational policies with the formal expansion of student recruitment going on to meet the growing demand for higher skilled college graduates required by a burgeoning Chinese economy. However the resources allocated to higher education in China have remained insufficient to meet the demand for higher education given China's large-size population and limited higher education resources. Indeed, the Chinese Ministry of Education noted that by 2008 about 124 million Chinese were of college age and according to a report in China Daily, one of the leading English language newspapers in the country, meeting this demand would have required 800 new universities and colleges at a cost of $68 billion. The scale of investment and finance, the infrastructure and the human capital required to establish them are prohibitive. Consequently, foreign educational providers have been encouraged to enter this rapidly developing market.

Marijk C. van der Wende (2003, p.193) illustrated the phenomenon by stating "the fact that the growing and diversifying demand for higher education is not always being sufficiently met by national higher education systems creates market opportunities for foreign providers, which are actively explored by providers in mostly Western countries." Thus it can be argued that the trend in internationalization of higher education has increasingly been encouraged and sustained by the economic activities of globalization itself. Indeed the growth in collaboration between Chinese universities and foreign universities has gone hand in hand with the expanding Chinese economy. Wendy W. Y. Chan (2004, p.32) noted that internationalization, to a certain extent, is response to the impacts of globalization and collaboration between educational providers is one of the most effective means to gain visibility, increase the market share and sustain the competitiveness.

There are many modes of collaboration one of which is the collaboration enacted out through International College. This paper is going to illustrate the phenomenon of the collaboration based on international college as the collaborators' market in China by looking into the International College, Guangdong University of Foreign Studies (GDUFS).

The International College, GDUFS, a consolidation of one of the training centers for studying overseas authorized by the Chinese Service Centre of Scholarly Exchange under the Ministry of Education, a training department of foreign languages for improving the foreign language proficiency of home scholars and a language proficiency test center, was founded in 2004 with the permission from the Department of Higher Education of the People's Government of Guangdong Province. …