International Education in a Global Society
Can international education meet the challenges of a global society? I think it can, depending on what the definition of international education is. As Beck (2008) points out in her doctoral dissertation defining exactly what international education is has been problematic. That there is no agreed upon global, national, provincial or academic definition is strange enough, given how often one hears about the importance of international education, but to know that my own educational institution barely pays lip service to the idea of international education (I.E.) while luring foreign students with the promise of I.E. is downright disturbing. Perhaps part of the problem of defining I.E. has been the difficulty in pinning things down in a world that is changing so rapidly. It is only recently that advances in technology and communications have become available to anyone with an internet connection and an IT device and it takes time to determine how new technologies can be used and what effect they may have in a global society. Perhaps now that technologies have been used in I.E. for some time and there is a more pervasive awareness of the global village - and the demands and stressors that come with it – a clear definition of I.E. will can be achieved; one that can be agreed upon country by country if not globally. I realize there are many problems with defining I.E. As Beck points out, “terms like internationalization and international education [are being] ...used interchangeably” and international education is being used as an “umbrella term” that covers “all domains and areas of study that might include anything ’international’” and these are just two of many that are cited (Beck, 2008, p.2). After doing the assigned reading and being part of class discussion I can’t help but wonder if another problem in defining I.E. might lie in the angle from which it is approached. Could I.E. be more clearly defined...
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