Universities as Portals of Globalization: Places of Global Entanglements and Transcultural Encounter

Baumann, Claudia

European universities are facing global competition for students: In order to maintain economic efficiency against the backdrop of demographic change in the medium and long term, technologically advanced knowledge societies need highly skilled professionals from all over the world. This may result in a new function of universities as portals in current processes of globalization. Over the past years, the fact that today’s students are tomorrow’s professionals has become increasingly recognized in politics, industry and universities. However, research focusing on the migration of (highly) skilled professionals is limited to the analysis of push and pull factors and concentrates mainly on employees of international companies. In addition, no research has been found that surveyed the migration channels used by international students to come to Europe nor investigated the question if those channels can be or are already being controlled. Most of the approaches used in higher education research are inward-looking and examine the Bologna Process and leave little room for a look to the outside. This project is based on the assumption of a paradigm shift in higher education policy and in academic migration over the last ten years. It aims to identify relevant actors in this field, to explain their actions in their respective contexts and to develop new regulation approaches. The PhD project by Claudia Baumann is supervised by Matthias Middell and will be continued in 2011.