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教育国际化与全球学生流动不会失去其光芒

已有 389 次阅读 2020-4-20 19:33 |系统分类:论文交流

今天,伦敦大学学院(UCL)在其新冠疫情全球蔓延之时,推出一系列教育与COVID-19时代的博客评论文章。本人有幸在该平台刊发一篇文章《全球学生流动不会失去其光芒》(Global Student Mobility Will Not Lose Its Sheen),希望大家在目前全球化遭遇困难之际,让我们捡起信心,坚持人类必将战胜疫情的信心。具体链接为: https://blogs.ucl.ac.uk/ceid/2020/04/20/yang/

全文如下:

Global Student Mobility Will Not Lose Its Sheen

By Qiguang Yang

The internationalization of higher education and students’ mobility around the world have radically changed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. At present, globally there are some 1.6 million overseas international students from China, most of whom have seen their lives and education greatly affected by the virus. My own child had been planning to study at the University of California, San Diego and participate in the Canadian Mitacs Research Internship Program this summer, both of which have now been canceled. Beyond my own story, I anticipate that COVID-19 will have a huge impact on international education exchanges between universities in a large number of countries and regions around the world. Many families of these international students will suffer great economic loss and mental stress. Nevertheless, every coin has two sides and it is likely that the outbreak of the virus will become a major driving force for higher education to re-examine international academic and student mobility.

Travel bans, city blockades and school closures brought about by the virus will unavoidably make people feel confused about the future direction of international education, student mobility and the internationalization of higher education. Yet, while the exchange and cooperation of international education will obviously go through a period of low development, it will not come to a halt and various initiatives are underway to monitor the impact of COVID-19 and consider its longer-term implications for education.

Take the Institute of International Education (IIE) as an example. It is studying the effects of COVID-19 on student mobility in U.S. higher education. As the spread of the virus evolves, IIE will administer surveys to U.S. universities to monitor the unfolding situation and to keep the international education community informed. Agencies in other countries, such as the United Kingdom, could follow the IIE’s lead in order to better plan the future of internationalization.

Reducing the physical mobility of students may have positive consequences.  Hans de Wit and Philip Altbach, professors at the Center for International Higher Education of Boston College, have recently argued for reduced international travel to protect our climate and promote sustainable development. This would mean universities need to reduce short-term student exchange projects, international organizations need to reduce the high-density of international meetings and conferences and researchers need to conduct field work in new ways.

de Wit and Altbach’s recommendations are possible to achieve because of information technology. By offering alternatives to traditional mobility-based programmes, virtual mobility could become a major form of international education in the future. Is this an unexpected outcome enhanced by the virus? I don’t know. But, I suspect the chaotic and unpredictable pandemic will not only shape the process of human civilization, but also reshape the paradigm of global international education, cutting education’s carbon footprint along the way.

As we re-think internationalization of higher education because of COVID-19, China is likely to be in the vanguard since it sends so many students abroad. As schools begin to open in different cities in China and the control of the epidemic improves, international students will soon demand restarting their global educational mobility. However, the seriousness of the COVID-19 crisis requires higher education institutions to further clarify their strategic direction of education exchange and cooperation and develop new policies and measures to execute their objectives. The pandemic will also bring about new discussions about the most appropriate forms of international student mobility so as to ensure the sustainability and continuity of global international education cooperation within a framework of sustainable development and environmental protection.

Qiguang Yang is currently professor and director of Department of Education at Jiangnan University, China. He is currently supporting a National Social Science funded project on global student mobility.




http://blog.sciencenet.cn/blog-204258-1229310.html

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