Staff Reporter

`Analyse impact on higher education sector'

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The globalisation of higher education in the country should be done with utmost caution, chairman of the Kerala State Higher Education Council K.N. Panikkar has said.

He was chairing the session on `Globalisation and Higher Education in India and Canada' at an international conference on `Globalisation and Higher Education: Establishing Linkages between Universities in India and Canada' organised by the UGC Area Study Centre for Canadian Studies of the University of Kerala here on Thursday.

The cultural, social and intellectual impact of globalisation on the higher education sector should be taken note of seriously. The kind of liberalisation that is needed in the country is one that gives equal opportunity to everyone, he added.

`Exchange of ideas'

In his address, the former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Kerala B. Ekbal said while globalisation may be praiseworthy as a process for the exchange of ideas, globalisation as an imperial agenda may well be a threat to the cultural diversity of the country. At the same time, the internationalisation of education between countries that stand on an equal footing in many aspects can be welcomed. Internationalisation in higher education is the process of integrating an international and intercultural dimension into teaching, research and the service functions of institutions of higher education. It should promote cultural diversity, mutual respect and tolerance and foster intercultural understanding.

A closer look at the implications of implementing GATS reveals that India and other developing countries are likely to be the losers in a global scenario of liberalisation in education. In his presentation, John Wood from the University of British Columbia, Canada, said globalisation is today being analysed from a neo-liberal perspective, a radical perspective and a transformationalist perspective. While the neo-liberals see globalisation as a product of market forces and what opening up of national economies to global market forces, the radical school sees globalisation as a new mode of Western imperialism. The transformationalists hold the view that globalisation should be sustainable, equitable and people-centric. Prof. Wood argued that the kind of academic relationship that could exist between institutions of higher education in India and Canada should be a transformationalist one.

The former Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the University of Kerala N.A. Karim also spoke at the first session of the two-day conference.