EXPORTING HIGHER EDUCATION FROM OLD INDUSTRIALIZED NATIONS TO DEVELOPING COUNTRIES; WHO BENEFITS?
The Royal Institute of Technology KTH (SWEDEN)
The process of globalisation as well the discussions on the knowledge economy paradigm have resulted in not only an increase in higher education enrollment, but also an increase in knowledge transfer between institutions, regions and nations. The challenges as well as opportunities related to internationalisation of higher education, mobility and access have extensively been discussed in the literature (Altbach & Knight, 2007; Scott, 2000; Bennell, & Pearce 2003; Mazzarol& Hosie 1996; Van Damme, 2001; Huang, 2007; Van der Wende, 2003). In the context of developing countries, generally, this is often, viewed as a one-way process where higher education institutions from old industrialised nations import students and export undergraduate and graduate curricula to developing countries. This is manifested in for instance the EU funded projects such as Tempus, Erasmus+, to assist in capacity building. In most cases, such projects involve several higher education institutions drawn from several EU countries that target several countries in developing countries (Herrero et al., 2015; Makrakis & Kostoulas-Makrakis, 2015). Overall, the literature has discussed the benefits gained by target countries (beneficiaries) and the target institutions in terms of capacity building. However, the benefits to participating higher education from old industrialised nations needs to be highlighted. Based on this, this paper, reflects on a newly completed European Union funded project on exporting Masters programmes to developing countries. It identifies key benefits of the project to participating higher education institutions in old industrialised countries of the EU and argues there are two way learnings.