May 9, 2016

Grace Taneri, Higher Education Scholar from North Cyprus, to Discuss the Benefits and Risks of Global Engagement with Universities in Asia and the Middle East

BERKELEY, CA, May 9, 2016 – On 5/10, at Berkeley, Grace Taneri, Visiting Scholar from North Cyprus, will present a talk on how higher education reforms around the world and globalization efforts by higher education institutions (HEIs) have generated on-going debates about academic freedom in Asia and the Middle East and value protection in HEIs of the West (North America, Canada, and Western Europe). While some Western universities and colleges have been concerned about risks to their reputations should they engage in joint projects in these regions, many Western HEIs have launched globalization efforts, including new universities, liberal arts colleges, branch campuses, alliances, and research and teaching partnerships.  Taneri’s studies in this area are part of her co-research, with the Center for Studies in Higher Education, UC Berkeley, titled Globalization in Higher Education: Intentions, Conditions and Effects.

Globalization can be defined as the widening, deepening, and speeding up of all forms of world-wide connectedness. As knowledge becomes increasingly important, knowledge based-activity has moved center-stage in economics, culture, and government.  In this environment, today's higher education is global, national, and local and both drives and is driven by globalization.

From her research, Taneri found that as of January 2016, 232 new international branch campuses were planning to open, while 27 were known to have closed. Thirty-two countries were exporting their presence, led by the US and followed by the UK, Russia, Australia and France, in that order.  The largest importers of branch campuses are the United Arab Emirates, China, Singapore, Qatar, and Malaysia.  As far back as 20 years ago, the Qatar Foundation established an “Education City” inviting six prestigious western HEIs to participate, including Virginia Commonwealth University, Georgetown University, Weill Cornell, Northwestern University, Texas A&M, and Carnegie Mellon University.  The University of California, Berkeley, is launching a new global campus that will serve as an international research and teaching hub with an international coalition of HEIs and private-sector research partners.

Taneri’s talk will focus on the relationship between HEIs of the West and Asia and the Middle East.  Some intended outcomes that Western HEIs hope to achieve by globalization include the expansion of Western HEIs systems through contracts (revenue generation); opportunities for students outside their home country; building of global alumni; and creation of a global research consortiums and collaborations. 

Since the early 21st century, Asian countries have pursued the ambitious goals of expanding their HEIs and creating a number of world class universities and liberal arts colleges that will become research and technology hubs and spawn commercial start-up ventures.  Western HEIs have observed with keen interest the emerging HE activities in Asia and the Middle East as these regions are perceived as both competitors and as highly promising sources of current and future collaborations.

In her presentation, Taneri will discuss some major concerns that have arisen in the West regarding globalization efforts, which are the preservation of academic freedom in Asian and Middle Eastern host countries, and the protection of the hard-earned values of the home institutions.  Examples of these values are adherence to liberal arts education standards and the American academic tradition in which faculty members are partners in projecting a university’s path.

Carol Christ, Director at Center for Studies in Higher Education, will moderate the discussion.

Sponsored by: The Center for Studies in Higher Education, UC Berkeley, on the 8th Floor Barrows, Social Science Matrix, Tuesday, May 10th, 12:00pm-1:00pm.  Lunch to follow.


Grace Taneri is the Chancellor Emeritus at the Institute of Higher Learning at Eastern Mediterranean University, North Cyprus. Taneri is a Senior Executive, Consultant, and Professor of Mathematics in multicultural and global higher education institutions, applying more than 20 years of experience to academic, administrative and operational management. She earned her Ph.D at the University of London, UK, specializing in Quantum Theory and Stability Theory. She is one of the founders of the Eastern Mediterranean University EMU, located in North Cyprus, the first university of the island, and in English Medium of Education.

Carol Christ is the Interim Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, UC Berkeley; Director, Center for Studies in Higher Education, UC Berkeley; former President, Smith College. 

Center for Studies in Higher Education (CSHE) was established in 1956 and was the first research institute in the United States devoted to the study of systems, institutions, and processes of higher education.  The Center’s mission is to produce and support multi-disciplinary scholarly perspectives on strategic issues in higher education, to conduct relevant policy research, to promote the development of a community of scholars and policymakers engaged in policy-oriented discussion, and to serve the public as a resource on higher education.