A Reflection and Prospectus on Globalization and Higher Education: CSHE@50


In the spring of 1957, the Center for Studies in Higher Education (CSHE) at the University of California, Berkeley was formally established as an organized research unit, enabled by an initial grant from the Carnegie Corporation and making it the first academic enterprise in the United States focused on higher education policy issues. Since then, the Center  has  been  an important source for  encouraging an international comparative  perspective, and this thereby provided  a  timely  scholarly  theme  for  reflecting  and  projecting  the  role  of  higher  education  in  society  within  a globalizing world. To help celebrate our 50th anniversary, the Center held a one-day conference as an academic and celebratory event and with the intent to facilitate a stimulating discussion on the influences of globalization—past, present, and future—on higher education systems and institutions. A distinguished group of scholars gathered on the Berkeley campus, some 160 participants in total, offering their views on the significant changes confronting higher education and the influence of international models, the global market for students and highly skills labor, high bandwidth networking around  the  world  and  the  increasing  value  society  places  on  universities  to  stimulate  both  economic  growth  and socioeconomic mobility. Our  purpose  was  to  provide  a  forum  for  a  stimulating  discussion  on  these  issues.  But  another  purpose  was  to strengthen further CSHE’s historical role as a forum for international interaction and comparative research and to welcome  old  and  new  colleagues  in  our  effort  to  grow  an  academic  community  interested  in  the  role  of  higher education in society throughout the world. While  there  are  many  cultural,  economic,  political, and  institutional  differences  in  the  world  that  are  reflected  in national higher education systems and their institutions, scholars of globalization also are observing and discussing a process of convergence of organizational approaches to higher education and a growing sense of shared values as societies elevate the role of universities as key components of nation building, and national and academic leaders look for ideas globally applicable in their own circumstances. In organizing this conference and developing an accompanying website on the history of CSHE, including a listing of over 1,600 past Center visiting scholars and research affiliates, we want to thank the Carnegie Corporation of New York, and specifically Daniel Fallon and Barbara Gombach, for their support and input. The conference was also co-organized  with  the  Institute  of  International  Studies  and  the  Berkeley  Roundtable  on  the  International  Economy (BRIE). John Zysman at BRIE was an important contributor to helping us formulate the program and participants.  The  CSHE@50  conference  also  was  held  in  conjunction  with  a  smaller  gathering  of  international  scholars  and policymakers who presented papers on and discussed higher education reforms in a number of regions of the world as well as the lessons the US might learn from their efforts and progress. Results of that symposium are available through  the  Center’s  website  and  a  related  publication  of  its  proceedings.  The  Spencer  Foundation  generously provided funding for that event. This report is a summation of the symposium proceedings with each presenter given an opportunity to modify and update their comments.

C. Judson King
Publication date: 
December 1, 2007
Publication type: 
Research and Occasional Papers Series (ROPS)
King, C., & Douglass, J. A. (2007). A Reflection and Prospectus on Globalization and Higher Education: CSHE@50. UC Berkeley: Center for Studies in Higher Education.