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.
December 1, 2007
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.