Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Internationalization in the Trump era

The conference of the Association of International Education Administrators meeting is exploring how to adjust strategy in the Trump era. Anticipating the impact of Trump's campaign and how it politicized globalization, AIEA previously issued a formal statement indicating that international educators should, "stay abreast of developments that impact international education, to advocate for policies that support the education and preparation of students to live in our interdependent society, and to engage in positive, ethical, and respectful discussion and debate with those within and beyond our campus communities."

Political isolation, protection of borders, and "Brexit" or "America First" are reactions to globalization, which is the changing and dynamic flow of products and services across borders. The dynamism of globalized markets can dramatically effect a country's economy and politics and it is the loss of power and influence that isolationist polices and practices attempt to address. The problem with protectionism is that it may be effective in the short term but will likely not be in the future.

AIEA appears to be carefully differentiating its purpose away from the issue of globalization. Instead, it is focused on internationalization and the role higher education can/should play as it infuses a diverse and international perspective into research and teaching. Infusing international ideas throughout higher education's work is the goal - helping to prepare citizens and workers of the future for a world that is interconnected environmentally, economically, politically, and many other ways.

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