INTERNATIONALIZATION OF EDUCATION
There are many facets to the internationalization of education. Exposing children and young adults to more aspects of the world earlier can only be considered a positive impact of globalization; however, there are a number of issues that must be addressed insofar as the internationalization of education is concerned. There are both benefits and downsides to international education, and this discussion will examine both the benefits and downsides; the discussion will also examine the impact of international education on both the host country and the home country of the students involved in the process. There are also different ways that international education can affect countries in the global education market. The issues involved in the internationalization of the educational sector are many and varied, and must be looked at from each point of view independently. Each of these issues will be examined in the context of the globalized world and international market. There are a lot of benefits for home and host countries insofar as the internationalization of education is concerned. For example, the internationalization of education allows a country to diversify labour, create academic advantages, and build economic capacity. There are also some detrimental effects on the home countries; for example, international education can result in decreasing the population and overwhelming brain drain.
International education has given home countries many benefits to improve many facets of their countries. Internationalizing education allows a country to diversify their labor force; when a country is exchanging students with another country, they are able to take advantage of skills that the other host country has (Council of Australian Government, 2010, pp. 28). The education needed to diversify the workforce-- especially in specialty occupations-- can often only be achieved through international education. This can very heavily benefit the home country (Council of Australian Government, 2010, pp. 28). There are also academic advantages for students who study abroad; sometimes the education in the host country is better than the education in the home country, and therefore the student who goes abroad can then bring those educational advancements back to their home country(Center for Global and Intercultural Study, 2014). Finally, exchanging students through international education programs is an excellent way to foster goodwill between countries; indeed, when countries exchange students, they are exchanging more than ideas-- they are having a cultural exchange that encourages a deeper mutual cultural understanding.
There are also benefits to the host country; these benefits exist for host countries when give their students scholarship. The first important thing to consider is the economic benefit that the host country receives as a result of the international nature of education today. Kunin et al. (2014, pp. iii) write: “There were also about 12,000 international students in BC in 2010 pursuing education in both public and private schools in the K-12 system. These students also brought in excess of $292 million worth of economic activities to the province. Similarly, they contributed to the educational services sector, retail trade, food manufacturing, real estate rental services, and other industry sectors in the provincial economy” (Kunin et al., 2014, pp.iii). These individuals brought in significant amounts of revenue to the province; however, they also increased the economic capacity of the province (Humfrey et al., 2014, pp. 123). These international students bring knowledge into the educational system as well, growing the knowledge capacity and capabilities of the host nation (Mazzarol et al., 2002, pp. 82-90).
In order to get the benefits of international education, there some detrimental effects to the home country as well. The economic impacts of internationalization of education cannot be overstated; whenever a significant number of consumers are removed from the population, there is, of course, an economic impact. School-age teenagers are significant consumers, as well, especially in the clothing and electronics sector. Students who are no longer studying in their home country are also less likely to consume other things like media (Kunin et al., 2014, pp. 50). The population of the home country is, of course, decreased; sometimes temporarily and sometimes permanently. Students who go abroad sometimes meet and marry individuals from their new host culture (Boundless, 2014). Sometimes they fall in love with their new host culture and stay indefinitely, becoming expatriates instead of foreign students, and thus reducing the population of the host country permanently. The final problem is a phenomenon known as “brain drain.” This occurs when students from one country move to another, become highly educated, and choose to stay in their new host nation, effectively depriving their home country of a highly educated adult (Mazzarol et al., 2002, pp. 82-90).
There are also reasons for the host country to suffer as a result of international education, although they suffer fewer harms than benefits. When international education grows, so too does the population of the host country; in addition, numbers of spots within tertiary and secondary educational institutions remain the same, and fewer students from the home country may be admitted (Boundless, 2014). This may lead to more foreign students being admitted, particularly in countries that really value the internationalization of education.
There are several ways that the internationalization of education affects home and host countries similarly. The rate of growth in the international educational sector in both home and host countries are growing at similar rates-- this makes sense, as more students want to travel abroad to study, more opportunities have to be opened to fulfill these needs (State Government of Victoria, 2013, pp. 30). As these opportunities grow for the students in the international educational scene, students become more and more accustomed to working with people of different cultures with different cultural identities. This will become extremely useful in the global marketplace, as most large firms function in a globalized marketplace. When people who are unused to operating in the global marketplace, with people of many different cultural identities, they can face significant cultural misunderstandings; when they have worked extensively with people of other cultures, they have a more flexible manner of problem-solving, communication and cooperation.
There are many differences between effects of international education in home and host countries as well. Home and host countries will often have different educational methods; new educational methods may be introduced to deal with the influx of individuals who are culturally unique and isolated from those of the host country. The cultural differences between the host country and the home country may be stressful for the students involved in the exchange, but over time, the differences may be lessened due to the extensive amount of intercommunication and cultural exchange that occurs as education becomes international.
International education important for some countries, because it has given more and more benefits and why it is harmful for some because it has given some harms for them. There are a number of reasons why international education may harm a host or a home country, but these reasons are greatly outweighed by the benefits that both the home and the host countries get as a result of their cultural exchange. There are very real economic benefits for both the home and the host country; these benefits cannot be overstated, even in the face of problems like brain drain.
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