In The Great Brain Race, former U.S. News & World Report education editor Ben Wildavsky presents the first popular account of how international competition for the brightest minds is transforming the world of higher education--and why this revolution should be welcomed, not feared. Every year, nearly three million international students study outside of their home countries, a 40 percent increase since 1999. Newly created or expanded universities in China, India, and Saudi Arabia are competing with the likes of Harvard and Oxford for faculty, students, and research preeminence. Satellite campuses of Western universities are springing up from Abu Dhabi and Singapore to South Africa. Wildavsky shows that as international universities strive to become world-class, the new global education marketplace is providing more opportunities to more people than ever before.
Drawing on extensive reporting in China, India, the United States, Europe, and the Middle East, Wildavsky chronicles the unprecedented international mobility of students and faculty, the rapid spread of branch campuses, the growth of for-profit universities, and the remarkable international expansion of college rankings. Some university and government officials see the rise of worldwide academic competition as a threat, going so far as to limit student mobility or thwart cross-border university expansion. But Wildavsky argues that this scholarly marketplace is creating a new global meritocracy, one in which the spread of knowledge benefits everyone--both educationally and economically.
"Comprehensive and fascinating. . . . [Wildavsky] reports on American universities, notably NYU, branching out internationally; on foreign governments, like China's, spending vast sums to improve their own institutions, partly to attract scholars and students from abroad; on for-profit businesses, like Laureate and the Washington Post Co.'s Kaplan Inc., planting campuses in remote global locations. . . . This is Mr. Wildavsky's major argument. The globalization of education is producing what he calls a 'free trade in minds'--beneficial not only to countries sending their students abroad and countries accepting them but also, through positive externalities, to the broader world."--James K. Glassman, Wall Street Journal
"Academic globalisation has gone into overdrive in the modern university. Some of this is along familiar lines--academics collaborating with ever more foreign colleagues and sabbatical-seekers contriving to spend ever more time abroad. But Mr. Wildavsky demonstrates that globalisation is now much more complicated than just cross-border collaboration spiced up with junkets. . . . This is a fascinating story."--Economist
"Readable, fast-paced. . . . The global race to attract the top talent among both staff and students is affecting the academy across the globe. . . . As a description of the state of play on all these issues in the summer of 2009 (approximately), the book is wonderfully successful."--Sir Howard Newby, Times Higher Education
Table of Contents:
Introduction: What Is Global Higher Education--and Why Does It Matter? 1
Chapter One: The Worldwide Race for Talent 14
Chapter Two: Branching Out 42
Chapter Three: Wanted: World-Class Universities 70
Chapter Four: College Rankings Go Global 100
Chapter Five: For-Profits on the Move 141
Chapter Six: Free Trade in Minds 167
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Another Princeton book authored or coauthored by Ben Wildavsky: