Book Club: ‘The Great Brain Race’
The bi-monthly selection for April 2012 is The Great Brain Race – How Global Universities are Reshaping the World.
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 and not feared. Every year nearly 3 million international students study outside their home countries, a 40% 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. The author 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.
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 see the rise of academic competition as a threat, going so far as to limit student mobility. 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.