Clash between universities, powers risk undermining their autonomy

Clash between universities, powers risk undermining their autonomy

my university had a bad startinternationalizationAt the time of the ban on non-Lumber students in the late 1980s. However, over the past twenty years, it has made great strides, gaining an entirely international scope. Eight out of ten are foreign students from the laboratory where I have been teaching for the past one year. basic infrastructure in landscape. And they are all excellent quality, cultural, professional and humane youth.

While Italy fell from the fourth world economic power in 1991 to the current eighth place, some Italian universities have taken up swimming. counter-current Like a Scottish salmon, but without the ladder for the convenience of finning. I remember the first Chinese student of my doctorate, with nostalgia from 1989. An exceptional young lady, also nearing retirement, who heads the Office for Water Infrastructure. far East of the World Bank. He entered that institute as an intern with the sole vatikam of a recommendation letter, which he asked me to write with joyful urgency.

This was an exception at the time, as most of the foreigners who came to Italy to be trained, often sent by authoritarian governments, belonged to the ranks of foolish servants, not young men of valor. Over the past ten years, the quality of foreign students has changed profoundly, decisively advanced. Many young people prefer Europe and Italy over the traditional American port.

What is the future of international university cooperation, if relations between the West and China deteriorate, then in the second link Warning cold? recent report “way to the future” The Association of European Universities (UEA) outlines, among various possible scenarios, a world divided into areas of interest of the three major powers, competing with each other: the United States, China and The European Union. The EU has so far acquired enough internal strength and cohesion to play a role on the international scene on par with the United States or China. And the story inspires him to take on the role while growing up Faith. At the same time, the three global powers acknowledge their differences in terms of values ​​and political systems. And they were locked up in their strongholds.

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Europe no longer sees international cooperation as a means of spreading universal values ​​such as human rights Democracy, but working hard to guarantee strategic autonomy of access to markets and resources. America and China are doing the same. All three try to defend, strengthen and expand their sphere of influence while avoiding direct confrontation.

EU keen to open European universities, International and is capable of fueling the continuous change already taking place in the world. and able to forge solid partnerships involving a wide range of actors both locally and internationally: “Universities should therefore make use of all opportunities digitization, combining physical and virtual spaces in a holistic teaching and research environment that meets the needs of a diverse university community”. Will it happen?

The real risk is that conflicts between geographical powers small autonomy of universities. From autonomous, open and international actors, universities can transform themselves into executive tools, directed and control yourself from politics and economics. And autonomy becomes a much more difficult challenge, if the same fields of economics and politics become less and less separated and merge to generate a single entity for the management of power.

The trend towards authoritarianism and marketism, along with rising tensions at the global level, to shrink University grounds. To respond to the challenge, European universities must emphasize their international values ​​and emphasize openness: the free mobility of students and faculty is a value and a necessity. And fight the increasing monetization of education, turned into a commodity.

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If the European university doesn’t make it, I trust the birth of frontier institutions, as Iyasa 50 years ago, inaugurated by Presidents Johnson and Kosygin. The International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Luxembourg, Vienna, was for many years the checkpoint Charlie of science, an open door to scientific and technological cooperation between the two Western and Soviet blocs. he was the one Ponte which tackled global issues with an interdisciplinary leaning, where many retired scholars were trained, from economists to climatologists and even hydrologists.

If one closes, it will not only cause us to lose a large portion of clients, but we will also miss the renunciation of the cultural wealth that I have appreciated in teaching in recent years. hydrology of landscape.


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