As higher education globalizes and worldwide competition for the brightest minds intensifies, long-term U.S. dominance of the international university system is no longer assured, a trend that many in the education community worry could threaten the nation’s economic and academic superiority. In his new book, The Great Brain Race: How Global Universities Are Reshaping the World (Princeton University Press, 2010), Brookings Guest Scholar and Kauffman Foundation Senior Fellow Ben Wildavsky argues that the globalization of higher education should be welcomed, not feared. Wildavsky shows that, as international universities strive to become world-class, the new global education marketplace increasingly provides opportunities to more people than ever before.
On May 4, as part of the Governing Ideas series, the Brown Center on Education Policy at Brookings hosted Wildavsky for a discussion of his book, which draws on extensive reporting from China, India, Europe, the Middle East and the United States. Brookings Senior Fellow William Galston moderated a discussion of education experts, including John J. DeGioia, president of Georgetown University; Jamil Salmi, tertiary education coordinator at the World Bank and author of The Challenge of Establishing World-Class Universities (World Bank Publications, 2009); and Sebastian Mallaby, senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and columnist for The Washington Post.
This event is part of the Governing Ideas series intended to broaden the discussion of governance issues through forums on timely and relevant books on history, culture, legal norms and practices, values and religion.
After the program, panelists took audience questions.