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Marijk van der Wende

Abstract

Dissatisfaction over undergraduate education seems to be persistent and has been jeopardized by the boost in research performance as fuelled by global rankings. Yet it will continue to be the cornerstone and a key mission of higher education. Hence the tide is shifting and the global debate on “the world-class university” is increasingly inclusive towards excellence in teaching and learning. A renewed focus on liberal arts education is part of this global debate on redefining excellence. This article aims to explain why liberal arts education, as it is (re)emerging in different regions, seems to be an adequate response to the search for excellence in the 21st century. It explores the drivers for liberal arts education from an epistemological, economic and a social-moral point of view. The role of interdisciplinarity, generic skills, and citizenship in different regional context are discussed, and also an admission that a liberal arts education is no panacea—that various limitations should be overcome and a truly global perspective is needed.

An Excellence Initiative in Liberal Arts and Science Education

The Case of Amsterdam University College

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Marijk van der Wende

On Mergers and Missions

Implications for Institutional Governance and Governmental Steering

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Marijk van der Wende

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Marijk van der Wende

Abstract How can world-class universities continue to contribute to the global common good, when support for open borders, multilateral trade and cooperation is being weakened, globalization is criticized, and nationalism is looming? Can they compensate for the inequalities resulting from globalization, and if so, how? The pressure on the sector is two-faceted: the push to compete at the global level and a growing critique of local commitment and delivery. The pursuit of global positioning on rankings especially is being criticized for jeopardizing universities’ national and local mission and for making them footloose from their society as a cosmopolitan project. How can they overcome these tensions in the context of a backlash against globalization and growing scepticism to internationalization in Europe and the US? And what will be the meaning and impact of the rise of China with its New Silk Road project, which could potentially span the Eurasian continent?

William C. Kirby and Marijk van der Wende

China’s Higher Education in Global Perspective

Leader or Follower in the ‘World-Class’ Movement?

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Marijk van der Wende and Jiabin Zhu