Task 3D: Internationalising higher education

In Task 3D, you have to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of internationalising higher education through all English-language classes, based on the article in “Vedlegg 3”.

Outline: “English Orated Here”

The text in “Vedlegg 3” is an adapted version of a magazine article from Newsweek International by B.J. Lee, published in 2007.

In the article, the writer discusses the topic of Asian universities switching to teaching mostly in English. The piece begins with the example of South Korea's Yonsei University which has set up the Underwood International College with all-English courses to attract both students and professors. Singapore, Hong-Kong, China, and Japan are also included in the list of such examples.

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Advantages of internationalising higher education

According to the article in “Vedlegg 3” which focuses on Asia, internationalising higher education through all English-language classes has some notable advantages:

Firstly, it helps prevent and reduce “brain drain” as it keeps students with intellectual potential in their own countries. Furthermore, it also attracts better foreign professors and students: “By providing generous scholarships and high pay, the UIC has attracted top students and faculty members from around the world, making it an academic landmark in Asia.” (ll. 7-9)

Secondly, such programmes are more affordable than private universities in English-speaking countries (ll. 1-2) and combine English language skills with local connections, offering students a better chance of employment after graduation: “…students with domestic school connections tend to be rewarded in finding jobs because of their strong alumni ties.” (ll. 18-20); “"Asian students have to have Asian networks to have successful careers," says Mo Jongryn, dean of Yonsei's UIC.” (ll. 21-22)

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Disadvantages of internationalising higher education

Some of the disadvantages of internationalising higher education through all English-language classes are also presented in the article in “Vedlegg 3”.

Firstly, the quality of education in Asian universities still remains low according to international rankings, regardless of the introduction of English-language classes. Furthermore, the poor quality of English-language classes may contribute to a lower quality of education: “Standards generally remain below those of top Western schools (… ) Critics argue that the academic standards in Asia's English-only classes are especially weak because both professors and students lack language proficiency.” (ll. 28-32)

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