Affiliated Organization

University of Amsterdam, Netherlands


This chapter is based on the premise that globalization will lead to increased cultural diversity in educational settings that can be leveraged into enhanced learning capabilities for all those involved. It also posits that leveraging diversity can and will be used by universities while competing and cooperating globally. Much of the literature on globalization warns against market values increasingly dominating academic values and basic human needs, and against ‘Americanization’ or cultural homogenization. By distinguishing five categories of globalization effects on higher education, we argue that globalization is a much broader issue that leaves ample room for individual universities, faculties, business schools, and sections to construct their own responses to globalization and, in that way, help shape its future course. The second part of the chapter illustrates how one section of one university is responding to globalizing education. It discusses the learning by sharing concept and shows how this concept was used in three recent education initiatives to leverage diversity in the classroom. These initiatives indicate how the five globalization effects on higher education can be exploited in concrete educational settings. They also demonstrate that leveraging diversity is a learning process in itself. The lesson learned from these initiatives are therefore discussed in the final section.