American University of Sharjah

International Conference on Conceptualizing the Global University

International Conference on Conceptualizing Global University

Overview

Situated in the UAE, twenty kilometers from Dubai, American University of Sharjah (AUS) is a pioneer among the new universities in the Arabian Gulf. It will be hosting a conference on the Global University on May 3 and 4, 2014.

The Global University has emerged as a new force in education through the delocalization of the site of learning. It is manifested in the growth of global network universities undertaken by various Western universities to enable students and faculty to study and conduct research at different poles around the world. It is also manifested in the spread of branch campuses in different parts of the world which, although by no means a new phenomenon, are increasingly used to generate not only profit but also prestige for both the university and the host. Finally, indigenous universities are increasingly adopting a globalized and standardized curriculum to remain competitive.

The Symposium on the Global University, an interdisciplinary project at AUS which held its first workshop in May 2013, connects scholars from different backgrounds and interests to develop a series of frameworks for better understanding the changing university. The conference Conceptualizing the Global University will build on that effort by bringing together scholars from the Middle East, Asia, Europe and North America who are interested in the ways in which universities have recently been used to contribute to national and regional development and are embedded in global transformations. Researchers whose work focuses on areas such as transnational education, the impact of universities locally (as well as globally), the transformations caused by technological change on academic life and the future of universities are invited to submit paper proposals. This conference will contribute to the task of better understanding the ways in which universities-particularly in the Middle East, Africa and Eurasia-are developing within, apart and a pace from a globalized world.

The symposium aims to explore the university from a number of perspectives which reflect both local and global considerations. To begin with, while we are interested in the broader global experience, special attention will be given to those papers which focus upon universities in the Arabian Gulf. In addition, the importance of historical developments will be addressed because they provide a basis both for the "colonial university" and the postcolonial issues which continue to define education and the production of knowledge. Accordingly, we are interested in papers that explore the cultural and linguistic challenges which punctuate the full range of globalized university activities. Submissions which investigate the many features of the "crisis"' of the contemporary university will be welcomed as well. The symposium also invites scholars who are motivated to probe both the benefits and pitfalls associated with technological change (MOOCs, e-learning, etc.) to connect these themes to the wider conversation about the "global university" and its futures. Finally, drawing many of these themes together, we look forward to presentations which investigate the viability and sustainability of both new universities (include branch campuses) and the programmatic changes which have taken place in older institutions.

Abstracts (300-500 words) and short biographies (200 words) should be sent to Sgu-committee@aus.edu by February 28, 2014. Informal queries can be sent to Dr. Stephen L. Keck at skeck@aus.edu. Limited funding for expenses will be available on the basis of demonstrable need. Decisions will be communicated to all submitters by March 15 to enable presenters to organize their travel.

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