2017-12-08 10:02



  Universities Branch Out

  As never before in their long history, universitieshave become instruments of national competitionas well as instruments of peace. They are the placeof the scientific discoveries that move economiesforward, and the primary means of educating the talent required to obtain and maintaincompetitive advantage. But at the same time, the opening of national borders to the flow ofgoods, services, information and especially people has made universities a powerful force forglobal integration, mutual understanding and geopolitical stability.

  In response to the same forces that have driven the world economy, universities have becomemore self-consciously global: seeking students form around the world who represent theentire range of cultures and values, sending their own students abroad to prepare them forglobal careers, offering courses of study that address the challenges of an interconnectedworld and collaborative (合作的) research programs to advance science for the benefit of allhumanity.

  Of the forces shaping higher education none is more sweeping than the movement acrossborders. Over the past three decades the number of students leaving home each year to studyabroad has grown at an annual rate of 3.9 percent, from 800,000 in 1975 to 2.5 million in2004. Most travel from one developed nation to another, but the flow from developing todeveloped countries is growing rapidly. The reverse flow, from developed to developingcountries, is on the rise, too. Today foreign students earn 30 percent of the doctoral degreesawarded in the United States and 38 percent of those in the United Kingdom. And the numbercrossing borders for undergraduate study is growing as well, to 8 percent of the undergraduatesat America’s best institutions and 10 percent of all undergraduates in the U.K. In the UnitedStates, 20 percent of the newly hired professors in science and engineering are foreign-born, and in China many newly hired faculty members at the top research universities received theirgraduate education abroad.

  Universities are also encouraging students to spend some of their undergraduate years inanother country. In Europe, more than 140,000 students participate in the Erasmus programeach year, taking courses for credit in one of 2,200 participating institutions across thecontinent. And in the United States, institutions are helping place students in summerinternships (实习) abroad to prepare them for global careers. Yale and Harvard have led theway, offering every undergraduate at least one international study or internship opportunity-and providing the financial resources to make it possible.

  Globalization is also reshaping the way research is done. One new trend involves sourcingportions of a research program to another country. Yale professor and Howard Hughes MedicalInstitute investigator Tian Xu directs a research center focused on the genetics of humandisease at Shanghai’s Fudan University, in collaboration with faculty colleagues from bothschools. The Shanghai center has 95 employees and graduate students working in a 4,300-square-meter laboratory facility. Yale faculty, postdoctors and graduate students visit regularlyand attend videoconference seminars with scientists from both campuses. The arrangementbenefits both countries; Xu’s Yale lab is more productive, thanks to the lower costs ofconducting research in china, and Chinese graduate students, postdoctors and faculty get on-the-job training from a world-class scientist and his U.S. team.

  As a result of its strength in science, the United States has consistently led the world in thecommercialization of major new technologies, from the mainframe computer and the integratedcircuit of the 1960s to the Internet infrastructure (基础设施) and applications software of the1990s. The link between university-based science and industrial application is often indirectbut sometimes highly visible: Silicon Valley was intentionally created by Stanford University, and Route 128 outside Boston has long housed companies spun off from MIT and Harvard. Around the world, governments have encouraged copying of this model, perhaps mostsuccessfully in Cambridge, England, where Microsoft and scores of other leading software andbiotechnology companies have set up shop around the university.

  For all its success, the United States remains deeply hesitant about sustaining the research-university model. Most politician recognize the link between investment in science andnational economic strength, but support for research funding has been unsteady. The budgetof the National Institutes of Health doubled between 1998 and 2003, but has risen more slowlythan inflation since then. Support for the physical sciences and engineering barely kept pacewith inflation during that same period. The attempt to make up lost ground is welcome, butthe nation would be better served by steady, predictable increases in science funding at therate of long-term GDP growth, which is on the order of inflation plus 3 percent per year.

  American politicians have great difficulty recognizing that admitting more foreign students cangreatly promote the national interest by increasing international understanding. Adjusted forinflation, public funding for international exchanges and foreign-language study is well belowthe levels of 40 years ago. In the wake of September 11, changes in the visa process caused adramatic decline in the number of foreign students seeking admission to U.S. Universities, and a corresponding surge in enrollments in Australia, Singapore and the U.K. Objections fromAmerican university and business leaders led to improvements in the process and a reversal ofthe decline, but the United States is still seen by many as unwelcoming to internationalstudents.

  Most Americans recognize that universities contribute to the nation’s well-being through theirscientific research, but many fear that foreign students threaten American competitivenessby taking their knowledge and skills back home. They fail to grasp that welcoming foreignstudents to the United States has two important positive effects: first, the very best of themstay in the States and –like immigrants throughout history-strengthen the nation; and second, foreign students who study in the United States become ambassadors for many of its mostcherished (珍视) values when they return home. Or at least they understand them better. InAmerica as elsewhere, few instruments of foreign policy are as effective in promoting peaceand stability as welcoming international university students.


  46. An example illustrating the general trend of universities globalization is Yale’scollaboration with Fudan University on genetic research.

  47. Silicon Valley was intentionally created by Stanford University.

  48. The U. S. federal funding has been unsteady for years for research.

  49. The dramatic decline in the enrollment of foreign students in the U. S. after September 11 was caused by changes in the visa process.

  50. Many Americans fear that American competitiveness may be threatened by foreignstudents who will take their knowledge and skills back home.

  51. From the first paragraph we know that present-day universities have become a powerfulforce for global integration.

  52. Over the past three decades, the enrollment of overseas students has increased at anannual rate of 3.9 percent.

  53. The policy of welcoming foreign students can benefit the U. S. in that the very best ofthem will stay and strengthen the nation.

  54. In the United States, 20% of the newly hired professors in science and engineering areforeign born.

  55. Yale and Harvard give their undergraduates chances for international study or internshipprepare for global careers.

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