“The globalization of higher education should be embraced, not feared,” writes Ben Wildavsky in The New York Academy of Sciences. While other countries are trying to catch up, “the U.S. dominance of the research world remains near-complete,” he writes.
Yet there is every reason to believe that the worldwide competition for human talent, the race to produce innovative research, the push to extend university campuses to multiple countries, and the rush to produce talented graduates who can strengthen increasingly knowledge-based economies will be good for us as well. Why? First and foremost, because knowledge is not a zero-sum game. Intellectual gains by one country often benefit others.
. . . global academic competition is making free movement of people and ideas, on the basis of merit, more and more the norm, with enormously positive consequences for individuals, for universities, and for nations. Today’s swirling patterns of mobility and knowledge transmission constitute a new kind of free trade: free trade in minds.
Fun fact: Half the world’s physicists don’t work in their native countries.