Globalisation is a word used more often today than twenty or thirty years ago. Globalisation describes the increasing movement of people, knowledge, ideas, goods and money across national borders (Eberlein 2011:15). When talking about globalisation people mostly refer to the political, economic and technological changes which they think makes the world function differently today than it did twenty or thirty years ago
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It is assured that higher education institutions are affected by globalisation and are being transformed on a day to day basis and is speeding up the process of interconnectedness. Most of the universities are internationally recognised and in touch and informed with what other universities across the world is doing (Marginson & van der Wende 2006:4). According to Marginson and van der Wende (2006:4), “globalisation is not a single or universal phenomenon. It is nuanced according to locality (local area, nation, world region); language(s) of use, and academic cultures; and it plays out very differently according to the type of institution.”
It is nearly impossible for single higher education institutions and countries to isolate themselves from other institutions across the globe because of the interconnected global environment. Globalisation has made it possible for institutions to be connected and visible to other institutions around the world through the medium of social networking and cell phones (Marginson & van der Wende 2006:4).
3. Globalisation and Communication
ICTin South Africa has developed faster than expected and it makes the mobility of learning easier and more accessible. ICT’s has an increased influence on any society and this has resulted in the transformation in communication and sharing of information around the world (Bilas & Franc 2010:105). Bilas and Franc (2010:105)say that ICT ensures a speedy flow of information at a low cost. Globalisation is changing the way we communicate to others and what we communicate.
The University of Pretoria uses a website what we call Click-up, this site is used only by students and lecturers that are registered at the University of Pretoria. Lecturers have the opportunity to distribute their lecture notes and any other additional information with regards to their subject field or module on the website. The students can than access this website and download any notes and information they may require. It is also used as a communications tool for lecturers and students. The lecturers can communicate with students by posting announcements on their particular subject of module link. Students can also communicate with fellow students by commenting on a specific module link and also so with the lecturers. This is a fast and effective way of communicating between lecturers and fellow students and the sharing of information. I myself would be lost without Click-up and I find this website very convenient and easy to use and as mentioned earlier it is a source where information is sent fast and at a low cost.
4. Globalisation and Curriculum
Curriculum means to study a few different subjects in one course either during school or at university level.
Globalisation has a major effect on curriculum in terms of the course content and subject content. It has impacted the curriculum polies to an extent where “lifelong learning” is an important factor in the Outcomes Based Education (OBE) system.
Ngubane (2008:17) says that the global economic dynamic “desires to make education systems even more receptive to the goals of a global world through reviving human capital theory as a key ingredient of instrumentalist education”. She says that with new developments taking place, the education system needs to keep up to date on a daily basis because of the impact of globalisation. Therefore the education policy must be of such dynamic structure so that it can restore itself (Ngubane 2008:15). The globalisation concept is promoted by the speed of education development, number of skilled citizens and number of trained academics. This means that certain effects of globalisation are responsible for the changes in the education system. To keep up with global change, the education system, tools, methods and structures must follow economic trends. Globalisation has changed the world and increased the international understanding between people by bringing them together from across the globe (Ngubane 2008:16).
In relation to what is said above, there are four key transformations associated with the effects of globalisation. One of the key transformations is accreditation and universalization. This means that an institutions accreditation serves the purpose of: assisting with state funds, providing loans and bursaries and when ease-transfer becomes helpful to students who wish to move from one institution to another (Ngubane 2008:20).
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At the University of Pretoria they have a policy where funds are available to assist students with access to state funds. Student finance is available to students who have difficulty to pay intuition fees up front. A student can apply for a student loan from the university or they can apply for a bursary to help lift the burden temporarily. At the University of Pretoria they also have a programme where exchange students have the opportunity to visit and learn possible new skills at the university for a certain period of time to see how we in South Africa operate in relation to their own home country. When students wish to transfer from one institution to another they will get full recognition and credit for the courses that they have already done and passed
5. Globalisation and Culture
It is said that the global situation is in the process of change and that a “New World Order” will affect all humanity and developing countries. Cultural ideas and images can be transported from one end of the earth to the other end in an instant, wirelessly and through satellite technology. Because of this, diverse culture groups in different countries are brought together faster at an alarming rate. This is what globalisation means, being connected to the rest of the world through the internet and technology (Sijuwade 2006:125). Sijuwade (2006:125) says that: “Part of the process of globalization is the need to develop a culture that, in some broad way, can transcend diverse economic, ethnic, political, racial, and religious backgrounds”.
A teacher is appointed to equip all learners with the skills, knowledge and values to resolve cultural and social conflicts that may arise amongst them peacefully and to respect each other’s culture and traditions in order to become responsible citizens of South Africa (Power 2000:7).
Culture changes on a daily basis, from traditions to religions. South Africa is a very diverse country with eleven official languages which makes it a unique country. It is important for all South African citizens to be language and culture sensitive. During my experience at university it is clear that there are a lot of diverse culture groups being brought together as one Rainbow Nation. Seeing all these different groups is defiantly a new experience for me. I went to an Afrikaans-speaking medium school in Pretoria and the majority of the children there were white speaking Afrikaners. Today I get to participate in a whole new culture. Global forces are increasing populations and mixing all cultures, this has forced people to learn to live together and to celebrate difference as a fact of life (Power 2000:3). Cultures and traditions have changed over the past several years in relation to dress codes and eating habits. A practical example will be the Indian people, their culture has westernised so much in the sense that they do not dress the way they would have 20 years ago. The Indian culture at varsity has modernised. They come to varsity dressed in jeans and t-shirts; they don’t wear their traditional saris anymore and it’s the same with the African culture, they don’t wear their traditional African outfits anymore. This means that we are moving into a new culture where everybody dresses of the same nature, we are all of one rainbow nation, united as one.
In South Africa education is being shaped and influenced by the global market economy. It is changing the curriculum in schools and tertiary institutions. The staffing of a school is dependant by the number learners enrolled into that particular school for that particular year, when the teacher-learner ratio is exceeded, teacher are forced to be transferred. As said before, it is evident that the South African education system is shaped and influenced by the forces of globalisation (Ngubane 2008:24).
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