Globalisation as defined by Giddens is the intensification of worldwide social relations which link distant localities in such a way that local happenings are shaped by events occurring many miles away and vice versa'. It is a process of growing to a global and worldwide in political, economic, social and educational sectors. Cantu (2003) defines education 'as acquiring skills'. Education is also about acquiring knowledge, developing awareness and critical thinking. Cogburn (no date) has described education as 'generally seen as a formal process of instruction, based on a theory of teaching, to impart formal knowledge (to one or more students)'. In this essay, I will discuss the effects of globalization on education, particularly on formal education. In my opinion, globalization has brought more positive impacts on education and educational system as a whole such as on curriculum syllabus, the schools' and universities' atmosphere as well as the teaching and learning process rather than the negative.
There are different categories of globalisation as mentioned by Bottery (2006); 'political globalisation, economic globalisation, cultural globalisation, environmental globalisation and demographic globalisation'. Each category shows different impacts on the world and current issues as well as education. Political globalisation shows the spread of political ideas and that politics cannot be separated from the development of educational sector. As mentioned by Emler and Frazer (1999), there is 'political education' which refers to the role of schools and other educational institutions in producing political actors; citizens, subjects, governors. In order to do this, there need to be some political content in courses and curriculum (Emler and Frazer, 1999). I agree with Emler and Frazer because students need to have exposure to what is happening in the world of politics to prepare themselves for the future. For example, for future career, students who are interested in debates and giving talk can be further trained in higher institutions to be politicians and lawyers. Politics constitute nation, government and society. The effect on education is that students are aware about local and overseas' prime minister and the issues regarding this area to be a responsible citizen. Globalisation makes it possible for the information to reach everyone in the world through mass media. In Malaysia, students are forbidden from taking part in political agendas, they are qualified to vote during election at the age of 21. However, most students starting from the secondary schools are familiar with the local politics, the government and opposition, through various topics in their curriculum syllabus, television news and newspapers. The challenge is that when some students may take politics to the extreme by bashing others who have different political views.
Another positive impact of globalisation is that education borrowing can be done within countries. 'Policy borrowing' as defined by Raffe (2011) is in which 'best practice from abroad is identified and transferred back home'. A country can borrow other countries' ideas about education and implement them in their educational system. Normally, the one that is borrowed from is a successful country such as Finland and the borrower is the developing country. Sahlberg (2009:324) has described 'the achievement that Finland has made over time starting with the steady growth in participation in all levels of Finnish education since 1970 to in 1980s, there has been a rapid growth in the upper secondary education sector and in 1990s up to now, within tertiary and adult education sectors'. As Finland is ranked very high for their successful education, United Kingdom as a developed country has also showed interest in Finnish education. This is similar to sharing ideas about what is best for their educational system and try to apply to see if it works. Whereas 'policy learning' as cited by Raffe (2011), 'uses experiences from 'policy borrowing' for various purposes, including understanding one's own system better, identifying common trends and pressures affecting all systems, clarifying other policy strategies and identifying issues raised by each strategy'. By analyzing others' education system, a country can identify the strength and weakness of its own system. Later on authorities can decide whether to continue using the ideas for few years more or to modify to suit it with their system.
In early days, it was a disadvantage for women because societies only allowed men to get education while the girls were denied their rights to go to school and instead were asked to do house chores. However, as globalization takes place, issues about equality in education for both men and women are brought up. The world societies are changing; women' rights to receive education similar to men are being acknowledged. The outcome is that women gain opportunities to go to school and pursue higher education. As reported this year by Catcheside (2012), 'women students outnumber men by three to two in many universities, and in some institutions where there are large teachings or nursing courses by as many as two to one'. I do agree and it is not surprising that the number of women at both schools and universities are higher than the male students and their achievements are more impressive than the males. Catcheside (2012) has also approved this in a report; 'girls now outstrip boys in the proportion of top grades achieved in all but a handful of subjects at key stage three. Not only are they much more likely to get good grades than boys, they are more likely to take key stage 3 qualifications in the first place'.
On another positive note, both male and female students are likely to be treated equally at schools and universities which reduce gender discrimination in educational system. Macionis and Plummer (2005:524) have criticized that 'although the education gender gap has narrowed in Western countries in recent decades, many women still study traditionally feminine subjects such as literature, while men pursue mathematics and engineering'. I agree towards certain extent such as women are pursuing nursing and other feminine jobs whereas men are likely to go into military basis, but nowadays they are given more freedom to choose what they want to do. There are female students who choose engineering over literature and secretary's courses and vice versa. Globalisation has also opened up competition between women and men in more areas including education and employment. It is an optimistic change as parents are more open-minded by schooling their girls and for poor families; their educated daughters can change their economy status by getting jobs with their qualifications. As agreed by Dr. Farooq Wardak (in Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. Ministry of Education, 2010:4), 'there are strong links between an individual's educational level and his/her economic achievements'.
The impact of globalisation on education can also be seen in the increasing number of schools being built. Ming (2009) has reported that in Malaysia 'the number of national primary schools have increased from 4844 in 1990 to 5761 in 2005, an increase of 19%'. Although there are negative effects on environment, development is crucial to cope with the large number of students that increases each year. Ming (2009) adds, 'the increase in the number of national primary schools because of the large increase in the number of students enrolled in them'. Globalisation leads to an increase in population due to the raising rate of migration and birth. Many schools are renovated and equipped with modern facilities such as computer, internet source, laboratory apparatus and projector to ensure the study environment is convenient for students. Today, globalisation has also supported twinning programmes between universities to happen, such as the B.Ed TESL programme between Malaysian teacher training universities and universities in the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia. This programme has given students a huge opportunity to adapt themselves in English speaking countries and better improve their proficiency in English. There is also students exchange programme which sends students away to other countries which can provide better exposure of particular fields. For example, some engineering students in Malaysia are sent for a 6-month course in Korea and vice versa and secondary students in Japanese school are sent to Malaysia for 3 weeks to learn about Malaysia. Chin (2009) has agreed to this sentiment by acknowledging that 'higher institutions have become more self-consciously global, especially universities of the advanced nations by seeking students from different parts of the world, sending their own students abroad in educational exchange programmes to prepare them for global careers, offering study courses which address the challenges of an interconnected world and collaborative research to advance science'.
Nevertheless, there are institutions that found the idea of giving students a global experience while learning locally quite mesmerizing. Choudaha (2012) has come up with a term 'glocal' which means 'global aspirations with local experiences and the emphasis is on students who are willing to pay for a global educational practice while staying in their home country or region'. Asian countries such as China, Malaysia and India have been offering 'glocal' education to their local students. Meanwhile, countries such as the UK and Australia have been pioneers in offering transnational education and their workforce such as teachers and professors are in demand to serve glocals (Choudaha, 2012). In my opinion, this new segment is similar to having foreign branch campuses in local countries such as University of Nottingham in Malaysia, China and United Kingdom which are called University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus, University of Nottingham, Ninbo, China and University of Nottingham United Kingdom respectively (Chin, 2009). Apart from that, Monash University has campuses in Australia, Malaysia, China, India, South Africa and Italy (Chin, 2009) which allow local students to experience what Monash has to offer. They can take part in various courses from science stream to business, law and arts through global and international atmosphere. As mentioned by Whitehead (2012), 'historically Malaysia has sent its students abroad for their education, now it is preparing to reverse that position, it wants to become the hub of its region drawing thousands students from across south-east Asia to its universities in huge numbers by attracting foreign universities to set up overseas campuses'.
As per economy, Ming (2009) has mentioned that the 'continuous growth in economic relationships among nations, a global shift towards free-market dynamics, and increasing consumerism are some factors affecting institutions of higher education i.e. universities'. Hence, because of globalization there will be more collaboration between local and foreign universities, lecturers and students. Head of the department of economics at the University of Warwick, Abhinay Muthoo (2012) has commented on the UK's higher education system as business by saying 'we export education, purchased by customers and designed by intellectuals from all corners of the globe'. For example, India is currently attracting students from the USA, China, Canada, Germany, Malaysia and Australia to study there (Wilson, 2012). Furthermore, countries are taking the initiative to recruit teachers and educators from other countries such as Malaysia and Korea are bringing in English teachers from the United States to teach English at their local schools. The effect is that, English speaking educators could help providing a more meaningful lesson to the local students. The challenge is foreign educators will have to learn the local cultures to fit them in the society and not appear impolite or uncomfortable. The change in the economic-environment will not only affect the educational environment and system but also tourism. Foreigners who come to work may want to bring their families to the country they are working in and may advertise places of attractions in the countries to their local friends. Globalisation creates global links between countries in the world which enable a smooth flow international trade and global market such as tourism, the import and export.
Blessinger and Kovbasyuk (2012) have stated that 'global learning is the cultivation of multiple, diverse, and global perspectives. It allows one to develop the intercultural competencies necessary to become a global citizen who can understand issues from multiple perspectives and gain a deeper appreciation of and tolerance for diversity of all types (cultural, linguistic, religious, political, for example)'. In terms of social and cultural, global citizens are exposed to the differences of various cultures in the world and learn about respecting each other's culture. Globalisation reduces cultural barriers and enables multicultural democracy among students. As children are living in a multicultural community, they begin to accept others and are comfortable to study in a multiracial school. Racism can be avoided specifically among Black, White, Asian, non-Asian, Muslim and other religions if their moral and religious educations are well taught by educators. They can also learn from their surroundings and develop the sense of sensitivity from their social interactions at school and outside. As supported by Blessinger and Kovbasyuk (2012), 'within virtual global communities, students and educators can learn to become more socially minded and ethically responsible global citizens who, in turn, can help improve relationships in the broader world community'. Moreover, through socialising with international students can be a way for non-English students to improve their proficiency in English. They can practice using the language that they have learned in the classroom in a more authentic surrounding. Mohini Mohamed (2008:92) has stated that 'students need access to multicultural environment, appropriate use of first language and use effective English method of content instruction as well as opportunity to show their competence in a variety of ways'. In other words, globalisation has proved that collaborative learning between students of different cultural background can be a success. The obvious advantage pointed out by Blessinger and Kovbasyuk (2012) is that 'working on shared projects can enrich students' experiences and open them to more critical ways of thinking and more creative forms of problem-solving'.
The problems that are caused by globalisation, socially, when students are exposed to other cultures different from theirs, they can be influenced to blindly follow the cultures and beliefs even though those are not suitable with their surroundings. From my observation, some students are into Punk and Skinhead based on what they have seen on television programmes and to practice those in traditional-bound surrounding is not appropriate. Modernisation, urbanisation, westernisation also affect students' behavior at school because at some places like Holland weeds, drugs can be bought from street shops. It may cause social problem if students decide to have them during school period. Next is in term of interaction, in Korea, not using honorific when referring or calling someone older than you is not acceptable and considered rude. However, in England and America, to call an elderly by name is normal and friendly. Hence, if students do not consider what is acceptable in the society they are living in before following other cultures, it may affect their relationship with others such as teachers. Issues such as homosexuality and lesbian are not taboo in some countries. For instance in France, their openness to homosexuality can be seen in their education system. The authorities have published textbooks containing topics about gays and lesbians families which are called as modern families (Abry et al., 2008). It means their students and teenagers are exposed to this type of lifestyle but in Muslim countries like Arab and Malaysia and other countries, authorities are strongly opposing this matter. Hence, the negative impact is if students are influenced by inappropriate cultures as seen by their society.
Another positive impact of globalisation on education is the introduction of technology, online education or e-learning at school. E-Learning consulting (no date) defines e-learning as the use of technology to enable people to learn anytime and anywhere. This fits in the global world because modernization and urbanization come together and students are comfortable with using technological devices and internet. Blessinger and Kovbasyuk (2012) have agreed that 'today's students therefore tend to be more digitally savvy, mobile and transitory, socially connected, and more democratic in their worldview'. Hence, this teaching and learning method of using technological devices will work with our digital generation. They can have contact with other overseas' students through social networks to share about each other cultures and viewpoints. One method is visual learning that is done online such as Skype and students can have a discussion thread in their universities' email and on Facebook group which can be accomplished outside of a normal classroom. In my opinion, any discussion thread method is effective to learning because it is easier for students as they can comment on one topic and discuss with other students. Unfortunately, online learning could be difficult to be applied in rural area where internet connection is hardly accessible. However, to achieve a global education standard, many countries are taking more seriously about providing these technological and modern facilities to all schools. For example, Wilson (2012) indicates that 'virtual learning in India can be done because computer was quite cheap there'. In near future, it is not surprising if all schools are equipped with computers as well as those in rural areas. Nevertheless, the invention of tape recording, video recording, audio recording, PowerPoint presentation and Interactive Whiteboard (IWB) are very useful for educators and students in studies and presentations. The problem that will occur is students' misuse of the technology and internet with texting in classroom, video games, online chatting and phonography. Teachers need to monitor the students but the students also need to learn to control themselves.
In term of syllabus, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has now become one of the important subjects at most schools because of globalisation. Students are taught basic knowledge about computer and internet and they are learning using them. For example, in Malaysia, students also learn about the connection between Science and Technology through a subject called English Science and Technology. Knowledge on science, mathematics and technology is also essential to move forward with modernisation. By using internet, it is possible to show authentic examples of inventions that have been created and evidences of many scientific researches to students. The enhancement in Vocational Education and Training (VET) is another benefit of globalization. Advanced training offers enable students to go abroad for training in specialist countries. It can either be a very short intensive course or a 2 to 3 years programme. According to Draft National Education Strategic Plan for Afghanistan (in Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. Ministry of Education, 2010:11), the aim of technical and vocational education and training is to 'to provide relevant and quality technical and vocational education for both males and females in order to enable them to meet the requirements of the labor market in Afghanistan and the region, and to contribute to the equitable and balanced development of the country'. Similarly to other countries, VET provides opportunities for students who are interested in this field to widen their knowledge and to prepare them for future career. Cogburn (no date) has stated that 'the role of knowledge within the economy is leading to a whole range of new industries and new developments in biotechnology, new materials science, informatics, computer science, et cetera'. Courses such as media, telecommunication and science-related subjects are in demand since the world will need more experts in these fields in the future.
Globalisation gives impact on teachers and educators economically through the amount of wages they receive. The amount increases compared to the era before globalisation started. According to NY Times (2011:2), 'the average starting salary for a Finnish teacher was $29,000 in 2008'. Moving on, globalization also effects the employment of fresh graduates and students that have completed high schools in this era. Cantu (2003) has mentioned that 'the lowest wages for this decade were for individuals with some high school and no degree. The highest wages throughout the decade were for individuals who had attained a professional degree. The educational levels whose median wages were the closest were Professional and Doctorate degrees'. It shows how importance is education to survive in this urbanization and competitive world and to fit children to the working world. Cantu (2003) has said that 'the more noteworthy statistic is the fact that the less education a person receives, the more likely they will be unemployed. While more education does not guarantee employment, the higher the education level, the more competitive a person will be in the job market'.
Nonetheless, taking Malaysia as an example, globalisation has changed Malaysian curriculum in terms of drilling students to memorise to giving students more opportunity to be creative and think more critically. Norsiah Fauzan (no date:173) has commented by saying 'our educational system and curriculum changes its emphasis from memory based learning to an education that stimulates thinking, creativity, caring, catering for individual abilities and learning styles'. Norsiah Fauzan (no date:173) adds, 'we are searching for a meaningful, socially responsible, multicultural, holistic and technological curriculum beside looking for a more global way to improve the quality of education focusing on values, attitudes and behavior in a society full of diversity especially in terms of race and culture'. From my experience, I recall when I was a primary and secondary school students, I spent most of my time studying for exams by memorizing notes and even model essays. The aim was no other than to pass exams with good marks even though I did not fully understand the lesson or the objective of studying topics such as algebra and square root in Mathematics. As globalisation and internalisation are evolving rapidly, the authorities have decided that students need to be trained to be all-rounded and that education should teach students to practice their knowledge. In order to compete in the global world, competency and skills are important.
Other than that, because of globalization, English has become an important language to the world. Macionis and Plummer (2005) have cited, 'English is rapidly emerging as the preferred second language of most of the world'. The effect on education is that English is one of the core subjects in most schools and universities across the world. Apart from prioritizing one's own native language, to have a good English proficiency is essential as it is a lingua franca to connect with other countries in the world. Mohini Mohamed (2008:90) says that 'the reason for using English can be seen as utilitarian in nature because they hope by acquiring and mastering English among their students can improve their prospect in the job market'. Books, articles, journals and internet sources are mostly published in English and assignments and project works at higher institutions are in English. Students at schools study English literature poetry from various renowned poets such as Shakespeare and Dickens and some students major in Literature at higher education. They do not solely learn their own literature but also literature of other cultures in different countries. Students in the English speaking countries learn other prestigious language such as Spanish and French. Students also learn about arts originated from other countries such as the famous Masaccio's and Leonardo da Vinci's works. All these are proofs for 'cultural hybridisation' that occurs due to globalisation and universalisation. It refers to the ways in which parts of a culture (language, practices, and symbols) are recombined with the other cultures which happens a lot nowadays (Macionis and Plummer, 2005).
Education in globalised world, although it transfers cultural values, it can also cause social inequalities and social divisions. Macionis and Plummer (2005:521) have explained that 'education becomes a means for the reproduction of society's inequalities: it can act as a means of social control, reinforcing acceptance of the status quo and may operate to reproduce the status hierarchy'. The situation is commonly occurred in private or elite schools. Students studying in private and elite schools are normally from wealthy and high status families while those in national schools have mix family backgrounds. Macionis and Plummer (2005:517) has shown an example in British elite schools 'such elite schools not only teach academic subjects, they also convey to children from wealthy families the distinctive patterns of speech, mannerisms and social graces of British upper class'. Parents pay expensive school fees to register their children in elite schools. Social division occurs because elite school students have fewer chances to mix with working class students in the community. Their social circle is restricted to students of similar social standards and backgrounds. Hence, they may create their own perceptions of students outside their social circle without knowing them which can lead to downgrading others.
In conclusion, globalisation is indeed has helped a lot in the development of the educational sector. Although different government has different agenda to improve their education system, we are all working to achieve the global education standards and to produce global citizens. Macionis and Plummer (2005) have commented that 'societies around the world now have more contact with one another; enjoy more cooperation, than ever before. These global connections involve the flow of goods, information and people'. In the future, I hope there will be more positive impacts on education from globalisation and that the negative impacts can be reduced from time to time.