Creative Contributions and Solutions to Dubai’s Challenges and Commitments as a Smart City: Transnationalizing and Personalizing Global Standards of Excellence in International Education

  • Konrad GuneschEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Science, Technology & Innovation book series (ASTI)


This paper contributes to the higher education system of Dubai as a Smart City given its public commitment to equating “excellence” with “global”. It substantiates and enriches global standards of excellence transnationally by adopting as global educational standard of excellence the concept of cosmopolitanism as the global individual cultural identity form of world citizenship, which finds increasing acceptance in international education theory and practice. Cosmopolitanism suits both the “excellence” and the “global” parts of Dubai’s commitment, since it is at the same time, a classical idea and a modern-day concept, a timeless philosophical ideal and a call for practical initiatives, a combination of local, national, regional, national international issues, and an incentive for individual and institutional inroads. Conceptually, cosmopolitanism is presented as a synthesized literature matrix complemented by substantial critical thinking. Empirically, it is shown how a group of highly multilingual international students revealed themselves, in in-depth interviews, in terms of their cosmopolitan identities. This allowed the analysis and synthesis of three new ideal types of cosmopolitans beyond the literature. The paper therefore (1) adds educational dimensions to Dubai’s Smart City character, (2) introduces new, transnational dimensions for global educational standards of excellence, and (3) makes innovative, recently tested frameworks available for individuals and institutions. Correspondingly, future research could (1) apply the results to other smart cities and their countries, (2) test further dimensions for global educational standards of excellence, (3) investigate causal relationships between language mastery and global identity, or use more quantitative methods or larger empirical samples.


International education Social innovation Global standards of excellence Cosmopolitanism Dubai Smart city 

JEL Classification

D83 I23 O35 Z13 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.American University in the EmiratesDubaiUAE

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