A Pearl on the Silk Road?
Notwithstanding the burgeoning literature on the internationalization of higher education, a key paradox is evident. The internationalization literature is mostly quite ethnocentric, focusing on the experience of wealthy, White, and Western countries, especially the major, developed Anglophone nations. Less attention has been given to Asia, and even less again to Latin America and Africa. Within Asia, China remains little understood, despite some early work (Wang 1966; Hayhoe 1984, 1989; Hayhoe and Henze 1985) and a number of more recent studies (Hayhoe 1996; Yang and Welch 2001). Rarely is internationalization viewed from Chinese perspectives, with its powerful, long-standing philosophies of Confucianism, Buddhism, Taoism, and Islam, which are now mixed with almost 60 years of Communist ideology and nearly 30 years of a developing market economy that utilizes internationally oriented“Open Door” policies (Yang 2002). Such omissions in the scholarship are in part explained by the inequalities of the international knowledge systems. Indeed, the fact is that most of the major centers of scholarship are still in the English-speaking West, as are the bulk of major journals and books listed in internationally recognized citation indexes (Altbach 1994, 2003).
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