Of late we all have noticed in India major claims about how liberalisation and globalisation has raised the quality of higher education. Both the print media and the television have been carrying huge advertisement to this effect in such frequency that the common man has come to believe these claims. But can they stand an informed scrutiny? Well I, with almost for decades of teaching and research at the university level and with experience of participating in research programmes of some of the universities abroad would hesitate to say yes! Higher education now, in the so called age of globalisation, is being viewed as a means to employment and not as a pursuit of excellence! This attitudinal change has serious repercussions for organisation of teaching and aims of higher education. Before we go into those repercussions it is important to ask why the society’s attitude has changed. The most common answer to this question is that we are in a globalised and liberalised world in which the state and the government must withdraw and market forces must rule and therefore higher education must cater to the needs of the global market. To understand as to why this appears to be gospel truth we must understand globalisation itself.
The shrill voices touting the inevitability and desirability of globalisation, we need to note, arrived in the world only after the fall of Soviet Union and end of the cold war.
The end of cold war was followed by sustained propaganda by imperialistic circles and their ideologues about the death of socialism. As Prakash Karat pointed out, ” [T]his ideological blitz has been accompanied by the most determined drive of international finance capital to reinforce its sway and to penetrate every area of the world.” In the years that followed market forces, their patrons or agents have created conditions for placing a set of values, norms and practices conducive to homogenising the world political process, or at least the most dominant parts of these processes, in commanding positions of the contemporary world.