To read this content please select one of the options below:

America in the world: Higher education and the global marketplace

The Worldwide Transformation of Higher Education

ISBN: 978-0-7623-1487-4, eISBN: 978-1-84950-543-7

Publication date: 3 June 2008


The relationship between soft power and international education is not a new phenomenon. Students have studied abroad since the origin of the modern university in the Middle Ages and have been influenced by what they learned and experienced. Faculty members and researchers have also crossed borders for millennia, and knowledge has always been international in scope. Indeed, medieval universities were international institutions, bringing together students and faculty from many European countries and operating in a single language, Latin (Haskins, 2002). Through its strong emphasis on theology and canon law, the medieval university served as a bastion of power for the Catholic Church. The Jesuit mission of spreading the faith through education was an important aspect of the church's soft power. Historically, the Jesuits recognized education as a powerful force and established schools and universities around the world to spread knowledge and Roman Catholicism (O’Malley, Bailey, Harris, & Kennedy, 1999). Missionaries from various other Christian denominations were also actively involved in higher education overseas (Ashby, 1966; Lutz, 1971).


Altbach, P.G. and McGill Peterson, P. (2008), "America in the world: Higher education and the global marketplace", Baker, D.P. and Wiseman, A.W. (Ed.) The Worldwide Transformation of Higher Education (International Perspectives on Education and Society, Vol. 9), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 313-335.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited