When I am thinking about what I want to change in higher education, I come up with the long list of what I suffered from that I want to change to make higher education more pleasant and useful. But this blog asks for one change. I want to think out of the box, so, I will share with you one my ideal idea for higher education.
Being in a class that consists of students from more than 12 countries taught me something. There are lots of difference around the world in terms of the education systems. That was interesting but at the same time terrifying. What happens if I cannot get a job at U.S. and I want to immigrate to Europe, East Asia, or South America for the job. I would be completely blank about the education system and requirement there. And for sure, by few workshops that they may provide for me or read few websites to figure out what is the process, I cannot be as successful as I can be at U.S. Why? Because I studied here. I worked here. I researched here. And I saw how my advisor worked and succeed. So, all my information is summarized in how to study, teach, and research in the United States. I think it does not make sense that I am PhD but U.S. PhD. And cannot be as useful all over the world. I know it is impossible to have the same education system across the globe, but I have another idea :D!
How about to train our PhD students to be helpful all over the world? It seems interesting, but How?
I suggest dividing the PhD into four parts for four-five years (this suggestion assumes for someone like me at U.S.). The first year will start at U.S., and the student must take courses and most importantly, shape his/her doctoral committee. But the requirement is to have three more committee members (excluding the advisor from U.S) from the other five continents. From the second year, the student must spend a year in each of these universities in different continents and work with the committee member and take courses there. Two-three years in two-three different universities across the world. And then, he/she will come back to U.S. for the last year to wrapping up the dissertation.
Do you think it is hard? Yes. It is. But you cannot imagine how he/she can expand his/her network, be familiar with other cultures by living, studying, and researching in different universities. he/she will learn a lot about the education system in each place. he/she can expand the population of his/her study by collecting data from different part of the world instead of collecting data only from U.S. . Therefore, his/her research will have more contribution, and the results can be generalized. I think after PhD, he/she will be a real PhD with lots of experience and can work all over the world. He/she will be the best teacher, by experiencing various teaching techniques and education systems. Maybe there is some overlap with this idea and the concept of “globalization in higher education,” but this far beyond that. Do you think this may be possible someday?