Giddens favor of Modern Institutions

Kemal Gürüz discusses, questions, and explains how higher education for international students has become increasingly available due to technology and mobility in her book, Higher education and international student mobility in the global knowledge economy. Gürüz believes that the mobility of international students has been inevitable; students have always been motivated to seek political, economic, and cultural gains through education. The number of foreign students worldwide was over 2.5 million in 2008, a number that has and will continue to grow. Thus, it is argued that international students have became widely globalized, and their experiences in new countries have contributed to world peace, understanding, and security.

My critical essay focuses on the positive aspects that have taken place due to the globalization of international students. Although my essay speaks rather exceptionally of international students, there are obvious risks that are taken by international students and others in the process. Such risks may include traveling and being surrounded by an unfamiliar culture and language.

Due to possible these risks, trust is put into place. Trust, defined by Anthony Giddens, is the “confidence in the reliability of a person or system, regarding a given set of outcomes or events” (Giddens 34). By studying in a foreign place, students are putting trust into a higher education system that they may be familiar with, but not completely understand due to language (or other) barriers. Because foreign students are too often unfamiliar with the territory in which they study in, they must hold trust in who they are surrounded by, the country they are in, and the specific university or institution in which they are enrolled in.

When studying internationally, there is an extreme amount of trust put into the entire system that is run by the higher education institution or university. While studying at a university, many may find the trust put into strangers (the student or those surrounding the student) to be frightening. Additionally, trust is put into a larger system: International students often engage in the global economy, capital markets, and business-oriented communication between individuals with different first-languages.

Contrary to what I had originally anticipated, Giddens argues that the trust put into this system is not something to be worried about. “The development of modern social institutions and their worldwide spread have created vastly greater opportunities for human beings to enjoy a secure and rewarding existence than any type of pre-modern system” (Giddens 7). In the case of foreign students studying outside of their native country, the social institution would be the university or higher education institution. The programs offered at these institutions for international students have allowed for students to have opportunities that they may have otherwise been restricted from. Because their higher education would be obtained from an institution, it would most likely be secure and have a rewarding result.

2 thoughts on “Giddens favor of Modern Institutions

  1. ” Because foreign students are too often unfamiliar with the territory in which they study in, they must hold trust in who they are surrounded by, the country they are in, and the specific university or institution in which they are enrolled in.” This really hits it on the head when you are talking about international students. We seem to noticed a lot of international students here in America and personally here at the University of Delaware. Is the amount of international students from America the same as they are here in the US? Would the trust risk be the same for an American student studying internationally?

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  2. It is interesting that you mention international students seeking higher education in your essay. As I was leaving class the other day I was noticing that as I walked to my car I was the minority American against a majority of Asian students. I agree with you and Giddens that these international study programs offer greater opportunities to these students. As more and more international students dilute the American student population, what would you think about Giddens ‘reflexive appropriation of knowledge’ (Giddens 53). Is it possible these students would stay together in their own subculture, essentially blocking out the American experience they came here for in the first place? Interesting post, thank you.

    Chris

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