UW Today

This is an archived article.

October 11, 2007

Grad School to host discussion of nation-building Oct. 15

As the U.S. and other countries move rapidly toward globalization, how does higher education contribute to national economic development? Should scientists, engineers and others trained at high levels remain where they earned graduate degrees or return to serve their native lands?

These and other questions about trends, issues and solutions for internationalized graduate education will be addressed in depth by some of the world’s leading experts on nation-building, from 4 to 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 15, in Kane Hall’s Walker-Ames Room, as the UW Graduate School hosts a panel discussion titled “The Role of Graduate Education in Nation Building.”

Panelists include:


  • Louis Maheu, former graduate dean and professor emeritus of sociology, University of Montreal. Maheu directed the scientific review Sociologie and is co-author, author and editor of several books and articles on social movements, social classes, scientific organizations and communities, as well as on universities.
  • Jorge Balan, senior researcher at the Center for Studies on State and Societ in Argentina and former senior program officer at the Ford Foundation. Balán co-wrote the recently published book, World Class, Worldwide: Transforming Research Universities in Asia and Latin America, analyzing the significant issues facing research universities in these areas; the role of information technology; how research universities train leaders and foster scientific innovation; and the extent to which the private sector can and should be involved in funding and development.
  • Patrick Awuah, Ph.D., president, Ashesi University in Ghana. Believing that leadership and liberal arts education is the key to transforming Africa and African economies, Awuah left a nine-year career at Microsoft in Seattle to return to his home of Ghana, where he helped establish Ashesi University.

The respondent to the panelists will be Matthew Sparke, UW professor of geography and international studies, whose recent research focuses on globalization. He authored the book, Neoliberal Geopolitics and articles on how globalization processes are remaking nation-states, the links between American dominance and globalization, and the impact of economic interdependency on border regions.

Following brief presentations by each panelist, the forum will elicit questions from the audience.

“This event will enrich our understanding of how incredibly important graduate education is to the future of the U.S. and many nations around the globe,” says Maresi Nerad, associate professor and director of the Center for Innovation and Research in Graduate Education. “The panel brings together some of today’s best minds from around the world who understand globalization cannot be avoided and that institutions of higher education must respond in a proactive way to develop and implement effective strategies and policies of internationalization. This discussion will interest anyone who recognizes the complex global challenges to higher education and wishes to work toward a more equal higher education system both in the U.S. and worldwide.”

The event is free and open to the public, kicking off a yearlong Graduate School focus on internationalization, coordinated by the school’s Center for Innovation and Research in Graduate Education.