Tony Blair’s global battle of ideas
By Sean Coughlan
Retrieved from BBC News at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-12597817
Tony Blair's faith foundation works with universities in countries including the US, China, the UK, Canada and Sierra Leone. He also lectures at Yale. Mr Blair gave his views on university globalisation to the BBC News website.
本期英語宅急便要來談談高等教育與全球化的交互現象，提到致力於教育、全球化衝擊、以及宗教多元化等議題就不得不提前英國首相布萊爾(Tony Blair)。布萊爾先生於2007年辭去所有的英國政務職，將大部份的時間放在他一手創立的布萊爾信仰基金會 (Tony Blair Faith Foundation)，致力於關懷與幫助信仰衝突的化解、教育資源分配、以及國與國之間的和平相處。布萊爾信仰基金會與來自美國、中國、英國、加拿大、與獅子山共和國的大學進行教育合作，布萊爾先生也任教於美國耶魯大學(Yale)，本篇BBC的報導中布萊爾先生將針對大學全球化提出他個人的觀點。
Coughlan: How do you see the impact of globalisation on the international university system?
Blair: "I see globalisation's impact on the international university system in four ways.
"The first is that universities are increasingly eager to connect with others around the world on sustained and continuous projects and partnerships.
"Although conferences and joint-research programmes have existed for some time, we are now seeing a desire on the part of universities to enter into long-term partnerships with other universities.
"I was just visiting one of the lead universities in our Faith and Globalisation Initiative, Tecnologico de Monterrey in Mexico, which has joint-degree programmes with schools such as Carnegie-Mellon in the US, the Rotterdam School of Management in the Netherlands, and Reutlingen University in Germany.
"Two of our lead universities, Yale and the National University of Singapore, have recently announced plans to establish a jointly-run school in Singapore that will open in the autumn of 2013.
"The second is that universities are increasingly aware of the multitude of global perspectives that exist on every academic issue.
"Given the increasing amount of connectivity between universities, along with the ease of accessing information, no longer can any university or faculty ignores the wealth of approaches to today's most pressing academic questions.
"So you'll find scholars from Europe and the United States, two areas that have traditionally been disdainful of research and theory produced elsewhere, increasingly taking into account the work of academics from South America and Asia.
"What this means for students is that they are no longer exclusively exposed to scholarship produced from people whose lives and biases mirrored their own, but are now forced to consider new perspectives that might challenge what they'd been previously taught.
"Thirdly, globalisation has made university campuses more diverse than ever before.
"I've taught a class called Faith and Globalisation at Yale for the past three years and every year the class included students from all walks of life and from all around the world.
"If you look at photographs from Yale's graduating classes 50 years ago, everyone looks the same. And that's because, by and large, they were all from the same towns, went to the same prep-schools, and were going to work at the same companies.
"When I gave a speech at Yale in 2008, the student body looked more like delegates from the United Nations. This also means that universities are now engaged in a global competition for students, and no one can rest simply on their reputation.
"Finally, the technological advances of globalisation mean that more and more people are given access to higher education than ever before.
"Although internet learning might not be a perfect substitute for the classroom experience, the simple fact is that there are millions of people who have been excluded from the university experience due to geographical isolation and/or financial restraints.
"One of the Faith Foundation's partner universities, Tecnologico de Monterrey in Mexico, has an amazing virtual university through which they have connected 13 campuses across the country as well as individuals in remote areas to give them the opportunity to get a university education."
1. What do universities do to look for longer partnerships with other universities around the world?
A) Inviting more scholars to have speeches on their campuses.
B) Carrying out multidisciplinary research projects.
C) Raising more international academic conferences.
D) Devoting more resources on other endeavors besides conferences and research projects.
2. Which of the following statements best describes the second way said by Mr. Tony Blair?
A) The scholars in universities in the English speaking countries always look down on scholars from Asia and South America.
B) Information booming has flattened the world, which brings more different perspectives from the scholars all over the world.
C) One will feel being excluded and biased when trying to work in the academia.
D) All the perspectives students are receiving are produced by the scholars whose prejudices and subjectivity can be found in the classroom.
3. What can be inferred by the third way mentioned by Mr. Tony Blair?
A) More endowments can be found by schools.
B) Educational ladder has been available to all the people in the society.
C) Colored students are still under suppression by some renowned universities.
D) Globalization brings more students to the famous universities, which jeopardizes the sustainability of some local universities.
4. Which of the following can be the keyword for the fourth way aforementioned?
A) distance education B) Internet accessibility
C) exclusive education system D) renowned university
Coughlan: Will globalisation in universities be any (5) to the world's poor than economic globalisation?
Blair: "It certainly can be and I think it is currently leaning in that direction. As I mentioned earlier, the example of Tecnologico de Monterrey is encouraging.
"__(6)__ the use of the internet, they have been able to provide people in remote parts of Mexico with access to university courses through their Virtual University.
"Yale University has a site called Open Yale __(7)__ they give access to video and audio recordings of semester-long classes, along with reading assignments and transcripts of the lectures - all entirely free.
"So anyone who wants to take Introduction to Ancient Greek History with Professor Donald Kagan, or Financial Markets with Professor Robert Schiller, now can.
"In addition, one of the things that has become incredibly clear in working with the universities involved in the Faith and Globalisation Initiative is that the world's richest and most rigorous universities are deeply __(8)__ to capacity development within countries and institutions that have not been able to benefit from the same social or economic advantages.
"Recently Fourah Bay College at the University of Sierra Leone became the newest partner of our university programme. Fourah Bay is an amazing institution. In fact, my dad taught there in the 1960s.
"But as a result of the civil war and other problems Sierra Leone has faced, Fourah Bay has not benefited from the economic and institutional development like universities such as Yale or McGill.
"__(9)__ a matter of fact, Yale's endowment is nearly four times the size of Sierra Leone's GDP. And when I was at McGill to give a lecture to their Religion and Globalisation course, I had lunch with a selection of faculty members from around the university - all of whom were adamant that we bring more schools like Fourah Bay into the initiative.
"It wasn't enough for them that we reach students at the world's most acknowledged universities. They demanded that we reach out to institutions that had been less fortunate then themselves, to provide them __(10)__ teacher training, to give their students more opportunities to interact with other students around the world and to hopefully play a role in transforming the wider society.
"So if other universities have faculty members that are anything like those at McGill, I would say the future looks promising."
5. A) fair B) fairer C) fairness D) fairly
6. A) Although B) Even though C) Through D) Given
7. A) by which B) in which C) of which D) on which
8. A) committed B) concerned C) involved D) leaned
9. A) This is B) At C) As D) It is
10. A) X B) with C) by D) of
Multiple choice: D、B、B、A