The world is shrinking and more interdependent than ever due to developments in communication technology and the free movement of capital across national borders. Globalization can be a whirlwind: local, national, and regional economies have become interlocked and interdependent. In addition, computer-mediated technologies provide a highly cost-effective way to obtain much of the information and knowledge that used to be provided by universities. Therefore, there is no reason not to believe that most higher or tertiary education in industrialized countries will be electronically delivered in the near future.
Thus, recent developments around the world pose serious challenges for higher education. Globalization of the product- and service-markets, including the educational market and rapid improvements in communication technologies, require a completely different approach to education. Before education itself can become a global enterprise, bridges must be built across longstanding cultural boundaries and academic disciplines. Educational institutions must take a leadership role in both envisioning and preparing for the needs likely to emerge in early in the new millennium.
Responding to the global educational challenge, Inha University has had longstanding relationships with other universities around the world. With the continuing globalization of the education market more focused partnerships are required. Inha University is seeking to develop networks with globally-recognized universities.
Inha University has sped up to widen and deepen the level of cooperation with globally-recognized universities. After extensive contacts, Inha University and a select group of institutions have agreed to discuss the establishment of a global university consortium, which will lead to the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding by the respective Presidents. Collaboration between faculty and administrative staff, notably heads of international cooperation offices of both Inha University and other universities, have elaborated the idea of the consortium. The outcome of these interchanges has been the decision to proceed with the establishment of the Global Consortium comprising Inha University and seven other universities to be known as the Global U8 Consortium.
The Global U8 Consortium is proposed at a time when major challenges are confronting higher education stemming from globalization, and the resulting complexity and competitiveness of both labor market and product markets, coupled with the increasing rapidity of technological change. Therefore, the Global U8 Consortium will give allied institutions several key advantages that are complementary, cost-saving and, above all, beneficial from an educational perspective.
The Global U8 consortium's purpose is to meet a growing demand for: cross-cultural education through student exchange and the adoption of a common curricula; a response to new challenges posed by the need for Global Logistics, Business Administration, Marine Affairs, and Advanced Technologies (e.g., information technologies, bio-technology, nano-technology) as well as interdisciplinary activities by conducting joint-research and expanding outreach programs; and the need to strengthen global cooperation among university administrations.
Thus the Global U8 Consortium will concentrate its cooperative and collaborative efforts on three main areas: (1) to develop a joint education system, which may feature common curricula, distance learning (e.g. cyber class using the Internet), credit transfer and joint degrees; (2) to conduct joint research; and (3) building administrative capacity (e.g., information sharing to upgrade administrative systems to a global standard).