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Universiti Sains Malaysia and the engagement with sustainability and civil society within globalization

conference contribution
posted on 2009-01-01, 00:00 authored by James Campbell
According to some commentators, the dynamics and forces of globalization have lead to a radical rethink in respect to the role of the university in contemporary society. This rethink has taken several guises. For some it involves the radical privatization of universities. For others it involves the democratization of  universities. Universities exist therefore in a globalized world that is increasingly interconnected and where space and time are increasingly narrowed and  accelerated. Within these broad phenomenons’s neo-liberal globalization entails the increasing need to produce profit and the expansion of the logic of neo-liberal hegemony in education in the guise of reframing education as a service industry. The contradictions that characterize Malaysia s engagement with globalization at a national level manifest in debates over globalization and Higher Education. The most pertinent issue in regards to this relates to the problem of sustainability. In the context of neo-liberal globalization sustainability contradicts the fundamental essence of consumption. The idea of human beings as first and foremost  consumers of things is a normative ideal at odds with the concept of a  sustainable future. At a very basic philosophical level the concept and normative project of neo-liberal capitalism and globalization is tied to a concept of individual possessiveness and consumption that radically challenges cultures that do not share such possessively individualistic precepts. Marketization in Malaysian universities must be tempered by also connecting universities to civil society in such a way that tempers both extremes of the state and market and allows a more sustainable relationship between the social frameworks within which it operates.



QS Asia Pacific Professional Leaders in Education. Conference (5th : 2009 : Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)


61 - 80


James Cook University


Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Place of publication

Cairns, Qld.

Start date


End date






Publication classification

E1 Full written paper - refereed

Copyright notice

2009, The Author


N Anderson, N Healey, I Fussell

Title of proceedings

QS-APPLE 2009 : Proceedings of the 5th QS-APPLE Conference

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