A wealth of nations: 2015 Conference Conversation Starter

A wealth of nations: 2015 Conference Conversation Starter

We are getting closer to the 27th Annual EAIE Conference in Glasgow and, by now, your excitement may be difficult to contain. Packing, making sure your business cards are ready, picking out your favorite sessions: that is a lot to take in. As you run around preparing for Glasgow, may we suggest that you take a quick pause? Grab yourself a cup of coffee, sit in a comfy chair, put your feet up, and dive into the 2015 Conference Conversation Starter. Get ready to be intellectually stimulated!

Within the busy energy of the EAIE conference, we encourage you to take a moment to step out of your office and daily professional routine to reflect on deeper topics and issues in the field. This is the fourth year that the EAIE has invited a diverse group of professionals in the field to hot topics for the Conference Conversation Starter publication. The publication aims to inspire serious reflection and incite dialogue on the myriad dimensions of the conference theme and featured dialogue sessions. The volume is now available online in the Member Centre for EAIE Members and in My Conference for Conference attendees. A hard copy will also be freely distributed to all EAIE conference-goers in Glasgow next week.

A wealth of nations

‘A wealth of nations’, the conference theme, encourages us to think about the interconnectedness of economies and the wealth of knowledge within Europe and beyond. In this volume, three timely topics within this theme are highlighted:

  1. Economics and international education

Adam Smith, an 18th century economist who spent a great deal of his life in Glasgow, wrote a seminal economics treatise, The Wealth of Nations, which still serves as a foundation for contemporary economic thought. The authors in the volume and speakers at the must-see conference dialogue on this theme question whether or not his economic philosophy serves the modern world we live in and, more specifically, the current tenets of international education.

  1. Tuition fees for international students

Many European nations are currently grappling with the various dimensions of introducing fees. The authors focus on the Nordic evolution of tuition fees, the debate in France, and the student union perspective in Finland. Don’t miss out on the dialogue on this very relevant topic!

  1. A wealth of knowledge

The third theme moves from an economic discussion to one focused on the wealth and global flow of knowledge. The perspectives widen as alternative views to the current economic narrative of internationalisation are introduced. Another author examines the global dynamics impacting the future flows of international students.

We hope that these essays spark debate, dialogue and deep thinking on topics central to the field of international higher education. While we have the opportunity to further advance the field, we are also given the space to critically reflect on the practice. We hope that you are up to this challenge.

More to come

This is the first of a week-long blog series highlighting some of the essays in the Conference Conversation Starter. In other words: stay tuned and make sure to grab that cup of coffee.

Leasa Weimer is the Knowledge Development Adviser for the EAIE and editor of the 2015 Conference Conversation Starter.

Leasa Weimer
EAIE, the NetherlandsLeasa is Senior Adviser for Knowledge Initiatives for the EAIE.