Keywords: Higher education, globalisation, local knowledge, private and public goods, education about Islam
Abstract: In this chapter, the author examines the implications of two contemporary trends: increasing homogenisation of higher education across many parts of the world and the reassertion of affiliations to local identities. It is argued that in some cases such homogenisation has resulted in the marginalisation of knowledge about people’s local contexts, including that of religious traditions.
Through the example of knowledge about Muslim history, the author suggests that often the resulting educational gap is filled by extremist voices which claim to provide young people access to what is claimed to be true Islam. Revaluation of philosophical conception of education from a wholly or mainly private good which underpins the homogenisation of higher education to that of a semi-public good is proposed as an important element if the situation is to be redressed.
Professor Farid F. Panjwan is Dean of the Institute for Educational Development, Aga Khan University, Karachi. In 2012 Professor Panjwani founded the Centre for the Study of Education in Muslim Societies at the Institute of Education, University College London (UCL). Dedicated to the promotion of sound academic research and scholarship in Muslim contexts, the Centre was the first of its kind in any UK university.