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The Perceptions of Globalization at a Public Research University Computer Science Graduate Department

  • Author(s): Nielsen, Selin Yildiz
  • Advisor(s): Mitchell, Douglas E
  • et al.
Abstract

Based on a qualitative methodological approach, this study focuses on the understanding of a phenomenon called globalization in a research university computer science department. The study looks into the participants' perspectives about the department, its dynamics, culture and academic environment as related to globalization. The economic, political, academic and social/cultural aspects of the department are taken into consideration in investigating the influences of globalization.

Three questions guide this inquiry: 1) How is the notion of globalization interpreted in this department? 2) How does the perception of globalization influence the department in terms of finances, academics, policies and social life And 3) How are these perceptions influence the selection of students? Globalization and neo-institutional view of legitimacy is used as theoretical lenses to conceptualize responses to these questions.

The data include interviews, field notes, official and non-official documents. Interpretations of these data are compared to findings from prior research on the impact of globalization in order to clarify and validate findings.

Findings show that there is disagreement in how the notion of globalization is interpreted between the doctoral students and the faculty in the department. This disagreement revealed the attitudes and interpretations of globalization in the light of the policies and procedures related to the department. How the faculty experience globalization is not consistent with the literature in this project. The literature states that globalization is a big part of higher education and it is a phenomenon that causes the changes in the goals and missions of higher education institutions (Knight, 2003, De Witt, 2005). The data revealed that globalization is not the cause for change but more of a consequence of actions that take place in achieving the goals and missions of the department.

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