"United Around High Human Values"

The Future of Education and Value of Higher Education in America

Turquoise Center
March 26, 2009

Renu Khator, President of the University of Houston, was invited to the Gülen Institute Luncheon Forum to discuss the future of higher education in America.  As a scholar of globalization and an experienced administrator, Khator emphasized the need to consider higher education in a global context.  Higher education has always constituted the primary line of class demarcation: between the “haves” and the “have nots.”  But in today’s world, Khator proposed that a further division has been introduced: the “global haves” and the “global have nots.”

Education no longer simply offers advantages within local economies; it is the primary gatekeeper of the global economy as well.  In addition to locally divided “haves” and “have nots,” Khator defined “global haves” as those who are internationally connected, who thrive in the fluidity of the global economy and float easily from city to city, country to country.  On the other hand, “global have nots” are those who find themselves exploited by the global economy, who have no agency within it and are at the mercy of massive, often foreign, flows of capital.  More than any other factors, Khator suggested that education constitutes this division: every single “global have” has a college degree.  For this reason, Khator insisted that it has never been more important to situate higher education in a global context.

Last modified: June 27, 2023