To compete in the global economy, a country’s workforce must be knowledgeable, well-trained, and understand the complexities as well as the benefits created by globalization. It’s true that accomplishing these objectives is easier said than done but in our hands lies a great tool to assist us with these goals—and this great tool is simply education. Just as globalization has changed business around the world, it is also changing education. A common trend in higher education policy is the internationalization of education to help students live, work, and be successful in today’s interconnected global economy.

In Japan, international education has been stressed by government officials and major businesses alike. Traditionally, Japan has focused on global student mobility—sending thousands of students overseas to gain valuable international experience in countries like the United States and the United Kingdom. Now, the tides have turned and Japan has recognized the importance of attracting students from other countries to study within Japan’s borders. The reason for this policy is quite simple. Japan wishes to attract high-quality students from overseas in order to increase their international competitiveness and develop a strongly educated workforce to promote business development. To succeed in its strategy, Japan is also globalizing education among its domestic students with initiatives to expand language-taught courses and programs that develop cultural intelligence.

In order to meet the increasing demand for a global-minded workforce, the United States created Centers for International Business Education and Research (CIBERs) at various universities around the country including the nation’s leading center right here at Michigan State University. These programs have helped promote global education by offering international exchange opportunities for students and dramatically increasing the number of courses with international content. Many CIBERs have even helped educate small business professionals about the process of exporting products and services overseas. These examples are just a few of the many global initiatives developed by CIBERs around the country.

International business is constantly being shaped by globalization and the ever changing economic situations of countries around the world. With that being said, there are many challenges that lie ahead as well as opportunities. If international education continues to grow and evolve across the globe, a well-informed workforce will be created to solve these problems and capitalize on global opportunities. Meeting the demand of a 21st century global knowledge-based society will definitely not be an easy task but it has already begun and the countless benefits will soon follow.

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