Columbia University today announced the opening of several global research centers:
Columbia Global Centers will provide flexible regional hubs for a wide range of activities and resources intended to enhance the quality of research and learning at the University and around the world. The goal is to establish a network of regional centers in international capitals to collaboratively address complex global challenges by bringing together scholars, students, public officials, private enterprise, and innovators from a broad range of fields.
This is a very exciting new approach to globalization for higher education. I discussed a very similar approach in an earlier post Modularity in university higher education: Research, June 16, 2006. It builds on the understanding that “optimization” of research and teaching in a globalizing world involves putting together the most effective teams, using the best researchers around the world. Regional centers provide an anchor that give the teams stability and breadth beyond that which can be achieved with typical multi-investigator projects. A fascinating - and overdue - experiment!