Some lawmakers are wondering how that rush overseas will affect the United States. In July, the House Science and Technology subcommittee on research and science education held a hearing on university globalization.
Mr. Rohrabacher, the California lawmaker, raises alarms. “I’m someone who believes that Americans should watch out for Americans first,” he said. “It’s one thing for universities here to send professors overseas and do exchange programs, which do make sense, but it’s another thing to have us running educational programs overseas.”
Domestic institutions may benefit from running programs in other countries in more ways than improving the bottom line. Critics see only new market opportunities, but universities claim that international linkages offer a global perspective currently lacking at home. Even if such dividends do materialize, how does a Carnegie Mellon University branch campus in Doha benefit a non-student living in Pittsburgh?
The problem isn't providing higher education to foreign nationals living outside of the United States. The issue is a lack of a useful interface between a university and the region where the school is located. CMU, Pitt and other local institutions of higher education need to flatten the world for more people than students and faculty.