Growing Pains Or Death Sentence?

The World Role of Universities, by Edward W. Weidner (McGraw-Hill, 1962, 366 pp., $6.95), is reviewed by Robert M. Davies, Chairman, Division of Humanities, Thiel College, Greenville, Pennsylvania.

Something like an ecumenical education movement is in its infancy, and this book discusses the growing pains. Professor Weidner discovers it to be a promising child if it can overcome several afflictions.

While there is no organized movement toward worldwide education (except UNESCO?), it is apparent that the universities of the world are engaged in a great cultural cross-pollenization. In 1960–61 over 50,000 foreign students from nearly 150 countries were enrolled in 1,600 American institutions of higher education and over 15,000 American students were attending foreign universities. At the same time 3,600 foreign faculty members were affiliated with 300 American universities, and 2,200 American faculty members were teaching abroad.

Of the six different types of programs now in effect, Professor Weidner asserts that three are designed mainly to import certain values into American education, and three export contributions abroad. Importers include the student-abroad programs, group research abroad, and the various small exchanges of a few students or professors between an American and a host-country university. Exporters, designed basically to bring about change in some foreign nation, consist of the various religious programs to further Christian education abroad, and two technical assistance programs. (In the latter, either foreign participants study in America or American professors work overseas.)

Professor Weidner believes that such educational exchange programs contribute to the universities’ ...

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