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International Higher Education and The Rise of Soft Power as Cultural Diplomacy [1 ed.]
 9783031441790, 9783031441806

Table of contents :
Contents
List of Figures
List of Tables
Chapter 1: Introduction
1 Hard Power Versus Soft Power
2 International Higher Education
3 Methodological Approach to Investigating the Role of Education as a Soft Power Tool
References
Chapter 2: The Intersection of International Relations, Soft Power, and International Higher Education
1 International Relations
2 Soft Power
3 International Higher Education
4 International Higher Education and International Relations
5 International Higher Education, International Relations, and Soft Power
References
Chapter 3: International Higher Education as a Soft Power Tool: Promoting Intercultural Understanding and Diplomacy in Foreign Policy
1 International Higher Education as Soft Power
1.1 Education in Soft Power Theory
1.2 Intercultural Education as a Soft Power
2 Education as a Soft Power Tool in Foreign Policy
3 Mechanisms of Soft Power Influence: The Rule of Attraction
4 Nation Branding: South Korea as an Example
References
Chapter 4: Understanding the Role of International Higher Education in Nation Branding and Soft Power
1 Exploring the Role of International Higher Education in Nation Branding: A Survey
2 Internationalization of Higher Education: Comparative Look at South Korea and Morocco
2.1 Internationalization of Higher Education in South Korea: Korea University
2.2 Internationalization of Higher Education in Morocco: Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdellah University
3 Traces of Soft Power and Public Diplomacy in Morocco in Light of the International Higher Education
4 Web as Attraction and Reflection of the University’s Brand Identity
4.1 A Look at Different Stages in USMBA’s Website Front Webpage
4.2 Data Updates: Web Scraping
4.3 USMBA Students—University’s Website User Satisfaction (Survey)
References
Chapter 5: Soft Power and International Higher Education: The Role of Higher Education in Promoting Cultural Understanding and National Identity
1 International Higher Education as Soft Power and a Means of Nation Branding
2 Internationalization of Higher Education
3 Internationalization of Higher Education, Soft Power, and Cultural Diplomacy in Morocco
4 Web as Attraction and Reflection of a University’s Brand Identity
References
Conclusion
Index

Citation preview

International Higher Education and The Rise of Soft Power as Cultural Diplomacy A Comparative study of Morocco and South Korea Aicha Adoui

International Higher Education and The Rise of Soft Power as Cultural Diplomacy

Aicha Adoui

International Higher Education and The Rise of Soft Power as Cultural Diplomacy A Comparative study of Morocco and South Korea

Aicha Adoui Washington, DC, DC, USA

ISBN 978-3-031-44179-0    ISBN 978-3-031-44180-6 (eBook) https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-44180-6 © The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2023 This work is subject to copyright. All rights are solely and exclusively licensed by the Publisher, whether the whole or part of the material is concerned, specifically the rights of translation, reprinting, reuse of illustrations, recitation, broadcasting, reproduction on microfilms or in any other physical way, and transmission or information storage and retrieval, electronic adaptation, computer software, or by similar or dissimilar methodology now known or hereafter developed. The use of general descriptive names, registered names, trademarks, service marks, etc. in this publication does not imply, even in the absence of a specific statement, that such names are exempt from the relevant protective laws and regulations and therefore free for general use. The publisher, the authors, and the editors are safe to assume that the advice and information in this book are believed to be true and accurate at the date of publication. Neither the publisher nor the authors or the editors give a warranty, expressed or implied, with respect to the material contained herein or for any errors or omissions that may have been made. The publisher remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations. Cover illustration: Pattern © Melisa Hasan This Palgrave Macmillan imprint is published by the registered company Springer Nature Switzerland AG. The registered company address is: Gewerbestrasse 11, 6330 Cham, Switzerland Paper in this product is recyclable.

Contents

1 Introduction  1 1 Hard Power Versus Soft Power  3 2 International Higher Education  6 3 Methodological Approach to Investigating the Role of Education as a Soft Power Tool  9 References 14 2 T  he Intersection of International Relations, Soft Power, and International Higher Education 17 1 International Relations 18 2 Soft Power 29 3 International Higher Education 34 4 International Higher Education and International Relations 37 5 International Higher Education, International Relations, and Soft Power 44 References 47 3 I nternational Higher Education as a Soft Power Tool: Promoting Intercultural Understanding and Diplomacy in Foreign Policy 51 1 International Higher Education as Soft Power 52 1.1 Education in Soft Power Theory 53 1.2 Intercultural Education as a Soft Power 58 2 Education as a Soft Power Tool in Foreign Policy 60 v

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Contents

3 Mechanisms of Soft Power Influence: The Rule of Attraction 63 4 Nation Branding: South Korea as an Example 71 References 78 4 U  nderstanding the Role of International Higher Education in Nation Branding and Soft Power 81 1 Exploring the Role of International Higher Education in Nation Branding: A Survey 82 2 Internationalization of Higher Education: Comparative Look at South Korea and Morocco 96 2.1 Internationalization of Higher Education in South Korea: Korea University 96 2.2 Internationalization of Higher Education in Morocco: Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdellah University101 3 Traces of Soft Power and Public Diplomacy in Morocco in Light of the International Higher Education106 4 Web as Attraction and Reflection of the University’s Brand Identity110 4.1 A Look at Different Stages in USMBA’s Website Front Webpage110 4.2 Data Updates: Web Scraping114 4.3 USMBA Students—University’s Website User Satisfaction (Survey)117 References128 5 S  oft Power and International Higher Education: The Role of Higher Education in Promoting Cultural Understanding and National Identity129 1 International Higher Education as Soft Power and a Means of Nation Branding130 2 Internationalization of Higher Education134 3 Internationalization of Higher Education, Soft Power, and Cultural Diplomacy in Morocco138 4 Web as Attraction and Reflection of a University’s Brand Identity140 References144 Conclusion145 Index149

List of Figures

Fig. 4.1 Fig. 4.2 Fig. 4.3 Fig. 4.4 Fig. 4.5 Fig. 4.6

USMBA’s website front page 2005 USMBA’s website from page 2007 USMBA’s front page 2010 USMBA’s front page 2019 Web scraping history for USMBA’s front webpage actualities and news section Web scraping history for USMBA’s mobility actualities section

112 112 113 114 115 116

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List of Tables

Table 4.1 Table 4.2 Table 4.3

Views of Moroccan international students in Korean universities on South Korea Views of Moroccan international students in Korean universities on South Korean power Students’ views on the university’s website

86 88 118

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CHAPTER 1

Introduction

Abstract  In the last two decades, the concept of global power has undergone a significant transformation, with the emergence of soft power as a predominant form of influence. This chapter explores the theories and definitions of soft power coined by Joseph Nye and analyzes its effectiveness in today’s global information age. Soft power is defined as the ability to attract and persuade others through non-coercive means, such as cultural values and diplomatic solutions. The introductory chapter examines the role of soft power in international politics, highlighting its complementarity with hard power and the potential for a balanced approach known as smart power. Keywords  Soft power • International higher education • Attraction • Diplomacy • Nation branding

The concept of power has been defined by Harvard University Professor Joseph Nye (1990). He proposed the term “soft power” and delineated a number of theories to the application of the term. American analyst Arquilla (2008) called for a change of perspective toward power as well; “in a global information age, success is not always dependent on whose army wins but on whose story wins”—a belief long held and often echoed © The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2023 A. Adoui, International Higher Education and The Rise of Soft Power as Cultural Diplomacy, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-44180-6_1

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in the works of Joseph Nye. The paradigm shift in today’s world focuses on the effectiveness of soft power and the value of communicating a winning, nonviolent, and intersubjective global narrative. The term “soft power” was initially defined as the ability to attract rather than coerce for the objective of attaining desired goals (Nye, 2008). The idea of soft power goes beyond physical force and political coercion; it relies on softer means and diplomatic solutions within foreign policies. Soft power is the ability to affect others through means of framing an agenda, persuading, and eliciting positive attraction. Soft attraction is essential to obtain preferred outcomes (Nye, 2011; Gozalishvili, 2018). According to Craig Hayden (2011), soft power is understood as the ability to affect others to obtain one’s end goal without coercion or economic inducement; its mechanism and dynamics are relatively straightforward. Hayden’s (2011) thoughts are an invitation to recall the agenda-setting theory associated with McCombs and Shaw (1972), which comes from the field of communication studies and media studies. The agenda-setting theory is relevant to international relations (IR) because it sheds light on how the media’s portrayal of international events and issues can influence public perceptions and government policies. In simple terms, it is concerned with the influence of not only how audiences think, but also, in fact, what they are led to think about. This famous premise is indeed how soft power operates; it does not necessarily coerce us to think of certain agendas in a certain way, but it only provides a thinking mechanism that invites individuals to critically think and to whether accept or reject a certain message. This theory isn’t totally at a perfect stand; setting an agenda is only an indirect way to frame how people think and therefore give them an illusion of choice while their input, output, and their choice have already been decided by the elite via the use of soft power means. Wagner (2010) argues nonetheless that the use of soft power is not a substitute but rather a complementary mechanism for hard power. Nevertheless, Nye (2004) argues that it is important to find a balance between both strategies to realize what he termed smart power. Nevertheless, Wilson (2008) holds the stand that it is better to be feared than loved, to compel rather than to attract. However, soft power is more effective and less threatening means to utilize, it doesn’t jeopardize people’s lives and it does not resort toward physical violence to achieve national objectives. Kroenig et al. (2010) view that applying soft power effectively is a collective effort to which a state must correspond; it must target the functioning marketplace of ideas, persuade the target to change

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their attitudes on a relevant political issue, and later ensure that their newly held beliefs and attitudes are solid and will not sway by other international events. Thus, to maintain and control the marketplace of ideas, it is essential to utilize education. For instance, international higher education (IHE) within soft power has resulted in it being a tool of attraction for individuals to migrate to or between countries, and it is a means to encourage others to learn new language and culture. Therefore, attraction is assumed to become the new key in international diplomatic relations; this law of attraction used by countries in international relations allows them to uphold their political status and power. In addition, soft power is the ability to seek support for a country’s agenda within IR using cultural and moral values; these tools function as a law of attraction engrossing the other and a means of setting effective attractive policies and political institutions. Therefore, as mentioned by Nye (2004, 2006), soft power is mainly defined by how a country reaches its desired results in relation to other countries thanks to the attractiveness of its culture, values, and foreign policy rather than the use of any other means, such as hard power, force, or economic and/or financial resources.

1   Hard Power Versus Soft Power Power in international relations has been an issue in the field as of the earliest political writings of Machiavelli; however, according to Baldwin (2016), the concept of power remains one of the essential concepts but is also the least fully understood in IR. It is the currency of great-power politics. Mearsheimer (2014) views that in the same way money is the leading component in the economy, power is the main lifeline of international relations. This realist view narrows down the objectives of a state into power acquisition and maintaining that power. In a world that is defined by anarchy, the only guaranteed way to maintain survival is through power accumulation, as has been proven throughout events in history. When considering the term “power” from an IR perspective, it is important to remember Joseph Nye’s (2008) definition of the term, where he highlighted the need of inducement to get the objectives wanted. According to Nye, power is the ability to influence others to obtain the outcomes you want. He identifies three main ways in which a country can affect the behavior of other actors in the international system: through threats of coercion (“sticks”), inducements and payments (“carrots”), and

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attraction that makes others want what you want. Nye’s definition is important and repeated in academia because it recognizes that power is not just about military might or economic strength. A country can also exert power through its values, and its level of prosperity and openness. The category of influence that is commonly known as soft power holds comparable efficacy to that of hard power in accomplishing strategic aims. In the era of globalization, the ability of a nation to propagate an alluring persona of its identity and principles can result in a more pronounced impact on the international platform, as other states are inclined to imitate its standards of affluence and receptivity. Power as the ability to affect others to obtain the outcomes you want is a valuable framework for understanding how countries can achieve their objectives in the international system. It highlights the importance of both hard power and soft power in shaping the behavior of other actors and emphasizes the role of values, examples, and prosperity in projecting influence and power on the global stage. Nye’s popular opinion in academia on the issue of power mainly relies on a mix of three power tools: military, economic, and soft as power sources, all of which remain relevant up to this time. However, he views that soft power is taking on a larger scale of importance in global politics and foreign policy, and it increasingly drives states to engage in political competitiveness based on attraction and credibility factors. To voice it differently, unlike regular power, which is based on violence, soft power’s source of control is deeply rooted within its ability of attraction. According to Nye, hard power has been viewed at some point by many countries as the key apparatus of foreign policy, a policy that is based on coercion, threats, and use of military force. However, at such times of global interconnectedness and interdependence, this means is losing its likability. Thus, soft power is a rather “slower, surer, more civilized way of exercising influence than crude force” (“Playing Soft or Hard Cop,” 2006. Para. 1). To understand the variations between hard and soft powers, Rothman (2011) suggested four types of power within what he referred to as the continuum of power types. Command and military resources, which relies on the use of violent power tools. The use of command and military resources in IR is not new and it has been a part of human history since early times. Rothman (2011) views that the use of military force is often seen as a last resort and should only be used when all other options have failed.

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Economic forms of power relying on the use of economic resources such as sanctions or rewards have been a form of exercise of power in IR throughout history. For instance, in international affairs, countries aspiring to lock down and control the use and advancement of nuclear weapons may use sanctions—examples of this are the United States and Iran, as well as the United States and North Korea. The aim of using sanctions or rewards is to control and prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and control the behavior of the countries involved. According to Rothman (2011), economic power can be used to control a country by targeting its means of survival in the international system. Since no country can exist independently, the goal is to isolate a state and sabotage its economic stability. This can be accomplished through embargoes, tariffs, and other fiscal strains that impede the target country’s trade and flourishing. In certain instances, the aim might be to compel the nation to yield political concessions. For instance, powerful countries can wield economic might to coerce another nation into altering its stance on human rights or environmental preservation. Agenda-setting and institutional control are by definition illustrated through agenda manipulation and influencing actors (Bachrach & Baratz, 1962). Gallarotti (2010) believes that soft power and agenda setting cannot go hand in hand because soft power is defined by the use of peaceful means to achieve shared objectives at some point, while agenda setting is mainly based on the principle of the winner and loser, which thus makes it hard to bring a link between both concepts. Agenda control remains an exercise of power that offers a state the power to control. Rothman (2011), in this vein, does not argue in the context of agenda-setting power as a tool of manipulation, but he views it from the perspective that it is a practice that requires estimating the preferences of the other and thus building upon them; in this sense, agenda influence is seen more of an “art” (Riker, 1986), similar to the art of public speaking. It is an art of persuading the other through the understanding and construction of mutually agreeable preferences. Framing and rhetoric are viewed as the softest tools for soft power use (Rothman, 2011). Meaning is constructed and put forth through persuasion, where actors take the task of clear-cut communication processes. Rothman distinguishes between two types of framing: normative framing and analytical framing, which play a significant role in determining the outcome of processes in the international arena. Normative framing relies

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on emotional and/or moral considerations, while analytical framing focuses on a more rational approach. Normative framing is a means to delve into the moral or emotional sides of a receiver. Moral framing, for instance, relies on influencing the other by appealing to their own norms and framing them within the concept and structure of the objectives they wish to attain. This type of framing is particularly useful when attempting to influence someone to act in accordance with your objectives. By appealing to the individual’s sense of morality, you can more effectively persuade them to adopt your perspective and take action accordingly. In terms of emotional appeal, there are various instances and means to convince and appeal to someone emotionally; for instance, organizations such as Green Peace and Doctors without Borders use images, videos, and sounds and share stories that plead the receiver’s emotions and awaken their pathos. Emotional appeals are often more effective because they tap into our feelings and to the natural inclination of wanting to help when other people are suffering, which can be very powerful in motivating people to take action. Analytical framing relies on the relationships of causality in a story set (Stone, 1989), which defines the points of strength and grant credit or points out the causes of harm and endow responsibility. “Failed states,” as referred to by the global community, for example, use this framing tool to shift or direct legitimate blame toward another state or group, especially when framing them into intentional and systematic targeting, while at the same time, they could frame the same incidents into unintended consequences (Stone, 1989). In either case, the intended state aims to remove itself from the circle of blame (Rothman, 2011) and to use all information at hand to support and legitimize its own views. This approach can clarify the motivations and interests of different actors and predict how they might respond to various actions or events. It can be helpful to understand the complexities of international politics and can help to frame debates and policymaking in a more productive way.

2   International Higher Education International higher education (IHE) is key for attraction in the global arena. It is a tool that brings on values of healthy competition between states, reducing any ethnic rage or interstate political conflict. It fosters an intercultural approach to dialogue and urges rethinking and positioning

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the way cultures and the “other” are viewed, thereby enhancing the qualities of understanding and intercultural communication on the global scale. This goes beyond the nation state and encourages individuals—alike the state—to grasp the values of global citizenship, for which understanding and respecting the differences/backgrounds of the other are essential. “Today, the boundaries of citizenship have been expanded beyond the city-as-community to the nation-state-as-community” (Adoui, 2021). Thus, using international education, and mainly IHE, as a tool in foreign policy not only ensures attraction to a state but also creates a common ground between the nations in IR. Foreign policy is an essential part of the diplomatic strategies of many countries, but it is more effective when it is combined with soft power measures, including the use of IHE. Student exchanges create an attractive image of a country. Therefore, student exchanges work as a baseline for the liberal assumption that educational exchanges are a way to foster a sense of shared values and drive away conflict. The founder of the Fulbright Program Senator J. William Fulbright believes in the power of international higher educational exchange, and he believes that it promotes global understanding and fosters long lasting peace. The potential of IHE as soft power in IR should indeed gain much more prominence in academia. However, the few preliminary assumptions that could be made are related to the interesting mechanisms of a country’s education. Its powerful genuine values, for instance, are a prime means that attracts foreign audiences and thus future international students. Primarily, students are on the look for equality, competitiveness, and a means of good life; thus, education is the main key to attain them, not to mention its importance as the number one social leveler and equal opportunity provider. Another mechanism or dimension per se is that of the prosperity and quality of education provided in certain countries, which, in turn, serves as a means of attraction to foreign students who are seeking modernization, quality education, and good opportunity. The recourses a country provides and possesses in terms of education generate the aimed value and degree of soft power a country may aim for, creating a push-pull effect (Mazzarol & Soutar, 2002). IHE is one of the key tools that countries can use to promote their soft power. Through strategic investments in education and enticing the global student populace, nations can amplify the dissemination of their culture, values, and ideas. Moreover, international higher education possesses the potential to galvanize economic prosperity, as it beckons forth

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international scholars who willingly pour substantial sums into tuition fees and contribute to local economies. The first research issue aims to explore the potential of international higher education as a soft power tool in promoting a country’s nation brand and position globally. This is important because it can provide insights into the effectiveness of IHE in promoting soft power and shaping the global perceptions of a country. The cases in question in this book include Morocco and South Korea. The choice of these two countries is mainly brought up due to the lack of research in these two regions; thus, this book is going to provide a different perspective and compare views within the two different geo-locations. The second research issue focuses on the potential of IHE as a soft power tool for Morocco’s diplomacy. This issue is particularly relevant, as the country has been striving to increase its global position and promote its image abroad. By investing in IHE, Morocco could potentially enhance its soft power and improve its diplomatic relations with other countries. Additionally, South Korea is presented here as a leading example in the matter. Thus far, I would argue that IHE is an effective soft power tool for promoting a country’s nation brand and position in IR. This argument is based on the idea that IHE can promote cultural exchange and understanding and can contribute to the development of a country’s soft power resources (Ostashova, 2020; Knight, 2022). Additionally, I view that Morocco has the potential to promote its nation brand image and global IR position by investing in IHE. This idea is based on the assumption that Morocco has a rich cultural heritage and a strategic location, which could attract international students and promote its soft power resources. The concepts of soft power and education in international relations are intricate and multifaceted, lacking a clear-cut conceptual basis. Nonetheless, they remain indispensable tools for nations to achieve their foreign policy objectives. Soft power, as introduced by Nye, involves attracting and persuading other actors through culture, values, and policies rather than coercion. Education plays a significant role in cultivating soft power by: shaping a country’s global image, fostering intercultural understanding, and facilitating people-to-people connections. Regardless of the complexity, these concepts are important in international relations. They offer non-coercive means for countries to build alliances, influence international norms, and enhance their global standing using cultural appeal and diplomatic cooperation. By investigating the potential of international higher education as a soft power tool, this book

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aims to provide insights into the effectiveness of soft power in shaping global perceptions and improving diplomatic relations. In this book, I will attempt to explain the role of soft power and IHE and their intersection with policy and cultural diplomacy. I would argue that new methods using technology to enhance and further develop soft power have become increasingly important. They support gaining greater influence in international politics due to their ability of portraying a positive image of a country. Image is crucial for a country’s position in world affairs. These technologies are not mere digital marketing tools but are a part of our everyday lives. Globalization has made it much easier for institutions to become involved with different cultures, an issue which will be explored in the context of the case studies presented in this research. Understanding the role of soft power is crucial as we face a rise of issues in many areas. IHE and the rise of soft power are both subject areas that have received increasing attention over the last decade, yet there is limited literature on how they work together. This book investigates the impacts and efficacy of international higher education as a means of soft power and examines its possible impact on international relations and nation branding.

3   Methodological Approach to Investigating the Role of Education as a Soft Power Tool The selection of Morocco and South Korea as case studies is based on their unique cultural and political backgrounds, which present an opportunity to examine the concept of soft power in higher education through a comparative lens. The socioeconomic transformations witnessed in these nations in recent times have been significantly driven by their respective higher education systems. This publication serves as a valuable resource for comprehending the substantial role played by higher education in enhancing a nation’s global image. Furthermore, the focus on these countries presents a rare opportunity to generate novel insights that could benefit scholars and policymakers in Africa, the Middle East, and East Asia. The study’s findings promise to enrich our understanding of the capacity of higher education to promote soft power, transcending the established Western framework. Despite the scant scholarly attention dedicated to the chosen contexts, an emerging consensus recognizes that international higher education is an important aspect of soft power in global relations and can be harnessed

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to achieve policy objectives through subtle and nuanced means. The shift toward knowledge-based production and economies has prompted influential nations worldwide to intensify their focus on the battle for minds, manifested in their efforts to internationalize and modernize their educational systems as well as foster international higher education exchange initiatives. Countries such as the United States and South Korea are focusing and putting into use the values and currency of IHE to promote their international interests beyond any borders. Wojciuk (2015) supports that the success of an educational policy is mainly measured by the soft power it generates. There are numerous mechanisms of soft power influence mentioned in this work. The notion, for instance, of the rule of attraction—inspired by the New Thought philosophy’s “the Law of Attraction”—views attraction as a body that could be viewed through the ideas of norm diffusion (Rothman, 2011) and discourse dominance (Rothman, 2011; Checkel, 1998). Additionally, there is a need to view the soft power profitability spectrum via the conditions of the market place of ideas, attitude change, and attitudes and foreign policy (Kroenig et al., 2010). Attractiveness has become a crucial factor in today’s international relations. A country’s capacity to portray a captivating image of its brand identity plays a crucial role in grabbing the attention of other nations, investors, and tourists. This appeal not just is confined to the tangible aspects of a nation but also encompasses the perception of its culture, leadership, and societal values. In this sense, the Fombrun-RI Country Reputation Index (CRI) is a useful tool in assessing a nation’s attractiveness. The Fombrun-RI CRI, developed by Passow, Fehlmann, and Grahlow in coordination with Charles J. Fombrun, is a reputation index that measures six dimensions of a country’s reputation: emotional appeal, physical appeal, financial appeal, leadership appeal, cultural appeal, and social appeal. The emotional appeal dimension refers to the feelings that a nation generates in other countries, such as admiration, respect, or trust. The physical appeal dimension takes into account a country’s natural beauty, climate, and tourist attractions. The financial appeal dimension assesses a nation’s economic performance, stability, and potential for growth. The leadership appeal dimension evaluates the competence and effectiveness of a nation’s leaders. The cultural appeal dimension measures the perceived quality and value of a nation’s culture, arts, and education. Finally, the

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social appeal dimension evaluates a nation’s social welfare, inclusiveness, and human rights. The Fombrun-RI CRI has been widely used by scholars and practitioners to evaluate a country’s attractiveness and reputation. Furthermore, the Fombrun-RI CRI can be used as a tool to assess a country’s soft power. Soft power is a term used to describe a nation’s capacity to entice and convince other countries to adopt its values and policies without resorting to force. A nation’s attractiveness holds a vital position in its soft power. A nation that is viewed as dependable and regarded is more probable to impact other nations and gain backing for its strategies and ventures. The Fombrun-RI CRI can help countries identify their strengths and weaknesses in terms of soft power and attractiveness. A nation that is positioned favorably in the cultural appeal dimension can effectively utilize its soft power to advance its cultural goods, including but not limited to motion pictures, music, and literature, with the objective of attaining influence and acknowledgment in foreign territories. Analogously, a nation that is placed high in the leadership appeal dimension can employ its soft power to disseminate its leaders’ principles and policies, thereby garnering support for its diplomatic undertakings. For the purpose of testing the research arguments and attempting to measure the soft power impacts of international higher education in this study, I selected three major groups of participants as a sample: Moroccan students studying in higher education institutions in South Korea, Moroccan international relations experts and stakeholders, and senior students from three master’s programs at Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah University in Morocco (USMBA) (Gender studies—Language, Communication and Society—Applied Language Studies and Research in Higher Education). Moroccan students in South Korea were selected and contacted through the “Moroccan Students in Korea” Facebook group, which is a group devoted to studying or studying in South Korea, whether as exchange program students or regular students within Korean universities. The assembly as described in the group’s narrative is a space for “the Moroccan [students] community who lived, or is currently living in Korea.” It is the only platform that provides access to a great number of Moroccan students studying in South Korea, which helps draw conclusions based on a sample of academicians who are reliable enough to provide sufficient views on South Korean issues of relevance to this research.

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I used nonprobability sampling to obtain the most participants. I used a systematic random sampling method, accessed the group’s list of members, and selected samples on the basis of a system of intervals in which I send the online survey directly to the fifth member in each count, and 168 potential participants were contacted. In the end, I had a total number of 70 participants out of the 840 students. The survey has a number of six sections, for which the total number of answers has been 1142; it has been taken by 70 respondents from the Facebook group “Moroccan Students in Korea” for which the number of its members accounts for 840 students by the time the survey closed. The respondents in the survey were 57.1% female (40) and 42.9% male (30). The age groups of the respondents are between 15 and 45 years of age. Nineteen to twenty-six years was the most represented age group (64.29%). For the Moroccan international relations experts and stakeholders, I have contacted a total of seven experts. A consultant at the Ministry of International Affairs and Cooperation, four Moroccan professors of international relations, general director of a private international university in Morocco, and a stakeholder at USMBA.  I have set interview dates and obtained approval from all of the stakeholders; however, only Professor of international relations Dr. El Bouchikhi Mohammed from the University of Sun Moon in South Korea and stakeholder at USMBA have respected the set interview commitments and provided their professional assistance to achieve this research’s goals. Concerning Moroccan Master’s students at Faculty of Letters Dhar El Mahraz (FLDM), I randomly selected three master’s programs out of the existing five English department programs, and a total of 37 participants out of the 56 intended samples took part in this survey. Twenty-three (23 out of 26 students in the Master) of whom are students in the Language, Communication and Society Master program, 9 are a part of the Language Studies and Research in Higher Education (9 out of 15 students at the Masters), and 5 students from the Gender Studies Master Program (5 participants out of 15 students from the master program). I relied in this section on nonprobability sampling, mainly consecutive sampling and snowball sampling, to reach the majority of the sample population for this objective. In order to obtain the requisite data, I executed both primary and secondary data collection techniques. In terms of primary data collection, I employed an online Q-methodology instrument via the “esurveycreator.

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com” platform, in addition to a questionnaire containing a Q-method matrix table, open-ended inquiries, and population-based queries. This platform has been used to collect data from Moroccan students studying at higher education institutions in South Korea, as well as second-year master’s students at USMBA.  The secondary data collection procedure focused on collecting data via the online platform of the South Korean National Institute for International Education affiliated with the Ministry of Education, Korea University’s website and KU Today, platform, Universitas 21 program’s webpage, Moroccodemia, Ministry of Education’s website, European Commission, The Moroccan agency of International Cooperation (AMCI), and USMBA’s website. In this study, I have relied on a mixed method of research, with the independent variable being IHE, while the dependent variable is soft power as cultural diplomacy. In the first section, I have used a Q-method to measure Moroccan students’ views on Korea. Through this scientific study of subjectivity, the aim is to test the nation branding efforts the South Korean government made (independent variable) and the extent to which Moroccan students might be impacted (dependent variable). In the second section, the aim is to look comparatively at the South Korean and Moroccan Internationalization efforts of Higher Education, taking Korea University and the University of Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah as a focus of study. The first part within this section relies on secondary data collection, mainly collected from the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Korea University Websites. The second part relies on a secondary data collection technique as well, in addition to using a qualitative research technique by conducting interviews. In the third section, I have used a qualitative research method by conducting interviews with professionals to collect directors’ views on the issues of this research. In the final section, I have used the web scraping research technique to test the extent to which USMBA uses the website as an effective tool in its internationalization of higher education (iHED) efforts. Additionally, I have used the Q-method to measure users’ satisfaction—especially senior master’s students—and to obtain their views on what points the university could improve in terms of the website to draw on those subjective opinions and obtain a glimpse of how audiences—mainly students— view the website and thus draw conclusions in relation to the issue of the research.

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References Adoui, A. (2021). Cultural identity, global citizenship and sustainable development goals in Morocco: Challenges and possibilities. Lingua. Language and Culture, XX(2), 85–94. https://www.ceeol.com/search/article-­detail?id= 1020388 Bachrach, P., & Baratz, M. S. (1962). Two Faces of Power. American Political Science Review, 56(4), 947–952. https://doi.org/10.2307/1952796. Baldwin, D. A. (2016). Power and international relations: A conceptual approach. Princeton University Press. California Television (UCTV). (Director). (2008, February 15). Conversations with history: John Arquilla. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v= CmjVQMWSdE0 Checkel, J.  T. (1998). The constructivist turn in international relations theory. World Politics, 50(2), 324–348. https://www.jstor.org/stable/25054040 Gallarotti, G. M. (2010). The Power Curse: Influence and Illusion in World Politics. Lynne Rienner Publishers. Gozalishvili, N. (2018). Counterbalancing EU and Russian soft power practices in Georgia. The Romanian Journal of Society and Politics, 12(2), 60–83. Hayden, C. (2011). The rhetoric of soft power: Public diplomacy in global contexts. Lexington Books. Knight, J. (2022). Understanding and applying the key elements of knowledge diplomacy: The role of international higher education, research and innovation in international relations. Higher Education Forum, 19, 1–19. Elsevier. Kroenig, M., McAdam, M., & Weber, S. (2010). Taking soft power seriously. Comparative Strategy, 29(5), 412–431. Routledge. Mazzarol, T., & Soutar, G.  N. (2002). “Push-pull” factors influencing international student destination choice. International Journal of Educational Management, 16(2), 82–90. https://doi.org/10.1108/09513540210418403 McCombs, M. E., & Shaw, D. L. (1972). The agenda-setting function of mass media. The Public Opinion Quarterly, 36(2), 176–187. https://www.jstor. org/stable/2747787 Mearsheimer, J. J. (2014). The tragedy of great power politics (Updated edition). W.W. Norton & Company. Nye, J. (1990). Bound to lead: The changing nature of American power. Basic Books. Nye, J. (2004). Soft power and American foreign policy. Political Science Quarterly, 119(2), 255–270. https://doi.org/10.2307/20202345 Nye, J. (2006). The power game. PublicAffairs. Nye, J. (2008). Public diplomacy and soft power. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 616(1), 94–109. https://doi. org/10.1177/0002716207311699 Nye, J. (2011). The future of power (1st ed.). PublicAffairs.

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Ostashova, Y. (2020). Higher education as a soft power tool of state’s foreign policy. In Proceedings of the international conference digital age: Traditions, modernity and innovations (ICDATMI 2020), Kazan, Russia. https://doi. org/10.2991/assehr.k.201212.053 Playing soft or hard cop. (2006). The Economist. Riker, W. H. (1986). The Art of Political Manipulation. Yale University Press. Rothman, S. B. (2011). Revising the soft power concept: What are the means and mechanisms of soft power? Journal of Political Power, 4(1), 49–64. https:// doi.org/10.1080/2158379X.2011.556346 Stone, D. A. (1989). Causal Stories and the Formation of Policy Agendas. Political Science Quarterly, 104(2), 281–300. https://doi.org/10.2307/2151585 Wagner, C. (2010). India’s soft power: Prospects and limitations. India Quarterly, 66(4), 333–342. https://doi.org/10.1177/097492841006600401 Wilson, E.  J. (2008). Hard power, soft power, smart power. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 616, 110–124. https:// www.jstor.org/stable/25097997 Wojciuk, A. (2015). Higher education as a soft power in international relations. In Y. Watanabe (Ed.), Handbook of cultural security (pp. 343–360). Edward Elgar Publishing.

CHAPTER 2

The Intersection of International Relations, Soft Power, and International Higher Education

Abstract  This chapter explores the intersection of international relations (IR), soft power, and international higher education. It provides an overview of IR as a discipline, focusing on the study of relationships between actors in the international arena and the impact of global forces on the international system. The chapter emphasizes the anarchic nature of the international system, where states interact and make decisions without a higher authority. The discussion then turns to international higher education and its role as an instrument for projecting soft power and gaining strategic advantage. Overall, this chapter highlights the intricate relationship between international relations, soft power, and international higher education, shedding light on the transformative potential of education in the global arena. Keywords  International relations • Soft power • International higher education • International system • Decisions In this era of globalization, it is important that we take advantage of international opportunities to benefit from economic, social, and cultural exchanges. It is an important element for nations to create value and to have meaningful exchange. Thus, IHE not only brings significant benefits to individual institutions but also has the potential to promote © The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2023 A. Adoui, International Higher Education and The Rise of Soft Power as Cultural Diplomacy, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-44180-6_2

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international understanding and a sense of global citizenship. Moreover, this book would argue that it is one of the most potent means of soft power as cultural diplomacy for promoting positive perceptions about a country’s culture, values, and policies. In addition, IHE and international relations are both fields of study that have been gaining increasing prominence in academia; however, dealing with these fields as complementary in the literature is rare. The focus of this book lies behind investigating IHE as a means of soft power as cultural diplomacy and thereafter examining its impacts and effects on international relations and nation branding. Many countries are trying to increase their soft power and promote their values, interests, and ideals. Soft power comes into play within the grounds of diplomacy, culture, economy, and education. Harnessing the power of persuasion and ideological values, soft power has emerged as a formidable tool to influence the behavior and thoughts of nations. Unlike the traditional use of military force or economic coercion, soft power relies on cultural diplomacy to achieve objectives in the international arena. In recent times, the notion of projecting one’s values and ideals to shape global perceptions has received substantial attention, signifying its significance. Consequently, nations have begun to devote greater resources toward augmenting their cultural and ideological assets, with the intention of fortifying their soft power capabilities and amplifying their sway on the international arena. IHE is one of the most important ways a country can exercise soft power is through. By providing educational opportunities to students from other countries; a country can foster better understanding and cooperation between different cultures. Additionally, IHE can help to promote the country’s values and ideals to a global audience. Through IHE, students can learn about different cultures and customs, and they can develop an understanding and appreciation for other cultures.

1   International Relations International relations studies the relationships between the various actors in international society, such as states, international organizations, global movements, and multinational corporations. International relations (IR)—global affairs (GA) or international affairs (IA)—are concerned with relations across national borders. International relations scholars seek to explain the behaviors, as well as the patterns and trends, between countries’ interactions. IR scholars may also study the impact of global forces

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on the international system such as economic globalization or environmental change. It also examines how these actors interact with each other, how they make decisions, and how they manage conflict. As an academic discipline, Shawn Grimsley (2021) believes that international relations is the study of the interaction among international politics practitioners. It is mainly defined by the anarchic international system in which a state is sovereign and has no higher authority. Professor Shawn Grimsley (2021) gave interesting imagery to what the international arena among all nations in this context looks like; he links it to the imagery of when a group of people who are living in the same space, who have limited resources, who have no law enforcement, and the only “law” they have is the different random agreements they make among themselves. In a simpler way, everyone is free to do whatever they want, and the only consequence is how everyone else decides to react—this imagery shows the state of the world we live in today. In an era of impending chaos, IR swoops in with a manifold approach and encompasses the examination of foreign policy, international conflict and negotiation, warfare, nuclear proliferation, terrorism, global trade and economics, and international development (Grimsley, 2021). Hence, the extensive array of scopes within international relations requires an interdisciplinary approach, looking at disciplines like economics, law, political science, sociology, and psychology. By understanding diverse aspects and embracing interdisciplinary research, one can have a better understanding of the issues at hand. As a starter, it is vital to approach the issue of international relations theory, which has been dealt with extensively in a number of academic works. Steans et al. (2013) dealt with IR from the scopes of liberalism to postmodernism, and they view that IR has a rich theoretical scope. The Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci famously believed that all people are “theorists,” which showcases that by nature in the course of everyday life, people theorize and reflect in order to take action. In doing so, people draw on their own experiences and observations, as well as the collective wisdom of their community. Hence, people by nature hold motives. Thus, this represents the complex human relations and the motive-driven guidelines humans hold, both of which can be further utilized to better approach and understand human interactions within IR.  To further enhance the scope of view toward IR, I have chosen to tackle the most prominent and influential theories in the field.

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Liberalism Liberal theory is a school of thought in international relations. It argues for peaceful resolution of disputes. However, it does not automatically eliminate the use of military force; especially when it comes to defending human rights or preventing humanitarian disasters. The “liberal theory” paradigm is based on the principles of individual liberty, representative democracy, rule of law, and property rights. The liberal theoretical framework further posits that the resolution of international conflicts should be approached through non-violent means through the pursuit of self-interest. In cases where the interests of two nations intersect, dialogue and compromise should be employed to arrive at mutually beneficial outcomes. Immanuel Kant and John Stuart Mill, proponents of liberal thought, held the belief that human beings possess the capacity for rationality and moral action. Kant believed that if all states acted in accordance with reason, then war would become obsolete. Mill argued that war is a product of bad nondemocratic governments (Hansson, 2022). This theory argues in favor of the peaceful resolution of disputes; it is based on the belief that all states are equal and that they should work together to resolve their differences (Baron et al., 2019; Gill-Tiney, 2022). The most systematic account of the issue of world peace was a production of the German philosopher Immanuel Kant in 1795  in his essay “Perpetual Peace.” The Kantian school of thought had a major influence on the proliferation and development of liberalism in IR. The liberal or idealist enterprise is deeply rooted in beliefs upon which people are considered good overall and that people by nature are not interested in wars and conflict (Morgenthau, 1948; Steans et al., 2013). This idealist view had out broken due to the mood of the era, which had been mainly influenced by the interwar period conflicts, and in which idealism saw its boom in a time where the need for faith in the midst of war was a lifeline, there had been a need in the potential of the good in people, of law and democracy, and of human rights. The ideals of liberals saw their boom in a time where many people needed faith and hoped for change. However, it was not surprising how more pessimism had prevailed in the world of politics starting in the 1940s onward (the postwar period). Steans et al.’s (2013) discussion of liberal theory in IR presented certain assumptions. These assumptions include the view that humans possess traits of rationality and benevolence. It’s worth considering the different dimensions of rationality. From a theoretical standpoint, it is arguable that the utilization of a particular tool can be conducive to both

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self-aggrandizement and the cultivation of ethical and legal norms. Remarkably, even in instances where individuals prioritize their personal interests, the possibility of mutually beneficial outcomes arising from their actions may emerge. This underscores the essentiality of cooperation as an elemental component of human interaction, manifesting not only within localized societies but also across international borders. Another core assumption in relation to this theory states that “people are inherently good,” which, in turn, suggests that people by nature have no interest in wars. The prevalent belief posits that Homo sapiens innately aspire toward harmonious and cooperative social interaction, thereby exhibiting a dearth of inclination to partake in aggressive confrontations. This outlook serves as the foundation for the contention advanced by liberal theorists that the implementation of democratic frameworks, which uphold the tenets of human rights and ensure equal access to resources, represents the panacea for attaining worldwide tranquility. This viewpoint posits that societies governed by autocratic regimes are inherently precarious and predisposed to experiencing strife. In this sense, many liberal theorists assume that only when an end is put to tyranny globally and when democracy and respect for human rights prevail is international peace attained. Accordingly, it can be understood that the liberalist school of thought within international relations theory revolves around the core need to reject power politics as a possible outcome of international relations. Despite the well-intentioned beliefs of the liberalist school of thought in international relations theory, it is crucial to acknowledge that power politics remains a prevalent reality in the field. The idea that liberalism rejects power politics as a potential outcome is flawed, as it fails to acknowledge the existence of such dynamics. It is important to remain cognizant of this reality in order to accurately navigate the complex landscape of international relations. IR can by great means be a tool of making and shaping global peace; it can encourage mutual benefit and cooperation and stresses the importance of all nongovernmental and governmental institutions as shapers of international relations and policies. Thus, liberalism argues that states act in their own self-interest by cooperating. It can be understood that the liberalist school of thought within international relations theory revolves around the core needs of rejecting power politics as a possible outcome of international relations. In other words, the central idea is that international relations can and should be governed by rules and norms rather than power politics. This perspective has a long

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history, dating back to the Enlightenment. It has been influential in shaping international organizations and agreements and remains a significant force in international relations theory today. Realism Realism theory is a tradition of international relations that believes that for a country to survive, it needs to be strong and powerful. It assumes that humans are naturally aggressive and have no empathy, which leads them to act in their own self-interests. Realism theory was built on the idea that humans are self-interested beings who will do anything in their power to protect themselves and their interests. In other words, it theorizes that human nature is aggressive and selfish. The theory builds upon Hobbesian ideas, asserting that the international system resembles a state of nature, where states must navigate a self-help environment to ensure their survival and security. Hobbs famously described this state as a “war of all against all,” where life would be “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.” The theory emphasizes the role of military and economic power in international politics. One of the prominent theorists of this school is Kenneth Waltz. In his 1979 book Theory of International Politics, Waltz argued that the structure of the international system forces states toward expanding their own power at the expense of rival powers to survive in an anarchic world. The structure of the international system is such that states are constantly vying for more power to survive and protect their interests. In an anarchic world, states must be constantly looking for ways to expand their power and influence. This can be seen in the way that states build up their military forces, forge alliances, and pursue economic opportunities. This is because the structure of the international system makes it very difficult for states to trust each other and because the balance of power is always shifting. As a result, states must continually try to increase their own power to survive. This can often lead to conflict, as states try to stop each other from gaining too much power. Postmodern realists believe that power is the predominant factor in international relations and that human nature contends with the social and political factors that shape the balance of power (Korab-Karpowicz, 2018). The central idea of Realism is that states are self-interested, security-­ seeking actors who will compete with each other unless restrained by an equally powerful force or coalition. Realists believe that the international system is a struggle for power and that the only way to ensure security is

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through military might. This view has led to a number of wars, as states seek to assert their power and dominance over others. This often leads to a situation of international anarchy, where there is no overarching authority to keep the peace. In such a scenario, it is every state for itself, and the strong tend to prey on the weak. This can be seen throughout history and is a major reason why wars are such a common occurrence. Realism has been outlined by scholars such as Hans Morgenthau, who emphasizes the importance of power and self-interest in international affairs as opposed to morality and justice. International relations scholars have tended to base their understanding on realism and its rudimentary principles. It gained prominence post World War II and developed in international relations as a rejection of idealism. As suggested by the authors, “Realism claims to be realistic in comparison with the utopianism of idealism,” and many scholars and researchers have viewed realism as the equivalent of “common sense” in IR. As opposed to idealism it is based on the belief that the world is fundamentally self-interested and competitive. Realists believe that states are the key actors in international relations. This means that international relations is primarily about the interactions between states, rather than nonstate actors such as individuals, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), or corporations. This belief is rooted in the notion that the state is the primary unit of analysis in international relations and that the behavior of states is the most important factor in shaping the international system. In addition, realists are convinced that states are motivated by a drive for power, security, and the pursuit of the national interest. This means that states seek to maximize their power and security, often at the expense of other states. This belief is based on the assumption that states are rational actors who act in their own self-interest. Realists argue that this drive for power and security is rooted in the anarchic nature of the international system, where there is no central authority to enforce rules or settle disputes. In the same vein, realists argue that the aggressive intent of states, combined with the lack of world government, means that conflict is an unavoidable and ever-present reality of international relations. This view stems from the realist assumption that states are in a constant struggle for power and security and that conflict is a natural result of this struggle. Realists argue that this conflict can be managed but never fully eliminated and that the absence of a world government means that states must rely on their own power and alliances to protect themselves. Thus, preventing any one state from becoming overwhelmingly powerful is essential to

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maintaining stability in the international system. This belief is based on the assumption that the pursuit of power is a zero-sum game and that one state’s gain is another state’s loss. Realists argue that a balance of power, where no one state is significantly more powerful than the others, is necessary to prevent one state from dominating the international system and threatening the security of other states. Finally, realists believe that power is the key to understanding international behavior and state motivation. This means that the distribution of power in the international system is the most important factor in shaping state behavior. Realists argue that states will act in ways that maximize their power and security and that the distribution of power among states will determine the nature of international relations. Steans et al. (2013) highlight the central role that states play in international relations and the realist assumptions that underlie this view. While not all scholars agree with these assumptions, the realist view remains a prominent and influential perspective in the field of international relations. A great example of realism in international relations is the theory of bipolarity, which states that there are only two global powers: one democratic and one communist. In the aftermath of World War II, it became clear that there were only two global superpowers: the United States (a democracy) and the Soviet Union (a communist state). This theory of bipolarity dominated international relations for the next few decades. Even though there were other countries with nuclear weapons, it was clear that these two superpowers were the only ones with military and economic might to shape the world. Bipolarity was used during the Cold War to explain why America’s leadership was needed to protect democracy from communist expansion. In more recent decades, however, Realism has lost much of its dominance due to events such as 9/11 and the subsequent “War on Terror,” which challenged the assumptions of Realism (Mearsheimer, 2001). Similarly, the revelations of Edward Snowden about the vast surveillance programs of the National Security Agency (NSA) in 2013 have sparked debates about privacy, civil liberties, and government transparency. Realism has been replaced by more cynical and skeptical worldviews, which see the world as a dangerous and unpredictable place. This shift in attitude has been reflected in popular culture, with films and TV shows depicting a darker and more sinister world than in previous decades. As a result, many scholars and analysts have turned to alternative theories that offer a more nuanced and critical view of the international system. Some of these

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theories, such as constructivism and critical theory, emphasize the role of norms, ideas, and discourse in shaping international relations. Others, such as liberalism and institutionalism, focus on the importance of international institutions and cooperation. This shift in attitude has also been reflected in popular culture, with films and TV shows depicting a darker and more sinister world than in previous decades. Movies such as The Dark Knight and TV shows such as House of Cards and The Glory portray a world where corruption, violence, and deception are the norm and where individuals must navigate complex and dangerous political landscapes to survive. People have started perceiving countries other than America (such as Russia and China) as threats again, with many now turning toward Idealism. However, with realism gaining prominence post World War II, it seems that a realist view is less plausible. The principles of realism are now being seen as outdated in our current global system with an increasing focus on global governance. Realists may argue that the increasing focus on international cooperation and institutions is a naive response to the challenges of the modern world. However, it is undeniable that the international system has changed significantly in the past few decades, and realism must adapt to these changes if it is to remain relevant. With the rise of globalization and the global interconnectedness of economies and societies, some scholars are arguing that a realist perspective is no longer adequate to explain contemporary international relations. Instead, they contend that a more globalist perspective is needed to understand the complexities of the modern world. While realism is still a valid perspective, its importance has diminished in the post–World War II era as the world has become increasingly globalized. However, realism remains a key theory in international relations and continues to provide insights into the workings of the international system. Marxism Marxism theory, rooted in the works of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, offers a critical lens to understanding international relations through the prism of class struggle and economic inequalities. At its core, Marxism posits that the global system is shaped by capitalist relations, where powerful capitalist states exploit weaker states and perpetuate unequal economic structures (Amin, 1974; Wallerstein, 2011). Imperialism and colonialism play a role, in upholding the dominance of the class. Those who criticize Marxism claim that it oversimplifies relations by disregarding factors like

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culture and identity which also have an impact. Nevertheless Marxism has been crucial in revealing the inequalities and injustices in the economy leading to conversations about economic imperialism and the necessity, for fairer global governance. Marxism’s application in the study of international relations has sparked ongoing debates and discussions among scholars. Critics argue that Marxism’s singular focus on economic factors overlooks the complex interplay of culture, identity, and historical contexts in shaping global politics (Bull, 1977). They contend that while economic factors are undoubtedly significant, other social, political, and ideological dimensions also influence state behavior and international dynamics. Furthermore, critics raise concerns about the feasibility of implementing Marxist solutions to global issues and the potential for unintended consequences in pursuing radical economic transformations. Despite these critiques, Marxism’s enduring contribution lies in its capacity to expose the structural inequalities ingrained in the global capitalist system. It emphasizes the significance of imperialism and colonialism, in upholding the dominance of the class. Critics of Marxism argue that it oversimplifies the complexities of relations neglecting factors beyond class, like culture and identity. Nevertheless Marxism has played a role in exposing the injustices and imbalances in the political economy sparking discussions on economic imperialism and the necessity for fairer global governance. By shedding light on how international economic relations exploit others Marxism has been key in inspiring dialogues about imperialism, unfair trade practices and the need for equitable global governance (Luxemburg & Looker, 1972). Additionally Marxist perspectives have prompted examinations of institutions like the World Bank and International Monetary Fund regarding their contributions, to perpetuating global inequalities (Arrighi, 1994). Marxist insights continue to challenge conventional notions of development and economic progress, urging for alternative approaches that prioritize social justice and equality. Constructivism Constructivism theory challenges traditional realist and liberal approaches by emphasizing the importance of ideas, norms, and social constructions in shaping international relations. According to constructivists, the actions of states are influenced by shared meanings and identities, which are subject to change over time. Actors continuously construct and reinterpret

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their interests and identities through interactions with others. This perspective sheds light on the significance of norms and values in shaping state behavior, such as the acceptance of human rights principles and international institutions. Critics of constructivism argue that its focus on ideas and norms can overlook the enduring impact of material factors, such as military capabilities and economic power. Nevertheless, constructivism has expanded our understanding of how identity, culture, and socialization influence state actions and international outcomes. Constructivism has emerged as a valuable and dynamic theoretical framework in international relations, offering a fresh perspective that complements traditional realist and liberal paradigms. By placing emphasis on the role of ideas, norms, and shared meanings, constructivists have highlighted how social constructions influence state behavior and interactions on the global stage (Wendt, 1992). The theory contends that states are not solely driven by material interests and power calculations; rather, they are also shaped by their identities and social contexts. This constructivist lens underscores how states continuously reinterpret their interests and identities through ongoing interactions with other actors, leading to evolving perceptions of their place in the international order. Constructivism’s focus on norms and values has been instrumental in understanding the diffusion and adoption of international norms, such as human rights principles and environmental agreements (Finnemore, 1996). It has shed light on how states’ perceptions of legitimacy and reputations influence their actions and engagement in global affairs. Furthermore, constructivism has contributed to the analysis of international institutions and their impact on state behavior (Wendt, 1999). By examining how norms and identities are institutionalized, constructivists offer insights into the functioning of international organizations and the potential for social change through these institutions. However, some critics argue that constructivism’s emphasis on ideas and norms may overlook the enduring influence of material factors in shaping international relations (Mearsheimer, 2001). Realist scholars, for instance, highlight the significance of military capabilities and power politics in determining state behavior. Moreover, some critics suggest that constructivism’s focus on culture and identity might neglect the role of economic interests and the pursuit of material gains in shaping state actions. Nonetheless, constructivism has significantly enriched the study of international relations by exploring how identity, culture, and

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socialization influence state actions and interactions. Its recognition of the importance of ideas and norms in shaping state behavior offers valuable insights into the dynamics of global politics. As constructivism continues to evolve, scholars must engage with its strengths and weaknesses to further refine and expand our understanding of the complex processes underlying international relations. Feminism Feminist theory in international relations seeks to illuminate the gendered nature of power and politics in global affairs. It critiques traditional IR approaches for marginalizing women’s experiences and overlooking the pervasive gender inequalities prevalent in both domestic and international spheres. Feminist scholars advocate for a more inclusive and comprehensive analysis that considers the impact of gender norms and patriarchy on state behavior, conflict resolution, and development efforts. They argue that women’s voices and perspectives must be included in policymaking and peacebuilding processes. Critics of feminist theory claim that its emphasis on gender could divert attention from other important factors influencing international relations. However, feminist perspectives have undeniably enriched IR scholarship by highlighting the need for gender-­ sensitive policies and challenging the prevailing male-dominated narratives in the field. Feminist theory’s emergence in the realm of international relations has been transformative, bringing much-needed attention to the gendered dynamics present in global politics (Tickner, 1992). By critiquing traditional IR approaches, feminists have exposed the marginalization of women’s experiences and the perpetuation of gender inequalities both within states and across international spheres. They contend that patriarchal structures and gender norms profoundly shape state behavior, diplomacy, and conflict resolution, influencing the way power is exercised and distributed (Enloe, 1989). Feminist scholars have emphasized the importance of recognizing the unique challenges faced by women in conflict zones and the significant role they play in building sustainable peace (Cohn, 1987). A central argument is the imperativeness of including women’s voices and perspectives in all facets of international relations. This means advocating for the active participation of women in policymaking, diplomacy, and peace negotiations (True, 2012). Feminist activists and scholars have consistently called for gender-sensitive policies that address the specific needs and concerns of women in global governance (Hudson, 2005). By

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amplifying women’s agency and contributions, feminist approaches seek to challenge the male-dominated narratives that have long characterized the field of international relations (Peterson, 1992). Critics of feminist theory have raised concerns that its exclusive focus on gender might divert attention from other significant factors influencing international relations, such as military power or economic interests. They argue that incorporating gender into the analysis could lead to an oversimplified understanding of complex global dynamics. However, feminist perspectives have undoubtedly enriched IR scholarship by shedding light on the ways gender intersects with various aspects of international politics, revealing how patriarchy operates at multiple levels (Sylvester, 1994).

2  Soft Power Power in international relations can have many meanings and can be defined in many ways. It can be a goal for state leaders, a measurement of influence, a reflection of victory, and control of resources, and it can also be viewed as the capability to exert pressure on other nations. The definition of power will vary depending on the individual or group in question. What one state leader may see as power; another may see as simply a show of strength. Similarly, what one nation may view as power, another may see as an act of aggression. There is no single, correct definition of power in international relations. It is important to consider the various ways in which it can be defined. For example, power may be seen as a goal to be achieved by state leaders. In this case, power may be used as a means to measure influence or control over resources. Alternatively, power may be viewed as the ability to exert pressure on other nations. In some cases, this pressure may be diplomatic or economic in nature, while in others, it may take the form of military might. On the one hand, we find soft power. Unlike the immediate and forceful effects seen when using hard power, the use of soft power can be just as effective in the long run. Soft power is a noncoercive form of control. It is the ability to shape the preferences of others through appeal and attraction. Soft power stands in contrast to hard power. Liberalism argues that soft power is more than just the ability to influence others through economic or military strength. The liberal theory of soft power is often vague because it has no specific definition, and its definition varies among scholars. According to Adoui (2022) “soft power is used for dialogic

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persuasion […] in international relations theory, it is a measurement of influence, a reflection of victory, and a reflection of control over resources.” In regard to international relations, nations with more power are often able to obtain what they want from other nations without having to resort to violence or coercion. The ability to persuade and attract others can be just as effective as raw military or economic power, and sometimes even more so. Nations with more power are usually better equipped to offer something that other nations want or need, whether it be trade deals, access to resources, or military protection. They can also use their influence to shape international norms and rules in their favor. Soft power has been the subject of a growing debate in literature and politics. It is the attraction or attractiveness of a country/region to foreign countries, which can be achieved through various tools such as cultural exchange, political lobbying, economic assistance, building diplomatic relations, and promoting multilateral diplomatic policy making. Soft power focuses on nonmilitary ways of achieving goals other than defending oneself against another nation’s dominant hard power. For example, a country might use cultural exchange programs to promote its art, music, and literature, thereby increasing its influence and appeal to people around the world. Similarly, economic assistance and development projects can help to promote a country’s image and reputation and provide tangible benefits to people in other countries. Thus, we can argue that soft power as cultural diplomacy involves the cultivation of goodwill, mutual understanding, and cooperation between nations through educational exchanges and other forms of interaction. It is one of the most effective ways to exert influence upon other countries. It is a tool that creates a sense of attraction and charisma that deems hard power as a bygone mechanism. Another key element of soft power is building diplomatic relations and promoting multilateral policy making. By working with other countries and international organizations, a country can increase its influence and credibility and promote its values and interests on the world stage. This can involve working to resolve global challenges such as climate change, poverty, and conflict, as well as promoting shared values such as human rights, democracy, and the rule of law. In principle, the term “power” is used to describe the ability of actors to influence others, which can either be coercive (hard power) or attractive (soft power), for which each of them creates different effects. While hard power can create an unpleasant effect through force, soft power can bring pleasant outcomes that can lead to acquiescence or compliance without objection. Having seen both effects from hard and soft power, it would be

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reasonable to say that soft power would be considered the preferred option compared to hard power when making strategic decisions. This can raise the question of whether the option of soft power can guarantee success in achieving desired outcomes. Some would argue that soft power may not be effective in achieving desired outcomes because it has limitations, prerequisites, and conditions to make it work. Betsill and Corell (2007) attempted to meet at the intersection of the role carried out by NGOs in regard to the political weight they bear within their national and international environmental negotiation efforts. For instance, in the United Kingdom, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds has more members than the three main political parties put together (Betsill & Corell, 2007). Greenpeace is a prominent example of an international NGO that plays a crucial role in environmental negotiation efforts. Operating globally, Greenpeace actively advocates for environmental protection and sustainability. The organization uses nonviolent direct action and public campaigns to raise awareness about pressing environmental issues. It strives to influence policy changes. Another example is Amnesty International, which is another influential international NGO.  It focuses on the protection and advancement of human rights. Both Greenpeace and Amnesty International exemplify the significant impact that international NGOs can have on global issues, contributing to the realms of environmental protection and human rights advocacy in international relations. The kind of pressure NGOs can put on governments can indeed persuade them to change policies. This growth of NGO diplomats now plays a significant role. The use of NGOs as a form of soft power has expanded over the past few decades. NGOs offer a unique form of soft power in that they are often seen as more trustworthy and credible sources of information than government institutions or businesses. This is because NGOs are typically more independent and transparent in their operations. Additionally, NGOs often have more extensive networks and relationships with civil society groups, which gives them greater reach and influence. As the world becomes more interconnected, NGOs are playing an increasingly important role in shaping public opinion and policy. NGOs’ influence is maintained through advocacy in the following crucial policy and decision-making spectra: • Maintaining democracy and protecting human rights • Providing humanitarian assistance in crises • Facilitating social change and development

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All of which are areas of work close to people and ensure constant contact with them. Thus, creating a major influence results in the practice of soft power later on. All of which are areas of work close to people and ensure constant contact with them. Thus, creating a major influence results in the practice of soft power later on. NGOs work to maintain democracy and protect human rights through advocacy and activism. They monitor government actions and policies, raise awareness of human rights abuses, and provide support to those who have been victimized. By shining light on human rights violations and promoting democratic values, NGOs can help to hold governments accountable and push for positive change. By establishing strong relationships and communication channels with others, one can more easily encourage others to adopt one’s own perspectives and goals. In this way, influence and authority are subtly exerted, and ultimately, objectives are achieved through cooperation instead of coercion. In addition, NGOs are often involved in providing humanitarian assistance in crises, such as natural disasters or conflicts. They work to provide aid and support to those who have been affected and can play a crucial role in ensuring that those in need are able to access the resources and services they require. By working in close proximity with those affected, NGOs can gain a deep understanding of the challenges they face and advocate for their needs on the global stage. Betsill and Corell (2007) presented an interesting discussion on the issues of the power versus influence paradigm. On the one hand, the first scope of the paradigm is; in brief, presented or depicted as “the aggregate of political resources available to an actor” (Cox & Jacobson, 1974, p.  4), power, thus, refers to capability. Cox and Jacobson (1974, p. 3) define influence as the “modification of one actor’s behavior by that of another.” In contrast to power, which can be calculated for any actor at a particular point in time, influence is seen as an emergent property that derives from the relationship between actors. Importantly, Cox and Jacobson argue that power may or may not be converted to influence in any given political process. In other words, power does not necessarily guarantee that an actor will exert influence in its interactions. The key point for me here is the notion of the vitality put on understanding the conditions under which an actor’s capabilities result in influence. The concept of the gap between resources and outcomes, as discussed by Cox and Jacobson, is a critical point that warrants further explanation. The authors highlight that possessing power does not automatically translate into the exertion of influence in political processes.

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In other words, merely having the capabilities or resources to influence others does not guarantee that an actor will successfully wield that influence in their interactions. This understanding underscores the complexity of power dynamics in international relations. It challenges the assumption that actors with significant power will always dominate and shape outcomes according to their preferences. Instead, it emphasizes the importance of comprehending the specific conditions under which an actor’s capabilities can be effectively translated into influence on the global stage. Soft power is conditioned by understanding the different role of players and key factors, understanding their capabilities of influence, and creating what could be called an action plan to determine the type of soft power necessary to achieve the objective of attraction and influence. In his theory of soft power, Nye Jr. (2004) carefully analyzed the shortcomings of unilateralism and the absolute reliance on violent means of power as on military, for instance, in confronting the strong threat posed by Islamic extremists, all the more so because it is virtually devoid of partisanship. He gives credit to President Bush and his neoconservative advisers in their projection of “hard” military and economic power. However, he shows how what he casts as their blindness to the significance of “soft” power seriously undermines hard power. Soft power—“the ability to get what you want through attraction rather than coercion”—is cultivated through relations with allies, economic assistance, and cultural exchanges with other countries, projecting a sense that US behavior corresponds with rhetorical support for democracy and human rights and, more generally, maintaining favorable public opinion and credibility abroad. The go-­ it-­ alone approach, Nye argues, has led to an unprecedented drop-in support for the US abroad, which leaves them to his view scrambling to rebuild Iraq almost singlehandedly, overstretching themselves militarily and economically. It also hampers efforts to secure the voluntary cooperation of foreign governments essential to dismantling terrorist cells spread throughout the globe. The answer, Nye says, lies in a return to the mix of soft and hard power that cemented the Western alliance and won the Cold War. Nye Jr. (2004) has drawn on the realist school of Machiavelli to some extent, but he views that it is much more effective to weld both the set of hard and soft power means. Nye stressed that attraction and seduction per se are the main viewpoints on which the exercise of soft power is based. This notion of attraction is to a great extent in accordance with my research interest, as it is the main law for which the practice of soft power can dwell

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a nation’s brand image value of high importance, especially through means of cultural and educational exchange. Investments in IHE are thus, in my view, one of the leading means in today’s soft power practices by a number of countries globally that stress the need to create a ground of understanding based on a set of educated and highly intellectual individuals, who, in turn, are indirectly or directly diplomats to the country in which they have had their IHE experience at times. In this respect, the exchange of culture, political values, and foreign policies is what most attracts, and thus, let a state yield a much greater range of soft power abilities. Nye calls these three factors the primary sources of a country’s soft power. Each state has different primary sources of soft power that fall to the three defined by Nye, which is what makes it unique and allows it to attract others. For example, the United States’ primary source of soft power is its culture. American culture is popular all around the world, and people are attracted to it. This is evident in the popularity of American movies, music, and TV shows. People are also attracted to American values, such as freedom and democracy.

3   International Higher Education IHE is often seen as an instrument for projecting soft power but can also be seen as an instrument for gaining strategic advantage. For instance, a state could invest in its highly educated workforce, which could be exported to strengthen its economy and leverage its geopolitical position. In addition, education provides a way for states to interact with the international community and build cultural ties with other nations. IHE is a toolbox that can be used for different purposes in different circumstances by different people for different aims on a global scale: from being used as an instrument of soft power by authoritarian regimes to promote their political agenda to being used as an extension of cultural dialog between countries to promote understanding between cultures as well through exchange programs. Hébert and Abdi (2013) give an interesting and critical modern approach to the matter of IHE; in today’s globalized world, there is an urgent need for scholars to respond to international education matters through a multifaceted lens. They view that there is a need to go beyond to affairs of politics, economics, and cultural crossroads. To elaborate, it is essential to put IHE in its context and to view the context from multiple directions rather than focusing on a unidirectional approach to dealing

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with IHE issues. In this respect, Hébert and Abdi (2013) focused on epistemological interventions, and they put forth critique of the institutional, economic, social, cultural, and pedagogical matters of IHE.  They also comprehensively and intellectually debated the world of IHE at times characterized by the dynamics of globalization. Additionally, Hébert and Abdi’s (2013) work generally proposes reasons why and critical analysis of how educational marketplaces—in the age of the knowledge economy—ought to be led via codes and actions that empower people from any background and that aim to sustain equal benefits of knowledge and potential of well-being, whether for individual, local, national, or international students. Thus, Hébert and Abdi (2013) stress the need for bringing all global actors to play and to address issues of well-being within the IHE wave in today’s globalized world, which is largely characterized by intense inequalities. For more than two centuries, IHE has been advocated as a powerful means to promote peace and prosperity globally. With globalization and transnational systems of production and communication in place today, many would argue that it is essential—not only for its transformative power but also as an engine for growth in previously marginalized economies. However, internationalization is constrained by persistent inequalities among nations and within them. There are many inequalities found in IHE. The first, and arguably most significant inequality, is in the unequal distribution of resources between industrialized countries and developing countries. In addition, the huge differences in educational successes are mainly dependent on the family’s economic status, race or ethnicity, and nationality. To approach these inequalities from a solution-based lens, Hébert and Abdi (2013) view that it is essential to understand the way knowledge is created, the value of knowing, and what it truly means to know, as well as to understand how knowledge is circulated and the way it draws benefit. Thus, it is indeed an intellectual brainstorm that aspires to obtain a hold of the potential knowledge yields as sociocultural capital that improves democracy and common well-being and to go as well beyond viewing knowledge as a mere commodity in today’s marketplace. Hébert and Abdi (2013) establish links between education and economics. Their work discusses the various theories and discourses. All of these intersect at the dynamics of globalization, including communications networks, mobility, information technologies, genetics, institutions, international trade/investment, interconnectedness, and open global

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systems. They assured that today’s globalized world is an interconnected system that is by no means closed, it is an expression of the greater mobility that has been brought upon—whether mobility of people, goods, ideas, life styles—which results in greater communication and exchange— of minds, knowledge, practices. In addition, it is worth mentioning that Hébert and Abdi (2013) viewed that “globalization” is not a recent term that only refers to the world we are living in today, but it is a feature that has long lived with humans ever even since the beginnings of evolutionism. Nevertheless, in a world greatly featured by free flow and blurred borders, the economist Friedrich Hayek elaborated his theory of knowledge society (1945). In this regard, Hayek is an advocate of the free flow of knowledge (thus economy) that is based on individual rights; therefore, his theory, as suggested by Hébert and Abdi (2013), came as an attempt to restore classical liberalism, which later became known as the lay-ground for neoliberalism. Hayek views that knowledge is by nature decentralized in each of us, and everyone has their own personal perspective of knowledge. Therefore, it is important to decentralize resources, but to effectively decentralize, it is essential to plan access to knowledge in some form; in other words, successful decentralization is rooted in enabling everyone to have a proper field of vision in terms of knowledge. The theory of knowledge society generates, shares, and makes knowledge available to all society members, a knowledge that can be used to foster the well-being and conditions of people. This idea of knowledge society in the present day is connected to a great extent with the increase, availability, and dissemination of data as a result of technological developments. Therefore, with open access to information, education is meant to develop along with changes, and therefore, ICTs facilitate access to formal and informal education and allow everyone to have access to a learning network that helps develop life-needed skills. In this essence, I believe that knowledge society is connected to international education exchange, which has also been gaining wide prominence. This concept is described as a form of sociocultural system. It includes ideas, beliefs, and norms that apply to all participants. The concept of a sociocultural system is a crucial aspect of understanding society as a whole. It refers to the shared ideas, beliefs, and norms that apply to all participants in a given community or group. This sociocultural system shapes the behavior, expectations, and values of individuals and is therefore a fundamental component of the social order. One particular theory that addresses

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the impact of this sociocultural system on society is the theory of knowledge society. This theory describes the contemporary information society in terms of human agency and development and has evolved from the work of Talcott Parsons, who examined the influence of education on social roles and expectations. However, modern developments have introduced new dimensions to this theory, such as the role of high technology in addition to knowledge itself for development. With the rise of the digital age, access to information has become easier than ever before, and technological advancements have allowed for unprecedented levels of connectivity and interdependence. As a result, the theory of knowledge society now encompasses not only the acquisition and dissemination of knowledge but also the role of high technology in enabling this process. This includes the development of digital infrastructure, the use of artificial intelligence, and the integration of technology in all aspects of life. These technological advancements are seen as integral to the development of a knowledge society and are essential for the continued progress of human agency and development. Overall, the concept of a sociocultural system is a fundamental aspect of society, and the theory of knowledge society is an important framework for understanding how this system operates. While originally based on the influence of education on social roles and expectations, this theory has evolved to encompass the role of high technology in shaping contemporary society. As we move forward, the continued development and integration of technology will be essential for the continued progress of human agency and development in the knowledge society.

4   International Higher Education and International Relations The benefits of IHE are not only limited to students’ personal development; they also have a great impact on the country that is receiving them. The ideas and perspectives they gain during this process help increase their understanding of other cultures by exposing them to different values, traditions, and beliefs. This helps in establishing greater mutual understanding and diplomacy with other nations. International education is becoming an increasingly popular choice for students who are seeking to broaden their horizons and expand their understanding of the world around them. The benefits of this type of education, however, are not just limited to the

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personal development of the student. The host country also benefits from the exposure to different cultures and perspectives that these students bring with them. When international students come to study in a foreign country, they are exposed to different values, traditions, and beliefs. This exposure helps them to understand other cultures and perspectives and allows them to develop a more nuanced understanding of the world around them. In turn, this greater understanding of other cultures and perspectives helps to promote mutual understanding and diplomacy with other nations. The exchange of ideas and perspectives is also essential for the growth and development of a country. When international students come to study, they bring with them a wealth of knowledge and expertise that can be shared with the host country. This knowledge can help to foster innovation, economic growth, and social progress, all of which are essential for the development of any country. Moreover, IHE helps to foster cultural diversity, which is important for any society. When people from different cultures come together, they bring with them a range of different perspectives and ideas that can enrich society as a whole. This diversity helps to create a more tolerant and inclusive society, where different opinions and viewpoints are respected and valued. The benefits of IHE are not just limited to the personal development of the student. They also have a great impact on the host country by promoting mutual understanding, fostering cultural diversity, and sharing knowledge and expertise. IHE is therefore an important tool for promoting diplomacy and understanding between nations and for promoting economic, social, and cultural progress. In the course of understanding the relations between IHE and IR, Tight (2005) examines movements across borders and between systems of not only students and academics but also policies and ideas under the umbrella of international education and international relations. Huisman et al. (2005) addressed the effects of ERASMUS programs within national higher education at the level of Europe, and Huisman et al. (2005) stressed the interesting intersection international mobility brings upon domestic European policies. ERASMUS has been a major element in the many improvements to the higher education arena in the EU, be it at the level of faculty policies, teaching and instruction, student services, mobility, research, and openness to international society. Beerkens and Vossensteyn (2011) view that ERASMUS had major impacts on the institutional management level. It not only impacted the

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faculty and research quality but also contributed to the direct cooperation different universities engaged in within the economic sector, encouraging internships and cooperation with industrial entities. Additionally, ERASMUS also contributed to transparency in terms of students’ credits and qualifications in the sense that “credits taken at one higher education institution to be counted toward a qualification studied for at another” (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) | European Education Area, n.d.). Nonetheless, Huisman et  al. (2005) hypothesized that the effects of ERASMUS programs are rather modest, which was later proven in their research findings and academic enquiry. The program as a whole was intended to impact students, staff, and higher education institutions; however, they suggest that it also has an effect—whether direct or indirect— on the national higher education and policy making of the systems. In the spectrum of international education and international relations, Harman (2005) concluded that Australia has made excellent and commendable efforts in the last two decades to internationalize its higher education. He believes that the quality and quantity of international student enrollments was viewed as a key element in the major impact that took over the higher education spectrum in Australia. Impacts that have been viewed by many as positive in terms of the financial benefits they drew. To further facilitate this process that draws in large opportunities for the country, the Australian government encouraged and provided financial support for universities, which put efforts into internationalizing their curriculum, as well as the inclusion of Asian Languages, to facilitate communication and open up to other cultures much more easily and accessibly. As innocent and direct as it seems, Harman (2005) has mentioned that these efforts are also for the objectives of expanding Australian trade in the Asia-Pacific region, which thus falls to the conception of using higher education as a soft power tool to brand the nation and attract international interest and investments. Australia has made great efforts to internationalize its higher education by implementing and integrating intercultural dimensions in the teaching processes and materials, research, and services within institutions. Krause et al. (2005) attempted to examine issues related to measuring and evaluating the internationalization efforts made by universities and their impacts in Australia. In their analysis, they scrutinized websites of Australian universities and drew up the conclusion that they are all “obviously” characterized by the feature of internationalization, which thus

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reflects the great importance attached to it. Krause et al. (2005) relied on “factoring indicators of the internalization of higher education” to determine the university’s performance. They have argued that despite the great efforts made by the universities in Australia to internationalize, they are not going beyond the two-way flow of students (exchanges). They then suggest that education is “modeled in terms of inputs, processes, outputs, and contexts” (p. 240), which are the four main bullet tools in order to organize, manage, reflect on, and interpret indicators. It is essential to set a strategic dimension for the objective of internationalization, as well as address, assess, and innovate in terms of teaching and curriculum dimensions. Krause et  al. (2005) attempted to set up quantitative codes of measurements for internationalization in Australian universities. He relied on features of simplicity, validity, sensitivity, and brevity to avoid complexity, abstraction, and wordiness and to keep the indicators set up to the minimum. These features establish a clear value hierarchy and create a pathway for the intended activities and measures. Mathews-Aydinli (2017) examines the complex role of international education exchange in promoting peace and intercultural understanding. The perception that IHE encourages greater understanding and cooperation between people, cultures, and nations continues to drive participation and resources in this growing sector. With thought-provoking theoretical discussions and a broad range of case studies in her works, Mathews-­ Aydinli (2017) provides a much-needed critical exploration of the ways in which international education exchanges may impact individuals as well as broader issues of global peace and development. She stresses the need for the increasing importance of intercultural interactions. She also believes that internationalization brings about an immense added value of educational and academic youth exchange on aspects of politics, culture, economy, and education. As a great number of researchers and field experts have expressed, the range to which international education exchange seems to impact peace promotion and intercultural understanding remains of great value. In other words, International Educational Exchange and Study Abroad programs are factors for peace and mutual understanding. Thus, in this vein, it can be assumed that international education exchange works as a soft power diplomat in international relations to maintain global stability. In other words, international education programs are highly beneficial for both the host country and the student’s own country, as they help increase bilateral ties between two countries by promoting mutual understanding.

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Mathews-Aydinli (2017) views that international educational exchanges and mobility programs are essential in promoting peace and intercultural understanding. She referred to international education exchange as a “booming business,” which is now going beyond the boundaries of the elite few and is open to access for all, from any social background and national belonging. This point of discussion remains open for debate in the Moroccan context, for which it is yet to be determined to what extent international education exchange is open for all and to discover whether there are a set of exchange programs that are up to the scale of leading countries; in this respect, and in order to better draw conclusions in the matter, the point of comparative study in this research will be the South Korean experience of soft power as cultural diplomacy via means of IHE vis-a-vis the Moroccan experience. The growing interest and increase in international education exchange participation is mainly due to promoting understanding and increasing knowledge of the other. International education programs provide the power to form friendlier relations and to have better interactions in the global arena. These goals are broadly related to the intercultural understanding that results from these international education exchange experiences. International educational exchange is essential to public diplomacy, especially in terms of the “winning hearts and minds” paradigm. Inspired by Nye, soft power in public diplomacy is the ability to see beyond issues of military force or economic prosperity and to focus more on legitimacy and moral authority. Deardorff (2006) directly addresses the connections between international education exchange and developing intercultural understanding to attain peace. Deardorff, however, did not view internationalization through the lens of what most scholars believe, she referred to the outcomes of internationalization as myths, especially those related to international education exchange. The view that exchange brings diverse people from diverse places together and thus creates the sudden “magic” of understanding seemed to her as rather strange. Deardorff also stressed the insufficiency of measurement evaluation tools, which do not rely on continuous evaluation of exchange benefactors. Putnam (2007) and Allport (1954) concluded that being in a salad bowl of difference does not necessarily result in meaningful intercultural learning. Deardorff provided a comprehensive description of what intercultural competence could ideally mean in the context of international education exchange—and consequently their contributions to diplomacy. She

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highlighted the main deficiency of exchange and how it is obviously—in most parts—in benefit of one body over the other, for which she stated that in order for exchange to achieve its goals successfully in the long run, there is a need for mutual benefit between all parties. Such an idea has been intensely supported by a number of academicians, who view that without mutual benefit, international education exchange might be deemed a great failure. Nonetheless, international education exchange has the potential to open more opportunities than those available in the student’s home country. It can also foster a sense of intercultural competence, which is critical for building partnerships and networks that help to solve global issues facing humanity. There are four main aspects of international education: cultural, intellectual, economic, and sociopolitical. Wilson (2016) made an effort to bridge the gap in the influence of exchange on international relations and peacemaking. He mainly focused on the idea of student mobility. He tried to understand to what degree mobility helps achieve the idealistic goals of public diplomacy. Wilson has put in detail five potential mechanisms linked to peace through existing empirical research: signaling, attitude change, intercultural competence, network formation and transfer of governmental institutions. The first mechanism, signaling, is a means used by countries to give the impression and transmit the idea to partnering states; their relations are built upon peaceful and positive affairs, especially through the idea of hosting foreign visitors and sending impressionable young elites to live in a foreign country through mobility projects and exchanges. To further explain the second mechanism of attitude change, Wilson (2016) quotes the example of the 2008 British Foreign Secretary who removed the Foreign Office funding from the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan. His rationale came from the notion that this funding has helped postgraduate students from wealthier commonwealth countries and that the United Kingdom is missing on future leaders from other backgrounds, mainly those of developing countries. Such an attitude change is an essential step taken by the British Foreign Secretary, which has opened doors for a better and much more open international education exchange and which has thus built up the trust and strengthened positive relations between more of the new counties benefiting from the programs taking place in the United Kingdom. These few examples are an interesting showcase of how impactful student exchanges

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in particular, and international education exchanges in general, have on the international relations arena. Hayden (2016) suggests that genuine open access to international education could—by great means—be an instrument in reducing tensions and thus playing a vital role in public diplomacy. He believes that technology platforms should be put to use within public diplomacy and exploited to create an affordable education. Hayden sees that it is essential to value integrating the use of technology, specifically Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), as a tool of public diplomacy. By making IHE accessible to a wider range of students, it can foster greater understanding and cooperation between nations. This is particularly important in today’s globalized world, where intercultural communication is essential. Through MOOCs, students from different countries can learn about each other’s cultures, languages, and perspectives and develop a shared understanding of global issues. Moreover, the use of technology in public diplomacy can have a significant impact on promoting cross-cultural understanding and tolerance. By using MOOCs as a tool of public diplomacy, countries can showcase their education systems, cultural heritage, and values to a global audience. This, in turn, can promote mutual understanding and respect between nations and contribute to the building of positive relationships. Hayden’s argument highlights the potential benefits of using technology, particularly MOOCs, as a tool for promoting international education and public diplomacy. With greater access to international education, students from diverse backgrounds can gain a deeper understanding of different cultures and perspectives, which can foster greater understanding and cooperation between nations. Nonetheless, when we think of education, our minds invariably wander to the traditional schooling system. However, today, we live in a time where many people are getting their degrees through Massive Open Online Courses. Technology has given us access to education that is more affordable and accessible than ever before. Overseas students are enrolling in massive open online courses because they do not have the money to pay for an expensive school. These courses have helped with networking opportunities and enabled them to make new friends in other countries and cultures. They can also be beneficial to countries as a tool for public diplomacy or country branding by developing skills and relationships abroad through MOOCs.

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In relation to the use of education as public diplomacy, Metzgar (2016) dealt rather more practically with the idea of how educational exchange could be a means of public diplomacy. For this purpose, Metzgar used a thorough survey conducted on American Alums of the Japanese Exchange and Teaching (JET) program. In her work, she focused on the JET’s influence on Japanese diplomacy. She took a skimmed look at the types of exchange programs whereby people are sent (or invited) abroad to teach their native language. For the purpose of conducting her study, she hosted a survey of over 500 American JET alumni to measure the impact of such programs on participants’ attitudes toward the host culture. The most significant result from her survey is the feeling thermometer, for which the respondents were questioned on their impression of the host country with a meter ranging from 0 (very cold or unfavorable) to 100 (very warm or favorable). The average of the over 500 respondents was 84.96. Such a result is an evident indicator of the power of education exchange as a public diplomacy tool by the Japanese government. Education exchange has the power to gain over hearts and create cultural diplomats overseas. International students and exchange programs are an important part of the globalized world. In the past, these programs were only for people who had a lot of money and privilege to study in other countries, but now an increasing number of young people from all over the world can participate in these programs. There are many benefits of IHE. Not only do you get to build an understanding of other cultures, but you also become a cultural diplomat at a young age. This can lead to important connections with people from around the world, which will give you many opportunities throughout your adult life. IHE is about creating cultural diplomats that will be able to network in any country or culture they visit or live in. For this form of public diplomacy to work, it is essential that institutions create trusting relationships with each other and provide information on their current events happening around the globe as well as past events that have happened in those countries.

5   International Higher Education, International Relations, and Soft Power As previously stated, the term “soft power” in international relations was coined by Joseph Nye a quarter of a century ago; it has gained a great response and initiated numerous debates. Wojciuk (2015) looked at the

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potential of higher education as a soft power tool within international relations. She believes that a high-quality education sector is one of the most important factors that contributes to a country’s soft power. Education, when seen from the perspective of soft power, can help a country project its values and culture to the world. This can be done through the promotion of study abroad programs, the hosting of international students, and the development of curriculum and exchanges that focus on the country’s strengths. From the perspective of gaining strategic advantage, IHE can help a country develop the human capital and knowledge base necessary to compete in the global economy. This can be done through the development of programs that attract and retain the best and brightest students from around the world, the establishment of world-class research facilities, and the creation of partnerships with leading international institutions. Wojciuk (2015) viewed that education has not been adequately covered in the existing IR literature. She addressed this gap by offering an attempt to conceptualize and operationalize the educational aspect of soft power. Education is continuously internationalized, and it is being invested in as a means of soft power as cultural diplomacy; however, Wojciuk (2015) stated that not all internationalized education can result in a successful attainment of soft power means. For instance, in the case of Japanese higher education exchange, the results of the experiences by foreign students were highly criticized (Yonezawa, 2008; Horie, 2002), which is also a similar case to that of an Australian experience, where Indian students were faced with racism and discrimination, which thus resulted in Australia falling out of favor in India (Wojciuk, 2015). In regard to international affairs, there are some different arguments that are for and against International Soft Power. For example, many people feel that countries should have more autonomy because they should be free from outside influence. On the other hand, others believe that soft power is one of the keys for a country’s economic growth and stability. There is no clear answer of what the best course of action is in regard to soft power, but many countries are beginning to use it as a tool in their arsenal. Although there are many other factors such as culture and military, soft power can be seen as one of these factors that help determine how powerful a country is on an international level. IHE is becoming a necessity for many countries. With an increasing number of people from different places immigrating to other countries, it is crucial to have an educated workforce that is able to communicate and collaborate across cultures. Investing in IHE not only benefits individual

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students and their families but also helps to create a more globally competitive workforce. In a global economy, businesses are looking for employees who have the skills and knowledge to be successful in a diverse and interconnected world. A quality IHE can be an important investment in a student’s future. It provides them with the skills and knowledge they need to be successful in an increasingly competitive global economy. Countries need to invest in international programs to import talent, especially those experiencing a brain drain. Foreign affairs are vital for the IHE system—as diplomacy is not just about politics but also about cultural relations, soft power, and public diplomacy. IHE can be an effective tool of public diplomacy—which includes the promotion of one’s culture through engagement with foreign audiences. Educational soft power remains a double-edged sword, despite being a holder of substantial mechanisms: a carrier of genuine values, a resource that countries possess, and a tool of achieving goals. It remains a vital need to properly plan actions and to put such soft power means into use for national interests. All three mechanisms also show how increasing internationalization brings more direct connections between education, international relations, and foreign policy. Foreign policy can be divided into three different types: internationalism (unilateral policies), isolationism (unilateral noncooperative policies), and interventionism (multilateral policies) (Walt, 1987). Diplomacy is used to establish or continue relations between two or more states or entities under conditions of either peace or war. In a world defined by the knowledge economy, skills and capital are often interchangeable and contribute to growth. Thus, the global economy today thrives on intellectual assets. In simple terms, the knowledge economy is a term for the economic system where knowledge is the key factor that drives productivity. In the knowledge economy, businesses and organizations must invest in research and development to create new products, services, and processes. They must also invest in human capital, which includes education and training, to develop a workforce that is able to create and use knowledge effectively. Education as soft power is an investment in national interests that takes into account national security, economic stability, and cultural preservation, among other factors. In this realm, it is essential to look at the strategies and actions of nations in their external relations with other states and organizations. It can also be used as a form of international communication to foster friendly relations. This book investigates how IHE can be aligned with soft power as cultural diplomacy in a bid to strengthen international reputation. By

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understanding the relationship between these two fields, we can better assess whether soft power as cultural diplomacy has the capacity to influence international relations within the realm of education. While soft power has been traditionally used in fields such as politics and economics, its potential in the realm of education has only recently been explored. However, given the increasing importance of education in international relations, it is worth examining the role that soft power can play in this arena. There are many ways in which soft power as cultural diplomacy can be used to influence IHE.  For example, by providing scholarships and exchange programs, countries can attract talented students from around the world. A state’s ability to project soft power rests primarily on three factors: the exchange of culture, political values, and foreign policies. By engaging in cultural exchange with other countries, a state can broaden its appeal and deepen its influence. Similarly, by sharing its political values and foreign policy goals, a state can build trust and goodwill. Ultimately, it is these three factors that make a state’s soft power more effective. By understanding the complex issues and dynamics at play in the international arena, we can make more informed decisions about how to best navigate the challenges of our rapidly changing world. This chapter provided a comprehensive review of the intersection of international relations, soft power, and IHE. The focus was on analyzing the role of IHE in soft power as cultural diplomacy and its relationship to international relations.

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CHAPTER 3

International Higher Education as a Soft Power Tool: Promoting Intercultural Understanding and Diplomacy in Foreign Policy

Abstract  This chapter delves into the intricate and multifaceted role of international higher education (IHE) as a crucial instrument of soft power in fostering intercultural understanding and diplomacy in foreign policy. It highlights the profound impact of education in shaping societies and its pivotal function in advancing a nation’s culture, politics, and ideology. The chapter highlights intercultural education as a fundamental constituent of soft power, underscoring the significance of candid and respectful communication among individuals, groups, and organizations from diverse cultural backgrounds. It examines the dichotomy between hard power and soft power in international relations. Additionally, it examines the concept of nation branding, utilizing South Korea as an illustrative example. This chapter elucidates the crucial role of IHE as a soft power tool, promoting intercultural understanding and diplomacy in foreign policy. Keywords  IHE • Soft power • Intercultural understanding • Diplomacy • Foreign policy

© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2023 A. Adoui, International Higher Education and The Rise of Soft Power as Cultural Diplomacy, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-44180-6_3

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1   International Higher Education as Soft Power The most important policy for identifying a country’s soft power is its education. Education is a proactive tool used by countries to promote their own culture, politics, and ideology. Education has contributed to the development of human resources and strengthened cultural and political awareness among people within a number of leading countries (United States, China, Japan, etc.). While some might argue that education is nothing more than a tool for indoctrination, it cannot be denied that it has played a significant role in shaping societies. For better or worse, education has helped to mold people into the citizens that they are today. In many ways, it is the cornerstone of any civilized society. The United States has long used education as a tool to further its political agenda and maintain its position as a leading world power. In China, education is seen as a way to maintain cultural values and traditions, as well as to promote economic development and its promote its values globally. Education plays a vital role in the development of any country. Education is often seen as a key driver of economic and social progress, and as such, it is no surprise that many countries place a high value on its role in national development and international positioning. The United States, for example, has a long history of using education as a means of promoting its political and cultural values to other countries. The Fulbright Program, which was established in 1946, is one example of how the US government has used education to promote cross-cultural understanding and international cooperation. This program provides funding for students, scholars, and professionals from around the world to come to the United States and participate in academic and cultural exchange programs. Similarly, China also sees education as a means of promoting its own values and cultural traditions. The Chinese government has implemented various policies to ensure that its education system reflects Chinese values and beliefs. For example, the government has placed a renewed emphasis on teaching Confucianism in schools as a way to promote social harmony and a sense of shared identity. In addition, China has made significant investments in its higher education system, with the goal of producing more highly skilled workers and contributing to the country’s economic development. Japan is another country that places a high importance on education, but with a different focus. Japan’s education system emphasizes the importance of group harmony and social cohesion. The Japanese government

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has placed a renewed emphasis on teaching patriotism and promoting a sense of national identity among students. In addition, Japanese education places a high value on academic achievement, with students often working long hours and attending extracurricular classes to gain admission to top universities. IHE policies are able to promote a country’s values and improve its image on the international stage. This can attract more students and scholars to their institutions and ultimately lead to a brain gain for the country. To be successful, countries need to ensure that their educational programs are of high quality and are able to meet the needs of international students. They also need to provide adequate support for these students, both before and after they arrive in the country. With the right policies in place, exporting educational programs can be a powerful tool for a country to use to achieve its foreign policy objectives. 1.1   Education in Soft Power Theory The dissatisfaction of the international relationship pattern of hard power for which realists have long promoted and put in focus (Li Lin & Hongtao, 2017) has created a starting point that drove Joseph Nye to theorize on soft power. The growth of focus on the sense of value has become more important in IR, and thus, it has driven countries to look for new venues to realize their goals, one of which is education. It is a significant tool in promoting cultural, political, and ideological values that enhance a nation’s soft power policies. Education in soft power allows people to be exposed to different cultures and worldviews, and it also allows for the creation of new global citizens who are more open to different cultures and ways of thinking. Furthermore, education can help to promote a more positive image of a country and its people to the rest of the world. For example, the United States uses educational diplomacy to further its foreign policy goals by creating opportunities for international students to study in the United States and learn about American values. This in turn creates a more favorable view of the United States around the world and creates a pool of future leaders who are more likely to support US interests. The identification of what is necessary for soft power has been one of the most important tasks in international relations according to Nye. He first introduced the concept of culture as soft power through the idea that not all countries have the same means or methods to achieve their goals

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(Nye, 2008). As countries look for ways to differentiate themselves from other nations, culture is one way to show respect to a country’s values and share common beliefs. Additionally, it can be used as an indicator of future relationships between said nations. Beliefs and values held by people can be translated into something more tangible, such as symbols and traditions, that are linked directly to these value systems (Nye, 2008). This incorporation of culture into foreign policy leads to a higher level of education developed within those groups participating in mediation activities that create a “wider set of possibilities” within the world community; furthermore, this encourages “transparency on both sides” because they are able to understand what they truly want beyond simply defending their own interests. Despite the fact that Nye (2008) mentions education as an important source of soft power on multiple occasions and believes that it is an important tool to enhance soft power and to understand its nature, Nye in his works has not elaborated further on the matter. Additionally, when assessing the educational dimension of soft power, I realized that it is the least developed in the literature; it has been dealt with humbly and to a limited extent. Therefore, this section is an attempt to cover the role of education as a means and a part of soft power and to discover the mechanisms education helps produce for a state that utilizes soft power. Now more than ever, states globally have turned more toward soft power, toward promoting their values via nonviolent means of culture, foreign policy, and even ideology. Wojciuk et al. (2015) believe that the world is currently shifting more toward “softer” means through which political legitimacy is increased and derived via the ability to make a society prosperous and self-reliant, unlike the Machiavelli realists, who claim that control is achieved through traditional sources of control and security. Thus, soft power is making education a much more needed means of nonviolent power. Gallarotti (2010) believes that the more prosperous a society becomes, the greater the focus is on education as an important tool for much more effective international diplomacy and relations. It is therefore clear that the world currently generally appreciates education as a means of soft power. For instance, Altbach and Peterson (2008), in relation to higher education and soft power, believe that international relations are highly shifting due to the extensive role that education and academic exchange play within power relations.

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It has been a long-held belief that education is a key factor and a means of orienting youth toward self-discovery, empowerment, and access to opportunity; it is also a representation of a country’s potential. Education where properly and positively institutionalized and strongly supported is the prime means that supports an individual and strengthens the creative mindset and aura of a society. The stronger education gets, the much more creative and prosperous a community becomes and thus the much more attractive it gets. This is largely due to the expansive and interconnected nature of the world we live in today; as such, it is important for countries to be able to rely on more than just hard power to maintain a successful international standing. Education as an empowering model is vastly related and determined by the extent to which certain realities are actualized (prosperity, equality, quality education, etc.) and to the points of positive developments taking place. In other words, an empowering education is defined by the positive advancement at hand when an empowering structure is set up. An empowering education system is one that provides opportunities for learners to develop their potential and engage in critical thinking, problem solving, and decision making. The extent to which education serves as an empowering model is largely determined by the actualization of certain realities such as prosperity, equality, and quality education. Prosperity refers to economic stability and the availability of resources, which can support the development of educational infrastructure and facilities. Equality refers to the provision of equitable access to education for all learners regardless of their socioeconomic status, ethnicity, or location. Quality education refers to the provision of education that is relevant, inclusive, and of high standard. When an empowering education structure is established, positive developments take place. For instance, learners are empowered to acquire knowledge and skills that can help them to participate in their communities and contribute to economic development. They are also empowered to make informed decisions, solve problems, and engage in critical thinking. However, progress in the actualization of an empowering education system can be slow or nonexistent in some cases. This can lead to a sense of powerlessness among learners, educators, and the community. When education systems fail to provide learners with quality education, they become disempowered and unable to make informed decisions that can improve their lives. In cases where learners are denied equitable access to

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education, they are excluded from opportunities for personal growth and development. Thus, education as an empowering model is dependent on the actualization of certain realities and positive developments. An empowering education system provides learners with the tools they need to succeed and contribute to their communities. However, when progress is slow or nonexistent, learners may experience a sense of powerlessness, which can hinder their potential and limit their opportunities for growth and development. Soft power is largely expressed through socialization, social structure and relations, culture, and popular discourse, making it difficult to sustain or determine (Hocking, 2002). He sees soft power as more of a tool from the bottom up than from the top down because the public mind also has the power to create new cultures. Thus, this renders the state cuffed to a soft power that is socially constructed and for which orchestrating is at their hands. However, Gill and Huang (2006) view that the true value of soft power is at the hands of neighboring nations. In the sense that soft power gains its value from the impact it makes on other nations that choose to accept it. Soft power or power in general alone cannot stand alone without those who choose or are forced to accept it. A number of powerful countries currently rely on education, having it become a transmitter of lifestyle, values, and attitudes, and thus it becomes an export that disseminates ideologies of certain states in particular. A goal that is achieved through educational programs, trainings, and exchanges. An example of this is the extent to which the English language has gained domination and to the point of which the culture of certain English-­ speaking countries has gained prominence. Many countries provide scholarships for international students to study in their universities, where they learn about the country’s language, culture, and values. In doing so, the country is able to disseminate its values and attitudes to students from other countries, who then return to their home countries with new perspectives and ways of thinking. In addition, many English-speaking countries offer educational programs and scholarships to students from developing countries. These programs aim to promote cultural exchange and develop human resources, but they also serve to disseminate the values and attitudes of the English-­ speaking country. For instance, students who receive scholarships to study in the United States may return to their home countries with a better understanding of American values and attitudes, which could influence

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their perceptions and decisions in the future. Therefore, powerful countries rely on education to spread their ideologies and influence other countries. The dominance of the English language and the culture of English-speaking countries is an example of how education can be used to promote a country’s values and attitudes. In addition, to increase international cultural understanding and their global positioning, many countries have developed a set of international educational programs, such as the United States Information Agency, the British Council, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), and Goethe Institutes, EduGrance, the Japan Foundation, and the Canadian Studies Program within the department of foreign affairs (Trilokekar, 2010). Thus, countries export their educational programs abroad to develop soft power influences. This strategy has been increasingly popular in recent years, as an increasing number of countries seek to gain an edge in the global marketplace. There are a number of reasons why this approach is seen as advantageous. For one, it allows countries to share their unique perspective and culture with the world. Additionally, it can help to attract top talent and students to the country and build stronger relationships with other nations. Of course, there are also some challenges associated with this approach. For example, it can be expensive to set up and maintain educational programs abroad. Additionally, there is always the risk that other countries will not value or appreciate the unspoken intentions behind these programs. Thus, education is an important source of soft power in international relations. Any state holds it a goal to create favorable conditions that would strengthen and sustain its socioeconomic development and advancement. Therefore, the shift to education as a means and a system that allows improving the economic and political situation of a country (Nye, 2008) remains inevitable, especially with the move to the fifth Kondratiev wave (also called supercycles, great surges, or the long economic cycle), which is identified by immigration to knowledge-based production and the move toward soft power, a tool that has an influence on both domestic and foreign populations. Investing in education is an essential component of building soft power. A well-developed educational system can attract foreign students, researchers, and faculty, which can promote cultural exchange and create opportunities for collaboration and innovation. In addition, a strong educational system can produce skilled and knowledgeable graduates who can contribute to the country’s economy and society. Thus, a country needs to invest

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in its educational system and ensure that it is constantly adapting to the ever-changing needs of the economy and society. To achieve this, a country needs to ensure that its educational system is constantly adapting to the ever-changing needs of the economy and society. This requires investing in research and development, fostering innovation, and creating an environment that encourages lifelong learning. A country that prioritizes education and invests in its educational system is more likely to produce graduates who are competitive in the global job market and who can make significant contributions to their communities and society. Moreover, an integrated international educational and scientific environment is also important. This means that a country’s educational system should be connected to international networks of research and innovation and should be open to collaboration with other countries. By doing so, a country can exchange ideas and expertise, create new knowledge, and promote cultural exchange, which can increase its soft power and global influence. A well-developed educational system that meets the requirements of an innovative high-tech economy and is integrated into the international educational and scientific environment is a key component of a country’s soft power. Investing in education is essential for a country to produce skilled and knowledgeable graduates, foster innovation, and create an environment that encourages lifelong learning. By doing so, a country can increase its soft power and become a major competitor in the global struggle for minds. 1.2   Intercultural Education as a Soft Power Intercultural dialog, which comprises an open and respectful exchange between individuals, groups, and organizations with different cultural backgrounds or world views (Directorate-General for Education, 2008), is viewed as key in a wide variety of fields. It sparks a hot debate on the idea of interculturalism, which supports cross-cultural dialog in today’s globalized world. Interculturalism is seen as a valuable skill in fields such as business, education, and social work. It can help businesses to better understand and serve their diverse customer base, and understanding different cultures is essential for success in a global marketplace. In education, interculturalism can help create a more inclusive environment for students of all backgrounds.

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The rise of new challenges and the growing complicated nature of politics, society, and culture, international and cross-cultural relations are rendered to inevitable states of complexity. Therefore, finding key tools to train younger generations to get used to and know how to deal with these unexpected and changeable conditions remains a must. Consequently, education is a need to face and confront the complexity and intensity of today’s world; accordingly, developing intercultural competence and putting it into use remains one of the effective tools to reduce such intensity of international relations as well as work as an apparatus of a state’s soft power. In recent years, there has been an increased focus on intercultural dialog within countries. This involves public and private cultural/artistic initiatives that bring together individuals/groups from minority/migrant communities together with the majority population to enter into a multidirectional communication process. Through these initiatives, individuals from different cultural backgrounds are given the opportunity to share their experiences and perspectives with each other. This can help to break down barriers and create a greater understanding between different groups. Intercultural dialog can also help to promote social cohesion and inclusion. By bringing people together, it can help to create a sense of community and belonging. These initiatives can play a vital role in promoting understanding and respect between different cultures. They can also help to build a more inclusive society where everyone can feel valued and respected. In Germany, for instance, universities are required to have a section on intercultural competence (Ewijk, 2010). The state focuses on opening platforms of shared debate and communication, and it aspires to strengthen the values of communicating with the other and opening up to the different backgrounds to demolish existing stereotypes and create social harmony and inclusion. This means of intercultural education provides Germans with the necessary equipment to go beyond the complex nature of politics and society, and it therefore permits the state to keep a healthy amount of debate but at the same time a good deal of stability among the various bodies within it. In other words, this academic requirement is designed to help students learn about and understand other cultures and to develop the skills necessary to communicate effectively with people from other cultures. It can include a variety of topics, such as cultural differences in communication, customs, and values. It provides opportunities for students to practice

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their intercultural communication skills. This is often integrated into language courses, where students not only learn the language but also learn about the culture and customs of the people who speak it. This provides an opportunity for students to practice their intercultural communication skills and to develop a greater understanding of other cultures. By requiring universities to provide intercultural competence education, Germany is ensuring that its students are prepared to live and work in an increasingly globalized world. This education is critical for success in many fields, including international business, where the ability to understand and communicate effectively with people from different cultures is essential. In addition, it helps to promote cross-cultural understanding and reduce misunderstandings and conflicts that can arise from cultural differences. Thus, intercultural competence education is an essential requirement for success in today’s globalized world. In Germany, universities are required to provide this education to ensure that students are prepared to live and work in a diverse and interconnected world. By developing intercultural communication skills and understanding the perspectives and values of others, students can become more effective global citizens and contribute to a more peaceful and harmonious world.

2  Education as a Soft Power Tool in Foreign Policy Countries around the globe are competing to assert their influence and promote their national interests on the world stage. One of the most effective ways to do this is by investing in education. Countries such as South Korea, China, and the United States are at the forefront of this battle for minds, focusing on innovative economic models, cutting-edge technologies, and the modernization and internationalization of their education systems. As mentioned earlier, education has become a vital source of soft power for these countries. By promoting their educational systems, they can shape the international perceptions of their nations and project a favorable image to the world. This is particularly important in the context of globalization, where people from different cultures come into contact with each other on a daily basis. For example, South Korea has invested heavily in its education system, which has helped it to become one of the most technologically advanced and economically successful countries in the world. Its education system is

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now widely regarded as a model for other countries to emulate and it attracts international students. China, on the other hand, has also made significant investments in its education system, focusing on science and technology education. This has helped China to become a global leader in fields such as artificial intelligence and renewable energy. In the United States, education has long been a source of soft power, with American universities and colleges attracting students from around the world. This has helped to project a positive image of the United States as a global leader in education and research. Overall, education has become a key instrument for countries to promote their national interests on the world stage. By investing in their education systems and promoting their educational achievements, countries can create a positive image of themselves and exert their influence on the global stage. In an increasingly interconnected world, education is becoming an even more important source of soft power, with the potential to shape perceptions and influence the minds of people around the globe. A country’s foreign policy, also called foreign relations or foreign affairs policy, serves national interests and works to attain goals within the international relations milieu. Foreign policy works mainly to achieve a state’s goals and support its values (Wittkopf et al., 2008). Therefore, a country can use soft power in its foreign policy. For example, the high quality of education and the efforts a state puts into promoting a certain educational program or model are all means to strengthen a country’s image. The success of a certain educational policy is an action measured by the soft power it generates (Wojciuk et al., 2015). Education is key to achieving socioeconomic development and human development. Proper human development is the ultimate basis of today’s new knowledge-based economy (Amirbek & Ydyrys, 2014). It is about enabling individuals to realize their full potential and improve their lives, which is essential for economic growth and social progress. Leaders must invest in education, health, and other areas that promote human development. Socioeconomic development is essential for reducing poverty and promoting shared prosperity. It is also necessary for ensuring peace and security. World leaders must work together to achieve socioeconomic development. They must also provide support to countries that are lagging. As hinted before, education is the key—if not an open door—to economic progress, especially for developing countries. Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, and other East Asian countries might serve as striking examples

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of this (Nye, 2005). However, education is more than just a means to economic progress. It is also a source of freedom, social justice, and equal access to opportunity. Education provides individuals with the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to participate fully in society and contribute to its development. By providing quality education, countries can ensure that all of their citizens have the opportunity to achieve their full potential. Moreover, education is not just a means for resolving conflict but also for creating healthier competition in the global scene. Countries that invest in education and provide their citizens with access to quality education have a competitive advantage in the global economy. They can attract investment, promote innovation and technological advancements, and provide a skilled workforce that is capable of meeting the demands of a rapidly changing world. In fact, as tensions continue to rise around the world, it is becoming increasingly important to invest in peaceful methods of policy making. One way to do this is by investing in IHE. By providing people with the opportunity to learn about other cultures and ways of life a more peaceful world can be created. For example, one way to do this is by investing in conflict resolution and mediation programs that can help prevent and resolve disputes before they escalate into violence. Another way to promote peace is by providing financial and other forms of support to countries that are working to rebuild after conflict. This includes investing in education, health care, and other social programs that can help reduce poverty and improve living conditions. By investing in peace, a more stable and prosperous world can be created. Post World War II, American and Soviet foreign policies regarding colonialism changed drastically, and both countries decided upon the desirable rapidity and nature of educational development in the trust territories under the Trusteeship (Barrington, 1982). In recent years, the use of soft power has become increasingly prevalent in foreign policy and international affairs. This shift can be traced back to the early 1980s, when the then US President Ronald Reagan began employing soft power tactics in an effort to promote democracy and defeat communism. Since then, other world leaders have followed suit, using soft power to achieve a variety of objectives. While soft power has been shown to be an effective tool in achieving foreign policy goals, it is not without its critiques. Some argue that soft power is nothing more than a form of propaganda and that its use can lead to a slippery slope of manipulation and coercion. Others argue

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that soft power is an essential tool in a world where hard power is often ineffective. Within the same period of post–World War II, the United States has been a leader in global education. The Fulbright Act of 1946 created an international exchange program that brought thousands of students, scholars, and professionals to the United States and sent Americans abroad. The Fulbright program is just one example of how the United States has used education to further its foreign policy goals. American universities are among the best in the world, and they attract students from all over the globe. By educating future leaders of other countries, the United States is able to influence them in a positive way. In recent years, the United States has also been a major provider of foreign aid. Much of this aid is in the form of scholarships and other educational programs. By investing in the education of people in developing countries, the United States is helping to create a better future for them. Education has long been considered one of the key pillars of American diplomacy (Benton, 1966). The main goals of investing in the educational sector as a means of soft power as cultural diplomacy have been made clear by Senator Fulbright himself, who stressed the need for educational exchange to promote international understanding. IHE is not just an investment in science and research but also a tool to foster international relations, promote peace, and reduce conflicts. The American government has continued to invest heavily in education diplomacy, both in terms of financial aid for international students and in terms of initiatives to promote global education. In 2010, then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton launched the 100,000 Strong in the Americas initiative, which aimed to increase the number of American students studying in Latin America and the Caribbean.

3   Mechanisms of Soft Power Influence: The Rule of Attraction According to Nye’s definition, soft power is a nation-state’s ability to attract other states through its policies and actions. Soft power is a form of diplomacy that can be achieved through various means, such as economic aid, military presence, cultural exchange, and educational programs. Soft power is a diplomatic strategy that uses nonviolent methods to create a more peaceful, stable, and prosperous world. It has two main elements:

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changing society from within and using international relations to build mutual understanding and cooperation. It has been believed by prominent researchers in the field of soft power that the context is what mainly influences the content and effectiveness of its function. There is a strong relationship between what is considered important and valuable when using soft power and the context in which it is used. Therefore, the construction of such power is a subjective process that may rely on “intersubjectivity” (Cooper-White, 2014) to find common ground for mutually held beliefs. For instance, Blanchard and Lu (2012) suggest that religious or political traditions may not be as attractive to the “other” due to their cultural specificity. However, Nye argues that education is a much more universal value. According to Rothman (2011), there are two main ways that soft power can be exercised: norm diffusion and discourse dominance. Norm Diffusion Attraction: There is a lack of comprehensive theories on norm diffusion attraction and how it can be used to influence another actor’s behavior. However, some factors that may contribute to an actor’s attractiveness and ability to influence another’s behavior include the ability to articulate a clear and appealing vision, having a strong track record of success, and possessing a high degree of credibility. Ideally, the reason why a country gets attracted to another can be related to the extent to which a country is successful and is thus able to also benefit another. This means that attraction works through the linear need of one country to help the other to spread its values and sustain a level of power, which is fundamentally related to how much benefit it offers. It is important to understand how norms are means of attraction. However, what are norms to begin with? March and Olsen (2009) suggest that norms are behaviors that are accustomed and over which a person’s or group’s identity is constructed. This identity is based on what Olsen referred to as the logic of appropriateness. When we refer to something as being logical, we are not necessarily saying that it is a completely rational act but rather that it is a mental effort to restrain behavior within the cultural and environmental norms that we have established. According to Rothman (2011), norms can exist and be enacted at different levels, including the international system, the state, the local community, and even ethnic or religious groups within a community. One example of an international norm is the shared belief that nuclear

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weapons, cluster bombs, and white phosphorus should not be used in conflict. This norm is based on the understanding that these weapons can cause immense civilian casualties and suffering and that they are often used in violation of international law. To uphold this norm, states have signed international treaties banning their use and have worked to promote education and awareness about the dangers of these weapons. Discourse Dominance: There has been increasing criticism of the dominance of discourse in international relations theory (Checkel, 1998). Other forms of biased discourse, including gender-based discourse (Boyle & Rogerson, 2001) and global discourse on environmental issues (Epstein, 2008), have also been receiving more attention in academia. This shift means that we need to fight and criticize the dominant discourses. However, discourse or rhetoric remains a means of power and influence that can be used to achieve state goals. Nye (1990) argues that “if a state can make its power legitimate in the eyes of others, it will encounter less resistance to its wishes.” The use of attractive culture and ideology according to him are keys to making others follow according to their own will. The more globally attractive a country is, the more power it holds in the eyes of everyone else. Therefore, the ability of a country to establish its own rules and regulations concerning international activity is crucial to its success. Countries that are able to govern themselves and set up a system of guidelines to dictate their interactions with other nations are more likely to prosper. A country’s power to establish its own rules and regulations concerning international activity is a fundamental aspect of its sovereignty. Sovereignty is the supreme power of a state to govern itself and its territory. It is the basis for a state’s autonomy and independence in the international system. Therefore, states have the right to make decisions and laws that determine their interactions with other states. The ability to establish rules and regulations also enhances a state’s ability to promote its own interests and protect its citizens. For instance, a state can establish trade agreements and negotiate tariffs to promote its economic interests, or it can establish diplomatic protocols to promote its political interests. Without a strong system of rules and regulations, states would be unable to protect their interests or effectively interact with other states. In addition, a state’s ability to govern itself effectively can also affect its reputation and influence in the international system. States that are seen as stable, effective, and able to uphold the rule of law are more likely

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to attract investment, allies, and international support. Conversely, states that are seen as unstable or corrupt may struggle to attract investment or support and may even face sanctions or other consequences from the international community. Thus, the rule of attraction as a tool of soft power can be effective for states and actors if they can meet certain conditions, such as the marketplace of ideas, attitude change, attitudes and foreign policy. By using soft power in this way, states and actors can gain influence and power in the international arena without resorting to coercion or force. The rule of attraction is a tool of soft power that is used in political, diplomatic, and foreign policy contexts in international relations. However, it is important to define certain conditions that render the rule of attraction in soft power profitable for states and actors. Kroenig et al. (2010) identified three conditions for a theory of soft power: the marketplace of ideas, attitude change, and attitudes and foreign policy. Market Place of Ideas:  This concept is a metaphor founded in the philosophy of John Milton in his work Areopagitica in 1644 and John Stuart Mill in his book On Liberty in 1859 (Ingber, 1984). It is based on the economic concept of the free market, for which here it refers to freedom of expression. The “marketplace of ideas” is based on the economic concept of the free market, which here refers to freedom of expression. This marketplace is a forum where different ideas and perspectives are exchanged and debated. The goal is to arrive at the truth or the best possible solution to a problem. This process is also known as the “marketplace of ideas” because it is analogous to the way that prices are determined in a free market economy. Just as the prices of goods and services are determined by the forces of supply and demand, so too are the prices of ideas determined by the relative strength of the arguments for and against them.  The marketplace of ideas refers to the fact that ideas and values can compete and influence one another in the international arena, and states with persuasive and attractive ideas can gain more influence and power. The notion is mainly attached to the importance of fair and true competition, one that relies on the free flow of ideas and transparent public discourse. Thus, a successful practice of soft power by a state could be conditioned by a balanced market of ideas that renders the state, the nation (people), and the international audience and governments on an equal footing in regard to agreeing or disagreeing, sharing and receiving, and accessing the ideas within the national and the global market.

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Open access is what plays a role in the degree of attraction a state possesses; however, this attraction in the market of ideas is also conditioned by a number of indications that are certainly related to assuring the best image a country trades within the national and global arenas. A state that is attractive in the market of ideas is one that is perceived to be stable, efficient, and able to offer opportunities for cooperation and development. This image is cultivated through a number of channels, including a country’s diplomatic relations, economic performance, and media coverage. Thus, before soft power can be effectively exercised, steps to overcome any market failure caused by government censorship or other barriers may be necessary. Attitude Change:  Attitudes are associated beliefs and behaviors toward certain topics, ideas, beliefs, notions, and political views, which are formed through a person’s past and present experiences (McGuire, 1985; Allport, 1935). From a social psychology perspective, Eagly and Chaiken (1993) define an attitude as “a psychological tendency that is expressed by evaluating a particular entity with some degree of favor or disfavor” (p. 1). The psychological tendencies that drive behavior are largely shaped by social interactions and exposure to certain ideas or groups. Therefore, efforts to change a behavior must take into account an individual’s or group’s existing psychological tendencies. These tendencies can be changed over time through direct or indirect contact with different entities or ideologies.  The ability to change an attitude, along with an understanding of the factors that influence attitude acquisition, requires a message that is credible and attractive to the receiver. The message must also address the receiver’s ethos, pathos, and logos to achieve a degree of attitude change. Thus, attitude change can be achieved through persuasion and by leading the receiver to see a new perspective as more valuable than the old one. Attitudes and Foreign Policy:  Individual beliefs and attitudes influence the general atmosphere of the state and its decision-making processes. A state’s approach to soft power is a vital means of decision-making. A state’s power comes from the attitudes of the public and from its ability to shape and reshaping those attitudes, which in turn are key components of the process of drafting and creating attractive foreign policies that work to promote and benefit a state internationally.  To illustrate these conditions, let us take the example of a country that promotes democratic values and human rights as part of its foreign policy

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through the rule of attraction. The first condition, the marketplace of ideas, means that a country’s ideas and values will compete with other ideas in the international arena, and the more persuasive and attractive they are, the more influence this country will have. The second condition, attitude change, means that by promoting democratic values and human rights, this country can change the attitudes of people in other countries toward these issues, leading to changes in their behavior and actions. This could lead to more democratic and human rights-oriented policies and practices in other countries. The third condition, attitudes and foreign policy, means that by promoting democratic values and human rights, this country can also influence the foreign policy and strategic objectives of other countries. For example, other countries may be more likely to support this country’s initiatives at the United Nations or other international organizations if they share the same values and goals. Attraction is held via factors such as place, natural resources, people, history, culture, language, political systems, economic systems, social institutions, and infrastructure. It is a combination of the country’s magic spell of attracting foreign interest and affection. The Fombrun-RI Country Reputation Index (CRI) is a tool developed by Passow, Fehlmann, and Grahlow in coordination with Charles J.  Fombrun and the Reputation Institute, designed to measure how a country is perceived. One of the key reasons for selecting the CRI is its focus on measuring how a country is perceived by people outside of its borders. This emphasis on external perceptions aligns well with the essence of soft power, which involves the ability of a country to influence others through attraction and positive reputation. By capturing external perceptions, the CRI provides valuable insights into how a country’s reputation can impact its global standing and influence. The CRI includes 20 items related to six different dimensions of country reputation. The six dimensions are as follows: • Emotional appeal: Indicative of a state’s likelihood of being trusted and respected by international audiences. • Physical appeal: Perception of a country’s infrastructure by the international community. • Financial appeal: The key indicators of a country’s industrial development, growth, and profitability as viewed by other countries. • A country’s international reputation as a strong leader, respectful player in international law, and beholder of an appealing image. • Cultural appeal: The values of diversity and cultural richness. • Social appeal: Active contribution to the international community.

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The Fombrun-RI Country Reputation Index (CRI) is an essential tool for measuring how a country is perceived by people outside of its borders. This tool includes 20 different items that are used to measure six key dimensions of country reputation. The emotional appeal dimension, for instance, is an indicator of how likely a state is to be trusted and respected by international audiences. The emotional appeal dimension of a country’s reputation is an important aspect of soft power. It reflects the image and reputation of a country in the eyes of the international community. It encompasses how the country is perceived in terms of trust, respect, and admiration. Emotional appeal is closely linked to the idea of national identity, as it represents the emotional connection between the country and the people who perceive it. For instance, a country that is seen as trustworthy and respected is more likely to be successful in its international relations, as it is able to garner the trust and respect of other nations. The physical appeal dimension of a country’s reputation reflects the international community’s perception of the country’s infrastructure. This includes factors such as the quality of transportation, communication, and energy systems, as well as the availability of basic services such as health care and education. A country with well-developed infrastructure is likely to be seen as modern and efficient, which can in turn enhance its reputation and attractiveness to the international community. The financial appeal dimension of the Fombrun-RI Country Reputation Index (CRI) is a measure of how other countries view a country’s economic prosperity, competitiveness, and investment potential. It reflects how likely a country is to attract foreign investment and business and how its economic policies are perceived by the international community. This dimension takes into account a range of key indicators, such as a country’s gross domestic product (GDP), ease of doing business, technological innovation, and economic stability. A high ranking on the financial appeal dimension of the CRI can be beneficial for a country in many ways. It can increase a country’s access to global capital markets, improve its trade relationships with other countries, and attract foreign direct investment. It can also help a country to promote itself as a hub for business and investment and as a place with a high quality of life and good economic opportunities. However, a low ranking on this dimension can be a disadvantage for a country, as it may signal to potential investors and business partners that the country is not financially stable, economically competitive, or attractive for investment. This can lead to a lack of investment, trade barriers, and lower levels of economic growth.

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The leadership appeal dimension is an important dimension that measures a country’s international reputation as a strong leader, respectful player in international law, and possessor of an appealing image. The perception of a country’s leadership can significantly influence the country’s reputation and its soft power. A country that is viewed as having strong leadership that is respected internationally is more likely to be perceived as a trustworthy and reliable partner in international relations. This perception can lead to a more positive image of the country and can increase its soft power. Additionally, a country that is seen as respectful of international law can have a positive influence on global governance and contribute to a more stable international order. If a country is seen as having weak or ineffective leadership or as disregarding international law, its reputation may suffer, and it may lose soft power. In some cases, this can lead to negative consequences, such as economic sanctions or diplomatic isolation. Therefore, the leadership appeal dimension of the CRI is an important tool for countries to assess their reputation and identify areas for improvement in their international image. By working to improve their leadership reputation, countries can enhance their soft power and increase their influence in the international community. The cultural appeal dimension of the CRI measures a country’s cultural richness and diversity as perceived by people outside of its borders. This includes factors such as the country’s art, music, literature, and cuisine, as well as its history and traditions. A high score in this dimension suggests that the country is seen as having a rich and unique culture that is valued and respected by other nations. The social appeal dimension, on the other hand, assesses a country’s perceived contribution to the international community. This includes factors such as its efforts to promote human rights, peace, and social welfare, as well as its participation in international organizations and events. A high score in this dimension suggests that the country is seen as playing a positive and active role in the international community and is viewed as a responsible global citizen. Both the cultural and social appeal dimensions are important for a country’s soft power, as they reflect the values and ideals that it represents to the rest of the world. A strong cultural appeal can help to attract tourists, students, and investors, while a positive social appeal can help to build trust and goodwill with other countries. By promoting its culture and contributing to the international community, a country can enhance its reputation and influence on the world stage.

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CRI is an essential tool to measure a country’s effective use of soft power, and it can help to promote ideological change and enhance the quality of life for a nation’s people. By promoting new ideas and ways of thinking, ideological change can help break down barriers and improve understanding between different groups. It can also challenge existing power structures and help to create a more just and equal society. In this way, CRI and other similar tools provide a means of measuring a country’s soft power and its ability to influence other nations through attraction and persuasion rather than coercion. All in all, soft power can be used to promote ideological change and consequently enhance the quality of life for the nation’s people (Lin & Hongtao, 2017). By promoting new ideas and ways of thinking, ideological change can help to break down barriers and improve understanding between different groups. It can also challenge existing power structures and help to create a more just and equal society.

4  Nation Branding: South Korea as an Example Soft power is mainly concerned with investing effort into and using cultural resources, whether those related to ideas and ideologies, values and beliefs, identities, global brands, and pop cultural icons (Spry, 2016). The objective is to spark a sense of admiration and attraction to the nation’s image and thus to the nation’s brand and its value. In today’s globalized world, the national image (or brand) is of great value to any country; it is one of the key factors influencing a country’s position and importance in the international arena. Additionally, the way in which a country is perceived by other nations can have an impact on its international influence, economic interests, and power. This, in turn, can be influenced by the positive or negative images that exist of the country (Kinsey & Chung, 2013). The state’s policy of open communication through its nation’s image is key to successful public diplomacy practices, maintaining positive relations worldwide, and attracting foreign audiences. This section will examine the relationships between public diplomacy and nation branding and illustrate the efforts made by the South Korean government during the Lee administration in this area. Anholt (2013) defines nation branding as the way the nation’s image value is perceived and accepted or tolerated by others. According to Anholt, there are three key components to a nation’s brand: the country’s functional image, the emotional appeal, and the country’s global

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reputation. A nation’s brand is important because it can help a country attract investment, tourism, and talented individuals. A strong nation brand can also help a country weather economic downturns and other challenges. A country’s functional image refers to its competency in various areas, such as governance, infrastructure, and education. Emotional appeal is related to the country’s culture, heritage, and people and how they are perceived by others. Global reputation is the overall perception of a country’s image by the world community. By focusing on these three components, countries can shape their image and create a brand that resonates positively with their target audience. Kerr and Wiseman (2013) viewed a nation’s brand as “the application of corporate marketing concepts and techniques to countries, in the interests of enhancing their reputation in international relations” (p. 354). In academia, nation branding is addressed in various academic fields, such as the social sciences, political sciences, humanities, communication, marketing, and international relations. Nation branding is practiced by many countries, such as America and Canada—in which it is referred to officially as public diplomacy—as well as in South Korea, which has taken a leap of faith due to adopting this paradigm since 2008. The contemporary South Korean foreign policy is strongly committed to achieving and advancing its status as an “Advanced Nation” in the global arena, and thus, the slogan “Global Korea” has been adopted (John, 2016). The term “Advanced Nation” is used to describe a country that is highly developed and respected in the international community. To achieve this status, South Korea has implemented a number of initiatives, including increasing its contributions to international organizations, such as the United Nations, and increasing its engagement in global affairs. Additionally, South Korea has been working to improve its economic competitiveness through a number of reforms, such as deregulation and liberalization. During the Lee Myung-bak administration in 2008, Korea managed to follow the vision and advance it in the international affairs spectrum by hosting the G20 summit in Seoul. The Republic of Korea has achieved much in recent years, including hosting both the fourth High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in 2011 and the second Global Nuclear Security Summit in 2012. This has been a turning point for South Korean status in international affairs, paving the way for the country to be seen as a responsible and respected member of the global community and changing its status in international affairs.

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This lift has also been a result of the Lee administration’s serious consideration and investment in nation branding, for which the Presidential Council on Nation Branding (PCNB) was established in 2009 (Choi & Kim, 2014). Moreover, local governments played a major role in nation branding efforts by obtaining valuable projects and events. The Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics presented an opportunity to promote the values and views of a unified Korea by carrying the Korean flag that unites both South and North Korea. In his 2008 Liberation Day speech, Lee Myung-bak declared and made the founding steps toward the changed status South Korea is living in today. He stressed the need for pragmatism and the modernization of traditional culture. Lee Myung-bak’s speech highlighted the importance of pragmatism and the modernization of traditional culture in advancing a nation. He recognizes the need to bridge differences between classes and resolve militant strife for cooperation and harmony. Additionally, he acknowledges the significance of culture as an industry, indicating a shift toward a more diversified and holistic approach to national development beyond just economic prosperity. By promoting the development of cultural activities and competitiveness in the contents industry, Lee Myung-­ bak recognizes the role of culture in enhancing a country’s global reputation and nation brand. The PCNB’s efforts to enhance Korea’s national brand have certainly had a significant impact on the country’s global image and economic prosperity. The popularity of Hallyu, or the Korean Wave, is a prime example of how a strong national brand can translate into economic success. The recognition of the value of a national brand and the efforts to build it up through cultural exports and other means demonstrate an understanding of the importance of reputation and image in today’s globalized world. By leveraging its unique cultural heritage and modernizing traditional culture, Korea has been able to create a distinct and compelling brand that resonates with audiences around the world. In other words, Korea has long understood the value of a strong national brand in terms of advancing its image as a modern, economically, and culturally developed nation. This understanding has helped to drive the current popularity of the Hallyu. The government has invested heavily in establishing the Korea Brand as a thriving democracy that is creative and open to the world. This investment has yielded significant results, with the nation now being seen as a leader in many fields (Dinnie, 2009).

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It is clear that a nation’s branding is not an overnight process but a continuous and sustainable effort to improve a country’s image and prosperity. Suh Dae-won, who chaired the Presidential Council on Nation Branding in 2009, assured that the nation’s brand value cannot be upgraded in a short period of time due to its unique characteristics. He did not encourage making any excessively hasty moves or being focused on the tangible outcomes in the short term, as that does not create a sustained success. The essence of a nation’s brand value rests in the country’s overall level of dignity. It is necessary to set a goal and analyze the outcome carefully. He stressed that it is meaningless for the Korean government to engage in conversations on whether the country achieved more success or not. He viewed that it is only valuable and meaningful when other countries recognize it. Thus, the South Korean government took calculated and steady steps toward attaining a strong global nation brand. There are several key factors that contribute to a strong nation brand value. These include creating a favorable perception of the country, increasing its visibility on the global stage, and developing a distinct and cohesive national identity. Achieving a high-level nation brand value could be defined by a set of six main measurements that work to theorize and create a basis for South Korean nation branding. These spectra were suggested by the Anholt-Gfk Roper Nations Brand Index (Feinberg & Zhao, 2011; The Anholt-GfK Roper Nation Brands IndexSM 2018 Report [PDF Document], 2018), which include people, tourism, exports, governance, culture and heritage, and investment and immigration. Feinberg and Zhao (2011) view these six measurements as influential for a country’s government assessments of their own public diplomacy efforts but also a conscious effort to build the “social imaginary” of a nation (Valaskivi, 2013). “Social imaginary” is an approach forwarded by Charles Taylor in his book Modern Social Imaginaries (2004) that explains how the concept of social imaginary is created and maintained via policy interventions and marketing mechanisms to maintain, create, and shape a nation’s public/self-image. In this context, it helps promote a positive national image and create a brand identity that works to increase the country’s exports and attract foreign investments; thus, it is an investment into a nation’s reputation, which, in return, becomes a country’s most valuable currency. Taylor’s work is significant because it provides a detailed analysis of how social imaginaries are created and maintained. This is important for understanding how nations present themselves to the world and how they want to be perceived.

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In the South Korean experience, the Lee administration developed a serious agenda to delve into the luxury of this new currency. His administration policies put a major emphasis on empowering the nation’s competitiveness, creating pro-business policies for the objective of awakening and strengthening the nation’s economy, and encouraging friendly competitiveness in the entrepreneurial wave; therefore, he enhanced and ensured the state’s global standing through a strong economy, great value, and attractiveness, goals that were and are being enhanced and achieved through the PCNB. The initiative helped to raise awareness of the importance of nation branding and its potential benefits to the country. The PCNB was—or maybe it is even today—to an extent the holly book of nation branding and soft power as cultural diplomacy for South Korea. The great value of PCNB is that it was not designed to function as an independent body, but it, in fact, relies on collaborating, exchanging, delegating, and teaming up with the various bodies within the country. This makes it an extremely valuable asset, as it helps to ensure that all resources are being utilized efficiently and effectively. PCNB’s ability to work collaboratively with other organizations is a key factor in its success, and it is something that sets it apart, whether the private or the governmental sectors. Thus, it can be viewed as a great investment into every part and actor within the country to build the nation’s brand. In South Korea, nation branding is a national collective effort and not an individual step. South Korean nation branding also focused on elevating its global collaboration and investment in strengthening its friendships with countries globally and by setting global standards. Such values have been emphasized by Suh Dae-won (2009), who stressed the necessity of adopting “global standards” in the South Korean governing system. He viewed that it would benefit the country in terms of opening further horizons and to be accepted and respected globally. Suh Dae-­won’s remarks underscore the growing trend of globalization and the need for countries to adapt their systems to stay competitive on the global stage. To elevate to the ambitions set by the PCNB, there have been efforts to promote its ten main activities: Shaping the Future with Korea, Campus World: Global Korea Scholarship, Campus Asia, Korean Supporters, Global Korean Network, Promoting Korean and Taekwondo, Global Citizenship, Advanced Technology and Design Korea, Rainbow Korea, Friendly Digital Korea, and Korea Brand Index. All of which are—to my

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view—an investment in nation branding through promoting and empowering its values of culture, education, and identity. Focusing on one of these activities, I would like to discuss the one in relation to education “Campus World: Global Korea Scholarship” (currently termed GKS). Here, the PCNB is clearly investing in education as a soft power tool by establishing one of the leading scholarship initiatives worldwide. This governmental project aims to create networks of future leaders and influencers who are amicable to Korea by supporting international students with scholarships. The Campus World: Global Korea Scholarship (GKS) is one of the leading scholarship initiatives in the world and is a clear example of the South Korean government investing in education as a soft power tool. The scholarship provides full funding at some of the world’s top universities and has been incredibly successful in attracting top students from around the globe. The GKS is an excellent example of how the South Korean government is using education to build its soft power and influence the world stage. In addition, it promotes student exchange programs within the Asian sphere to promote mutual understanding among future leaders in the region. Therefore, Korea is not only achieving close-term goals but also investing in the long run. In the same vein of education-led endeavors, the PCNB focused on spreading the Korean language via the establishment of the King Sejong Institute (similar to British Council, American Language Centers, etc.) in various countries. The King Sejong Institute (http:// www.sejonghakdang.org) aims to teach and promote the Korean language and culture to those interested in learning Korean as a foreign language. The Foundation has three main objectives (King Sejong Institute Foundation > Responsibilities > KSI’s Operation > Designation, n.d.): • Dissemination of Korean culture through Korean language education targeted those who learn Korean as a foreign language. • Expansion of cooperation among nations through exchange from the perspective of cultural reciprocity. • Contribution to realizing cultural and language diversity through greater international exchange of languages and cultures. Public institutions under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism were established to manage Korean language education abroad and the distribution of Korean culture. We are trying to inform foreigners about Korean language and culture and to make foreigners’ interest in Korea grow into understanding and love for Korea.

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The objectives of the King Sejong Institute Foundation are laudable and important in promoting Korean language, culture, and values to the world. By disseminating Korean culture through Korean language education, the Foundation can help bridge cultural differences and foster greater understanding and appreciation for Korean traditions and customs. Additionally, the goal of expanding cooperation among nations through cultural reciprocity is crucial for building stronger global relationships and promoting peaceful coexistence. Finally, the Foundation’s commitment to realizing cultural and language diversity is admirable and in line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Overall, the King Sejong Institute Foundation’s objectives align with the promotion of cultural diplomacy and soft power and can help strengthen Korea’s global influence and reputation. Despite the dismantlement of the council of PCNB by the new administration of President Park Geun-hee in 2013, the country had made significant gains and is still echoing the achievements and values of Lee’s administration endeavors to date. Lee’s administration initiative had a key role in formulating policy options, whether domestically or on an international scale, to which more emphasis has been given. The PCNB initiative has made an effort to give national branding due importance in Korean society and government. Such efforts by South Korea have made it clear that factors of hard power, such as military power and possession of nuclear weapons, are more or less effective than a country’s soft power means of economic success and cultural attractiveness. All in all, it is evident that education plays a vital role in the advancement of countries by providing individuals with the necessary skills and knowledge to participate in various aspects of society. In addition, education helps to create a sense of national identity and pride among citizens. Looking to the future, it is essential that countries continue to invest in their education systems to stay competitive on the global stage. In conclusion, this chapter has provided an in-depth analysis of the role of education as a tool of soft power in international relations. The chapter began by discussing the theoretical framework of soft power and how education fits into this concept. It was established that education plays a crucial role in shaping a nation’s image and reputation and is thus an essential tool in the exercise of soft power. Furthermore, the chapter delves into the concept of intercultural education as a means of promoting soft power. The chapter also explored how education can be used as a tool of foreign policy and the advantages of soft

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power over hard power in achieving policy objectives. The section then moved on to discuss the mechanisms of soft power influence, particularly the rule of attraction. This rule suggests that countries can influence others by projecting an attractive image and promoting their values and culture. Finally, the chapter used South Korea as an example of a country that has successfully used education as a tool of soft power. Through the implementation of its nation branding strategy, South Korea has been able to enhance its image and reputation and has become a popular destination for tourism and investment.

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CHAPTER 4

Understanding the Role of International Higher Education in Nation Branding and Soft Power

Abstract  This chapter investigates state-level policies implemented to advance internationalization in higher education and examines the factors influencing these policies. Additionally, the chapter analyzes the growing significance of soft power as cultural diplomacy in shaping global higher education. To bridge theory and practice, a comprehensive survey using Q methodology is conducted to capture subjective viewpoints on the role of international higher education (IHE) in nation branding. The survey aims to understand perceptions and experiences related to factors, conditions, and dimensions associated with IHE’s impact on nation branding. The chapter examines the internationalization efforts in South Korea and Morocco. In South Korea, universities such as Korea University (KU) are actively collaborating with the government to enhance global competitiveness, foster innovation, and create a sustainable society. Meanwhile, Morocco’s University Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdellah (USMBA) aims to internationalize higher education and enhance the nation’s global status. Interviews with key stakeholders shed light on Morocco’s efforts and explore the potential of IHE, particularly exchange programs, as soft power tools for nation branding. This chapter provides comprehensive insights into the interplay between IHE, nation branding, and soft power. By examining policies, perspectives, and practices in South Korea and Morocco, it contributes to understanding the dynamic relationship between education, diplomacy, and national identity. © The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2023 A. Adoui, International Higher Education and The Rise of Soft Power as Cultural Diplomacy, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-44180-6_4

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Keywords  Internationalization • Soft power as cultural diplomacy • South Korea • Morocco • National identity

1   Exploring the Role of International Higher Education in Nation Branding: A Survey To provide a practical application of the theoretical frameworks explored in this research, a Q methodology survey was designed. This survey aims to capture the subjective viewpoints of respondents on various factors, conditions, and dimensions related to the role of IHE in nation branding. Through the analysis of Q-sets, this study seeks to gain a deeper understanding of the similarities and differences in respondents’ perceptions and experiences. However, it is important to note that the study only represents the views of Moroccan students living/studying in South Korea and may not necessarily reflect the opinions of other demographics or nations. The study’s insights into the perceptions of Moroccan students in South Korea regarding Korean nation branding are valuable and contribute to the broader exploration of Korea’s nation branding efforts. However, care should be taken when extending these findings to other populations or nations, as they are specific to the surveyed group. The study serves as an important starting point for further research that includes a more diverse sample, fostering a more nuanced understanding of Korean nation branding on a global scale. Research conducted on a specific group, such as Moroccan students, provides valuable insights into their perceptions of Korean nation branding. However, it is important to recognize that these findings are specific to this particular group and may not directly apply to other demographics or nations. Therefore, when interpreting the results and making broader assumptions about the perceptions of Korean nation branding, it is essential to exercise caution. The decision to choose Moroccan nationality as the target group is justified by various factors. Firstly, it has been a practical and accessible choice. Engaging with and obtaining responses from Moroccan students studying in Korea has been more feasible compared to accessing other international students. Secondly, focusing on Moroccan students offers the opportunity to gain insights into how Korean nation branding is perceived by individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds. Their

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perspectives can provide valuable contextual understanding and shed light on the effectiveness of nation branding efforts in different cultural contexts. While the study’s focus on Moroccan students yields valuable insights, it is crucial to acknowledge potential limitations and biases arising from the exclusivity of the sample. To enhance the generalizability of the study’s findings, future research should consider including a more diverse sample, encompassing various nationalities and cultural backgrounds. A broader international sample can contribute to a comprehensive understanding of how Korean nation branding is perceived globally and its impact on different audiences. The Q-set was developed by taking into account the mechanisms, conditions, factors, and dimensions to test the Global Korea strategy that started with the PCNB during the president Lee administration, especially concerning the effects IHE has had on Moroccans who have studied or are studying in South Korea. Thus, I test how IHE could be deployed as a means of soft power as cultural diplomacy through nation branding, especially in viewing the subjective view of Moroccan students in South Korea in their perception of the country as international students. The Q-set method differs from simple surveying and finding results in several ways. Rather than relying on standardized closed-ended questions, the Q-set method employs a set of statements (Q-set) that captures the nuances and complexities of the participants’ perceptions. The respondents are asked to rank and sort these statements according to their agreement or relevance, providing richer and more detailed insights into their viewpoints. This allows for a more in-depth exploration of the participants’ subjective experiences and perspectives. It enables a deeper understanding of how Korean nation branding is perceived through the lens of Moroccan students. However, it is important to acknowledge that the sample size of 69 respondents might be considered relatively small, which could limit the generalizability of the findings. The study’s focus on surveying only Moroccan students further adds to this limitation, as the results may not fully represent the perceptions of other international student populations or broader demographics. Despite these limitations, the Q-set method holds value in examining the specific context of Moroccan students’ perceptions of Korea’s nation branding efforts. By taking into account the unique cultural and experiential background of this particular group, the

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study gains valuable insights into the impact of IHE on their views of South Korea. The Q-set for this objective has been developed as follows: Part 1: South Korea as an Emerging Global Leader . S. Korea has achieved its goal as an advanced nation 1 2. S.  Korea is an important influencer in international affairs and relations 3. S. Korea is an advanced economy 4. S. Korea is praise worthy for being able to build a strong nation in almost half a century amid the war 5. S.  Korea is a trustworthy and respected country in the international arena 6. S.  Korean infrastructure (health, services, policies, etc.) is praise worthy 7. S. Korea has great financial appeal (industrial development, growth prospects, and profitability) 8. S. Korea has strong leadership and respect for international laws 9. S. Korea has a rich and diverse history and culture 10. S. Korea is a country that takes responsibility and contributes as a member of the global community This section aims to explore the various factors that have contributed to South Korea’s rise as an advanced nation and influential global player. From building a strong nation amid the devastation of war to developing world-class infrastructure and a diverse culture, South Korea has much to be proud of. Its impressive economic growth and profitability have attracted international attention, making it a model for other developing nations. In addition to its economic success, South Korea has also earned respect and trust in the international community through its adherence to international laws and its willingness to contribute to global initiatives. Its history and culture are rich and diverse, adding to its global appeal. Through a combination of strong leadership and effective policies, it has achieved its goals and become an important influencer in international affairs. This chapter explores each of these factors in detail, highlighting the unique characteristics that have made South Korea an emerging global leader.

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Part 2: South Korea’s Global Influence Through Education, Military Power, and Cultural Promotion . S. Korea is a global leader in education 1 2. S. Korea relies on military power to influence the global community 3. S. Korea focuses on promoting its nation through values of culture, education, sport, popular culture, tourism, and investment 4. S. Korean global relations are characterized by tension 5. S. Korean people are mediatized to be hospitable, respectful, kind, and helpful South Korea’s global influence extends beyond its economic success and respected international status. Its strengths in education, military power, and cultural promotion have also played a significant role in shaping its global presence. As a global leader in education, South Korea has a strong reputation for academic excellence and innovation. Its educational system has been the subject of international attention and admiration, producing some of the world’s most successful and high-achieving students. Despite its reliance on military power to defend itself and maintain regional stability, South Korea has also made significant efforts to promote its nation through cultural values such as education, sport, popular culture, tourism, and investment. These efforts have helped to raise South Korea’s profile on the global stage and attract international interest and investment. However, South Korea’s global relations are not without tension, particularly in its relations with neighboring countries such as North Korea and Japan. These relationships are complex and require careful management to ensure continued stability and peace in the region. Despite these challenges, South Korean people are often viewed as hospitable, respectful, kind, and helpful, further enhancing the country’s reputation as a welcoming and inclusive global partner. The P-set, or the respondents in this study, is drawn from a select population of individuals who are members of the “Moroccan Students in Korea” Facebook group. This group serves as a forum for Moroccan students who are currently studying or have previously studied in South Korea, either as exchange program participants or as enrolled students in Korean universities. As per the group’s stated purpose, it offers a virtual space for members of the Moroccan community who have experienced or are presently experiencing life in Korea. In the Q-sorting phase,

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respondents were instructed to react to the Q-set, for which they gave their viewpoint regarding the issues provided. For this objective, respondents are provided with a score sheet in each of the two Q-sorting sections. In the first one (10 Q-sets), the continuum includes successively agree- partially agree- neutral- partially disagree –disagree, while the second Q-sorting (5 Q-sets) has a continuum of Agree- I do not knowDisagree. Sixty-nine of the respondents answered these two sections of the survey, while one of the participants chose not to answer. Results Output 1: The Q-set results demonstrate that the respondents, who are members of the Moroccan Students in Korea Facebook group, hold generally positive views of South Korea and its global standing (Table 4.1). The high levels of agreement or partial agreement with the statements presented indicate a favorable perception of the country. Statement 7, in particular, received the highest level of agreement, which highlights the appeal of South Korea’s financial infrastructure and growth prospects. This suggests that the respondents perceive South Korea as an attractive destination for investment and industrial development. Furthermore, the relatively high level of agreement with statement 4, which praises South Korea for building a strong nation despite the Table 4.1  Views of Moroccan international students in Korean universities on South Korea

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challenges of war, reflects the respondents’ appreciation for South Korea’s resilience and determination. It also implies that the respondents recognize South Korea’s history and the challenges it has faced in achieving its current status as an advanced economy. On the other hand, the lower levels of agreement with statement 5, which characterizes South Korea’s global relations as being characterized by tension, suggest that the respondents perceive South Korea as a peaceful and cooperative nation in its international dealings. This indicates a positive perception of South Korea’s foreign policy and approach to international relations. The relatively small number of responses in the neutral category suggests that the respondents had strong opinions on the statements presented, indicating a clear bias toward their perceptions of South Korea. Additionally, the low level of agreement with statement 1 suggests that some respondents may not believe that South Korea has achieved its goal as an advanced nation, reflecting a more critical viewpoint toward the country’s progress. Overall, the Q-set results provide valuable insights into the attitudes and perceptions of a specific group of Moroccan students toward South Korea and its role in the international community. It highlights the importance of cultural and educational exchange programs in shaping individuals’ perceptions of other countries and their place in the global community. Output 2: In the second output of the survey’s matrix chart, there is an overall consensus as well on the views the participants share in relation to the Q-sets at hand (Table 4.2). To test the factors mentioned throughout the research, I have taken the idea of IHE as a soft power as cultural diplomacy tool and chose respondents who have had experience as students in South Korea to test the idea of whether education truly influences students’ subjective views of a country and the extent to which soft power policies could be an image shaper in the minds of foreign and exchange students. The survey questions aimed to tackle issues in relation to the Fombrun-RI six dimensions of a country’s reputation, which I will restate here briefly for ease of understanding:

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Table 4.2  Views of Moroccan international students in Korean universities on South Korean power

• Emotional appeal: likeliness, trustworthiness, and respect. • Physical appeal: infrastructure. • Financial appeal: industrial development, growth prospects, and profitability. • Leadership appeal: strong leadership, respect for international laws, and appealing vision. • Cultural appeal: values of diversity and the richness of culture and history. • Social appeal: taking responsibility and contributing to the global community. In my survey, I aimed to determine how well the Korean nation branding experience has fulfilled the six dimensions and created an image of Korea as a vibrant, dynamic democracy that is creative and open to the world, as described by Dinnie (2010). I specifically focused on the perceptions of Moroccan students in South Korea. In this section, I will provide a detailed analysis of the survey results and discuss each statement in relation to the six dimensions of appeal. Statement #1: S. Korea has achieved its goal as an advanced nation. The statement “S. Korea has achieved its goal as an advanced nation” was well received by the majority of the respondents in the study, with 85.51% agreeing with the statement. This indicates that the South Korean image as an advanced nation has been successfully established in the minds of Moroccan students who participated in the study. It is interesting to note that only 13.04% of the respondents partially agreed with the statement, suggesting that most respondents had a strong opinion on the

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matter. Additionally, no one disagreed or partially disagreed with the statement, which could imply that the respondents viewed South Korea’s development and progress favorably. This positive perception of South Korea as an advanced nation could have significant implications for the country’s public diplomacy efforts. If the South Korean government is able to maintain this image and build upon it, it could attract more investment and partnerships with other countries. It could also strengthen South Korea’s position on the global stage and improve its relationships with other nations. However, it is important to note that this study only represents the views of Moroccan students and may not necessarily reflect the opinions of other demographics or nations. Additionally, perceptions of South Korea as an advanced nation may be influenced by various factors, such as media representation, personal experiences, and cultural background. Statement #2: S. Korea is an important influencer in international affairs and relations. The statement “S.  Korea is an important influencer in international affairs and relations” received a positive response from the majority of respondents in the study. Specifically, 73.91% agreed with the statement, while only 13.04% remained neutral. This indicates that Moroccan students view South Korea as a significant player in the international affairs arena. This perception is likely influenced by recent South Korean efforts to promote peace between the Koreas and its important role in the American-North Korean Summit. The positive response to this statement is significant, as it suggests that South Korea’s international influence is being recognized beyond its regional context. This positive perception of South Korea as an important influencer in international affairs can have several implications. It can potentially lead to increased partnerships and collaborations between South Korea and other countries, as well as more opportunities to play a leadership role on the global stage. Furthermore, maintaining this positive image requires South Korea to continue its efforts to promote peace and stability in the region and globally, as well as its involvement in international affairs. It is also important for South Korea to actively engage with diverse audiences to shape its international image and maintain its position as an important influencer.

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Statement #3:  S. Korea is an advanced economy. The statement received an overwhelmingly positive response from the respondents, with 97% agreeing with the statement. This indicates that the majority of the Moroccan students who participated in the survey view South Korea as an economically advanced nation. This perception is likely influenced by South Korea’s remarkable economic growth over the past few decades, as well as its status as one of the world’s largest economies. Additionally, South Korea is home to several globally recognized corporations, such as Samsung and LG, which have contributed to the country’s reputation as an advanced economy. The positive response to this statement is significant, as it highlights South Korea’s economic achievements and its potential as a partner for other nations in economic cooperation. It can also lead to increased opportunities for South Korea to collaborate with other advanced economies and contribute to global economic development. Additionally, maintaining its position as an economically advanced nation requires South Korea to continue its efforts to promote innovation, competitiveness, and sustainability in its economy. In conclusion, the positive perception of South Korea as an advanced economy can have several implications for its international relations and economic cooperation. It is important for South Korea to actively engage with diverse audiences and maintain its efforts in promoting economic growth and stability to sustain its image as an advanced economy. Statement #4:  S.  Korea is praise worthy for being able to build a strong nation in almost half a century amid the war. The statement reveals that the majority of the Moroccan students who took the survey have a positive perception of South Korea’s achievements in building a strong nation in a short period of time, especially considering the wartime context. The response rate indicates that 91.30% (63×) of students agreed and 8.70% (6×) partially agreed. The students’ agreement suggests that they admire South Korea’s ability to achieve such remarkable advancements in a short period, which they consider praiseworthy. Moreover, this achievement reflects the country’s leadership and vision, indicating its capacity for successful nation-building.

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Statement #5:  S.  Korea is a trustworthy and respected country in the international arena. The results indicate that a significant majority of Moroccan students hold a positive view of South Korea as a trustworthy and respected country in the international arena. The high agreement rate of 82.61% suggests that South Korea has been able to build a positive reputation and image among the surveyed group. This positive perception of South Korea may have been influenced by various factors, such as its economic success, diplomatic efforts, cultural influence, and technological advancements. It is important to note that the values of trust and respect are subjective and can be influenced by a variety of factors, including personal experiences, media coverage, and political affiliations. Therefore, it would be interesting to further investigate the specific reasons behind the positive perception of South Korea among Moroccan students and to explore whether this perception is shared by other groups or countries. Overall, the high agreement rate of this statement reflects South Korea’s efforts to promote itself as a reliable and respected player in the international arena. This perception can be important for South Korea’s diplomatic and economic interests, as it can help the country to establish strong relationships and partnerships with other countries. Statement #6:  S. Korean infrastructure (health, services, policies, etc.) is praise worthy. Statement #6 in the survey aims to evaluate the perception of South Korea’s infrastructure among Moroccan students. The responses to the statement indicate that the majority of students hold a positive view of South Korean infrastructure, with 86.96% agreeing and only 1 respondent disagreeing with the statement. This suggests that South Korea’s infrastructure, including health, services, and policies, is viewed as praiseworthy by Moroccan students. The positive perception of South Korea’s infrastructure can be attributed to various factors, such as the country’s investment in research and development, innovation, and technology. South Korea has a reputation for having a highly efficient and modern healthcare system, and its policies, including its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, have been widely praised. The positive perception of South Korea’s infrastructure can have implications for the country’s image in the international arena. It can enhance its reputation as a modern and advanced nation and may attract investment and collaboration opportunities from other countries. Moreover, it

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can contribute to the soft power of South Korea, as the country’s infrastructure can positively influence the perception of its culture, values, and way of life. Statement #7:  S. Korea has a great financial appeal (industrial development, growth prospects, and profitability). The seventh statement of the survey focuses on the financial appeal of South Korea. The statement says that South Korea has great financial appeal due to its industrial development, growth prospects, and profitability. The responses to this statement show that the majority of the respondents, which is 88.41% (61×), agree with the statement, indicating that they perceive South Korea as a financially appealing country. Additionally, 10.14% (7×) partially agree with the statement, suggesting that they may have reservations about some aspects of South Korea’s financial appeal. It is worth noting that financial appeal is often associated with a country’s status as an advanced and economically prosperous nation. In this context, the positive perception of South Korea’s financial appeal by Moroccan students indicates that they view South Korea as an advanced and economically prosperous country. The factors contributing to this perception may include South Korea’s strong performance in areas such as technology, manufacturing, and international trade. These factors have helped to drive the country’s economic growth and development, which, in turn, has contributed to its financial appeal. Statement #8:  S. Korea has a strong leadership and respect for international laws. The eighth statement in the survey addresses the perception of South Korea’s leadership and its respect for international laws. The majority of respondents, amounting to 76.81% (53×), agreed with the statement. This indicates that the respondents have a positive view of South Korea’s leadership style, which includes adhering to international laws. Meanwhile, 14.49% (10×) partially agreed with the statement, meaning they may have some reservations about the country’s leadership or adherence to international laws. On the other hand, only 7.25% (5×) of respondents remained neutral, indicating a lack of clear opinion on the matter. One respondent even partially disagreed with the statement, which may suggest a negative perception of South Korea’s leadership style or commitment

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to international laws. Overall, the statement shows that the majority of respondents hold a favorable view of South Korea’s leadership and respect for international laws, although there are some who may have differing opinions. Statement #9:  S. Korea has a rich and diverse history and culture. The statement highlights the cultural and historical significance of South Korea, and the respondents of the survey have expressed a positive view on this aspect of the country. The high percentage of agreement (92.75%) shows that the majority of Moroccan students see South Korea as a country with a rich and diverse history and culture. This may be due to the popularity of South Korean cultural exports, such as K-pop and K-dramas, which have gained significant following in Morocco and around the world. Cultural and historical appeal is subjective and can vary from person to person. However, the high agreement percentage suggests that South Korea’s cultural and historical heritage is well regarded among the surveyed Moroccan students. Statement #10:  S. Korea is a country that takes responsibility and contributes as a member of the global community. The statement explores the social responsibility of South Korea toward the global community. The results show that a majority (69.57%, 48×) of the respondents agree with the statement, indicating that South Korea is perceived as a country that takes responsibility and contributes as a member of the global community. The 21.74% (15×) who partially agreed with the statement also suggest that the respondents have a positive view of South Korea’s involvement in the global community. However, there were some who remained neutral, with 7.25% (5×) of the respondents not having a clear opinion on this matter. One respondent partially disagreed, which may suggest that they hold a different view on South Korea’s contribution to the global community. Overall, the results suggest that South Korea is perceived positively in terms of its social responsibility toward the global community, with a majority of respondents holding a favorable view. In the second part of the survey, respondents were asked to react to the Q-set provided, and the results were as follows:

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Statement #1:  S. Korea is a global leader in education. The statement “S.  Korea is a global leader in education” received a mixed response from Moroccan students. However, the majority of the respondents, 85.51% (59×), agreed with the statement. This indicates that the students have a positive view of the education system in South Korea and perceive it as a leading system globally. The fact that the respondents have first-hand experience with the system adds credibility to their response. On the other hand, 8.70% (6×) of the respondents disagreed with the statement, indicating that they have a different view of the S Korean education system. This could be due to personal experiences or perceptions of the education system that differ from the majority. It is worth noting that a small percentage, 5.80% (4×), chose the “I do not know” option, which indicates a lack of knowledge or familiarity with the topic. It is possible that these students may not have enough information to form an opinion about the S Korean education system. Statement #2:  S. Korea relies on military power to influence the global community. The results of the survey suggest that Moroccan students do not perceive South Korea as a country that relies on military power to influence the global community. The majority of respondents, 78.26% (54×), disagreed with the statement. This suggests that South Korea’s approach to global influence is not centered around military might but rather on other factors such as economic, cultural, and diplomatic influence. This is in line with the concept of soft power, which refers to a country’s ability to influence others through noncoercive means, such as culture, values, and institutions. The relatively low percentage of students who agreed with the statement (11.59%) suggests that the idea of South Korea relying on military power is not a commonly held belief among Moroccan students. It is possible that this perception may be influenced by the way South Korea is portrayed in the media or by the country’s actions on the global stage. The results suggest that the soft power approach of investing in education and other means of influence is more prominent and respected by the Moroccan students surveyed. Statement #3:  S.  Korea focuses on promoting its nation through values of culture, education, sport, popular culture, tourism, and investment.

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The overwhelming agreement (97.10%) among the respondents of this survey suggests that South Korea has effectively promoted its nation through various means, such as culture, education, sports, popular culture, tourism, and investment. This result is not surprising considering the efforts made by South Korea to enhance its soft power in recent years. Through the promotion of its cultural products, such as K-Pop and Korean dramas, as well as investment in education and sports, South Korea has gained significant popularity and recognition in the international arena. Additionally, the country has been successful in promoting tourism by highlighting its natural and cultural attractions, which has contributed to the growth of its economy. The high level of agreement with the statement also suggests that South Korea has effectively communicated its values and priorities to the international community. By focusing on soft power means, the country has been able to present itself as an attractive and influential nation without relying on hard power tactics. Statement #4:  S. Korean global relations are characterized by tension. The data suggest that the majority of Moroccan students do not believe that South Korean global relations are characterized by tension. Only a small percentage of students agreed with the statement, while a larger percentage expressed uncertainty. This indicates that the perception of South Korea’s global relations is not clear or well defined in the minds of the respondents. However, it is worth noting that even a small perception of tension in South Korean global relations could have significant consequences for the country’s reputation and standing in the international community. As such, it is important for South Korea to continue to prioritize building strong and positive relationships with other countries to maintain its reputation as a respected and trusted member of the global community. Statement #5:  S. Korean people are mediatized to be hospitable, respectful, kind, and helpful. In this statement, the focus is on the emotional and cultural appeal of South Korea, specifically on the perception of the Korean people being hospitable, respectful, kind, and helpful. The majority of the Moroccan students (92.75%) agreed with the statement, while only a small

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percentage (4.35%) were unsure, and an even smaller percentage (2%) disagreed with it. The positive perception of the Korean people in terms of their hospitality, respect, kindness, and helpfulness can be attributed to various factors, such as the strong cultural values of Confucianism and the emphasis on social harmony, as well as the modern trend of Korean pop culture, which often showcases such values. The media has also played a significant role in mediating these positive traits of Korean people, both domestically and internationally. This statement showcases the cultural appeal of South Korea and how it is perceived by a group of Moroccan students. It is important to note that perceptions can vary based on various factors, such as cultural background, exposure to media, and personal experiences. Nevertheless, the overall positive perception of the Korean people in this statement reflects well on the country’s image as a whole and its potential to attract people from various backgrounds. All in all, South Korea has achieved its goal of becoming an advanced nation through perseverance and determination. It has become an important influencer in international affairs and relations while also being recognized as an advanced economy. Despite facing the challenges of war, South Korea has built a strong nation in a relatively short period, earning praise and respect globally. The nation’s infrastructure, financial appeal, strong leadership, rich history, and commitment to global responsibility contribute to its emergence as a global leader. South Korea strategically promotes its values through various means, including culture, education, sport, popular culture, tourism, and investment. The hospitable and respectful nature of its people further enhances South Korea’s global image. Through these multifaceted efforts, it solidifies its position as an influential global leader.

2  Internationalization of Higher Education: Comparative Look at South Korea and Morocco 2.1   Internationalization of Higher Education in South Korea: Korea University According to the South Korean National Institute for IHE affiliated with the Ministry of Education, South Korea received 63,104 international students in 2016, which in 2017 increased to almost 50%, represented by

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123,850 students, 70,232 of whom were affiliated with higher educational institutions and 51,856 of whom were part of nondegree programs. In 2018, there was a rise in international students by 19% compared to 2017, with 142,205 international students. Therefore, in a period of three years, South Korea has managed to edge closer toward its goal of 2020  in its Global Korea vision of receiving 200,000 international students by that year. Nonetheless, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the goal has been moved to 2023. South Korea is known for its impressive education system and commitment to innovation, and its universities are no exception. The country’s universities are working closely with the government to achieve the goals set for the 2023 vision of the country, which aims to strengthen Korea’s global competitiveness by promoting innovation and creating a more sustainable society. One such university that is working toward these goals is Korea University (KU), a private research university located in Seoul that was established in 1905. KU has a notable list of alumni, including former South Korean president Lee Myung-Bak, who served from 2008 to 2013. KU’s motto is “Liberty, Justice, Truth,” and the university strives to uphold these values in all aspects of its operations. Gil-Sung Park, the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs at KU, describes the university as “a mecca for educational innovation.” KU offers a wide range of programs and initiatives designed to foster creativity and encourage students to tell their stories. For example, the university has a program called the KU Storytelling Project, which provides students with the opportunity to share their experiences and perspectives through various forms of media, such as writing, photography, and film. In addition to promoting innovation and creativity, KU is committed to sustainability. The university has implemented various initiatives to reduce its environmental impact and promote sustainability, such as a bike-sharing program and a campus-wide recycling system. Korea University’s motto, “Liberty, Justice, Truth,” is not just a mere phrase or slogan but rather a set of values that the university aims to instill in its students and faculty members. This motto serves as the foundation of the university’s philosophy and drives its commitment to academic excellence, innovation, and social responsibility. To further promote the values of the university, KU has developed two model courses, namely, “Liberty, Justice, Truth Seminar” and “Liberty, Justice, Truth Studio.” These courses offer students a unique opportunity to apply the values of

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the university to their studies and research, breaking down the traditional barriers between different fields of study. The Seminar is a discussion-based course that encourages students to engage in critical thinking and analysis of contemporary issues from a multidisciplinary perspective. The Liberty, Justice, Truth Studio, on the other hand, is a hands-on course that focuses on experiential learning and practical applications of the university’s values. According to Gil-Sung Park, these courses have received overwhelmingly positive feedback from students, who appreciate the opportunity to integrate their personal values with their academic pursuits. These courses go beyond mere academic achievements and reflect the core values of liberty, justice, and truth, which are integral to KU academic philosophy and mission. By offering innovative and interdisciplinary courses, KU seeks to instill these values in its students and equip them with the skills and knowledge needed to make a positive impact on society. KU courses aim to break the walls between various fields of study and research and provide a concrete experience for students to understand human beings and aspects of value inquiry, as well as the understanding of the world and paradigms of practical consciousness. The “Liberty Justice Truth I” course is designed to guide students to understand the different aspects of human beings, including language, ideals, desire, culture, and art. The course is a convergence of several other fields, such as mathematics, logic, epistemology, linguistics, cognitive science, sociology, political science, psychoanalysis, aesthetics, and cultural anthropology. This course seems to be a multidisciplinary approach that enables students to understand the complexity of human beings from different perspectives, leading to a broader understanding of the world. The “Liberty Justice Truth II” course focuses on understanding the world and paradigms of practical consciousness in the aspects of perception, space, time, body, law, and economy. This course is born out of the convergence of scientific technology, perception theories, sociology, astronomy, geology, culture theories, natural science, philosophy, gender theories, and bioscience. This course provides students with an opportunity to explore the world from various perspectives, which can help them develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills. The positive feedback from students indicates that the courses are successful in their goal of breaking down barriers between different fields of study and research. These courses provide a unique opportunity for students to gain a broader understanding of the world and develop multidisciplinary thinking skills.

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The success of these courses can also be attributed to the emphasis on the university’s motto of “Liberty, Justice, Truth” as the guiding principle for the curriculum. Thus, KU’s approach to integrating their university motto into their model courses is a unique and ambitious approach to education. The multidisciplinary courses enable students to understand the complexity of human beings and the world we live in from different perspectives. The positive feedback from students indicates that this approach is successful, and it will be interesting to see how these courses continue to develop in the future. The vision and values of Korea University have made it stand at the top of the private universities in South Korea and made it one of the three best universities in the country, commonly abbreviated by SKY (Seoul National University, Korea University, and Yonsei University). KU contributes tremendously to the objectives set by the Korean government in the educational sector; it is contributing as well to the 2020 vision by being the host of approximately 3% of the country’s overall enrollment of international students in 2018. KU has a total of 37,011 students, with the majority of 29,771 students on the Seoul campus and 7240 on the Sejong campus. Out of the total number of students on the Seoul Campus, 2327 or 11.03% are international students. It is noteworthy that KU has a relatively low percentage of international students compared to other universities in South Korea, with only 3% of the nation’s international student enrollment. The low percentage of international students at KU could be attributed to various factors, such as the language barrier, high tuition fees, and a lack of marketing efforts aimed at attracting international students. However, it is important to note that KU has been making efforts to attract more international students, as evidenced by the increase in the number of international students from 1981  in 2015 to 2327  in 2021. Attracting more international students could benefit KU in several ways, such as enhancing its global reputation, promoting cultural diversity, and boosting its revenue through tuition fees. Therefore, it would be beneficial for KU to continue its efforts to attract more international students by addressing the factors that could hinder their enrollment. Korea University’s commitment to internationalization and opening to the world has been demonstrated through its membership in the U21 program. KU joined this program in 2004, becoming the 17th member of the initiative that aims to empower, exchange, and collaborate with students and staff from 27 world-class universities. The program aims to

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promote and cultivate the culture of international knowledge exchange, which is essential to collectively and innovatively face the “challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution” era. As noted by Gil-Sung Park in an interview with KU Today, this program is essential to ensure that all members of the U21 network benefit from the network. The U21 network has developed a network of over 1 million students and 200,000 staff from 27 universities, fostering global citizenship and encouraging institutional innovation, which are core values of KU. By joining the U21 program, KU committed itself to advancing IHE and developing a global mindset among its students and staff. This will enable the university to cultivate the skills and knowledge required to navigate the challenges of the rapidly changing global landscape. Additionally, membership in the U21 program allows KU to collaborate with leading universities around the world, facilitating the exchange of knowledge and ideas and fostering innovation and creativity. Korea University Campus program for undergraduates. According to the International Mobility & Cooperation Team, Office of International Affairs, the university sends approximately 20% of its matriculating students, or approximately 1000 students, abroad each year as a part of this program. This is a significant effort to expose students to new cultures, languages, and perspectives, which can ultimately enhance their academic and professional growth. The university’s dedication to international exchange is also demonstrated by the numerous international exchange program agreements it has signed with 395 universities in 49 countries around the world, as reported by the same office. This allows students to have access to a wide range of academic opportunities and experiences while also promoting cultural exchange and mutual understanding. Moreover, these international partnerships provide opportunities for joint research projects, faculty exchanges, and other collaborations that can lead to academic advancement and innovation. It is also worth noting that these efforts align with the university’s core values of promoting diversity, global citizenship, and academic excellence. KU is an example of a leading global university that paid due importance to its brand value. In the process of its internationalization, KU focuses on bringing global citizenship values to the forefront, creating concrete and achievable innovative goals, contributing to the global exchange of knowledge by easing the mobility of students and staff from within and abroad, and opening up doors of opportunity to international students.

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2.2   Internationalization of Higher Education in Morocco: Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdellah University The Moroccan government has taken numerous measures to enhance access to education and improve the country’s knowledge economy. King Mohammed VI declared the period from 1999 to 2009 as the “Education Decade,” during which the government implemented several initiatives focused on education, governance, private sector development, e-­commerce, and accessibility. The World Bank and other international agencies have supported these efforts. The Education Decade aimed to improve the performance of the educational system, meet the needs of the socioeconomic environment, prepare students for integration into the social and economic environment, establish a system of progressive orientation and reorientation, and develop methodological, linguistic, and communicative abilities. The Moroccan government’s dedication to improving education is a vital step toward building a knowledge-based economy. Higher education plays a crucial role in achieving this goal, and the pedagogical objectives set by stakeholders reflect a clear understanding of the importance of preparing students for the demands of the job market. The collaboration of international agencies such as the World Bank also shows the importance of global partnerships in achieving development goals. Overall, the Moroccan government’s efforts toward education reform demonstrate a commitment to creating a prosperous future for the country and its citizens. The Ministry of Education has established a vision for advanced education which emphasizes a student-centric and customized approach, tailored to meet the professional requirements of the learners. Additionally, the ministry is actively promoting integrated higher education, whereby the attention is directed toward the incorporation of foreign languages and computer tools and competencies. Additionally, there have been efforts to facilitate Moroccan students’ graduate studies in Morocco and abroad. In the course of achieving these objectives, the ministry has put due importance on mobility programs and international cooperation efforts to create visibility for the Moroccan educational system and to internationalize higher education. The statistics provided by the Moroccodemia platform indicate that there has been a fluctuation in the number of students enrolled in HE institutions in Morocco over the years. While the 2014–2015 academic

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year witnessed a total enrollment of 830,000 students, with 16,000 of them being international students, the number dropped to 796,000 in the following academic year of 2015–2016, signifying a decline of 4.1%. This trend raised concerns among the stakeholders in the education sector, who attributed the decline to various factors, including the limited availability of seats in higher education institutions, the quality of education, and the high cost of tertiary education. However, the Moroccan government has made significant efforts to address these challenges and improve access to higher education in the country. In the 2018–2019 academic year, the number of students rose to 864,289, marking an increase of 8.6% since 2016. This development is a testament to the various reforms and initiatives that have been undertaken to improve the education system and enhance access to higher education for students in Morocco. According to the European Commission (2020), the Ministry of Education in Morocco sets partnerships between Moroccan and foreign universities, which help Moroccan students benefit from a number of possible short- or long-term courses overseas; an excellent example is the Tempus and Erasmus+ programs. The increasing number of foreign students in Moroccan universities, particularly from African countries, has been highlighted by the commission. This growing trend has been further fueled by the Moroccan Agency of International Cooperation (AMCI), which has demonstrated a clear emphasis on building partnerships and collaboration with African nations through Morocco’s south–south cooperation. In line with this, the European Commission (2020) reports that 75% of the foreign students enrolled in Moroccan universities are from sub-Saharan African countries. Additionally, more than 30% of these students are pursuing Master’s or Doctoral degrees. This trend indicates a growing interest and recognition of Morocco as a destination for higher education among African students. It also signifies the increasing role of Morocco as a hub for knowledge exchange and collaboration in the region. The presence of a diverse range of students from various African nations could potentially lead to the development of a rich and dynamic academic environment, where different perspectives and experiences can be shared and leveraged for mutual benefit. As a result, this trend could also have a positive impact on the overall academic standards and quality of education in Moroccan universities. According to the Moroccan Agency for International Cooperation (AMCI), the number of foreign students for the 2017–2018 academic

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year was over 11,000. The report indicated that 85% of these students were from African and Sub-Saharan countries, with 9000 students from this region. Since the creation of AMCI, the country has received over 25,000 international students; however, updated statistics are not available on AMCI’s website to assess the exact overall number of international students in Moroccan higher education institutions. In line with the government’s goals and its efforts to internationalize higher education in Morocco, the University of Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdellah has set a new slogan that encapsulates its ambitions: “Modern, Creative, and Entrepreneurial University.” The university has drawn up a number of missions for itself, including increasing participation in international cooperation, bringing people together, and promoting the development of universal principles. These values are reflected in a variety of student exchanges and mobility programs that the university offers. By participating in these programs, students are able to gain invaluable experiences and skills that will prepare them for the increasingly globalized world. Furthermore, by embracing universal values and principles, the University of Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdellah is helping to foster a culture of tolerance, diversity, and understanding both within the university community and beyond. Overall, the university is making significant strides toward achieving its goals of becoming a modern, creative, and entrepreneurial institution committed to promoting international cooperation and universal principles. In an interview with one of the stakeholders at USMBA, I have gotten a sense of the efforts made by the university in terms of student exchange and mobility. The interviewee provided information about the number of exchange programs and international cooperations at the university. They mentioned that the university is engaged in various exchange programs at the international level, including collaborations with the European Union, the United States, Britain, and some African countries. The interviewee specifically mentioned five exchange programs, which encompass student mobility, teaching staff mobility, administrative staff mobility, individual department collaborations, and training programs. The exchange programs mentioned were ERASMUS+, Ibn Battouta, Fatima lFihria, TEMPUS, and Ibn Khaldoun, which facilitate both incoming and outgoing students. The interviewee emphasized the university’s active participation in these exchange programs. The university’s engagement in exchange programs and international cooperation initiatives is a positive development, as it allows for the

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sharing of knowledge, ideas, and best practices with other institutions worldwide. This exchange of information helps to improve the quality of education, research, and innovation at the university. Moreover, such exchange programs provide students with the opportunity to experience different cultures, education systems, and ways of thinking. This exposure broadens their perspectives and enhances their skills, which is beneficial for their future careers. Similarly, staff mobility and training programs enable the exchange of expertise, leading to the improvement of teaching, research, and administrative practices. However, it is crucial to note that the success of exchange programs and international cooperation initiatives depends on various factors, such as adequate funding, institutional support, and effective communication between the participating institutions. Therefore, the university must ensure that these programs are adequately supported and that they have a sustainable framework to ensure long-term success. The interviewee stated that approximately 120 students had benefited from the university’s exchange programs as outgoing students in the previous three years (2017–2019). This indicates that the university has been active in promoting and facilitating study abroad opportunities for its students. However, it is not clear from the response whether this number represents an increase or decrease compared to previous years or whether it reflects the university’s capacity for sending more students abroad. It would have been useful to know more about the specific exchange programs and their eligibility criteria, as well as the support provided to students throughout the process. The interviewee also mentioned that the university had received approximately 80 incoming students from mainly EU countries in the previous three years. While this number is smaller than the outgoing students, it suggests that the university is actively engaged in internationalization efforts and is attracting students from a range of countries. Overall, the response provides some insight into the university’s exchange programs and their impact on student mobility. However, more detailed information is needed to fully evaluate the effectiveness and accessibility of these programs. During the years 2015–2019, the faculty received over 200 international students, with the majority enrolling in the department of English studies, particularly in master’s and doctoral programs, as well as some at the undergraduate level. The department of German studies, French studies, and even the Islamic studies department also welcomed international

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students. It is worth noting that the Department of History received one international incoming student from the University of Rome. This influx of international students demonstrates the university’s ability to attract a diverse student body across various departments, fostering a more inclusive and globally oriented learning environment for all students. The global reach and impact of USMBA over a six-year period from 2012 to 2017, allowed the university to engage in an impressive 124 international conventions, demonstrating its commitment to forging meaningful partnerships and collaborations across the globe. These cooperative agreements spanned six continents, including Europe, the Arab world, Asia, the Americas, and Africa, and involved countries from diverse cultural and geographical backgrounds. Specifically, USMBA established conventions in 12 European countries, 15 Arab countries, 4 Asian countries, 3 countries in the Americas, and 3 countries in Africa, solidifying its position as a truly global institution. These conventions and partnerships have undoubtedly contributed to the university’s reputation for excellence and its ability to attract international students and scholars to its campus. The 2019 data available on USMBA’s official website indicated that there has been a slight increase in the number of cooperations in Europe, from 68 to 77 conventions. However, there has been a decrease in the number of countries involved in these cooperations, from 12 to 11, during the 2018–2019 academic year. The majority of these cooperations are with France, with a significant number of conventions, 43, established with this country. Other countries with which USMBA has established conventions include Spain, Italy, Portugal, Germany, and Romania, among others. These data highlight USMBA’s continued commitment to fostering partnerships and collaborations with European institutions and organizations, particularly in France, which may provide valuable opportunities for student and faculty exchange, joint research, and other academic pursuits. While the decrease in the number of countries involved in these cooperations may be cause for concern, the overall increase in the number of conventions suggests that USMBA remains committed to its global outreach efforts. Regarding the goals planned in relation to the university’s numerous cooperation, the interviewee expressed their perspective on two key questions. When asked about the extent to which the university has achieved its planned goals, the interviewee acknowledged that they believe the goals have not yet been fully accomplished. However, they emphasized that the

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university has been actively fostering an increased number of exchange programs. This effort has been facilitated by the shared philosophy among stakeholders at the university, which centers on expanding research projects and enhancing the participation of incoming and outgoing exchange students. The interviewee expressed a strong desire to invest in research endeavors and actively engage in international encounters and publications. When asked whether the university has attained a comparable level of prominence as other leading universities worldwide, the interviewee drew attention to the university’s notable advancements. They highlighted the positive developments observed in international rankings such as the New York ranking and the Hong Kong ranking. These achievements, they noted, are not solely attributed to courses or exchange programs, but also to the university’s commitment to bolstering its publication output. Additionally, the university is actively working on initiatives to establish digital identities for researchers. According to their response, the university has yet to fully achieve its planned goals. The focus extends beyond mere numerical targets, as they aim to foster international encounters and enhance publication output. Notably, the university’s improved performance in international rankings, such as the New York and Hong Kong rankings, reflects progress achieved through various avenues, including courses, exchange programs, and publications. Additionally, efforts are underway to establish digital identities for researchers, underscoring the university’s dedication to enhancing its research profile. Overall, the interviewee’s remarks highlight the university’s ongoing pursuit of continuous improvement, emphasizing research, internationalization, and reputation building to position itself alongside other leading institutions worldwide.

3  Traces of Soft Power and Public Diplomacy in Morocco in Light of the International Higher Education To get a better glimpse at the objectives and efforts made by USMBA in terms of internationalization, as well as to attempt and draw conclusions on the great potential of IHE—especially in terms of exchange program efforts—as soft power tools promoting a nation’s brand and global status of Morocco, I have conducted interviews with a stakeholder at USMBA,

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as well as the international relations specialist, political analyst, and professor of IR studies at Son Moon University in South Korea, Dr. Mohammed El Bouchikhi. To discuss the goals spectrum in the internationalization efforts taking place at USMBA, I asked questions in relation to the goals set by the university in this regard. In terms of the main objective of international cooperation at the university, the interviewee emphasized the aim to contribute to the internationalization of educational programs and the research objectives established by the university. Additionally, they highlighted the university’s philosophy of offering courses that encourage studies and research, not only for the benefit of local and international communities but also to foster cultural encounters and challenge negative stereotypes that may have been perpetuated by the media. These subobjectives underscore the significance of IHE as a means of diplomacy and enhancing the nation’s brand image, as well as bringing to action the spirit of “student ambassadors.” To attempt to obtain a sense of the impact, international student exchange has on incoming students. The interviewee expressed a strong affirmation when asked about the impact of international student exchange programs on incoming students’ attitudes toward Moroccan culture. They view that the exchanges have had a significant and positive influence on the students’ perceptions. When these students are called upon to provide testimonials on an international level, they consistently share positive feedback about Moroccan culture, emphasizing the helpfulness of the people and the valuable lessons they have learned. The interviewee further noted that the exchange programs have played a crucial role in dispelling stereotypes and prejudices, such as Islamophobia and extremism, that the students may have held before their experiences in Morocco. This response highlights the effectiveness of international student exchanges in fostering cultural understanding and eradicating misconceptions. It emphasizes the vital role of such programs in promoting cross-cultural dialogue and mutual learning. To get into a direct discussion on the notion of IHE as a soft power and cultural diplomacy tool, I have engaged in an interview with the IR specialist Dr. El Bouchikhi Mohammed, who kindly provided input in this regard. The first question addressed to Dr. El Bouchikhi was “To what extent do you see that soft power as cultural diplomacy is present in Moroccan international relations?”:

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Morocco has adopted soft power through various forms, namely, religious moderation and deradicalization as well as international higher education. However, the main tool of Moroccan soft power and cultural diplomacy remains religion moderation and deradicalization programs because of their major impacts on Morocco’s status in international relations. Despite dating back to the previous decades, international higher education programs did not receive much attention from Morocco as a means of soft power.

The interview with Dr. El Bouchikhi Mohammed sheds light on the concept of soft power as cultural diplomacy in Moroccan international relations. According to Dr. El Bouchikhi, Morocco has adopted soft power as cultural diplomacy in various forms, including religious moderation and deradicalization programs as well as IHE. However, he emphasizes that the main tool of Moroccan soft power as cultural diplomacy is religious moderation and deradicalization programs due to their significant impact on Morocco’s status in international relations. The interview also reveals that IHE programs have not received much attention from Morocco as a means of soft power as cultural diplomacy, despite being available for several decades. This information highlights the need for Morocco to further develop its IHE programs as a way of promoting its culture, values, and expertise globally. Thus, the interviews suggest that soft power as cultural diplomacy is present in Moroccan international relations and that Morocco should explore and invest more in IHE programs to strengthen its soft power as cultural diplomacy strategy. Elaborating on the last idea, the following question was raised: “IHE is a means of soft power as cultural diplomacy for many leading countries (USA, S. Korea…), where do you position Morocco in this Regard?” Compared to the mentioned countries, Morocco is still lagging behind. However, international higher education programs remain inadequate since few robust programs have been implemented, although Morocco has presented various scholarships to many students across the world since the 1980s or even earlier. Moreover, there is no follow-up with those students that were hosted by Morocco, either through scholarship or exchange programs, as important assets for the nation to “use” them to introduce Morocco to their respective countries and cultures and work as bridges of mutual understanding and reciprocal benefits for both sides. It is worth noting that many Moroccan universities, such as l’Université Internationale de Rabat and Al Akhawayn University, have recently launched

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various international higher education programs; however, publicly financed universities are still lagging behind. The latter should also be involved in such programs with the aim of introducing Morocco and enhancing its image internationally.

The views of the interviewee support the views in this book. According to Dr. El Bouchikhi, Morocco still lags behind leading countries such as the United States and South Korea in using IHE as a means of soft power as cultural diplomacy. While Morocco has presented various scholarships to students around the world since the 1980s, there have not been many robust programs in place. Additionally, there has been no follow-up with the students hosted by Morocco, either through scholarship or exchange programs, to utilize them as assets to introduce Morocco to their respective countries and cultures. This lack of follow-up prevents these students from acting as bridges of mutual understanding and reciprocal benefits for both sides. However, Dr. El Bouchikhi notes that some Moroccan universities, such as l’Université Internationale de Rabat and Al Akhawayn University, have launched various IHE programs. Nonetheless, publicly financed universities still need to be involved in such programs to enhance Morocco’s image internationally. Discussing the potential impact IHE exchange could have on Moroccan foreign diplomacy, it was essential to me to address this question to Dr. El Bouchikhi: “In your views, what impacts or potential impacts does international student educational exchange have on Moroccan IR?” International exchange students are valuable assets for the host countries once they return back to their respective countries. Wining the minds and hearts of international students remains the goal of the host countries because of their role in influencing the views of their respective citizens. Therefore, I believe the impact of international students that were hosted by Moroccan universities will be at different levels, such as enhancing the image of Morocco in their entourage, encouraging tourism toward Morocco, creating and strengthening economic opportunities, and presenting themselves as ambassadors of Morocco. To reach such results, Moroccan diplomatic missions across the world should follow up with these students and keep strong connections with them, encourage, and support them in organizing different events about Morocco.

Dr. El Bouchikhi emphasizes the importance of international student exchange as a means of soft power as cultural diplomacy and the potential

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impacts it could have on Moroccan international relations. He sees international exchange students as valuable assets for Morocco, who can influence the views of their respective citizens and enhance the country’s image in their entourage. In addition, he notes that these students can also encourage tourism, create economic opportunities, and serve as ambassadors of Morocco in their home countries. However, to achieve these results, Dr. El Bouchikhi emphasizes the importance of follow-up and strong connections with these students. He suggests that Moroccan diplomatic missions across the world should keep in touch with these students, encourage and support them in organizing events about Morocco, and use them as bridges of mutual understanding and reciprocal benefits for both sides. He believes that international student exchange can have significant positive impacts on Moroccan foreign diplomacy, but it requires a comprehensive strategy and follow-up to ensure that these impacts are realized.

4  Web as Attraction and Reflection of the University’s Brand Identity The web remains a university’s window to the world, a tool to promote a university’s values, and a means to create and spread its brand image— whether on a local or international level. On its part, USMBA endeavors to internationalize its higher education and to create a sphere of a modern, creative, and entrepreneurial university, as its slogan suggests. To test these goals, I have chosen to analyze USMBA’s website through a web scraping technique and the use of WayBackMachine. I envision as well as looking at the website from the lenses of language, content, design, and product. 4.1   A Look at Different Stages in USMBA’s Website Front Webpage To thoroughly examine the various stages of the website, I utilized the WayBackMachine, an online digital archive of the Worldwide Web. Launched in 2001 by the Internet Archive, a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California, the WayBackMachine is a digital archive of the World Wide Web. It is written in a combination of Java, Python, and Perl, and it has saved over 357  billion web pages to date. The WayBackMachine schedules regular crawlings of websites, which means

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that it periodically takes snapshots of web pages and stores them in its archive. By using the WayBackMachine to extract data, researchers can analyze changes to websites over time, which can be useful for a variety of purposes, including tracking the evolution of a company’s online presence, investigating historical events or social movements, and identifying changes in public opinion or sentiment over time. In short, the WayBackMachine is an invaluable tool for researchers who want to analyze how websites have changed over time, and it has the potential to provide insights into a wide range of topics. The WayBackMachine saved USMBA’s website 202 times over a span of 13 years, from March 20, 2005, to September 18, 2018. To gain insight into how the website has evolved over the years, this study will analyze the major times when the website’s design underwent significant changes and compare the contents shared during each period to determine how advanced it has become. Specifically, this section will focus on website designs from 2005, 2007, and 2010 in relation to the 2019 website. By examining the differences and similarities between these snapshots of the website, we can gain a better understanding of how USMBA’s online presence has changed over time and how it has adapted to the ever-changing digital landscape (Figs. 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, and 4.4). The language used by USMBA’s website has undergone changes over time. Initially, the university had mainly focused on the use of the French language, which is the official language of education in Morocco. However, over the years, the university has recognized the importance of incorporating Arabic into its website. This was particularly evident in the 2007 web-­ shot, where a section dedicated to Arabic was added to the website. Having a multilingual functioning university website is a crucial tool for achieving internationalization purposes. By providing information in different languages, universities can appeal to international audiences and facilitate access to information. This is particularly important for universities that receive a large number of international students or have partnerships with foreign institutions. The use of multiple languages on a university website can also help to breakdown language barriers and promote cultural exchange, which is essential for building relationships and understanding between different countries and cultures. The USMBA website has shown improvement in terms of content, design, and product over the years. However, it is important to assess the frequency of updates and the overall user experience. Therefore, in the next section of the analysis, we conduct a 14-day scraping of the website

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Fig. 4.1  USMBA’s website front page 2005

Fig. 4.2  USMBA’s website from page 2007

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Fig. 4.3  USMBA’s front page 2010

to determine the number of updates that have been made. Additionally, we will gather feedback from USMBA students regarding their experiences using the website. This will help us to determine if the updates in content, design, and product have been sufficient to meet the needs of the users. By conducting this evaluation, we can gain a better understanding of the effectiveness of the university’s efforts to improve the website and enhance the overall user experience.

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Fig. 4.4  USMBA’s front page 2019

4.2   Data Updates: Web Scraping For these objectives, I have chosen to use the methods of web scraping and data mining of the university’s website using Import.Io. I have chosen two URLs to scrape using the tool: 1. USMBA’s front webpage’s actualities and news section. (USMBA) URL: http://www.usmba.ac.ma/~usmba2/ 2. USMBA’s mobility actualities section. (USMBA 2) URL: http://www.usmba.ac.ma/~usmba2/14820-­2/ The objective of this segment is to measure the extent to which USMBA’s webpage is updated and the amount of information shared. I have chosen to scrape the selected URLs at a regular time for two weeks with a break on the seventh day. The following are the results mined for both URLs (Figs. 4.5 and 4.6): Despite the efforts made by the university in terms of content, design, and product, it appears that there may be room for improvement with regard to website updates. After scraping the USMBA website for a period of 15 days, it was found that there was little change to the content on the front page section. This suggests that the university may not be updating

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Fig. 4.5  Web scraping history for USMBA’s front webpage actualities and news section

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Fig. 4.6  Web scraping history for USMBA’s mobility actualities section

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its website as frequently as it should be, which could be a cause for concern. However, there were some updates made to the mobility section, with a total of two updates occurring during the 15-day period. While this is a positive sign, it still raises questions about the frequency of updates made to other sections of the website. A university’s website is often the first point of contact for potential students and visitors, and it is crucial for the website to create a positive user experience. A lack of updates on the website can result in outdated information, broken links, and a general lack of engagement for visitors. This can ultimately lead to a negative perception of the university and its programs, which could hinder its ability to compete with other international universities. In addition, frequent updates on the website can demonstrate the university’s commitment to staying current and relevant in the constantly evolving higher education landscape. This can help to attract and retain students, as well as faculty and staff who are looking for a dynamic and innovative institution. Furthermore, with the increasing use of digital marketing and recruitment strategies, a university’s website can serve as a powerful tool to reach and engage with potential students from all around the world. A lack of updates on the website can hinder the university’s efforts to promote its programs and attract a diverse pool of applicants. Overall, it is essential for USMBA and other universities to prioritize website updates to remain competitive in the global higher education market and to provide a positive user experience for visitors. 4.3   USMBA Students—University’s Website User Satisfaction (Survey) To obtain a glimpse of how students view the website and to see how satisfied they are using its functions, I conducted a mixed survey of open questions and a Q method-based question. The total number of students who took part from the addressed sample was 37 out of 57 students, which accounts for 64.9%. The participants were asked to react to the following statements in relation to their satisfaction using USMBA’s website on a scale where 1 = Very Dissatisfied and 9 = Very Satisfied: . Ease of navigating the website 1 2. Sufficient content regarding services 3. Performance of the search function

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. Ease of finding information you need 4 5. Easy to navigate majors and programs 6. Information updating 7. Overall satisfaction with the USMBA website The statements were developed to obtain feedback from USMBA students regarding their satisfaction with the university’s website. The ease of navigating the website, sufficient content regarding services, performance of the search function, ease of finding information needed, and easy navigation of majors and programs are crucial aspects of a university website that can affect the user experience. By asking students to rate these aspects, the university can identify any areas of improvement in terms of website design, content, and functionality. Furthermore, the statement on information updating is also important, as it can determine the frequency and effectiveness of updates made to the website. Regular updates can improve the user experience, attract new students, and promote the university’s programs. Overall satisfaction with the USMBA’s website statement is crucial, as it provides an overall perspective on how satisfied the students are with the website. This statement is an important measure of how the website meets the needs and expectations of the students, which can help the university identify areas for improvement and address any issues that may hinder the user experience. The results were as follows (Table 4.3): Table 4.3  Students’ views on the university’s website

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Statement #1:  Ease of navigating the website Out of the 37 participants, 12 (32.43%) fell into the dissatisfied spectrum, with 13.51% being totally dissatisfied, 10.81% very dissatisfied, and 8.11% partially dissatisfied. Meanwhile, seven participants (18.92%) were neutral, neither satisfied nor dissatisfied. On the other hand, the majority of the participants, 18 (48.65%), were somewhat satisfied with the website, with 27.03% being partially satisfied, 16.22% satisfied, 2.70% very satisfied, and 2.70% totally satisfied. These results indicate that there is a significant portion of the participants who find it difficult to navigate through the website. This can be a cause for concern, as a user-friendly interface is crucial in providing a positive user experience. It is important for the university to consider improving the navigation of the website to better cater to the needs of its users. The neutral responses may also suggest that there is room for improvement in terms of providing clear and concise directions and user guidance. However, it is worth noting that the majority of the participants were somewhat satisfied with the website, indicating that navigation is not a major issue for all users. Statement #2: Sufficient content regarding services  Based on the results, a large majority of the participants, 84.05%, fell into the dissatisfied category, with 24.32% being totally dissatisfied and 40.81% being very dissatisfied. This indicates that the participants did not find the content regarding services to be sufficient. Additionally, 13.51% of the participants were only somewhat dissatisfied, and 5.41% were partially dissatisfied. This shows that even those who were not completely dissatisfied still did not find the content to be adequate. Furthermore, 13.51% of the participants remained neutral, indicating that they did not have a strong opinion on the sufficiency of the content. Finally, 32.43% of the participants were somewhat satisfied with the content, with 18.92% being partially satisfied and 13.51% being satisfied. However, none of the participants were very or totally satisfied, indicating that even those who were satisfied did not find the content to be exceptional. Overall, these results suggest that the content regarding services needs improvement to meet the expectations of students and users. The majority of the participants were dissatisfied, and even those who were somewhat satisfied were not completely satisfied.

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Statement #3:  Search function performance The results show that the majority of participants (27 out of 32, 84.38%) were dissatisfied with the search function. Of those who were dissatisfied, the highest percentage (43.24%) were totally dissatisfied, indicating that the search function was not meeting their needs at all. Additionally, 13.51% were very dissatisfied, and 8.11% were dissatisfied, indicating that there were significant issues with the search function that needed improvement. Only five participants (13.51%) remained neutral on this statement, indicating that they neither agreed nor disagreed with the statement. This may suggest that they did not use the search function extensively or did not have strong opinions about its performance. However, there were a few participants (13.51%) who were somewhat satisfied with the search function. Of those who were somewhat satisfied, 8.11% were partially satisfied, and 5.41% were satisfied. None of the participants were very satisfied or totally satisfied with the search function, indicating that there is still significant room for improvement. Overall, the results of Statement #3 suggest that the search function needs significant improvement to meet the needs and expectations of the majority of students and users. The high percentage of participants who were totally dissatisfied is particularly concerning and highlights the need for immediate action for improvement. Statement #4:  Ease of finding information you need The results indicate that a majority of the participants, 59.46%, were dissatisfied with the ease of finding information. Of these, 21.62% were totally dissatisfied, and 18.92% were very dissatisfied. In addition, 13.51% were dissatisfied, and 5.41% were partially dissatisfied. Only eight (27.02%) participants were somewhat satisfied, of which 13.51% were partially satisfied, 8.11% were satisfied, 2.70% were very satisfied, and 2.70% were totally satisfied. Five (13.51%) participants remained neutral. These results suggest that there is a need for improvement in the website’s information architecture and search function. It is crucial to provide a user-friendly interface that allows users to quickly and easily find the information they need. The website should also be organized in a way that is intuitive and logical, making it easy for users to navigate.

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Statement #5:  Easy to navigate majors and programs. The results show that almost half of the participants (48.65%) were dissatisfied with the navigation system on the website, with 29.73% being totally dissatisfied. This suggests that the website’s layout and organization might not be user-friendly and may require improvements. On the other hand, 37.84% of the participants were somewhat satisfied with the website’s navigation, with 16.22% being very satisfied. This indicates that some participants found the website easy to navigate and locate the programs they were interested in. It is important to note that five (13.51%) participants remained neutral, indicating that they might not have a strong opinion on this particular aspect of the website. However, it is still important to consider their feedback and see if any improvements can be made to the website’s navigation to accommodate all users. Overall, this statement suggests that the university’s website could benefit from improvements to make it more user-­ friendly and easier to navigate for students who are interested in exploring the available majors and programs. Statement #6:  Information updating. Statement #6 indicates the level of satisfaction among participants regarding the updating of information on the service’s website. The results show that the majority of participants, specifically 26 (70.26%), were dissatisfied with the service’s information updates, with 43.24% of participants being totally dissatisfied. This suggests that the service’s website may not be updated regularly, and therefore, users may not be able to access the latest information or updates regarding the services offered. Only three (8.11%) participants remained neutral, indicating that they had no strong feelings about the service’s information updating. On the other hand, eight (21.62%) participants were somewhat satisfied with the updating of information, with 10.81% partially satisfied and another 10.81% satisfied. However, none of the participants were very satisfied or totally satisfied, indicating that there is still room for improvement in terms of updating information on the website. The results suggest that the service should focus on improving its information updating procedures to ensure that users have access to the latest information and updates. Regular updates should be made to the website

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to ensure that users can easily find the information they need. This will not only improve user satisfaction but also enhance the credibility and reliability of the service’s website. Statement #7:  Overall satisfaction with the USMBA website Statement #7 is the most comprehensive statement in the survey, as it addresses overall satisfaction with the university’s website. The results show that a significant proportion of the participants, 70.38%, were dissatisfied to some degree, with almost half (45.95%) of them being totally dissatisfied. This suggests that the website has room for improvement in terms of meeting the needs and expectations of its users. Only one participant (2.70%) remained neutral, indicating that most users have a strong opinion about the website, whether it is positive or negative. On the positive side, some participants (18.92%) expressed some level of satisfaction with the website, with 13.51% being satisfied or very satisfied with the service. This is a positive sign that some users find the website useful and effective. Overall, the results of this statement highlight the importance of continuous improvement and updates to the university’s website. It is essential to consider users’ feedback and suggestions and address their concerns to enhance their satisfaction and engagement with the website. The university could benefit from investing in user experience design and usability testing to ensure the website’s ease of use and accessibility. This is essential in reaching a wider global audience. • In none of the statements did participants choose the no answer (N/A) option. This observation indicates that all participants had an opinion or experience related to the statements presented in the survey. They did not find any statement irrelevant or out of scope. This suggests that the survey was designed appropriately, and all questions were relevant to the participants’ experience. It also means that the responses obtained are comprehensive and inclusive, representing the entire sample. The absence of the N/A option might have prompted participants to consider all statements, even if they did not have a strong opinion about some of them. Overall, the lack of N/A responses suggests that participants took the survey seriously and provided valuable feedback.

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The next question for this survey’s correspondents was: “If there was one thing you could improve in regard to the website, what would it be?” I have categorized the answers into five sections: comments concerning design and performance, information wise, updates and reorganization, need for student content, and finally other comments. The first category in this section is concerned with comments concerning the design and performance of the university’s website. The feedback received regarding the design and performance of the university’s website can be categorized into various aspects. Many comments expressed dissatisfaction with the overall design, emphasizing the need for improvement. Some respondents mentioned that everything, from the design to the content, requires attention and fixing. They described the current design as amateurish and called for a more professional approach. Specific suggestions were made to enhance the website’s organization and simplicity. Respondents felt that the front sections needed better organization and that the website contained excessive plain text, lacking clarity. They emphasized the importance of engaging a professional to revamp the website and make it more visually appealing and user-friendly. Recommendations were also made to change the home page and minimize clutter, reducing the number of banners and wordiness. The feedback highlighted the desire for a more visually appealing, organized, and user-friendly website. Respondents expressed a need for better design, improved organization, and reduced clutter to enhance the overall user experience. These comments provide valuable insights into the areas that require attention and improvement in the university’s website design and performance. The comments concerning the design and performance of the university’s website highlight the dissatisfaction of the participants in the overall appearance and organization of the website. The participants expressed their opinion that the website needs better design and organization. Many of them emphasized the need for a professional touch to make the website look more modern and user-friendly. Some participants commented on the performance of the website and suggested that it needs to be minimized to reduce the cluttered appearance. Moreover, some participants mentioned that the website contains too much writing, and it is too wordy, making it difficult to navigate and find the relevant information. They also mentioned that the website is amateurish and not organized, and it needs to be improved to meet the

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professional standards of the university. The participants’ comments on the website’s design and performance suggest that they are not satisfied with the current state of the website, and they expect improvements in its appearance and organization. The feedback provided by the participants in this survey can be applied to other universities around the world to improve their website design and performance. Many students rely heavily on university websites to find important information, such as course offerings, application requirements, and campus news. Therefore, it is essential for university websites to be user-friendly, organized, and easy to navigate. The feedback regarding the design and performance of the website highlights the need for universities to invest in professional website design and development to ensure that the website is visually appealing and easy to use. Participants also expressed the need for a less cluttered website, which is not only visually pleasing but also ensures that information is easily accessible. The second feedback in this regard has been given in terms of the information on the website. The feedback regarding the information provided on the university’s website focuses on the need for updates and improvements in several areas. Respondents expressed concerns about the timeliness and availability of updated information. They emphasized the importance of promptly sharing updates and notifications and addressing the issue of teachers’ absence notification. Furthermore, respondents mentioned the need to improve navigation on the website, making it easier for users to find the information they seek. They suggested adding links to online libraries for easier access to resources. There was a general consensus that the website’s content should be enriched with more relevant and up-to-date information. The feedback emphasizes the importance of timely updates and accurate information dissemination. Respondents expressed a desire for improved navigation and the inclusion of additional resources, such as online library links. They emphasized the need to keep students informed about relevant information and ensure ease of navigation throughout the website. These suggestions provide valuable insights into areas where the university’s website can be enhanced to better serve its users. Feedback related to information on the website is particularly important for universities, as they strive to provide accurate and up-to-date information to their students and faculty. Many universities have complex systems, and ensuring that all relevant information is available on the website can be challenging. The feedback provided by the USMBA students

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highlights the need for universities to focus on information updating, teacher absence notifications, and ensuring that relevant content is easily accessible. Additionally, feedback regarding the need for links to online libraries is particularly relevant in today’s world, where online resources are becoming increasingly important. Universities can benefit from this feedback by reviewing their own websites and ensuring that they provide accurate and up-to-date information to their students and faculty. This could include regular updates, teacher absence notifications, and ensuring that relevant content is easily accessible. Additionally, universities could consider adding links to online libraries or other relevant resources, making it easier for students to access the information they need. By taking these steps, universities can ensure that their websites are effective tools for communication and information dissemination, which is essential for the success of the institution and its students. The third scope is related to the updates and reorganization of content on the university’s website. The third aspect of feedback pertains to the updates and reorganization of content on the university’s website. Respondents highlighted the importance of updating information and restructuring the website to improve its overall functionality. Several suggestions were provided, including the need for a more user-friendly website design and easier access to information. Respondents expressed a desire for more visibility of both national and international programs, as students often struggle to find relevant information and opportunities to apply. There were concerns about the excessive amount of text on the website, which was perceived as overwhelming and lacking useful updates. Respondents felt that the focus should shift from administrative matters to addressing the needs of students. Specific recommendations were made regarding the organization of content. Respondents suggested separating sections for grants and scholarships from announcements about workshops and seminars. They also emphasized the importance of regularly updating information related to majors and programs. Furthermore, respondents highlighted the need for better visibility of mobility programs, such as the Erasmus exchange. They expressed frustration about the lack of information and the challenges they faced in accessing relevant details. The feedback emphasizes the importance of updating and reorganizing the website’s content. Respondents expressed a desire for a more user-friendly design, improved visibility

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of programs and events, and easier access to information. These suggestions provide valuable insights for enhancing the website’s functionality and ensuring that it better serves the needs of students and visitors. The feedback related to updates and reorganization of content on the university’s website is critical in ensuring that students can easily access information that is relevant and up-to-date. The comments suggest that there is a need for a better-organized website that is updated regularly. Students want more visibility for programs, especially national and international programs. One participant mentions that the website is too wordy and does not provide useful updates most of the time. This indicates that the website’s content may not be engaging, and it might be overwhelming for students to navigate. Another participant suggests that the section for grants and scholarships should be separated from the workshop and seminar announcements to avoid confusion. This highlights the importance of proper categorization of information on the website. The feedback also emphasizes the need to update the website regarding majors and programs, mobility programs, and events. Other participants expressed frustration over the lack of information on the website. One participant states that they were on the lookout for an Erasmus exchange but had trouble finding information, indicating that the website’s lack of visibility for mobility programs is a problem. Another participant wants to be updated about every event and exchange program, suggesting that the website needs to be more comprehensive in its coverage of university-related activities. Overall, the feedback related to updates and reorganization indicates that students expect a website that is regularly updated and provides clear and concise information that is easy to navigate. This feedback can be useful to other universities as they seek to improve their websites to meet the needs of their students. The next set of comments focuses on the desire for more student-­ oriented content on the university’s website. Respondents expressed the need for additional resources and activities that cater specifically to students’ interests and needs. Specific suggestions were made, such as the inclusion of student activities that foster engagement and enhance the overall student experience. Respondents emphasized the importance of creating a vibrant and dynamic online space that goes beyond providing academic information.

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In addition, there were requests to remove advertisements from all sections of the website. Respondents felt that excessive advertising detracts from the student-centered focus and distracts from accessing relevant content. The feedback highlights the importance of incorporating more student-­ focused content on the university’s website. Respondents expressed a desire for engaging activities and resources that cater to their interests and enhance their overall experience. Furthermore, the request to remove advertisements reflects the importance of creating a clean and student-centric online environment. These suggestions provide valuable insights for improving the website’s content and ensuring that it better serves the needs and preferences of the student community. The feedback from the survey respondents shows that there is a need for more student-oriented content on the university website. This could include information on student activities, events, clubs, and organizations. Students are looking for a platform where they can find all relevant information about university life in one place. Moreover, some respondents expressed the desire for the removal of ads from the website. While ads can be a source of revenue for universities, excessive advertising can make the website cluttered and difficult to navigate. It is important to strike a balance between the need for revenue and the need for a userfriendly website. In conclusion, the results of the survey indicate that there is a need for improvement in the university’s website in terms of user experience. While some participants were satisfied with certain aspects of the website, such as the ease of navigating majors and programs, the majority of participants were dissatisfied with other aspects, such as the ease of finding information, the performance of the search function, and the sufficiency of content regarding services. These findings suggest that the website’s navigation, search function, and information architecture require significant improvement to meet the needs and expectations of students and users. The university should consider implementing user-friendly interfaces, providing clear and concise directions and user guidance, and organizing the website in an intuitive and logical way to improve the user experience. This chapter contributes comprehensive insights into the interplay between IHE, nation branding, and soft power. Furthermore, this chapter emphasizes the need for continued research and analysis in this area.

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Further exploration of different countries and regions will offer a broader understanding of the diverse approaches to internationalization and nation branding. Comparative studies can shed light on effective practices, challenges, and opportunities for leveraging IHE as a soft power tool. Such research can inform policymakers, institutions, and stakeholders in their efforts to develop robust internationalization strategies that align with their nation’s objectives and aspirations.

References Dinnie, K. (2010). Repositioning the Korea Brand to a Global Audience: Challenges, Pitfalls, and Current strategy, 2010 Academic Paper Series on Korea, vol.3, Korea Economic Institute. European Commission. (2020). Erasmus+ for higher education in Morocco.

CHAPTER 5

Soft Power and International Higher Education: The Role of Higher Education in Promoting Cultural Understanding and National Identity

Abstract  This chapter delves into the significance of international higher education as a tool for soft power and nation branding, focusing on the promotion of cultural understanding and national identity. It argues that higher education institutions play a crucial role in developing a country’s global soft power influence and advancing its national interests. By investing in intercultural dialogue and education, countries can foster an inclusive, peaceful, and harmonized society, thereby enhancing their soft power. The chapter highlights the importance of education in shaping soft power by creating a positive image of a country and its culture. Through the promotion of intercultural dialogue and education, nations can demonstrate their diversity, foster tolerance, and encourage understanding between cultures. This positive portrayal enhances a country’s image and amplifies its soft power influence. Examining the case of Morocco, the chapter explores how soft power and cultural diplomacy have been employed to promote Moroccan culture and image internationally. By creating student ambassadors, Morocco leverages soft power and cultural diplomacy to showcase its heritage and values to a global audience. Furthermore, the chapter emphasizes the role of a tech-savvy university. In

© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2023 A. Adoui, International Higher Education and The Rise of Soft Power as Cultural Diplomacy, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-44180-6_5

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an increasingly digital landscape, universities must enhance their online presence to engage international audiences and attract quality students, faculty, and researchers. A strong online presence allows universities to showcase their programs, facilities, and achievements, thus appealing to prospective students worldwide. Keywords  International higher education • Soft power • Nation branding • Intercultural dialogue • Morocco

1   International Higher Education as Soft Power and a Means of Nation Branding Institutionalized higher education is a vital component in the development and promotion of a country’s global soft power influence. It can serve as a support system for a nation’s image and help a country achieve its national interests. This book argues that investing in intercultural dialog and intercultural education is a key factor in the development of an inclusive, peaceful, and harmonized society, which can enhance a country’s soft power influence. Education plays a crucial role in the development of soft power, as it can create a positive image of a country and its culture. According to Adoui (2023), “Access to higher education has been a concern for policymakers and educators for many years. […] A key factor contributing to these barriers is cultural and societal attitudes toward education and social mobility.” By promoting intercultural dialog and education, a country can showcase its diversity, promote tolerance, and foster understanding between different cultures. This can create a favorable image of the country and enhance its soft power influence. Furthermore, the idea of nation branding is also crucial in the development of a country’s soft power influence (Anholt, 2011). The South Korean Lee administration’s experience is an excellent example of how nation branding can be used to build a country’s international image. By promoting South Korea’s culture, technology, and economy, the administration was able to enhance the country’s soft power influence and attract global attention. Institutionalized education can serve as a support system for a country’s image and contribute to its soft power influence. Investing in international higher education can create an inclusive, peaceful, and harmonized society (Wan et al., 2015; De Wit & DeLaquil, 2020), which can enhance a country’s soft power influence. Additionally, nation

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branding can be used to strategically promote a country’s positive attributes and enhance its international image (Anholt, 2011). By implementing these strategies, a country can effectively promote its soft power influence and achieve its national interests. International higher education is a powerful tool for promoting a country’s soft power influence, as it can effectively contribute to cultural diplomacy and enhance a country’s international image. By promoting cross-cultural exchange and understanding, IHE can create a positive image of a country and its culture, thus contributing to its soft power influence. It is essential to promote the exchange of ideas, values, and beliefs between different cultures with the aim of enhancing mutual understanding and cooperation. International higher education can facilitate this exchange by providing opportunities for students and scholars to study and work in different countries and by promoting intercultural dialog and understanding. Moreover, international higher education is an essential tool in understanding global developments and the practice of diplomacy in general. By exposing students to different political and cultural systems, international higher education can broaden their perspectives and help them understand the complexities of international relations. In addition to promoting cultural diplomacy and contributing to global understanding, international higher education can also contribute to a country’s nation branding and position in international relations. By attracting talented and diverse students from around the world, a country can create a positive image of itself as a welcoming and inclusive society and as a leader in education and research. Furthermore, international higher education can also lead to stronger diplomatic ties and economic partnerships between countries. By building relationships through educational exchanges, countries can create a foundation for future cooperation and collaboration in various fields. It is a valuable tool for promoting a country’s soft power influence, contributing to cultural diplomacy, and enhancing its international image. It is also an important tool in political science and sociology, as it helps in understanding global developments and the practice of diplomacy. By investing in international higher education, countries can create a more inclusive and harmonious society and position themselves as leaders in education and research on the global stage. It is clear thus far that international higher education is recognized as a crucial tool for promoting a country’s soft power influence, enhancing its

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nation branding efforts, and strengthening its position in the global arena. To explore the potential of international higher education as a means of nation branding, this study conducted a survey on a sample of Moroccan students studying or having studied within South Korean higher education institutions. The study aimed to investigate their perceptions of South Korea as a country and their views on the quality of education provided by South Korean universities. The results of the survey were encouraging, with over 69% of the participants expressing positive views regarding South Korea’s image and its higher education system. This finding suggests that South Korea has successfully promoted its nation-branding efforts through its higher education system and that international higher education can serve as an effective tool for soft power as cultural diplomacy. Furthermore, the study found that the quality of education provided by South Korean universities was perceived as high by the majority of participants. This finding highlights the importance of investing in the quality of education provided by higher education institutions as a means of attracting and retaining talented students from around the world. The results of the study not only demonstrate the potential of international higher education as a tool for nation branding, soft power, and public diplomacy but also lend support to Fombrun-RI’s six dimensions of a country’s reputation. South Korea has successfully established a positive image in the minds of the participants, with a strong emotional, social, physical, financial, leadership, and cultural appeal. This positive image has been created through a range of policies and initiatives aimed at promoting cultural diplomacy and enhancing the country’s soft power influence. South Korea has invested heavily in its higher education system, offering generous scholarships to international students and promoting cross-­ cultural exchange through programs such as the Global Korea Scholarship Program. Moreover, the South Korean government has made a concerted effort to enhance the country’s national image through various nation branding campaigns. These efforts have included hosting international events such as the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics and launching cultural diplomacy initiatives such as the Korean Wave, also known as Hallyu. IHE plays a crucial role in promoting these nation branding efforts by exposing students to the country’s culture and values. Through IHE, students gain a deeper understanding of South Korea’s society, history, and traditions and can serve as ambassadors for the country in their home countries.

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The results of the study indicate that the participants strongly perceive South Korea as an advanced nation with a significant influence in the international arena. This perception is likely driven by the country’s successful economic development and advancements in technology and innovation. Furthermore, the South Korean government’s proactive approach to promoting peace and understanding on the Korean Peninsula has also contributed to the country’s positive image on the global stage. The historic American North Korea summit and the efforts of South Korea to promote peace between North and South Korea have been widely recognized and lauded internationally, further strengthening the country’s position as a key player in regional and global affairs. These developments highlight the potential of international higher education as a tool for promoting a country’s soft power influence and enhancing its global reputation. By attracting international students and providing them with quality education and opportunities to engage with the host country’s culture, institutions of higher education can help build positive perceptions of the country in the international community. In addition, international higher education can help foster a sense of global citizenship and cross-cultural understanding, contributing to more peaceful and harmonious international relations (Gacel-Ávila, 2005; Farahani, 2014; Helm et  al., 2023). As the world becomes increasingly interconnected and interdependent, the role of international higher education in promoting global cooperation and understanding becomes more crucial than ever. Accordingly, it remains no surprise how South Korea holds a positive image in the minds of Moroccan students. Their subjective views continued—as showcased in the results—to support the South Korean brand image and show about their admiration for the nation. 97% view South Korea as an advanced economy, and consequently 100% consider the country to be praiseworthy for managing to build a strong nation in postwar period. South Korea has invested greatly in its brand image, and the results are no surprise regarding how the Moroccan (subject of this study) holds much respect and a positive attitude toward the nation. They consider it praiseworthy for its infrastructure and economic status as well as its culture, trustworthiness in international relations, great leadership, and positive contribution to international affairs. The participants are firsthand experienced academicians who have lived within and experienced South Korean education. A total of 85.51% view South Korea as a global leader in education. In the second statement of

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the Q-sets in part two, 78.26% disagreed in terms of South Korea relying on military strength in its global relations. Then, again, 91.10% consider South Korea to rely on promoting its values through culture, education, sport, popular culture, tourism, and investment, denying thereafter in the next statement that South Korean relations are reliant on tension by 69.57%. Finally, 92.75% agree with the statement that South Korean people are mediatized to be hospitable, respectful, kind, and helpful, all of which serve to build the positive image the country upholds. This section highlights how South Korea is reliant on softer means of power and reaching to the other, utilizing all means of soft and attractive power instead of relying on military and hard power tools. Overall, through the results of this book, we can emphasize the importance of international higher education as a soft power tool in promoting a country’s national image and position in international relations. The study’s results demonstrate how international higher education contributes to the nation branding efforts of countries such as South Korea and highlights the significant role it plays in enhancing their soft power influence. Through cross-cultural exchange and understanding, nations can promote peaceful and harmonious international relations, thereby strengthening their global position. As such, investing in the quality of education provided by higher education institutions can serve as a resourceful method for countries to achieve their soft power objectives and gain knowledge that helps in promoting their culture.

2   Internationalization of Higher Education The South Korean government has been actively promoting the internationalization of higher education (iHED) as a key strategy to enhance the country’s soft power influence and promote its national brand. This has been achieved through various initiatives, such as increasing the number of scholarships available for international students, establishing joint degree programs with prestigious universities worldwide, and investing in English-language education to attract more international students. As mentioned before, iHED has multiple benefits, not only for the country hosting international students but also for the students themselves. International students bring diversity to the classroom and promote intercultural exchange. Furthermore, iHED can enhance a country’s reputation and image on the global stage. By attracting talented international students and

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providing them with high-quality education and research opportunities, a country can showcase its academic excellence and intellectual capabilities. This can contribute to creating a positive perception of the country and its people, which can in turn enhance its soft power influence and promote greater international cooperation and collaboration. The emphasis on iHED in South Korea serves as a model for other countries seeking to enhance their soft power influence and promote their national image. By setting ambitious goals for the number of international students and collaborating with universities to achieve these goals, South Korea has demonstrated its commitment to promoting cross-cultural exchange and understanding. This commitment is further evidenced by the focus on fostering global citizenship values and contributing to the global exchange of knowledge through mobility programs. The benefits of iHED extend beyond soft power and nation branding. It also contributes to the development of world-class capacity in students and the dissemination of global knowledge. In turn, this can contribute to the development of a more diverse and skilled workforce, which can benefit the country’s economic growth and competitiveness in the long run. The South Korean experience demonstrates the potential of IHE as a tool for promoting soft power influence and enhancing nation branding efforts. By investing in the quality of education provided by higher education institutions and promoting cross-cultural exchange and understanding, countries can enhance their soft power influence and strengthen their position in the global arena. iHED can play a critical role in achieving these goals and contributing to global peace and understanding. Expanding on the previous point, the results of the studies highlight the significance of investing in international higher education as a means of enhancing a country’s soft power as cultural diplomacy and nation branding efforts. South Korea’s success in promoting itself as a leading destination for international students and its ability to attract a large number of students from different parts of the world demonstrate the potential benefits of investing in internationalization initiatives. The results of the survey indicate that a majority of Moroccan students hold a positive image of South Korea and view it as an advanced nation with strong influence in international affairs. This positive perception can be attributed to South Korea’s efforts to promote cross-cultural exchange, support education, and invest in internationalization initiatives. Therefore, the findings of both hypotheses suggest that investing in international higher education and promoting cross-cultural exchange can

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have significant benefits in enhancing a country’s soft power influence and nation branding efforts. By attracting international students and promoting cultural exchange, countries can create a positive image of themselves and strengthen their position on the global stage. Morocco has made efforts to enhance its higher education system and attract international students as well, as evidenced by its participation in the South–South project and its reception of over 11,000 foreign students in the 2017–2018 academic year alone. The creation of AMCI has also contributed to Morocco’s success in attracting international students, with over 25,000 students coming to the country since its inception. However, it is important to note that these numbers are still relatively low compared to other countries, such as South Korea, which had over 142,000 international students in 2018. Morocco has made progress in improving its higher education system and internationalizing its universities. However, more needs to be done to increase its soft power influence and enhance its nation branding efforts. By investing further in IHE and creating more opportunities for cross-­ cultural exchange, Morocco can promote its cultural heritage and contribute to a more peaceful and harmonious international community. Furthermore, investing in the quality of education provided by higher education institutions can help improve the country’s soft power and enhance its global reputation. The internationalization efforts in Morocco and specifically of those in USMBA and its success in attracting international students are commendable. The university’s focus on mobility and exchange programs is a positive step toward promoting cross-cultural exchange and enhancing the institution’s soft power influence. According to the stakeholder interviewed at USMBA, the fact that the university has sent 120 students and received 80 international students in the past three years alone is a testament to its commitment to internationalization. Moreover, the university’s efforts to establish partnerships and agreements with European countries are noteworthy, as it provides students with a wider range of opportunities to gain international exposure and education. This is crucial in today’s globalized world, where IHE and cross-cultural understanding are becoming increasingly important. In comparison to other universities in Morocco, the number of partnerships and agreements established by USMBA is impressive, and it

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serves as an indication of the university’s dedication to promoting internationalization. However, it is important to note that the success of internationalization efforts is not solely dependent on the number of partnerships established. Other factors such as the quality of education, the availability of resources and facilities, and the overall institutional reputation also play a crucial role in attracting international students and enhancing a university’s soft power influence. The efforts of USMBA in terms of internationalization are commendable, as they not only contribute to the overall development of the university but also align with the larger goals of the Moroccan government in terms of fostering higher education and promoting soft power as cultural diplomacy. By sending and receiving a significant number of international students, USMBA is creating opportunities for cross-cultural exchange and dialog, which can help develop global citizenship values and create a more peaceful and harmonious international community. Moreover, by focusing on mobility and exchange programs, USMBA not only provides its students with opportunities to gain international exposure and experience but also positions itself as a modern, creative, and entrepreneurial university. Internationalization efforts are crucial in today’s globalized world, as they contribute to the development of a skilled workforce, enhance research and innovation, and promote national economic growth. Therefore, USMBA’s efforts in this regard are laudable, as they contribute to the overall development of Morocco’s higher education system and its position in the global arena. In conclusion, the Moroccan government’s focus on iHED is a step toward promoting soft power as cultural diplomacy and enhancing its nation branding efforts. The success of South Korea in this regard provides a model for other countries to follow, and USMBA’s efforts to position itself as a modern, creative, and entrepreneurial university through internationalization efforts are commendable. It is important for universities in Morocco and other developing countries to invest in internationalization and focus on creating opportunities for cross-cultural exchange and dialog to develop global citizenship values and foster a more peaceful and harmonious international community.

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3   Internationalization of Higher Education, Soft Power, and Cultural Diplomacy in Morocco Soft power and cultural diplomacy are crucial aspects of international relations and have been used by countries across the world to promote their interests and image abroad. Morocco is one such country that has been using soft power and cultural diplomacy to promote its culture and image. In light of iHED, USMBA has been working toward creating student ambassadors to help promote Moroccan culture. Morocco has been using soft power and cultural diplomacy to promote its culture and image abroad. iHED is one such area where this has been evident. USMBA has been working toward creating student ambassadors to promote Moroccan culture. The creation of student ambassadors is a crucial aspect of soft power and cultural diplomacy. Student ambassadors are students who are trained to promote their country’s culture and image abroad. They act as cultural representatives of their country and help promote its culture, values, and ideas. In the case of USMBA, the creation of student ambassadors is aimed at promoting Moroccan culture and fostering intercultural exchange between foreign and domestic students. The objective of creating student ambassadors is to ensure the best intercultural exchange experiences of foreign and domestic students. This helps promote understanding and tolerance among students from different cultural backgrounds. The creation of student ambassadors also helps promote Moroccan culture and image abroad. By promoting Moroccan culture, USMBA aims to attract foreign students to its universities and promote its education system. The impact of soft power and cultural diplomacy on iHED has been significant. Exchanges at universities, especially in terms of incoming students, help battle stereotypes and bridge the gaps of differences. This is particularly important in today’s globalized world, where cultural differences can often lead to misunderstandings and conflicts. The creation of student ambassadors helps promote cultural understanding and tolerance, which are essential for fostering peaceful coexistence among different cultures. The impact of soft power and cultural diplomacy on international students has been positive (Akli, 2012). International students are impacted positively by these exchanges, which help battle issues such as Islamophobia and extremism. According to the stakeholder interviewed at USMBA, by promoting cultural understanding and tolerance, the university aims to

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combat negative stereotypes and promote a positive image of Morocco abroad. This is particularly important in today’s world, where Islamophobia is a significant issue. Therefore, soft power and cultural diplomacy are crucial aspects of international relations, and Morocco has been using them to promote its culture and image abroad. iHED is one such area where this has been evident. Despite the importance of international higher education as a soft power, according to the political analyst and IR specialist Dr. El Bouchikhi, and as mentioned earlier, education has not received much attention as a means of soft power and cultural diplomacy in Morocco. His statement sheds light on the fact that education has not been a priority in Morocco’s soft power strategy, which is surprising given the country’s long history of cultural and intellectual contributions to the region. It is crucial for Morocco to invest in IHE to tap into its potential as a tool for soft power as cultural diplomacy. This would require the country to increase its focus on IHE and invest in the creation of international student ambassadors who can serve as potential goodwill diplomats for Morocco in their respective countries. The need to invest in iHED in Morocco is particularly important, given the current global context. Soft power is becoming increasingly important as traditional power dynamics shift, and education is a key tool in this regard. With the rise of extremist ideologies and increased tensions between countries, it is important for Morocco to take a proactive approach to promoting religious understanding and fighting radicalization through education. The promotion of religious moderation coupled with a focus on promoting education as a means of building bridges between different cultures and promoting mutual understanding. Investing in IHE and creating international student ambassadors would be a step toward achieving this goal. International student ambassadors are potential good-will diplomats for Morocco, and they can play a crucial role in promoting Morocco’s image abroad. They can act as cultural representatives of the country and promote its culture, values, and ideas. This is particularly important in the context of the increasing tensions between different cultures and the rise of extremist ideologies. Creating international student ambassadors requires investment in education and training programs that promote intercultural understanding and tolerance. These programs should focus on promoting critical thinking and intellectual diversity and should be designed to foster cross-cultural dialog. The creation of international student ambassadors should be part of a broader

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strategy that focuses on iHED in Morocco. Morocco has the potential to play a leading role in this regard, given its rich cultural and intellectual history. The results thus far prove that Morocco—despite not investing in international higher education the same way countries such as South Korea do—still uses aspects of culture and religion to formulate a positive nation brand image. Additionally, Moroccan universities, especially the University of Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdellah in Fez, are starting to realize the importance of internationalized higher education and the need to invest in student mobility. Such findings align greatly with the argument that Morocco has the potential to promote its nation brand image and global IR position by investing in international higher education. However, at this stage, the Moroccan experience in relation to leading countries such as South Korea remains humble, and it requires an action plan and tangible reachable goals.

4  Web as Attraction and Reflection of a University’s Brand Identity The web is an ever-growing market of potential students; it is a reflection of the university’s brand identity, and it offers IHE soft power. University branding is also about creating a global presence and connecting with international audiences. Universities need to increase their visibility online to attract and retain quality students, faculty, and researchers. They also need to create an online presence that reflects their brand identity. One of the main benefits of the web for universities is the potential to attract and retain quality students. Students are increasingly using the internet to search for universities and courses. This has made the web an essential marketing tool for universities. By having a strong online presence, universities can showcase their programs, facilities, and achievements to a global audience. This can help attract quality students from around the world who are interested in the university’s programs and reputation. In addition to attracting students, the web is also an important tool for retaining them. Universities can use the web to provide students with access to information, resources, and support services. This can help students feel more connected to the university and more likely to stay enrolled. For example, universities can use the web to provide online course materials, online counseling services, and other resources that can

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help students succeed. Another important benefit for universities is their role in reflecting the university’s brand identity. A university’s brand identity is its unique image and reputation that sets it apart from other universities. A strong brand identity is crucial for creating a global presence and connecting with international audiences. The web is an important tool for reflecting a university’s brand identity. By having a well-designed website, universities can showcase their strengths, values, and unique offerings to a global audience. The web can also help universities build their reputation as a center for academic excellence. By providing access to online courses, research, and other resources, universities can showcase their academic strengths and expertise. This can help attract top faculty and researchers who are interested in working at a university that is at the forefront of their field. It can also help attract quality students who are interested in studying at a university that is known for its academic excellence. It is also an important tool for universities to connect with international audiences. By attracting international students and providing them with a high-quality education, universities can help foster positive relationships between countries. The web is an important tool for universities to connect with international audiences and showcase their commitment to IHE. In today’s fast-paced world, universities are increasingly turning to their online presence as a key tool for attracting and retaining students. The web is an ever-growing market of potential students, and a university’s website is a reflection of its brand identity. It is not only a powerful tool for student recruitment but also for showcasing the university’s strengths and achievements, as well as its commitment to innovation, diversity, and inclusivity. In the case of USMBA, its website has gone through several stages of development, from its initial launch in 2005 to its most recent update in 2019. Despite the university’s efforts to improve its online presence over the years, there are still areas that need improvement. One of the most glaring issues is the lack of a multilingual platform, which limits the accessibility of information to non-French-speaking audiences. In today’s information age, investing in a multilingual online platform that reaches the hearts and minds of different people is crucial. This is particularly important for a university such as USMBA, which seeks to attract students from different parts of the world. By providing information in multiple languages, the university can communicate its values, strengths, and achievements to a wider audience and create a more

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inclusive and welcoming environment for all. Moreover, a multilingual platform is also important for showcasing the diversity and richness of Moroccan culture. Morocco is a country with a rich history and a vibrant culture, and USMBA has a unique opportunity to showcase this to the world through its website. By providing information in multiple languages, the university can help promote Morocco’s image abroad and foster cross-cultural understanding and exchange. Aside from the issue of language accessibility, there are other areas in which USMBA’s website could be improved. One of these is content. While the website provides basic information about the university’s programs, faculty, and research, there is little content that would make prospective students want to choose USMBA over other universities. In today’s highly competitive market, universities need to differentiate themselves from their competitors to attract the best students, faculty, and researchers. This can be done through a variety of means, including showcasing the university’s strengths and achievements, highlighting innovative research, and promoting a unique campus culture. USMBA’s website could benefit from more engaging and interactive content that showcases the university’s unique qualities and sets it apart from other institutions. To go much more in detail on the aspect of content and content updating on the portal, I have used the webscraping method. Through the period in which I have used import to web scrape USMBA’s front page and mobility section for a two-week period, not much change has taken place. The front page was not updated with any information during the said period, while the mobility section included a total of two updates through the scraping period. The results build on—in addition to the existing evidence that not enough importance and attention has been directed to the iHED in Morocco and that it remains humble on the level of the University of Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdellah. Another area in which USMBA’s website could be improved is design. While the website has undergone several updates over the years, the overall design has remained fairly static. This can make the website feel outdated and uninviting, particularly to younger audiences who are accustomed to more dynamic and visually appealing websites. A more modern and visually appealing design could help make USMBA’s website more attractive to prospective students and improve the university’s overall online presence. Finally, USMBA’s website could benefit from a

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more user-friendly interface. While the website provides basic information about the university, navigating through the different sections can be confusing and cumbersome. A more intuitive and user-friendly interface could help prospective students find the information they need more quickly and easily and improve their overall experience with the university’s website. Investing in the university’s portal is not a mere addition but rather an urgent need to better brand the university’s image globally, to showcase the university’s achievements and efforts, to share goals, and to create better virtual student support (for national and international students alike). The goals of the university in terms of internationalization require taking a step in investing in the virtual as well by creating dynamic student, partnership, sponsor, governmental, and NGO portals to ensure providing access and the best services on the national and international scales. The USMBA students who took part in the University’s Website User Satisfaction Survey highlight that the university’s website needs some drastic changes. In the question that assesses students’ overall satisfaction with the university’s website, 89.19% were dissatisfied with the platform on various scales. The results in terms of what could be improved in terms of the website and the participants’ suggestions were divided into four categories. The first were in terms of design and performance, where students viewed that there was a need to rearrange and plan the website’s design so that it could meet students’ needs and to work on its performance since the website is somewhat slow and not well supported in terms of how much data and traffic it could process. In the second, third, and fourth parts, students supported the idea of creating and posting updated information (especially in terms of mobility programs). Therefore, such results showcase the need for a better investment in the virtual environment to meet the needs of students. Thus, branding the university and internationalizing it requires the assistance of a well-built, accessible, and updated web portal. This chapter shows the significance of IHE as a powerful tool for soft power and nation branding, particularly in the context of promoting cultural understanding and national identity. Higher education institutions play a vital role in advancing a country’s global soft power influence and furthering its national interests. The chapter also emphasizes the role and importance of technology-savvy universities in the digital age.

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References Adoui, A. (2023). Exploring inequity factors in higher education: Promoting equitable access and success in the US. SIMULACRA: Jurnal Sosiologi, 6, 63–78. https://doi.org/10.21107/sml.v6i1.19256 Akli, M. (2012). The role of study-abroad students in cultural diplomacy: Toward an international education as soft action. International Research and Review Journal of Phi Beta Delta Honor Society for International Scholars, 2(1), 32–48. Anholt, S. (2011). Beyond the nation brand: The role of image and identity in international relations. Exchange: The Journal of Public Diplomacy, 2(1), 1. https://surface.syr.edu/exchange/vol2/iss1/1 De Wit, H., & DeLaquil, T. (2020). Innovative and inclusive internationalization. Boston College and World Education Services. Farahani, M. F. (2014). The role of global citizenship education in world peace and security. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, 116, 934–938. https:// doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2014.01.323 Gacel-Ávila, J. (2005). The internationalization of higher education: A paradigm for global citizenry. Journal of Studies in International Education, 9(2), 121–136. https://doi.org/10.1177/1028315304263795 Helm, F., Baroni, A., & Acconcia, G. (2023). Global citizenship online in higher education. Educational Research for Policy and Practice. https://doi. org/10.1007/s10671-­023-­09351-­6 Wan, F., Greenberg, M., Helsing, J., Idriss, S., Paterson, K., & Steinberg, D. (Directors). (2015). The role of international education in peacebuilding. NAFSA. https://www.nafsa.org/about/about-­international-­education/ role-­international-­education-­peacebuilding



Conclusion

Nye emphasizes the importance of investing in three key areas: culture, political values, and foreign policies. IHE plays a crucial role in advancing these objectives, as it enables understanding of cultures, fosters exchange of political values, and promotes collaborative foreign relations. Societies that prioritize knowledge and education are more likely to experience positive social, cultural, and political transformations. By recognizing the significance of soft power and acknowledging the value of IHE, societies can cultivate the necessary tools and resources to effectively engage with the global community. This understanding opens doors for cooperation, mutual understanding, and the pursuit of common goals, ultimately fostering a more interconnected and harmonious world. IHE serves to promote intercultural understanding and thus fosters peace and global relations. The influx of international students on college campuses can be seen as beneficial in many ways. It leads to increased cultural understanding between two countries through interaction among people with shared interests in academia. It also creates a workforce that has cross-cultural understanding that is valuable for companies looking for talent to fill jobs internationally or domestically. Finally, it delivers an international perspective in local communities. In brief, this book delves into the untapped potential of IHE as a formidable soft power tool capable of enhancing a country’s nation brand

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and global standing in international relations. Through the collection and analysis of qualitative and quantitative data, this study provides valuable insights into the role of IHE in facilitating soft power as cultural diplomacy, with a specific focus on Morocco. The findings underscore the significance of IHE as a strategic avenue for promoting a nation’s goals and interests on the global stage. Despite the modest investment by the Moroccan government in this domain, this study serves as a compelling call to action, urging policymakers and stakeholders to recognize and harness the transformative power of IHE. By making substantial investments in IHE, countries can unlock a wealth of opportunities to bolster their soft power capabilities. This includes establishing stronger international partnerships, cultivating a positive national image, and aligning educational policies with broader diplomatic objectives. The potential benefits extend beyond immediate diplomatic gains, encompassing long-term socioeconomic growth and increased global influence. In light of this book, it is clear that IHE should no longer be viewed as a mere academic pursuit but rather as a vital instrument for shaping national narratives and advancing a country’s global position. By embracing this paradigm shift and making strategic investments in IHE, nations can effectively leverage their soft power potential, fostering greater understanding, cooperation, and influence on the world stage. International Higher Education and the Rise of Soft Power as Cultural Diplomacy explores the scope of higher education around the world, as defined by governments and international organizations. This book opens a discussion focused on the relationships between nations, their economies, and universities to develop innovative exchange programs based on best practices as well as unique collaborations that create powerful multidisciplinary partnerships. The findings of this study have broader implications beyond Morocco, serving as a valuable reference for countries around the world seeking to enhance their internationalization efforts in education. Inspired by the successful experience of South Korea, it is crucial for nations to adopt a comprehensive and strategic approach to IHE, focusing on both planning and tangible outcomes. By learning from best practices and adapting them to their own contexts, countries can unlock the vast potential of internationalization to shape their global image, foster diplomatic relations, and wield soft power.

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In light of the study’s data, it is evident that internationalization holds significant promise in shaping a country’s brand image, amplifying its diplomatic efforts, and exerting influence through soft power channels. These insights underline the importance of prioritizing and investing in IHE, not only for the sake of academic advancement but also as a means of bolstering a nation’s standing on the global stage. By recognizing the potential of internationalization and strategically aligning their efforts, countries can leverage education as a powerful tool for public diplomacy and nation branding. This book calls for further research and collaboration on an international scale. The relatively underdeveloped nature of the field warrants deeper exploration and the exchange of ideas among scholars and policymakers worldwide. By fostering international cooperation and knowledge sharing, countries can collectively contribute to the development of robust theories and evidence-based practices in the internationalization of higher education.

Index

A Abdi, A. A., 34–36 Agenda-setting and institutional control, 5 Agenda-setting theory, 2 Analytical framing, 6 Attitude change, 67 Attitudes and foriegn policy, 67 Attractiveness, 10

E Economic forms of power, 5 Education as a soft power tool, methodological approach to investigating the role, 9–13 in soft power theory, 53–58

C Command and military resources, 4 Corell, E., 31, 32

F Fombrun-RI Country Reputation Index, 10 Fombrun-RI six dimensions of country’s reputation, 87 Framing and rhetoric, 5 The Fulbright Act of 1946, 63

D Discourse dominance, 65

G Gil-Sung Park, 97

B Betsill, M. M., 31, 32

© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2023 A. Adoui, International Higher Education and The Rise of Soft Power as Cultural Diplomacy, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-44180-6

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INDEX

H Hard power vs. soft power, 3–6 Hébert, Y., 34–36 Higher education in promoting cultural understanding and national identity, role of I Intercultural Education as a Soft Power, 58–60 International education, 34–37 and international relations, 37–44 IR and Soft Power, 44–47 and nation branding, 82–96, 130–134 serves to promote intercultural understanding, 145 as soft power, 52–60, 130–134 Internationalization of higher education, 96–100 soft power and cultural diplomacy in Morocco, traces of, 138–140 International relations, 18–29 L Law of attraction, 3 Liberalism, 20 M Market place of ideas, 66 N Nation branding, 71–78 NGO diplomats, 31

Norm diffusion attraction, 64 Nye, J., 2 Nye, J. S., Jr., 33 P Post-modern realists, 22 Prioritize knowledge and education, 145 R The rule of attraction, 63–71 S Soft power, 29–34 influence, mechanisms, of, 63–71 South Korea, 71–78 and Morocco, comparative look at, 96–106 Strategic avenue, for promoting a nation's goals, 146 T Theory of bipolarity, 24 of knowledge economy, 36 W Wagner, C., 2 Web as attraction and reflection, of university’s brand identity, 110–128, 140–143 Wojciuka, A., 10