In light of the crisis of the national-liberal model of the university we are being told, by a great many interested parties, that the future of higher education now lies with the global-virtual university. In this article we argue that we have to be sceptical about the hype now surrounding
the idea of the virtual university and be wary of the combination of neo-liberal ideology and technological mythology that is at the heart of this vision for the future of higher education. This article offers a reflection on just what kind of global or transnational academic order the virtual
university promises to bring into existence, given that we cannot make the assumption that a globalized academic culture will automatically translate into a cosmopolitan academic culture. The paper argues that we should remind ourselves, rather, that the globalization of knowledge could take
quite different forms and directions, with both repressive and emancipatory possibilities.