23 SES 08 C, Policy Development in Diverse Contexts (Part 2)
The European Commission (2013) states that international degree mobility of students is “the most widespread and probably still the most powerful vehicle for internationalisation…is changing dramatically in quantity and shape, and … has become a critically important source of revenue for HEIs” (EC, p. 4). Increasing international students is a common goal across institutional and national contexts, and it is tied to increasing funding and competing for ‘the best and the brightest’. In this paper, we present a set of findings from a larger project that examines the extent to which the current rush to internationalise in higher education steps over or reinforces ethical implications. The larger project is funded by the Academy of Finland and involves over 20 universities in 9 countries in a large-scale mixed-methods study of policy-based as well as student, faculty and staff perspectives on internationalisation. The larger project investigates what are the barriers and opportunities for ethical engagement with internationalisation policies in higher education contexts. Ethical engagement is defined according to three key principles: a) intelligibility: making inequities visible and unearthing the taken-for-granted assumptions at their core, b) dissent: resisting the rules, principles and precepts that reassert inequities, and c) solidarity: coming together as a community of academics across and with difference in an era that is increasingly hostile to dissent.
In this paper, we focus on internationalisation discourses in the European data-set, 6 universities in 4 countries. We analyse university strategies and interviews with managers dealing with internationalisation at their institutions. Specifically, we consider two key questions: a) How is internationalisation rationalized and who are the key actors and/or processes associated with internationalisation? b) What value is attributed to difference and under what circumstances?
Theoretically, we draw on literature that points to three inter-related concerns: a) in the current climate of economic crises, democratic and social purposes of higher education can be fused into economic imaginaries of internationalisation (Khoo, 2011), b) this normalized version of internationalisation can re-direct social and political values towards economic rationales that reproduce market expansionism (Rhoads & Szelényi, 2011), and c) this leads to a superficial and tokenistic approach to cultural diversity that steps over ethical questions around equity and denies the corresponding reproduction of global systems of inequities (Andreotti, 2009; Andreotti et al., 2010; Abdi & Shultz, 2008; Dower, 2003; Dervin & Layne, 2013)
The main contribution of this study to the field is its application of a novel heuristic based on three main orientations (neoliberal, liberal, and critical) and four intersections (neoliberal-liberal, liberal-critical, neoliberal-critical, and all four). While there are plenty of examples of research regarding neoliberalism in higher education in a context of internationalisation (e.g., Slaughter & Rhoades, 2004;Rizvi & Lingard 2010; Arambewela 2010), our project attempts to find new ways of understanding the current context of internationalisation. We work to highlight alternative orientations to neoliberalism in the data and also to identify how the main orientations intersect and can be either mutually reinforcing or can represent spaces to challenge dominant discourses. This mapping engages with internationalisation strategies in a novel way that can help to promote an ethical approach. The heuristic enables a visual mapping of the differences within and between the main discursive orientations underpinning how internationalisation and diversity are articulated in the policy and practice of internationalisation. Further, it helps to recognize how there may be multiple and contradicting discourses operating through a common goal of diversifying student demographics. By working to make intelligible where neoliberalism is compatible with or at odds with liberal and critical orientations, we use the heuristic to articulate barriers to and possibilities for an ethical approach to internationalisation.
Abdi, A. and Shultz, L. (Eds.) (2008). Educating for Human Rights and Global Citizenship. New York: New York State University Press. Andreotti, V. (2009) Engaging critically with ‘objective’ critical analysis: a situated response to Openshaw and Rata. International Studies in Sociology of Education, 19(3): 217 -227 Andreotti, V., Jeferess, D. Pashby, K., Rowe, C., Tarc, P., Taylor, L. (2010). Difference and Conflict in Global Citizenship in Higher Education in Canada. International Journal of Development Education and Global Learning, 2(3):5-24. Arambewla, R. (2010). Student Experience in the Globalized Higher Education Market: Challenges and Research Imperatives. In F. Maringe and N. Foskett (Eds.) Globalization and Internationalization in Higher Education: Theoretical, Strategic and Management Perspectives, (pp. 155-171). London: Continuum. Dervin, F. & Layne, H. (2013). A guide to interculturality for international and exchange students: an example of Hostipitality? Journal of Multicultural Discourses, DOI:10.1080/17447143.2012.753896 Dower, N. (2003). An introduction to global citizenship. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. European Commission (EU). (2013). European higher education in the world. Retrieved from https://www.nuffic.nl/bibliotheek/European-higher-education-in-the-world.pdf. Khoo, S. (2011). Re-routing the postcolonial university: educating for citizenship in managed times. In V. Andreotti and L. de Souza (Eds.) Postcolonial perspectives on global citizenship education, (pp. 200-220). New York: Routledge. Paulston, R. (1999). Mapping Comparative Education after Postmodernity. Comparative Education Review, 43(4), 438-463. Rizvi, F. & Lingard B. (2010). Globalizing Education Policy. New York/London: Routledge. Rhoads, R. & Szelényi, K. (2011). Global citizenship and the university: Advancing Social Life and Relations in an Interdependent World. Stanford: Stanford University Press. Slaughter, S. & Rhoades, G. (2004). Academic capitalism and the new economy: markets, state, and higher education. Baltimore, Md.: Johns Hopkins University Press. Taylor, S. (2004). Researching educational policy and change in ‘new times’: Using critical discourse analysis. Journal of Education Policy, 19(4), 433–451.
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