22 SES 06 C, The Internationalisation of Higher Education: Conceptual and Methodological Challenges
This workshop focuses on the influence of globalisation, the knowledge economy and advances in technology that have intensified the internationalisation of higher education (HE) (Jiang, 2008; Altbach, 2006 ). Many European higher education institutions (HEIs) have internationalisation strategies in place, however these are often driven principally by economic imperatives and focus mainly on student mobility and recruitment. De Wit (2010) observed that as internationalisation becomes more mainstream in the HE agenda, it is also becoming more strongly linked to innovation, interdisciplinarity and interculturality, and to learning outcomes for students. However, despite the mainstreaming of internationalisation, Barber et al. (2013) ask whether a university education is a good preparation for working life and citizenship in the 21st century. They suggest that a deep and radical transformation of HE is required to ensure the quality and value of an HE education.
The workshop invites participants to consider the call from the European Commission to develop more comprehensive internationalisation strategies (EC Communication ‘European Higher Education in the World,’ 2013). In response to the Europe 2020 Growth Strategy and its objective of achieving smart, sustainable and inclusive European (HE), the workshop will explore ways in which more holistic, inclusive and sustainable conceptualisations of internationalisation can lead to evidence-based research methodologies that enhance the quality of European HE and hence the quality of experience of both domestic and international HE students. It invites consideration of what constitutes powerful knowledge in HE (Beck (2013, p184) and how this can be ‘empowering’ – for individuals or groups of learners. It considers the pedagogic challenges of ‘giving [students] access to powerful knowledge – and giving it meaning and critical purchase in their everyday lives’ (Whitty, 2010, p. 40, cited in Beck, ibid, p.186-7).
Although there is a burgeoning body of research in the area, HE internationalisation as field of study lacks a strong research tradition and is characterised by:
§ A fragmentation of conceptualisations and methods, despite an increase in theoretically and methodologically ambitious studies in recent years
§ A narrow focus on international students
§ A lack of comparative studies with research often fragmented into case studies of individual countries, institutions, or programmes of study
§ Limited knowledge about which internationalisation practices are most effective and translate well across different disciplines, institutions, and countries
§ Limited evidence-based research to advance an inclusive and socially responsible internationalisation agenda
The workshop will therefore address the following questions:
· How can we internationalise the HE experience of 21st century global graduates?
· How can we develop inter-culturally sensitive pedagogies to support diverse student groups?
· How can we harness and maximise the benefits of student and staff mobility experiences?
· How can we support staff through professional learning and development to underpin innovative internationalised curriculum design and delivery?
· Can a more comprehensive approach to internationalisation lead to more powerful learning and intercultural understanding?
Altbach, Phillip. 2006. “Globalization and the University: Realities in an Unequal World.” In International Handbook of Higher Education, ed. P. G. Altbach and J. J .F. Forest. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer. Barber, M., Donnelly, K., and Rizvi, S. (2013) An Avalanche is coming: Higher Education and the Revolution Ahead, London: Institute for Public Policy Research. Beck, J (2013) Powerful knowledge, esoteric knowledge, curriculum knowledge. Cambridge Journal of Education, 43:2, 177-193, DOI: 10.1080/0305764X.2013.767880 http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0305764X.2013.767880, De Wit H. 2010 Internationalisation of Higher Education in Europe and its assessment trends and issues, The Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders, NVAO. http://www.nvao.net/page/downloads/Internationalisation_of_Higher_Education_in_Europe_DEF_december_2010.pdf Gibbs, G., 2012 Implications of Dimensions of Quality in a market environment. HEA Research Series. Higher Education Academy, York, UK. www-new2.heacademy.ac.uk/assets/documents/evidence_informed_practice/HEA_Dimensions_of_Quality_2.pdf accessed 03.11.2014 Jiang, X. (2008) Towards the internationalisation of higher education from a critical perspective, Journal of Further and Higher Education, 32:4, 347-358, DOI:10.1080/03098770802395561
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