22 SES 07 A, Internationalisation: Case Study Papers (Part 3)
Paper Session continued from22 SES 06 A
There is virtually no higher education (HE) system across the world nowadays that is not experiencing some form of what is called ‘internationalisation’. The literature demonstrates that internationalisation as a process has impacted HE systems of nations in different, vernacular ways. Internationalisation is a broad term that covers various cross-border approaches, policies, programs and activities in HE (De Wit, 1999). This paper focuses specifically on affiliation and accreditation policies in the Omani HE system as forms of cross-border HE.
As a developing country, there were no HE institutions (HEIs) in the Sultanate before the mid-1980s. Changing rapidly in a short time, today there are 62 public and private universities and colleges. The government is the chief policy player that creates programs and policies for the HE system. Al’Abri (2016) demonstrates that the government has developed its HE system and reformed it in response to an interweaving of contemporary local, regional and global issues. Affiliation and accreditation policies in the Omani HE system are policies responding to these national, regional and global contexts and pressures, seeking to ensure expanded and quality provision. Affiliation as a policy in the Omani HE system began with the introduction of private HEIs in the mid-1990s, requiring all private universities and colleges in Oman be affiliated with an international HEI as a requirement for establishment and licensing. Accreditation is a practice of assuring quality in the Omani HE system in which HEIs attempt to have their programs recognized and then accredited by a foreign (international) organization that sets quality standards to be met; this is referred to as ‘off-shore accreditation’ (see Altbach, 2003). A large number of the foreign HEI affiliate and accrediting organizations are European such as RWTH Aachen University/ Germany, University of Applied Sciences, Switzerland and Open University/UK.
The main aim of paper is to contribute to the understanding of the global phenomenon of HE internationalisation with a focus on the case of Oman. Using the affiliation and accreditation policies as cases, the paper seeks to demonstrate how HE internationalisation is reshaping the Omani HE system. The rationales for these forms of internationalisation will be analyzed, examining the national, regional and global drivers and pressures for these developments. The paper will also highlight the challenges and complexities brought by these policies to the Omani HE system with specific reference to curriculum, language of instruction, staffing, and quality assurance. As such, the paper will make an overall contribution to the literature on HE internationalisation.
To achieve its aims, the paper is framed around globalisation processes, confirming that education systems and policies of states around the world have been affected by global policy discourses. Rizvi and Lingard (2010) argue that globalisation has led to deep changes and shifts in how education policies are developed, implemented and evaluated and in the focus of policy content. While there is ongoing debate among HE researchers about the relationships between globalization and internationalisation (see Scott, 2005; Teichler, 2004), I argue that globalization has encouraged, strengthened and speeded up the internationalisation of and in HE, considering internationalisation simultaneously as both a consequence of and a response to globalization. This argument aligns with Knight’s (2004, p.8) observation that “globalization is positioned as part of the environment in which the international dimension of HE is becoming more important and significantly changing”. Thus, affiliation and accreditation policies will be analysed theoretically using the relevant globalisation literature (e.g. Ball, 2012). More specifically, Appadurai’s (1996) concept of ‘vernacular globalisation’ will be used to analyse how the Omani local context mediates these influences and responds to internationalisation according to Oman’s perceived interests and political demands.
Al’Abri, K. (2016). Higher education policy architecture and policy-making in the Sultanate of Oman: Towards a critical understanding. (PhD), The University of Queensland, Brisbane. Altbach, P. (2003). American accreditation of foreign universities: Colonialism in action. International Higher Education, 32, 5-7. Appadurai, A. (1996). Modernity at large: Cultural dimensions of globalization. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Ball, S. J. (2012). Global education inc: New policy networks and the neo-liberal imaginary. London: Routledge. Bryman, A. (2012). Social research methods. Oxford: Oxford University Press. de Wit, H. (1999). Changing rationales for the internationalisation of higher education. International Higher Education, 15, 2-3. Rizvi, F., & Lingard, B. (2010). Globalizing education policy. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge. Scott, P. (2005). The global dimension: internationalising higher education. In B. Khem & H. de Wit (Eds.), Internationalization in higher education: European responses to the global perspective. Amsterdam: European Association for International Education and the European Higher Education Society. Teichler, U. (2004). The changing debate on internationalisation of higher education. Higher education, 48(1), 5-26.
- Search for keywords and phrases in "Text Search"
- Restrict in which part of the abstracts to search in "Where to search"
- Search for authors and in the respective field.
- For planning your conference attendance you may want to use the conference app, which will be issued some weeks before the conference
- If you are a session chair, best look up your chairing duties in the conference system (Conftool) or the app.