22 SES 10 A, Internationalisation: Student Experience
This paper concerns research issues on curriculum, pedagogy and the creative use of method in international higher education (IHE). It is motivated by the witnessing of a recent shifting in consensus, within the global research communities on international education, towards curriculum renewal of shared knowledge within the field (Altbach & Knight, 2007; Hellstén & Reid, 2008, Leask, 2015; Marginson & Sawir, 2011; Ninnes & Hellstén, 2005). Concurrently, international education as a social process is in need of regeneration and re-articulation (Knight, 2015; Robson, 2011; Trahar et. al., 2016) at the boundary of a dominant internationalization imaginary (Andreotti et. al., 2016). This dominant imaginary recognises the strains caused by globalization upon the higher education sector calling for a collective reconfiguration of the international pedagogical space in order to sustain the field.
The trajectory leading into the second decade of the 21st century brings IHE into a forty-year ‘mid-life crisis’ (Knight, 2015) point. The metaphor of ‘mid-life crisis’ represents a period of ‘evaluation and transition’, ‘questioning of accomplishments made’ and a ‘slump in perceived opportunities’. While international student mobility currently continues to increase in scope (OECD, 2014), the rapid escalation is met by a wave of critical disquiet. Especially the long term scholars in the international education field may appear unreconciled by the ever deteriorating working conditions, lack of supporting infrastructure, complexity of teaching and pedagogy, uneven supply of advanced technology and other educational goods (Hellstén & Reid, 2008). Concurrently, there is a degree of international curriculum fatigue and concern for reflexive progression.
However, a period of transition need not lead to merely negative outcomes. An antidote is offered by the ‘international research community of scholars’ (Hellstén & Poikela, 2009) which demands aggregate dialogue about international experiences (e.g. Green & Whitsed, 2015), narratives, biographies and storied alternatives to the dominant global imaginary. Hence, this paper enters into an imaginary of alternative pedagogical routes in IHE and contributes to the collective dialogue by way of a case example using creative writing for transitioning from the actual to the possible in international education (Bruner, 1986).
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