Although internationalisation has been the subject of discussion at institution and programme levels for many years in higher education, academics are still challenged by the prospect of internationalising their teaching and learning methodology and programme content (Dewey & Duff, 2009; Clifford, 2009; Clifford & Montgomery, 2011; Beelan & Jones, 2015; Green & Whitsted, 2015; Hudzik, 2011, 2015; Proctor, 2015).
Difficulties arise because institutions have tended to be focussed on mobility and the associated economic gains arising from internationalisation with less attention being given to the implications for teaching and learning (Dewey & Duff, 2009; Montgomery, 2010; Clifford, 2013). For any curriculum related initiative, academics are the key proponents to realise the change (Green & Whitsed, 2015; Hudzik, 2015). Similarly with Internationalisation of the Curriculum (IoC), academics’ engagement is central to its success (Clifford & Montgomery, 2005; Leask, 2005; Leask & Beelen, 2009; Kahn & Agnew, 2015; Hudzik, 2015). Academics largely decide what to include in the curriculum and on the knowledge, skills and qualities which need to be developed, therefore, it is essential for them to define internationalisation within the context of their individual disciplines (Leask 2009 cited in Agnew & Kahn, 2015). This can be a complex challenge for academics. Internationalisation needs to be relevant to both professional and disciplinary objectives and it is not merely about focussing on international case studies. It entails an overall analysis of global perspectives, skills and attitudes which have to be aligned with specific academic and global requirements (Agnew & Kahn, 2015). While there has been work performed using a ‘contribution’ approach to internationalisation in various case studies, the overall transformative approach, which requires staff to engage in paradigmatic change, remains to be developed (Clifford & Montgomery,2005; Leask & Beelen, 2009). It is also still unclear from the research why academics are not engaging with the concept in spite of an increased emphasis on internationalisation strategies for HEIs and an increased number of practical guides specifically related to the curriculum. Leask & Beelan (2009) state for internationalisation to be successfully implemented, differing methods must be explored to ensure the active participation of staff in its enactment. This research examines how a collaborative, support group might impact on the level of engagement between academics and IoC and what type of changes might result from such an intervention. The research context is the teaching and learning environments of three Irish Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) that are in the process of merging for Technological University (TU) status.
Beelen, J and Jones, E (2015) Redefining internationalisation at home.Bucharest, Romania, Bologna Researchers Conference. Clifford, V (2009) Engaging the disciplines in internationalising the curriculum. International Journal for Academic Development, 14(2), 133-143 [Online]. Available at http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/13601440902970122?needAccess=true [ Accessed 20 March 2015]. Clifford, V and Montgomery, C (2011) Ch 1 Introduction: internationalizing the curriculum for global citizenship in higher education. In Clifford, V and Montgomery, C (Eds) Moving towards Internationalisation of the Curriculum for Global Citizenship in Higher Education, Oxford, UK: OCSLD, Oxford Brookes University Clifford, V (2013). The Elusive Concept of Internationalisation of the Curriculum. [Online]. Available at https://www.brookes.ac.uk/services/cci/definitions.html [ Accessed 15 November 2015]. Coghlan, D and Brannick, T (2014) Doing Action Research in Your Own Organization, Sage Publications Dewey, P and Duff, S (2009). Reason before Passion: Faculty Views on Internationalization in Higher Education. Higher Education, 58 (4), 491-504 [Online]. Available at http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10734-009-9207-z/fulltext.html [Accessed 4 April 2015]. Green, W and Whitsed, C (2015) Introducing Critical Perspectives on Internationalising the Curriculum. In Green, W and Whitsed, C (Eds) Critical Perspectives on Internationalising the Curriculum in Disciplines, Sense Publishers, The Netherlands. Hudzik, J. K ( 2011) Comprehensive Internationalisation From Concept to Action [Online] Available at http://www.d.umn.edu/vcaa/intz/2011_Comprehen_Internationalization.pdf [ Accessed 23 February 2015]. Hudzik, J K (2015) Strategic Institutional Partnerships and Comprehensive Internationalisation In Jooste, N, De Wit, H & Heleto , S (Eds) Higher Education Partnerships for the Future. Available: http://www.highered-research.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Higher-Education-Partnerships-for-the-Future-Book-WEB.pdf#page=23 [ Accessed 10 January 2016]. Kahn, H E and Agnew , M (2015). Considerations for Teaching, Learning and the Internationalization of Higher Education. Journal of Studies in International Education, 21 (1), 52-64 [Online] Available at http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/1028315315622022 [ Accessed 3 March 2015]. Montgomery, C (2010) Universities into the 21st Century Understanding the International Student Experience, Palgrave Macmillan, UK. Leask, B and Beelen, J (2009) Enhancing the engagement of academic staff in international education. Paper presented at the Advancing Europe-Australia cooperation in international education: Symposium background papers, Melbourne, Australia Leask, B (2005) Internationalisation of the curriculum and intercultural engagement- a variety of perspectives and possibilities [Online]. Available: http://aiec.idp.com/uploads/pdf/Leask,%20Betty.pdf [Accessed 15 March 2015]. Proctor, D (2015) Faculty and International Engagement: Has Internationalization Changed Academic Work in International Higher Education Special Edition 2015, number 83, 15-17.
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