22 SES 01 A, Diversity and Inequality in Higher Education
As observed in the last decades, more and more students cross the borders of their countries to pursue part or all of their higher education in institutions abroad. This increase in international student flows reflects a complexity of motivations and implications, and arouses interest in various areas of academic research. As there are different ways of looking critically at this phenomenon, which is part of the internationalization of higher education, we are interested in perceiving the hegemonic rationalities that intertwine education, mobility, internationalization and processes of globalization.
Although reference universities have always had some projection beyond national borders, the internationalization of higher education, as we see it today, is a “relatively new phenomenon, but one that has evolved into a broad range of understandings and approaches” (Wit & Hunter, 2015, p. 41). Driven in the particular historical context of the Cold War, as these authors point out, the internationalization programs of higher education have even been a strategic device for expanding foreign policy in countries such as the United States. While continuing to focus on specifically national interests, the internationalization of higher education is now and evermore linked to the agendas of globalization and to the internationalization of capitalism itself. Nevertheless, as Knight (2008) observes, internationalization is perceived as a generic or incomplete formulation in the face of a plurality of rationalities. Hans de Wit stresses the academic, political, economic, social and cultural rationalities that may or may not co-exist and vary, in particular, depending on the countries and the historical conjunctures (De Wit, 2011). The ties that now gain increasing centrality and visibility are of an economic and financial nature, despite the fact that, as mentioned above, studies on academic mobility do not fail to encompass various rationalities in a global dynamism increasingly impregnated by capitalist logics and by the imposition of a “context” and a “culture” (Knight, 1999, p. 17) in which the phenomenon of internationalization operates and overlaps with the traditional ethos and locus of higher education.
The theoretical framework seeks to articulate the following variables and dimensions: internationalization of higher education, student mobility, justice, class and race. As in other countries, the legacies of the Brazilian colonial past remain very present in the explanation of inequalities. These are strongly articulated, in particular, with racial issues, which in turn constitute a certain world standard of power. The process of European colonization instituted race as “basic social classification and [form of] social domination” (Quijano, 2002, p. 4). In the perspective of this and other postcolonial/decolonial Latin American authors, the concept of coloniality of power rejects racism as an ideology derived from economic relations, explaining how race continues to be used as a form of domination and social classification. As Ramón Grosfoguel (2016, p. 158) explains, the concept of coloniality implies that racism is considered as the “structuring logic of all social structures and relations of domination of modernity”. However, when we call the theory of intersectionality, racial dimensions take on a different meaning because they are part of the crossing of distinct levels of discrimination, highlighting the combined inequalities faced by many individuals and social groups.
Given this theoretical framework, the part of the research presented here is focused on students who can be considered “transfugas” (“transescapes”) to a strongly conditioned destiny for combined inequalities (highlighting race and social class), and that constitute a tiny portion against a privileged majority that has in Brazil the greatest probabilities of international academic mobility, driven by the Science without Borders program (SwB). More specifically, the statistical cross-referencing of data by race and class allowed us to identify a small group of 80 students (6.2%) from the universe of 1,283 scholarship holders, all of them from low-income families, attending educational and research institutions in the United States. The data presented originated in research concluded in 2015 (Borges, 2015). These students came mainly from the Northeast (41.3%), the poorest region of Brazil, most of them black (58.2%). This information resulted of voluntary responses to an online survey, guaranteeing anonymity. Although race and socioeconomic status frequently interact to produce disadvantages in schooling and, in this case, are also present in the competition for a scholarship, the (minority) group studied circumvents, with some efficiency, these constraints since it is made up of successful schoolchildren who were previously enrolled in strategic areas of the program. Furthermore, they had a fair command of the English language. In other words, if it were not for command of the English language – a problem also for white students and social classes with greater economic, social and cultural capital – the students who constitute this sample of resilient ones in the face of the existing constraints would most likely have an even more insignificant participation in (or would not even be admitted to) the program. In the face of the language issue, and to meet the goal of 100,000 students abroad in four years, the Brazilian government had to make adjustments in the selection process and reduce the level of demand in terms of command of the English language. At least 60% of the students in the sample report had taken an English course in the US before beginning the exchange classes (Borges, 2015). Some of these students had even been relocated from Portugal, as a result of the Brazilian government’s prohibition to stop the growing flow of scholarship holders towards the Lusophone country (without linguistic barrier). This research suggests that it is important to better understand how inequality issues, namely race-based, are reflected within a minority group.
When, within the group of 80 students, white and black students were compared, taking into consideration, besides race, the mother’s schooling, the gender, type of school attended in secondary education and the command of English, we conclude that: The white scholarship students attended private schools more than the others (10% more); the mothers of the black scholarship students had slightly lower schooling than the white students (8% less); there was a predominance of men (25% more than women); however black female students had a greater participation than white female students (8% more); the percentage of black men was lower than that of white men (7.9% less). As for the English language, white scholars had relatively higher averages in conversation skills (2,909) than blacks (2,435); moreover, in relation to written expression, the trend was the same: whites had a higher average (3,406) and blacks (2,413). Because of this greater difficulty, 45.6% of black students resorted to US English classes funded by the SwB. On the other hand, 27.3% of the white students used this resource. The conclusions of the sample, which we presented briefly, indicate differences with social, political and educational significance that became more visible and consistent when they were broadly confirmed by data from the universe of 1,283 students referred to above. In keeping with the concept of coloniality of power, to disregard the relevance of the racial criterion in the promotion of policies, namely in the current and growing dynamics of international mobility in higher education, is to endorse racism as an “organizing principle” of the domination relations of modernity (Grosfoguel, 2016, p. 158). For this reason, the process of the correction of racialized social asymmetries and inequities, must undoubtedly be put on the agenda of internationalization policies, summoning, with analytical advantage, the contributions of the intersectionality theory.
Borges, R. A. (2015). A interseccionalidade de gênero, raça e classe no Programa Ciência sem Fronteiras: Um estudo sobre estudantes brasileiros com destino aos EUA . (Master´s thesis, Universidade de Brasília). http://repositorio.unb.br/handle/10482/20443 Crenshaw, k. (1989). Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory and Antiracist Politics. University of Chicago Legal Forum: Vol. 1989: Iss. 1, Article 8 (pp. 139-167). https://chicagounbound.uchicago.edu/uclf/vol1989/iss1/8 Grosfoguel, R. (2016). Caos sistémico, crisis civilizatoria y proyectos descoloniales: pensar más allá del proceso civilizatorio de la modernidad/colonialidad. Tabula Rasa, (25), 153-174. http://www.scielo.org.co/pdf/tara/n25/1794-2489-tara-25-00153.pdf Knight, J. (1999). Internationalisation of Higher Education. In OECD, Quality and Internationalisation in Higher Education (pp. 13-28). Paris: OECD Publishing. http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/education/quality-and-internationalisation-in-higher-education_9789264173361-en Knight, J. (2008). Higher education in turmoil. The changing world of internationalisation. Rotterdam, the Netherlands: Sense Publishers. Quijano, A. (2002). Colonialidade, poder, globalização e democracia. Novos Rumos, 37(17), 4-28. http://www2.marilia.unesp.br/revistas/index.php/novosrumos/issue/view/183 Wit, H. d. (2011). Globalisation and Internationalisation of Higher Education. Revista de Universidad y Sociedad del Conocimiento (RUSC), 8(2), 241-248. http://rusc.uoc.edu/ojs/index.php/rusc/article/view/v8n2-dewit/v8n2-dewit-eng Wit, H. d., & Hunter, F. (2015). Understanding internationalisation of Higher Education in the european context. In H. d. Wit, F. Hunter, L. Howard, & E. Egron-Polak, Internationalisation of Higher Education (pp. 41-58). Brussels: European Parliament's Committee on Culture and Education. http://www.europarl.europa.eu/studies
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
Network 13. Philosophy of Education
Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
Network 22. Research in Higher Education
Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
The programme is updated regularly (each day in the morning)
- 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.