22 SES 12 A, Reflecting on the Individual And Collective Benefits of Higher Education Internationalization: Reconceptualising internationalization through the experiences of staff and students Part 2
Symposium continued from 22 SES 11 A
Over recent decades, much like many other countries in the world, Chile has developed a process of internationalization within its universities (OECD & World-Bank, 2010) which includes several strategies. Among these strategies, the Chilean government has signed several agreements with the most prestigious universities in the world (judged by international rankings) to support students in obtaining their doctorates and it has granted more than 7,000 scholarships to study abroad between 2008 and 2014. As a result, in the last decade, 11% of doctoral students have obtained their doctorates in the USA and 28% in Europe (CONICYT, 2014). In this paper, attention is pay to the ways in which successful Chilean doctoral students who obtained their doctorates in countries in the North (re)use and (re)build knowledge in academia when they return to their home country (Chile). Forty-one semi-structured interviews were conducted with Chilean-born scholars in the social sciences and humanities who had recently obtained their doctorates in the USA and in Europe and who had accepted academic positions at national research-intensive universities in Chile. Findings show that the most important challenge that these academics have to face was that of the negotiation of epistemic traditions in tension. This involved two dimensions. On the one hand, the negotiation of a knowledge produced in countries in the North with a more local knowledge produced in the South (Santos, 2014; Connell, 2007; Massey, 1999). On the other hand, discipline issues appeared especially when the doctorates were granted in a discipline that was different from the scholar’s initial background. In this latter case, challenges presented themselves in crossing disciplines since disciplines are rather compartmentalized and have their own modes of knowledge construction and communication, and research funds are allocated according to specific disciplines in Chile. All these matters - policies for funding research and the production of knowledge, historical disciplinary divisions in the social sciences and the humanities, the construction of knowledge from different epistemological traditions, and the cross-national mobility of academics - invite considerations about the geopolitics of knowledge, the reproduction of forms of post-colonialism in academia and the construction of academic identity in a fluid world (Guzmán-Valenzuela & Muñoz-García, 2018). Finally, attention to which type of knowledge is valid and legitimate is important in preventing ‘epistemicide’ (Santos, 2014). Such patterns of epistemic warfare might be observed not only – as Santos implies – between the North and the South but also between disciplines as such.
CONICYT (2014) Brain Exchange: Departamento de Estudios y Gestión Estratégica. Retrieved on 30 September 2017 from http://www.conicyt.cl/blog/2014/01/brain-exchangeconicyt/ Santiago, Chile: [Brain exchange: Department of Research and Strategic Management Division]. Connell, R. (2007). Southern theory: The Global Dynamics of Knowledge in Social Science. Cambridge: Polity. Guzmán-Valenzuela, C. & Muñoz, A. L. (2018). (De) colonizing international collaborative work: exploring new grammars for academic partnerships in Chile. In L. Gormall, L. Sweetman & B. Thomas. Exploring Consensual Leadership in Higher Education: cooperation, collaboration and partnership. London: Bloomsbury Massey, D. (1999). Imagining globalization: Power geometries of time-space. In B. Hickman & M. Ghail (Eds.), Global futures: Migration, environment and globalization (pp. 27-44). Houndsmill, England: Macmillan. OECD, & World-Bank. (2010). Reviews of National Policies for Education: Becas Chile scholarship program. Paris: OECD. Santos, B (2014) Epistemologies of the South: Justice Against Epistemicide. New York: Routledge
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