22 SES 16 A, International Perspectives on Student Retention in Higher Education Part 1
Symposium to be continued in 22 SES 17 A
Internationalisation in higher education is often construed along economic lines as the development of strategic partnerships with private enterprises or along political lines as the internationalisation of educational policy and the promotion of student mobility across national borders. A third dimension, “internationalisation at home”, emphasises the inclusion of international and intercultural aspects into curriculum design within domestic learning environments (Beleen and Jones 2015). The socio-lingual and socio-cultural dimensions of internationalisation in education are also crucial given the complex process through which ideas interconnect and are communicated across horizons, from the local to the global. De Wit (2013, 2011, 2010) suggests that these various rationales for internationalisation are not mutually exclusive but rather intersect, overlap and vary over time.
Internationalising curricula in higher education suggests the need for purposeful planning in syllabus design and delivery to reflect the diversity of learners and mobility of knowers and of knowledge in the twenty-first century (Smit and Dafouz 2012). The central role language and culture play in the process of generating and disseminating knowledge, the core mission of universities, highlights the need for greater research into forms of integrating language and literacy training into disciplinary content for coherent internationalisation of academic curricula. The papers in the symposia examine the effectiveness of English Medium Instruction (EMI) for internationalisation and engage with alternative content-and-language-integrated models that support meaningful international and intercultural learning.
The second set of papers (Part 2) extends the focus by examining policy and planning of international curricula in multilingual and multicultural contexts both at home and abroad, in formal and informal settings. Emma Quick addresses how best to support lecturers in developing communicative strategies and designing disciplinary content to favour a critical alignment of pedagogical principles with professional practices when internationalising curricula in a trilingual setting. Lynn Mastellotto and Renata Zanin examine the plurilingual and intercultural approach to teacher training at the University of Bolzano through content-and-language-integrated curricula in the Master’s in Education and through an online course developed collaboratively with partner institutions in Slovenia, Germany and Estonia. Finally, Amanda Murphy presents an innovative model of transnational education through the academic franchising of an international MBA on social entrepreneurship in Africa, developed by the graduate business school ALTIS at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, a programme in which Italian and African academics collaboratively design and deliver curricula in English or French, specifically adapted for local implementation in seven African countries.
By foregrounding diverse case studies from Italy and drawing on national perspectives from Germany, Slovenia, Estonia and seven African countries, the notion of internationalisation as ‘one size fits all’ programming delivered mainly in the national language with some English-medium instruction added on (van Leeuwen 2004) is revealed as pedagogically limited and limiting for diversity. The symposia papers draw on a range of methodologies from multimodal participant observation to action research in presenting studies which suggest that internationalisation in HE is more successfully realised when international and intercultural content is purposefully planned and integrated into disciplinary courses with contextualised learning aims and outcomes. Such curricula may extend beyond the home campus and formal learning contexts to include other intercultural/international learning opportunities within communities, or may involve the virtual mobility of learners and lecturers through technology-assisted programmes that facilitate engagement in collaborative learning communities and transnational networks of knowledge.
Beelen, Jos and Elspeth Jones. 2015. “Redefining Internationalisation at Home”. The European Higher Education Area: Between critical reflections and future policies. A. Curaj, L. Matei, R. Pricopie, J. Salmi and P. Scott (eds.) Springer Chan, 59-72. de Wit, Hans. 2013. An Introduction to Higher Education Internationalisation. Milan: Vita e Pensiero. de Wit, Hans. 2011. “Globalisation and Internationalisation of Higher Education.” Revista de Universidad y Sociedad del Conocimiento (RUSC) 8(2), 241-248. de Wit, Hans. 2010. Internationalisation of Higher Education in Europe and its assessment, trends and issues. Amsterdam: University of Applied Sciences. Smit, Ute and Emma Dafouz. 2012. “Integrating content and language in higher education: An introduction to English-medium policies, conceptual issues and research practices across Europe.” In ICLHE: Gaining Insights into English-Medium Instruction at European Universities. AILA Review, Vol. 25. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company, 1-12. Van Leeuwen, Charles. 2004. “Multilingual universities in Europe: Models and realities.” Integrating Content and Language: Meeting the challenge of a Multilingual Higher Education. Ed. Robert Wilkinson. Maastricht: Universitaire Pers Maastricht, 576-584.
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