22 SES 03 A, Internationalisation in Higher Education: Governance and Curriculum Development
The practice of internationalisation is not new; scholars have been exchanging ideas across political borders for centuries. However, globalisation is causing a rapid increase in the pace and expansion of the practice. This is shaping the policies and programs higher education institutions are developing in response. Because of this, it is more important than ever to understand how universities can adjust to and move forward in this new normal. Universities must be innovative and flexible to be able to respond to the fast moving pace and dynamic nature of internationalisation (Khan & Noam, 2018). Over the past two decades, researchers have identified various approaches for looking at the development of these strategies, policies and programs and the various factors affecting them (Carley, Cheurprakobkit, & Paracka, 2006; Dale, 1999; Garwe, 2014; Sporn, 1996). There is no disagreement in the literature about these approaches, but rather diversity, illustrating the complexity of the concept of internationalisation. As Hudzik (2011) describes, even how an institution defines effective international education will vary significantly. As such, the governance of internationalisation can vary as well.
The process of how a policy is developed, implemented, and evaluated, is an important aspect of governance and often crucial to the success of policy (Ostrom, 2009, 2011; Rizvi & Lingard, 2010; Sabatier, 1991). While this is well documented in the field of political science, there is a relative gap in the education literature about internationalisation governance and the development of internationalisation policies. Because of the relative dearth in internationalisation governance literature about policy processes, it will be necessary to look more broadly to the field of political science for appropriate models and apply them to internationalisation. Ostrom's (2009, 2011) policy process models are particularly relevant to this research. Her framework for institutional analysis and development (IAD), which was designed for use in a wide variety of fields of study, shows how external variables, such as rules-in-use and attributes of communities, set the context and affect an action situation which leads to outcomes. This same framework also emphasises the link actors have to potential outcomes. Ostrom (2011, pp. 12–13) explains that for each actor, whether an individual or a group, one must consider “how and what participants value; what resources, information, and beliefs they have; what their information-processing capabilities are; and what internal mechanisms they use to decide upon strategies.”
In addition to understanding how policies are developed, it is helpful to understand why these policy development processes are employed. Understanding the institutional culture of a university and the subsequent implementation of internationalisation efforts makes the analysis of policy development processes more attainable and thus, aids in the identification of management challenges (Sporn, 1996). Bartell (2003, p. 56) developed a university culture framework to help with understanding internationalisation processes at universities. This framework relates the strength of a university’s culture (strong/weak) and the orientation of the university (internal/external) to examine a university’s “capacity to support strategic management.”
In this study, policy development processes and implementation are examined at three similar universities and compared to determine whether certain types of processes are more conducive to sustainable internationalisation practices and thus, meeting policy aspirations. The study also fills a research gap by looking at successful policy implementation (Salazar-Morales, 2018).
The following research questions are asked:
- How are internationalisation policies developed and implemented at each university?
- What factors and dynamics are influencing internationalisation in either a positive or a negative direction? What are the common barriers and facilitators for internationalisation governance?
- How do policy development processes affect internationalisation?
This qualitative, empirical study was conducted with an interpretivist approach. Three similar universities, one each in Norway, the United States and Australia, were chosen as case studies. The universities are all public institutions, similar in size (10,000-12,000 full time students), ranking (top 5% in world) and geographic location (regional and suburban). Although each of these universities is in an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) member country, and is considered a ‘knowledge society’ (Drucker, 1969; UNESCO, 2005) with a strong education system, universal access to information and commitments to foster knowledge-sharing, their rationales for internationalisation differ. This may cause responses to internationalisation to vary. To obtain an in-depth understanding of internationalisation policy development and implementation at each university, semi-structured interviews were conducted with a total of 22 key administrative and academic stakeholders involved in their university’s internationalisation process. Topics covered included rationales for internationalisation, internationalisation policy development process, internationalisation implementation and internationalisation evaluation. The interviews were conducted in English and lasted from 35 to 50 minutes. Interviews were recorded and transcribed by the researcher to provide a deep familiarisation with the data. Using Ostrom's (2011) institutional analysis and development framework as a guide, and the three general phases of thematic analysis described by Guest, MacQueen, & Namey (2012), common themes were identified for each interview topic. Next, Bartell's (2003) framework of university culture was used to understand the process of internationalisation at each university. Finally, the three cases are juxtaposed to illustrate the range of contexts in which internationalisation is occurring and each university’s responses to internationalisation.
Although the universities in this study are similar in many ways, their policy development processes differed. The policy development processes ranged from coordinated, inclusive and participatory to piecemeal and exclusive and may be explained by university culture. In turn, this has affected the implementation of internationalisation within the university. In some cases, for example, a gap can be seen between policy rationales (Fischer & Green, 2018) and rationales cited by university staff. In order to establish longer term sustainability in internationalisation practices, this is an area that universities could consider bringing into alignment. This study identified several factors related to policy processes that are barriers or enablers for internationalisation. Several common themes emerged from the interview data. For example, interview participants often indicated that leadership is key. This is consistent with Knight (1994), who describes the importance of effective, enthusiastic, committed leadership. In addition, the theme of communication was emphasised, with university staff emphasising the importance of transparent, clear, consistent communication. A third area is the role of academic staff in internationalisation. Some processes included academics in planning and policy development, while others did not. Romani et al. (2018) found that the role academic staff can be underestimated in internationalisation efforts. Regardless of ideological position, certain policy development processes are more conducive to sustainable internationalisation practices (Turner & Robson, 2008) and thus, meeting internationalisation policy aspirations. As universities move towards sustainability, understanding and identifying the different approaches can be useful from both a research and administrative perspective.
Bartell, M. (2003). Internationalization of universities: A university culture-based framework. Higher Education, 45(1), 43–70. Carley, S., Cheurprakobkit, S., & Paracka, D. (2006). Faculty Attitudes toward International Education: A Campus Experience, 1, 21. Dale, R. (1999). Specifying globalization effects on national policy: a focus on the mechanisms. Journal of Education Policy, 14(1), 1–17. https://doi.org/10.1080/026809399286468 Drucker, P. F. (1969). The age of discontinuity: guidelines to our changing society. New York, Harper & Row 1969, 1969. Fischer, S., & Green, W. (2018). Understanding Contextual Layers of Policy and Motivations for Internationalization: Identifying Connections and Tensions. Journal of Studies in International Education, 22(3), 242–258. https://doi.org/10.1177/1028315318762503 Garwe, E. C. (2014). The effect of institutional leadership on quality of higher education provision, 10. Guest, G., MacQueen, K. M., & Namey, E. E. (2012). Applied thematic analysis. [electronic resource]. Los Angeles: Sage Publications, c2012. Hudzik, J. (2011). Comprehensive Internationalization: from concept to action. Washington, DC: NAFSA: Association of International Educators. Khan, M. A., & Noam, E. (2018). The Self-Internationalization Model (SIM) versus Conventional Internationalization Models (CIMs) of the institutions of higher education: A preliminary insight from management perspectives. Journal of Eastern European and Central Asian Research, 5(1). https://doi.org/10.15549/jeecar.v5i1.189 Knight, J. (1994). Internationalization: Elements and Checkpoints. Canadian Bureau for Internatoinal Education. Retrieved from http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED549823.pdf Ostrom, E. (2009). Understanding Institutional Diversity. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Ostrom, E. (2011). Background on the institutional analysis and development framework. Policy Studies Journal, 39(1), 7–27. Rizvi, F., & Lingard, B. (2010). Globalizing Education Policy. New York: Routledge. Romani, M., Carneiro, J., & Dos Santos Barbosa, A. (2018). Internationalization of Higher Education Institutions: The Underestimated Role of Faculty. International Journal of Educational Management. https://doi.org/doi.org/10.1108/IJEM-07-2017-0184 Sabatier, P. A. (1991). Toward Better Theories of the Policy Process. PS: Political Science and Politics, 24(2), 147. https://doi.org/10.2307/419923 Salazar-Morales, D. A. (2018). Sermons, carrots or sticks? Explaining successful policy implementation in a low performance institution. Journal of Education Policy, 33(4), 457–487. https://doi.org/10.1080/02680939.2017.1378823 Sporn, B. (1996). Managing university culture: an analysis of the relationship between institutional culture and management approaches. Higher Education, 32(1), 41–61. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00139217 Turner, Y., & Robson, S. (2008). Internationalizing the university. London ; New York: Continuum. UNESCO. (2005). Towards knowledge societies. Paris: Unesco Publ.
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