Tag: internationalization

Call for contributions: next generation insights into internationalization of higher education

Are you a young scholar on higher education and are working on themes related to internationalization?

Douglas Proctor (Melbourne Centre for the Study of Higher Education) and Laura Rumbley (Boston College Center for International Higher Education) have launched a call for chapter proposals for an edited collection focusing on next generation perspectives on the internationalization of higher education. The title for the volume Future Agenda for Internationalization in Higher Education: Next Generation Insights into Research, Policy, and Practice. The book will be part of Routledge’s “Internationalization in Higher Education” series.


The book has an aim to focus on new contexts for internationalization in higher education, new topics of enquiry, and new or innovative modes or methodologies of research, outlined on the webpage as following:

  • New contexts – contexts or environments for internationalization which have not previously been explored in detail
  • New modes – new or alternative methodologies or frames of reference for exploring, understanding and/or researching internationalization
  • New topics – aspects of internationalization and/or international activities which have not previously been explored or have limited exposure in the current discourse.

As the title suggests, the book will also give primacy to next generation perspectives from emerging researchers and analysts. The call for proposals and key timelines are now available online at www.nextgenizn.org. This website also contains background information about the rationales for the book and its structure, as well as bios for the editors.

Proposals are due 30 September 2016. Check the website for the remaining of the timeline.

EAIE report: Strategic partnerships in Europe

70385492-eaieLOGOEAIE has compiled a report examining strategic partnerships in Europe, a topic that has gained attention in European policy debates. The report is based on an EAIE survey “The EAIE Barometer: Internationalisation in Europe”.

The survey was sent out to EAIE members and beyond, yielding 2411 responses in total. Just over 2000 of these came from about 1500 European higher education institutions. One of the findings from the survey was that international strategic partnerships have been on the rise in recent years, 79% of the respondents in the survey had indicated that partnerships were an element of internationalization strategies. The current report examines the survey data that concerns strategic partnerships.

In this context, strategic partnerships are in the report defined as concrete agreements that are continuous, that is that they “encourage durable collaboration between institutions and organisations by building sustainable academic networks, strengthening exchanges among students and staff, and enhancing exchanges of knowledge and practices” (p.5).

Guest blogger: Is Internationalisation of Higher Education a ‘Fuzzy Concept’?

Sintayehu Kassaye Alemu (University of Ljubljana)

Sintayehu Kassaye Alemu
(University of Ljubljana)

This guest entry is written by Sintayehu K Alemu. He is a graduate of the Hedda master programme and is currently working on his PhD at the Center for Educational Policy Studies (CEPS) at University of Ljubljana as a part of the UNIKE project. Earlier, he has studied history at Addis Abbaba University, and obtained a MA degree in general education at Umea University in Sweden. His PhD project is titled: ‘’A Comparative Analysis of Practices and Impacts of Internationalization of Higher Education on the Academic life in the Centers and Peripheries’. 

Markusen has defined ‘fuzzy concept’ as ”one which posits an entity, phenomenon or process which possesses two or more alternative meanings and thus cannot be reliably identified or applied by different readers or scholars” (Markusen, 2003, p.702).

“We use the term more and more and seem to pay less and less attention to what it means. While the need for global and international studies is generally accepted, there is no agreement as to what it means or how this can be implemented” (Schoorman, 2000, p.3).  Internationalisation of higher education is understood differently by different people. It sounds a fuzzy concept  probably because the concept is built upon the experiences and activities of the global North. Its fuzzines also emanates from the unidirectional articulation of its  perspective. Internationalisation of higher education seems to be fuzzy because the ”commonly accepted” definition and conceptualization have done little to address the specific approaches emerging from different  contexts. Due to these facts, there is little agreement about what internationalisation means and what strategies are most effective for its implementation in different regions and countries (Cross et al., 2011). In spite of these assumptions,  internationalisation of higher education is increasingly growing in importance in terms of programs, research, mobility of faculty and students, and institutions’ environment.  Inter alia, perspectives and definitions of internationalisation are focused  under the following questions: Is internationalisation of higher education an outward or inward looking or both? which perspective does the most common definition reflect?

Importance and Expansion of Internationalisation

Since the 1990s, globalisation, the neoliberal ideology, and the emergence of knowledge economy and society have expanded and diversified activities, rationales and actors, and shaped policies and strategies of internationalisation. From more or less traditional forms such as student and academic staff mobility, internationalisation policies and practices nowadays have moved to ”at home” and abroad activities: such as exporting higher education via branch campuses and institutional cooperation, developing transnational university networks and virtual delivery of higher education, and the harmonization of higher education systems. Because of the diversified rationales, activities, actors and approaches, internationalisation of higher education has become an overextended and complex concept, whose perspective and definition are not well enunciated.

Call for contributions: IAU essay competition on internationalization!

IAUInternational Association of Universities (IAU) and the publisher Palgrave Macmillan Ltd have announced the IAU – Palgrave Prize in Higher Education Policy Research 2014-15.

The prize will be awarded to the winner of the essay competition. The theme for the essay competition is: Internationalization of Higher Education: Moving beyond mobility. The winning essay will be awarded a prize valued at £2,000.

The theme is also linked to the theme of the IAU 2015 International Conference. The conference takes place 28 – 30 October 2015 at the University of Siena (Siena, Italy).

Criteria – participant must be a scholar from a IAU member organisation (including both 590 universities across the world and a number of higher education associations). The submissions must be reasearch-based and analytically oriented, descriptive papers will not be retained. The essay should not be more than 7500 words, and needs to be submitted in English or French.

Deadline for submission: 15 June 2015. Read more here.

Call for papers on internationalisation of higher education

DITThe conference ” Internationalisation: Myths, Realities, Challenges & Opportunities”  will be held at Dublin Institute of Technology on 29th of September 2014.

The call for papers for the conference sets focus on internationalisation in higher education systems, with the following questions being of interest:

  • Are these ideals translatable in practice? What kind of learning outcomes help us measure students’ intercultural competence? To what extent are practitioners themselves interculturally competent?
  • Is the ideal of ‘internationalisation at home’ still a “brilliant idea awaiting implementation” (Joseph Mestenhauser)?
  • Is the dominance of English as the medium of instruction exerting a homogenising effect?
  • Is the “brain drain” risk real?
  • Are research funding mechanisms conducive to internationalising research and to researching internationalisation?
  • Are we moving from the traditional concept of “cooperative internationalisation” towards “commercial internationalisation” as research now suggests?
  • How can we move internationalisation out of international offices and engrain it in curriculum development and quality assurance processes?

Contributions are welcome on the micro and macro levels, and possible areas include themes related to teaching and learning, research, commercialisation, as well as the institutional environment for internationalisation.

Abstracts with maximum 300 words should be sent by 10th of august 2014.  More information about the conference  themes and submission guidelines can be downloaded here (pdf). 

Seminar: Institutional logics perspective for analysing internationalisation of higher education with Dr. Jennifer Olson

We are delighted to share with you another seminar recording from the research group HEIK (Higher Education: Institutional dynamics and Knowledge cultures). HEIK is a research group located at the Faculty of Educational Sciences in University of Oslo, the coordinating institution of Hedda.

Dr. Jennifer Olson

Dr. Jennifer Olson

In this session, we feature Dr. Jennifer Olson, who gives a presentation “Institutional logics: a framework for analyzing the internationalization of higher education?“. The seminar was held in Oslo in February 2014.

Listen without the Flashplayer

Abstract for the session:

In the span of three decades the notion of the ‘internationalization of higher education’ expanded from a collection of uncoordinated, individual projects and programs to an all-encompassing, conceptually ambiguous and blurry term. Despite the conceptual fuzziness “no corner of the globe or institutional type has proven itself immune to the call to ‘internationalize’” (Rubley, Altbach & Reisberg 2012, p.3). Activities under the auspices of internationalization include everything from international branch campuses to individual faculty members spending a week at another institution. In stretching the concept so wide, it is challenging to see its boundaries and even to conceive of one type of internationalization. Nevertheless, despite – or possibly because – ‘internationalization’ is a blurry and ambiguous concept, several of the practices labeled as internationalization seem to have a transformative feedback effect on the national higher education institutions. By creating new linkages between actors, organizations, programs and policies, internationalization opens up opportunities for actors to legitimately create (and fund) new programs and projects, which, as a mostly unintended side-effect, put pressure on certain element of national higher education systems. Through using the institutional logics (Friedland & Alford, 1991; Thornton, Ocasio & Lounsbury, 2012) perspective, the paper aims to develop an analytical framework to map and understand the ambiguous processes of internationalization as well as to analyze its effects on the institutions and regulation of higher education systems.

Student blogger: International students and democratic deficit?

Enzo Rossi  (University of Oslo)

Enzo Rossi
(University of Oslo)

This guest entry is written by Enzo Rossi, who is a current student of the HEM programme, a former full-time student representative, and the co-founder of Internationalista, a platform that aims at increasing international students’ awareness of democratic processes and  involvement in governance at the University of Oslo. 

Are international students disproportionately underrepresented in formal governance, decision-making and leadership positions? Data for Norway seems to suggest that this is the case for all Norwegian Universities except Stavanger!

Democratisation has been hailed as one of the benefits of student mobility (Guruz, 2008). International students are expected to gain democratic principles from their adopted countries and go back home with an increased respect for democracy and a desire to uphold the rule of law and participate governance and decision making processes, becoming a positive influence for their community. But how can this be operationalised? How can democracy become an integral part of a study programme? One of the easiest ways to involve foreign students in democracy in their place of study is through being involved in student democracy.

Enzoblog2Norway has a long democratic tradition in its universities, and all decision making bodies must have student presence. Norwegian Students’ Unions have a pretty homogeneous way of doing things, they elect representatives for their “student parliament”, the highest decision making body for students, from different political factions present on campus. Several of those are linked to specific political parties and others are based on faculties or interests. Those elected then in turn elect students to take a paid sabbatical year working at the student parliament.

Administrative support for internationalisation – mobility agreements and joint degree programmes

Kristi Barcus (Univeristy of Oslo, Hedda)

Kristi Barcus
(Univeristy of Oslo / Hedda)

In this entry, Hedda’s own Kristi Barcus (University of Oslo) shares her expertise about working with internationalisation within the study administration. While we often hear about the importance of internationalisation as a strategic objective for universities, an administrative perspective provides valuable insights into the specific measures that can be taken to assure that such policies are effectively put into practice. 

Since I started working at the University of Oslo in 2006, internationalization has become an ever increasing “hot topic”.  The university even dedicated an entire year to internationalization, calling 2012 “internationalization year”. UiOs Strategy 2020 has set a strong emphasis on internationalization both within its teaching and research activities. But what does internationalization mean to a study administrator and what are some ways in which administrators contribute to internationalization at universities?

Student Mobility

Working in study administration, internationalization is to a large extent linked to student mobility. During the recent SIU Internationalization conference in Trondheim the rector of the University of Bergen, Dag Rune Olsen, reflected on the importance of student mobility.  He said, “If a student doesn’t plan on studying aboard during their degree, maybe they should reevaluate their reason for studying. (own translation)” The idea that all students should spend time abroad during their studies is often a core aspect of internationalization policies at universities. The expectation that having an international dimension of a study program is valuable not only for the student and her future, but also to the university itself is an important factor. But how do you motivate students to study abroad? What can an administrator do to facilitate this?

Guest blogger: Internationalisation of higher education in Norway – towards strategic partnerships and alliances

dr. Jennifer R. Olson  (University of Oslo)

dr. Jennifer R. Olson
(University of Oslo)

This guest entry is written by dr. Jennifer R. Olson who is currently employed as a post-doctoral fellow at the Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Oslo, the hosting institution of Hedda. In this post, she reflects on some of the recent trends in internationalization of higher education in Norway, following a nation wide conference on the topic.  

Internationalization of higher education in Norway is clearly a priority area for many higher education institutions and organizations as the third annual “internationalization conference”, held 5-6 March 2014 in Trondheim, underscored. More than 500 participants from the Norwegian higher education sector attend the conference organized by the Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Education (SIU) in cooperation with the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).

The title of the conference, “Strategiske Partnerskap og Allianser” (strategic partnerships and alliances) focused the presentations and discussions on a key theme running through much of the current internationalization of higher education discourse.

In many countries, including Norway, and international organizations (i.e. the European Unions’ Erasmus + program) the notion of strategic partnerships and alliances indicates a new direction for internationalization, namely to be more specific and active with particular programs and countries, and organized at an institutional (rather than individual faculty or department) level.  This perspective was supported by the new Minister of Education, Torbjorn Røe Isaksen. In his opening speech, Isaksen, highlighted the importance of strategic internationalization, emphasizing key partners: Europe and North America and the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) countries. The growing attention given to partnerships with the BRICS countries draws questions as to why should countries focus on the BRICS but as well signals internationalization is aligning with other national interests.  Indeed, Isaksen stated that there is a global power shift where the BRICS countries are becoming increasingly important and Norway needs to keep abreast with these trends. As such the government is in the initial stages of developing a national strategy to engage with the BRICS countries. Moreover, in 2012 the Ministry of Education asked SIU to strengthen the knowledge base for policy development and cooperation with the BRICS countries. The comparative study devised by SIU and carried out in 2013 looked at how Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Germany and the Netherlands organize their cooperation with the BRICS countries. One key impression that emerged, according to SIU project leader Arne Haugen, was that many of these countries have clearer goals for what they want to achieve as compared to Norway. The targets are primarily related to national economic interests.

UNESCO working towards global recognition of higher education qualifications

unescoIn recent years, mobility of students and workforce has created increased attention on instruments that would make cross-border recognition of educational qualifications easier. This has frequently been presented as an issue and can understandably be a quite frustrating process to have your hard earned foreign diploma not recognized in your home country. While a number of regional initiatives have emerged world wide – are we now witnessing a more global effort in this area?

Lisbon Convention

UNESCOs convention on recognition of qualifications for the European region was adopted in 1997 in Lisbon, and is signed by all of the 47 countries in the Council of Europe with the exception of Greece and Monaco.

It introduced a rather novel idea at the time as it states that qualifications are to be recognized between the countries that have signed the regional convention unless the recognition granting institution can prove “substantial differences”. Basically this means that the process of recognition is turned around – by default one does not need to prove equivalence of degrees to assure recognition, but one has to prove that there is substantial difference for degrees not to recognize a qualification. This is also one of the reasons why Lisbon Recognition convention has been essential in the context of the Bologna Process.

Increased focus on cross-border mobility and recognition in Europe

Recognition and cross-border mobility seems to be a topic that is increasingly gaining focus, also in difficult economic times when mobility of labour force and students is perhaps more relevant than ever and the inherent benefits of mobility are frequently emphasized in political documents and official statements.