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Internationalization: a transformative agenda for higher education?

Lookup NU author(s): Emerita Professor Sue Robson


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This conceptual paper explores the notion of higher education ( HE) internationalization and its potential to lead to transformational institutional change. Internationalization is generally regarded as a process that involves increasing the range of international activities within universities and between universities and other educational institutions and the numbers of international students and academic staff. Much of the literature on 'internationalization' focuses on incoming international students and the challenges for teaching and learning associated with the increasing diversity of the student population. Forward thinking institutions are responding by attempting to make the curriculum ( both formal and informal) more relevant and engaging for international students and by considering 'internationalization at home' to prepare all students for life and work in a global economy. Other studies explore the opportunities arising from international research collaboration, for knowledge-transfer and societal impact. Talk about internationalization has become firmly embedded. While the managerial implications of an internationalization agenda for HE institutions have been articulated elsewhere, there has been relatively little research that investigates the transitions for individuals and communities that are essential to transformative internationalization. This paper attempts to characterize what an 'internationalized' institution might look like, and what support might be required to achieve the personal and professional transitions within its communities that are necessary to achieve the transformative agenda.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Robson S

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Teachers and Teaching

Year: 2011

Volume: 17

Issue: 6

Pages: 619-630

Print publication date: 01/01/2011

ISSN (print): 1354-0602

ISSN (electronic): 1470-1278

Publisher: Routledge


DOI: 10.1080/13540602.2011.625116


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