Internationalisation of education at a mid-size, regional university in Australia: Understanding context and rationales
Fischer, S and Green, WJ, Internationalisation of education at a mid-size, regional university in Australia: Understanding context and rationales, Programme of ECER 2017, 22-25 August 2017, Copenhagen, Denmark, pp. 2306C. (2017) [Conference Extract]
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As the globalisation of economies and global mobility continues to expand and allow for the rapid exchange of commerce and ideas across political boundaries, the internationalisation of higher education is becoming an increasingly important practice. Because the two primary missions of university are to educate the next generation and conduct research, so too, is understanding how universities are effectively adjusting to, and shaping this changing landscape. The idea of the internationalisation of education is not new as the movement of scholars and students can be traced back centuries (de Wit, 2002; Wildavsky, 2010). Hudzik (2011, p.7) argues that "increasingly, the business of universities is as much across as it is within borders, and not just in the free flow of ideas but in the global flow of students and scholars who generate them." Understanding the context and rationale for internationalisation can help to inform policy and decision making processes surrounding internationalisation. Some regions and countries, such as the United States, the European Union (EU) and Australia, have been leaders in this area, while others, such as China, Singapore and Malaysia (Byrne & Hall, 2013), have begun more recently to purposefully consider internationalisation. The global south, in general, is considered to be amongst those regions that are just beginning comprehensive internationalisation processes in higher education. Because Australia is in a unique position in this regard, being geographically located in the global south, but having some characteristics in common with the global north, the results of this research will be applicable and transferrable to regions and institutions that are just entering internationalisation, as well as those with a longer history, such as the EU. This research focuses on understanding the context and rationale for internationalisation at a mid-size, regional, multi-campus university in Australia that aspires to increase its international presence. By looking at responsiveness over time to the changing global environment brought about by geo-political shifts, this research aims to inform the planning, policy development and practices at universities in Australia and overseas.