Sunday, January 3, 2016

Europe and the Internationalisation of Higher Education

The Internationalisation of Higher Education is a 326 page  report for the European Parliament (de Wit, Hunter and Egron-Polak, 2015). After setting the context, discussing the evidence for the internationalization of education, the report considers the major issue of digital learning. There are then chapters on ten European nations, plus Australia, Canada, Colombia, Japan, Malaysia, South Africa and the USA. The future is then discussed. Trends identified include, not surprisingly, internationalisation of the curriculum and delivery with digital technology and increased privatization for revenue generation.

The report singles out FutureLearn, iversity and
Open University of Catalonia (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya) as examples of digital learning. These are UK, German and Spanish initiatives. Unfortunately the report appears to conflate on-line learning with MOOCs, ignoring decades of experience with traditional distance education delivered on-line. The report devotes only four out of more than three hundred pages to e-learning, the most significant issue for international higher education. The assumption seems to be that this is something for nation states to decide on, in the shaping their education policy. However, I suggest nations will have little say in the development of e-learning and therefore the direction of international education.
In the mid nineteen nineties western nations formulated telecommunication and media policies which ignored the Internet and as a result those policies were rendered irrelevant. This report assumes that nations can decide how their citizens undertake higher education, ignoring the role of the Internet. With an Internet connection, citizens can vote with their credit cards and take their education wherever they want.

The report states "In many countries, the rationale for international student recruitment is revenue generation and this may lead to an over-reliance on a small number of countries such as China and India." (de Wit, Hunter and Egron-Polak, p. 47, 2015). The report goes on to contrast this with Germany's free tuition for international students. what is curious is that while China and, to a lesser extent India, are mentioned repeatedly through the report as a source of international students, there is no section devoted to China or India. Apart from digital learning, what happens with China and India is the key question for international education. How long before their requirements for education can be met domestically and they start to offer competitively priced courses to international students?

The section on "Australia" is by Dennis Murray and Betty Leask (p. 191). This discusses Australia's unified higher education system, but is incorrect in saying there are  38 public and 3 private, independent, self-governing universities and HEIs. This omits the dozens of government Vocational Education and Training (VET) institutions and thousands of private ones. The report notes consequence of Australia’s implementation of an Australian Higher Education Graduation Statement (AHEGS), along the lines of the European Diploma Supplement. Essentially the Australian approach is to follow the Bologna Process, to attract Asian, full fee paying students. The Australian Government's New Colombo Plan' (NCP) is also mentioned, but to describe it as "a signature initiative of the current Australian Government aimed at promoting knowledge of the Asia-Pacific region in Australia by supporting Australian undergraduate study, internships, mentorships, work placements and research in the region." (p. 195) is overstating its role.

The authors have also written extensively for the open access journal International Higher Education (IHE).
A study on the understanding of Internationalisation of Higher Education in the European context, based on two surveys, an analysis of the role of digital learning, ten national reports from Europe and seven from outside Europe. The study results in conclusions and recommendations on the future of  Internationalisation of Higher Education in Europe, based on the national reports and a Delphi process among experts in international higher education. ...

Ten key developments for Europe and the rest of the world are identified in the study:
  1. Growing importance of internationalisation at all levels (broader range of activities, more strategic approaches, emerging national strategies and ambitions);
  2. Increase in institutional strategies for internationalisation (but also risks of homogenisation, focus on quantitative results only);
  3. Challenge of funding everywhere;
  4. Trend towards increased privatisation in IoHE through revenue generation;
  5. Competitive pressures of globalisation, with increasing convergence of aspirations, if not yet actions;
  6. Evident shift from (only) cooperation to (more) competition;
  7. Emerging regionalisation, with Europe often seen as an example;
  8. Numbers rising everywhere, with challenge of quantity versus quality;
  9. Lack of sufficient data for comparative analysis and decision-making;
  10. Emerging areas of focus are internationalisation of the curriculum, transnational education and digital learning.

1.1. Introduction 41
1.2. International dimensions: an historical perspective 41
1.3. Understanding and enacting internationalisation 45
1.4. Influences and interests in internationalisation 54
1.5. Europe and internationalisation 56
1.6. Concluding remarks 58
2.1. Introduction 59
2.2. IAU 4th Global Survey on Internationalisation of Higher Education 60
2.3. The EAIE Barometer: Internationalisation in Europe 61
2.4. Institutional policy/strategy 62
2.5. Benefits of internationalisation 63
2.6. Drivers of internationalisation 65
2.7. Values and principles referenced in internationalisation policy/strategy 68
2.8. Risks and challenges of internationalisation 69
2.9. Geographic priorities for internationalisation 71
2.10. Priority internationalisation activities and funding 74
2.11. Priority activities 74
2.12. Conclusions: Internationalisation as a key policy focus 75
3.1. Introduction 77
3.2. Bologna, EHEA and mobility 78
3.3. Beyond mobility 78
3.4. The digital divide 79
3.5. 'Opening up Education' 80
3.6. The problem with virtual mobility 80
3.7. Beyond Brussels: FutureLearn, iversity and Universitat Oberta de Catalunya 81
3.8. Looking to the future 82
4.1. Introduction 85
4.2. A short description of the Finnish higher education system 85
4.3. European programmes and policies for internationalisation: an important initial stimulus 87
4.4. The national policy perspective: the Ministry of Education and Culture as key player 87
4.5. Other key stakeholders and funding schemes for internationalisation: CIMO, cities, and regions 89
4.6. An emerging profile for institutions in strategic planning and policy-making 90
4.7. Key performance indicators: Finnish internationalisation by the numbers 91
4.8. Summary: From margins to mainstream 94
5. FRANCE 97
5.1. Introduction 97
5.2. The French higher education system: universities, schools, research institutes 97
5.3. European and other supranational programmes and policies: collaboration and competition 98
5.4. National policies for internationalisation: a multi-actor, multi-pronged approach, at home and abroad 100
5.5. Other key stakeholders and funding schemes for internationalisation: cities and regions, business and industry 103
5.6. Institutional policies for internationalisation: with greater autonomy, growing strategic capacity 103
5.7. Key performance indicators for French internationalisation: student and staff
mobility 104
5.8. Which way forward? French internationalisation at a crossroads
6. GERMANY 106
6.1. Introduction 107
6.2. The German higher education system: a snapshot 107
6.3. European or other supranational programmes and policies: major impact from the Bologna process and Erasmus 108
6.4. National policies for internationalisation: a focus on excellence, a move from fragmentation to increasing coherence 109
6.5. Other key stakeholders and funding schemes for internationalisation: the DAAD, scientific organisations and foundations 111
6.6. Overview of institutional policies: eight key trends 112
6.7. Key performance indicators of internationalisation: international students in
Germany and German students abroad 113
6.8. The bottom line: significant, multiple and ongoing efforts should have a future — if funding permits 114
7. ITALY 117
7.1. Introduction 117
7.2. A slowly evolving higher education system 117
7.3. European initiatives pushing the modernisation and internationalisation
agenda 119
7.4. National policies for internationalisation driven by the Bologna process 120
7.5. A range of stakeholder initiatives 122
7.6. Institutional strategies for internationalisation: responding to state and market 123
7.7. Key performance indicators of internationalisation: mobility and joint- and
dual-degree programming 124
7.8. Signs of change but still a long way to go 126
8.1. Introduction 127
8.2. The higher education system of the Netherlands 127
8.3. Substantial impacts from European and other supranational programmes 128
8.4. Agenda-setting at the national level 128
8.5. Key stakeholders and funding schemes for education and research 130
8.6. Institutional policies: considerable action, some evaluation and assessment 130
8.7. Key performance indicators 131
9. NORWAY 137
9.1. Introduction 137
9.2. The Norwegian higher education system 137
9.3. Internationalisation and national policy: Nordic, European and global dimensions 138
9.4. Historical and contemporary rationales and directions for the internationalisation of Norwegian higher education 139
9.5. Internationalisation at the institutional level: quality imperatives, funding opportunities, mission alignment 141
9.6. Beyond universities: other key actors involved in the Norwegian internationalisation agenda 143
9.7. Norwegian internationalisation in figures: student mobility and foreign-born faculty 144
9.8. A supportive state, a receptive university community, a realistic agenda 145
10. POLAND 147
10.1. Introduction 147
10.2. Internationalisation – the Polish point of view 147
10.3. The higher education system in Poland: the past and the present 148
10.4. Quality of higher education and the role of internationalisation 148
10.5. Internationalisation at the national level: diffusion of responsibility, with a new national strategy soon to be unveiled 149
10.6. Internationalisation at the regional level—varied approaches, and levels of engagement, by cities and regions 151
10.7. Internationalisation at the institutional level: substantial progress and future opportunities, set against contextual and resource limitations 151
10.8. Mobility and partnerships 153
10.9. Conclusions: a grass-roots success that will require (and deserves) ongoing cultivation 154
11. ROMANIA 157
11.1. Introduction 157
11.2. The Romanian higher education system: massification, internationalisation
and European integration 157
11.3. European programmes and policies: A major influence on the internationalisation of Romanian higher education 159
11.4. National policies for internationalisation: emphasis on mobility and engaging the Romanian diaspora 160
11.5. Institutional policies on internationalisation: European inspiration, local limitations 162
11.6. Key performance indicators: internationalisation of education 163
11.7. Key performance indicators: internationalisation of research 165
11.8. Key challenges, potential opportunities and how the European Union could play a positive role 165
12. SPAIN 167
12.1. Introduction 167
12.2. An evolving higher education system 167
12.3. The strong influence of European programmes and policies on the internationalisation of higher education 169
12.4. Challenges and aspirations of national policies for internationalisation of higher education 169
12.5. A range of key stakeholders and funding schemes for internationalisation 171
12.6. Variations in effectiveness of institutional policies 172
12.7. Upward trend of key performance indicators of internationalisation 172
12.8. Sincere aspirations with room for considerable improvement 17
13.1. Introduction 177
13.2. Higher education system of the United Kingdom: An overview 177
13.3. Supranational programmes: European and global orientations 179
13.4. National policies 179
13.5. Key stakeholders and funding schemes reflect governmental and sector-level interests 180
13.6. Institutional policies: significant diversity coupled with notable trends 182
13.7. Key performance indicators: Mobility, research, TNE and partnerships 183
13.8. Future focus at the national and institutional levels 188
14.1. Introduction 191
14.2. The Australian Higher Education System: A ''unified'' system with substantial diversity 191
14.3. Key regions of engagement and influence: Europe and Asia 192
14.4. National policies 193
14.5. Other key stakeholders and funding schemes: Australian states and cities 197
14.6. Institutional policies: unique models, common themes 197
14.7. Key performance indicators: student mobility and performance, institutional/programme mobility, and economic returns 200
14.8. Moving beyond the mobility and commercial mindset: possibilities and
potential pitfalls 20
15. CANADA 205
15.1. Introduction 205
15.2. Higher Education in Canada: An overview 205
15.3. European and other supranational programmes and policies: catalysts for cooperation and innovation 207
15.4. National policies for internationalisation of education 208
15.5. Other key stakeholders: employers and businesses 210
15.6. Institutional policies, priorities, and challenges 211
15.7. Key performance indicators: mobility and more 213
15.8. The future of internationalisation in Canada: encouraging alignment of key stakeholders and interests
16. COLOMBIA 216
16.1. Introduction 217
16.2. The higher education system in Colombia: multiple players and a heavy reliance on private higher education 218
16.3. European-Colombian co-operation: positive impacts on partnership development and capacity-building 219
16.4. National policies for internationalisation: incipient and relatively marginal, but developing 220
16.5. Other key stakeholders and funding schemes for internationalisation: a focus on accreditation and quality, mobility, and research 222
16.6. Policies at institutional level: Variations across institutional type in planning, implementation, resources, and focus 223
16.7. Key performance indicators: mobility, internationalisation at home, and internationalisation of research 224
16.8. Conclusion. An opportune moment for a more comprehensive national approach 226
17. JAPAN 229
17.1. Introduction 229
17.2. The Japanese higher education system: considerations of capacity and social
demand 229
17.3. Japan and East Asia 230
17.4. National policies for internationalisation: competitive grant-based projects as
the driving force 230
17.5. Other stakeholders: the emerging influence of industry 234
17.6. Institutional responses: the rich get richer? 234
17.7. Key performance indicators of internationalisation: much progress still to be
made 235
17.8. Further challenges: collective learning for comprehensive transformation
18. MALAYSIA 238
18.1. Introduction 241
18.2. Malaysia’s economic agenda and higher education 241
18.3. Malaysia’s higher education system: expansion, privatisation and internationalisation 242
18.4. Internationalisation of higher education policy 243
18.5. International student markets for Malaysia 246
18.6. Europe in the context of internationalisation of Malaysian higher education 249
18.7. Institutional responses to internationalisation 251
18.8. Challenges and opportunities for the future: bold policy initiatives required
19.1. Introduction 253
19.2. Historical development of the South African higher education system 253
19.3. General characteristics of the South African higher education system 254
19.4. International programmes and projects 256
19.5. National policies for the internationalisation of higher education 258
19.6. Internationalisation in practice since 1994 259
19.7. A quantitative picture of internationalisation in South Africa: international students 261
19.8. Conclusion: remarkable transformation, significant regionalisation, and a new national policy on the horizon 262
20.1. Introduction 263
20.2. The US higher education system: diversity and decentralisation 263
20.3. The internationalisation of US higher education: an amalgam of interests, an array of approaches 265
20.4. Issues facing US higher education internationalisation: Outcomes, access, and cost 268
20.5. The future of US higher education internationalisation: innovation and tenacity required 271
21.1. Key trends in higher education strategies for internationalisation 275
21.2. The future of internationalisation of higher education in Europe: commonalities and differences in perceptions emerging from three surveys 280
21.3. Conclusions and recommendations 283


European Parliament. 2015. Hans de Wit, Fiona Hunter, Eva Egron-Polak and Laura Howard (Eds.). Internationalisation of Higher Education. A study for the European Parliament, Brussels. Retrieved from

No comments:

Post a Comment