M15 - Higher Education (Part I of 2) - Inclusion and Diversity in our Universities: How Is Internationalization Changing Higher Education?
Date: Jun 6 | Time: 08:45am to 10:15am | Location: SWING 105
Chair/Président/Présidente : Allan Tupper (University of British Columbia)
Discussant/Commentateur/Commentatrice : Sandra Schinnerl (University of British Columbia)
Session Abstract: This panel is intended to be one of two in a workshop which examines the policies and governance of higher education. Higher education is an area of national sovereignty for many states, yet frequently subject to quasi-market dynamics and strong globalization effects. Policy-makers must balance domestic demand with the pressures that emanate from international norms, transnational organizations, and an increasingly lucrative market for educational services. Moreover, the rapid internationalization of higher education has required universities and governments to manage increased trans-border flows (of students, staff, funds, and ideas) within a sector characterized by multi-issue, multi-actor and multi-level governance. How universities compete, and how they manage the flow of ideas, people, and capital, are central to their policies of internationalization. This panel investigates the dynamics of higher education internationalization across several cases: Canada, New Zealand, Singapore and four Central Asian Republics. As case studies, they shed light on how domestic politics and governance matter for globalization. Collectively, they can illuminate some of the dynamics of internationalization at the local, regional, and global level. These cases are not at the ‘core’ of the global reputational market in higher education – as national systems within a trans-national institutional field, these systems tend towards policy-taking rather than policy-shaping. How, then, do these cases manage globalization ‘from the periphery’? How do they respond to regional integration projects, such as the Bologna Process? This panel investigates common aspects of internationalization policies, examining forms and degrees of global integration.
The Internationalization of Higher Education in Canada: Conrad King (University of British Columbia)
Abstract: This paper focuses the analytical lenses of political science onto the institutions where many of us work and learn – the Canadian university. It asks: why has the internationalization of Canadian higher education adopted a quasi-market dynamic, emphasizing competition between universities and states, to attract international students (especially from Asia)? Concurrent with these developments, a different form of internationalization has been underway in Europe vis-à-vis the Bologna Process – an inter-governmental initiative to harmonize higher education systems across Europe. Despite explicit efforts to externally transmit ‘Bologna’ ideas, and despite shared norms between Canada and Europe, the Europeanization of higher education has had marginal effects on the internationalization policies of Canadian universities. This leads to a corollary question: Why has ‘Europe’ had such little normative or cognitive effect on the internationalization of Canadian higher education? To answer these questions, and to address gaps in our understanding of trans-national policy transfer and diffusion, I adopt a discursive institutionalist framework. The analysis involves process-tracing policy change (and policy resilience), examining survey data, and discourse analysis of documents and interviews, in order to triangulate the ideational and discursive causes behind policy-making. This paper illuminates an understudied policy area (political scientists have historically focused on other aspects of the welfare state), examines less-understood actors and forms of governance (sub-national and ‘meso-level’ actors are decisive in this sector), as well as suggests novel mechanisms for institutional change (highlighting how domestic actors reflect or refract discourses emerging from international organizations, when making or justifying policy choices).
The Internationalization of Higher Education in Singapore: The Students’ Perspective: Meng-Hsuan Chou (Nanyang Technological University / Princeton University), Exequiel Cabanda (Nanyang Technological University), Ee Siong Tan (Nanyang Technological University)
Abstract: In the thriving field of research on the internationalization of higher education, one perspective is less prominent: the viewpoint of the students. Specifically, how students perceive the relationship between internationalization efforts (by their governments, and by their universities) and their future employment and study prospects, which are purportedly enhanced when their degree programme, university, and country are more internationalized. This inductive and qualitative study seeks to inform the extant debates on the effects of internationalization in the higher education sector (e.g. greater convergence or divergence in policy and practices) by shedding light on how little we know about the perspective of the end-users/consumers of higher education services. In this contribution, we present the survey results from students of six autonomous universities in Singapore. We selected Singapore because it is a most revealing case: it is one of the most internationalized countries in the world with a highly internationalized higher education sector (it has been reported that about 60% of the faculties working in its flagship universities are non-Singaporeans – an issue that has repeatedly created strong tensions between citizens and policymakers). We expect students in Singapore’s autonomous universities to be aware of, and indicate favourable responses towards, existing internationalization activities (e.g. study abroad programmes, international internships, and overseas study visits) – thus confirming the basic assumption behind internationalization efforts (by governments, by universities). Theoretically, our results seek to inform the debates in the public policy literature concerning policy design and implementation effects.
The Bologna Process as a Metaphor for Higher Education Reform in Central Asia: Emma Sabzalieva (University of Toronto)
Abstract: Other than Kazakhstan, which formally joined the Bologna Process in 2010, no other Central Asian state has become a member of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA). On the one hand this has a straightforward geographical explanation: only Kazakhstan has territory in Europe and is therefore the sole Central Asian state eligible to join the EHEA. Yet on the other hand, this fails to explain why the remaining four Central Asian states of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan are all seeking to become ‘Bologna compliant’ by making significant reform to the organization and structure of their higher education systems. Based on findings from a literature review coupled with in-depth interviews with experienced faculty members, I argue that the Bologna Process has become a metaphor for recent higher education reforms being implemented across Central Asia. This metaphor plays out in two ways. Firstly, the four national governments deploy the Bologna Process as symbolic of broader global trends in higher education. A broad array of reforms therefore become necessary in order to ‘catch up’ or join in with these processes of globalization. Where the influence of international donors remains high, the need to meet aid conditionality adds another dimension to the symbolic pursuit of reform. Secondly, because reform has been a persistent feature of the environment, faculty members have started to use the term ‘Bologna Process’ to rationalize this perpetual state of motion. As a metaphor, the ‘Bologna Process’ thus becomes part of their sense-making and navigation of the fluctuating environment.