EAIE New Knowledge Alert: February 2019

EAIE New Knowledge Alert: February 2019

With so much happening in the world, in our specific national contexts and in our institutions, it can be difficult to keep up with the rapid barrage of emerging research and analysis connected to the field of international higher education. Debuting here today, the EAIE’s ‘New knowledge alert’ blog series is designed to provide practitioners focused on internationalisation of higher education with quick, digestible quarterly snapshots of compelling new knowledge that may be useful to us in our work.

Whether we’re advising students, supporting faculty, developing and delivering courses, crafting institutional policy or supervising administrative staff, keeping a finger on the pulse of new research related to our field can be extremely helpful as we work to innovate, evaluate, benchmark and more.

In my new role at the EAIE as Associate Director, Knowledge Development and Research, I’m delighted to be working actively with members and other colleagues in the field to leverage new knowledge in ways that advance our work as professionals. Finding smart ways to identify and help all of us effectively digest the new information emerging around us is a key objective for the EAIE. This blog series aims to contribute directly to that goal.

This instalment highlights issues connected to refugees and displaced persons, a special journal issue focused on strategic partnering with students to advance internationalisation, a compilation of perspectives from a new generation of researchers on emerging topics related to internationalisation, and more.

What’s new from the world of international organisations and research centres?

A new report from UNESCO – Global education monitoring report, 2019: Migration, displacement and education: building bridges, not walls – explores in 20 chapters the complexity of the global phenomenon of the movement of people, touching on all levels of education, as well as mobility of students and professionals in particular. Thematic considerations include diversity, equity, sustainable development and global citizenship, among others.

The report’s recommendations place great responsibility at the feet of governments around the world to effectively meet the needs of migrant and displaced persons, connecting future success to the important task of monitoring progress achieved in relation to Sustainability Goal 4, ie ‘quality education’. For those of us concerned with the ongoing challenges faced by refugees and other displaced students and academics, this report may provide useful insights directly related to these populations in our midst.

On a very different note, the Boston College Center for International Higher Education (CIHE) has published number 11 in its “CIHE Perspectives” report series (of which I’m a co-editor), in conjunction with World Education Services (WES). This issue presents a compilation of essays written by participants in the June 2018 “WES-CIHE Summer Institute” held at Boston College, which focused on the theme of “Innovative and Inclusive Internationalization”.

The majority of the authors showcased in this publication are master’s and doctoral students (with nationalities spanning more than a dozen countries and five continents) conducting research related to internationalisation of higher education. Their contributions are organised across seven thematic areas, including “internationalization and the promise of technology”, “national and regional perspectives on internationalization” and “insights into transnational education”, among others.

Speaking of transnational education…

A report by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC), titled Mapping of European Transnational Collaborative Partnerships in Higher Education, may have slipped past you in 2018. The report presents survey data and analysis based on the experiences of 169 “existing transnational collaborative partnerships involving European higher education institutions”, considering the drivers, benefits, and barriers to transnational collaborative partnerships, as well as offering policy options to help overcome them. The authors find that their research results “support the new concept of European universities as an added value compared to what exists”.

For a deeper dive into the research realm…

Some of us might find it particularly interesting to thumb through the latest issue of the Journal of Studies in International Education (JSIE), as this is a special issue focused on “Engaging Students in International Education”. Guest editor Wendy Green – who has written extensively about internationalisation of the curriculum and other matters – has curated in this issue 10 articles that provide new ways of thinking about how students can play a more prominent role in the work of internationalisation in higher education. Topics touched upon include cross-cultural student-staff partnerships, student involvement in internationalisation in a “conflict-ridden society”, a “cosmopolitan approach to doctoral education” and more.

What’s on the horizon?

The IAU’s 5th Global Survey on Internationalization of Higher Education is not due to be published until later in 2019, but an initial reflection on findings has already emerged in the new year. Pointing to preliminary indications from the Global Survey data, Giorgio Marinoni and Hans de Wit have raised an important question this month, “Is internationalisation creating inequality in higher education?”. Two of the EAIE’s four core values – collaboration and inclusiveness – are closely connected to concerns that inequality can affect our personal and institutional approaches to internationalisation. Further research and exploration of these matters may help us confront this challenge more intelligently and effectively.

Finally, the EAIE will be releasing a new report in spring 2019 that takes a closer look at a subset of data collected for the EAIE Barometer: Internationalisation in Europe report. Specifically, this analysis will focus on data provided by the most highly confident and optimistic Barometer respondents, and the ways their particular institutions approach and successfully enact internationalisation. Stay tuned!

There is clearly much to track in the ‘new knowledge’ space in our field, and no way to touch upon it all in this brief exploration of some relevant developments. Effectively scanning the environment is a constant challenge, but an exciting exercise as we work to expand our understanding and enhance our practice.

Keep up-to-date

Want to stay abreast of news like this and other important developments in the field? In addition to highlights in the monthly newsletter, EAIE members enjoy full access to publications, research and more in our resource library.

Laura E. Rumbley
EAIE, the NetherlandsLaura is Associate Director of Knowledge Development and Research at the EAIE.