Adrienne Fusek & Adinda van Gaalen: International education, climate change and cognitive dissonance

Adrienne Fusek & Adinda van Gaalen: International education, climate change and cognitive dissonance Podcast

With a nod to the recent observance of Earth Day on 22 April, this episode of the EAIE Podcast takes a look at the complicated relationship between the internationalisation of higher education and climate change. One way to understand the dilemmas baked into this relationship is to consider the notion of cognitive dissonance, a concept that takes centre stage in an article published recently in the Journal of Studies in International Education by Pii-Tuulia Nikula, Adrienne Fusek and Adinda van Gaalen.

Two of this article’s authors – Adinda van Gaalen, team leader of the research policy team and advisor to the board at InHolland University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands, and Adrienne Fusek, Executive Director and Founder of In Good Company (based in the United States) – join host Laura Rumbley to address some key conceptual and practical questions at the intersection of international education and climate action: What is cognitive dissonance? How do we deal with the struggle of moving from climate action plans on paper to actual on-the-ground implementation? What are the differing roles of individuals versus organisations when it comes to tackling climate action? And what could be, or should be, the next big development within the field of international education when it comes to addressing the sector’s environmental impacts? Intrigued? Listen in to learn more!

About Adrienne Fusek

Adrienne Fusek, Ed.D. is the Executive Director and Founder of In Good Company (, a climate justice nonprofit organization based in San Diego, California. After 18 years in international higher education, she shifted her professional focus to advance climate justice solutions in her local community. She co-chaired the Forum on Education Abroad working group that wrote the guidelines aligning education abroad with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and she is the lead author of CANIE’s Glasgow Paper and the CANIE Accord.

About Adinda van Gaalen

Adinda van Gaalen is a member of the management team of the Department of Education and Research Policy & Legal Affairs at Inholland University of Applied Sciences. In this capacity, she is the team leader of the research policy team and advisor to the Inholland board on both research and internationalisation. Adinda is also a part-time PhD candidate at Ghent University in Belgium. Her research focuses on dilemmas in internationalisation strategies including the carbon footprint. Previously she was a policy advisor and researcher at Nuffic. Adinda has been involved in the development of a Green Travel Policy at Nuffic, Ghent University and Inholland UAS.

Additional resources

For further insights into the topics touched on in this episode, the following resources may be of interest:

Internationalisation of Higher Education and Climate Change: A Cognitive Dissonance Perspective

CANIE (Climate Action Network for International Educators)

EAIE Spring Forum 2022 – Our Changing Climate

Clear skies, blue seas, green trees and us

Tatjana Söding: Erasmus by Train: gaining steam?

Listen to the EAIE podcast

The EAIE podcast brings you voices, perspectives, ideas and insights into the world of international education. Host Laura Rumbley chats with special guests about the issues that matter most for your day-to-day work internationalising higher education.