Research digest for practitioners: May 2015

Research digest for practitioners: May 2015

The May 2015 issue of the Journal of Studies in International Education is online with timely, useful and relevant pieces. In an effort to bring research on international education closer to practitioners, the EAIE is introducing a blog series highlighting relevant articles. Practitioners often find academic research on international education too abstract, theoretical, and impractical. Yet they’re expected to justify internationalisation efforts using evidence-based practice. Meanwhile, researchers find that practitioners usually don’t use research findings to inform practice.

Although the above dynamic is somewhat of a generalisation, this ongoing blog series will attempt to bridge the gap between these two worlds as interaction and collaboration between them can lead to a fruitful relationship where one informs the other.

International universities: misunderstandings and emerging models?

By: Jane Knight

Many university leaders claim that they have an ‘international university’, but is this just a new buzzword? What exactly does it mean? In this article, Jane Knight attempts to clarify what is meant by ‘international university’, examining three models (or generations) of ‘international universities’:

1. Classic: a university with multiple international partners and activities.
2. Satellite: a university (or overseas offices, research centers, and branch campuses) with strategic activities such as research, teaching, and management in target countries.
3. Co-founded: academic partners from around the world come together to establish an independent university.

Internationalization as mergers and acquisitions: senior international officers’ entrepreneurial strategies and activities in public universities

By: Eric Deschamps and Jenny J. Lee

This study investigates the entrepreneurial strategies and activities of 30 international offices in the US through interviews with Senior International Officers (SIOs). The authors find that there are two main entrepreneurial activities that emerge: acquisition and mergers.

1. Acquisition: acquiring resources from abroad
• International student enrolment: recruiting international students who pay out-of-state tuition rates. Some SIOs reported recently hiring personnel specifically tasked with recruiting these students.
• International alumni: establishing and nurturing international alumni activities and networks to facilitate future financial giving.

2. Mergers: benefits from partnerships with other programs/universities

• Dual degrees: an increase in creating dual degrees with partner universities in target countries.
• Curriculum: some are offering the delivery of credits abroad.

A model for stakeholder influence on internationalization: a contribution from the Portuguese, Brazilian and Dutch cases

By: Rita Castro, Maria João Rosa, and Carlos Pinho

The authors investigate the importance and influence of stakeholders – both internal and external to the university – to the internationalisation of higher education in these three countries. The findings show that in the Dutch context, the strongest influence comes from internal stakeholders such as rectors/presidents, deans, teaching staff, researchers, students, international office or those responsible for internationalisation efforts, other administrative staff, and government, suggesting that internationalisation is deeply embedded in institutions. In Portugal and Brazil, external stakeholders such as professional associations, local community, companies, government, and the EU hold more influence and importance to internationalisation efforts.

A virtual educational exchange: a North–South virtually shared class on sustainable development

By: Augusta Abrahamse, Mathew Johnson, Nanette Levinson, Larry Medsker, Joshua M. Pearce, Carla Quiroga, and Ruth Scipione
Virtual exchange is another way to facilitate internationalisation at home efforts. This article highlights a virtually shared course between a university in the US and one in Bolivia. The authors provide specifics on how the course developed – i.e. course structure, content, and design – and share lessons learned. Hindering and facilitating factors for successful virtual exchange are identified regarding administrative and technical support, cross-cultural communication, faculty time investment, and curricular design.

Toward a set of internationally applicable indicators for measuring university internationalization performance

By: Yuan Gao

How is internationalisation of higher education measured? This article presents an overview and critique of existing instruments used to assess campus internationalisation. The author offers recommendations on a new approach for developing indicators, who to include in the process, and what steps to take. A framework is presented that includes six dimensions and 16 components to guide the development of future assessment instruments.

If you are an EAIE member, you can contact our office to subscribe to the Journal of Studies in International Education for a special price of only €10 per year.

By Leasa Weimer
EAIE Knowledge Development Adviser

Leasa Weimer
EAIE, the NetherlandsLeasa is Senior Adviser for Knowledge Initiatives for the EAIE.