The Internationalization Agenda


This is a brief summary by Elizabeth Redden of the annual conference of the Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA), that just concluded in New Orleans. Its theme was ‘Re-imagining Higher Education in a Global Context.’ The main point is that the internationalization of higher education by and large lags behind the globalization of education and the world more generally. It highlights some of the key drivers of that transformation and makes some suggestions for how to better respond to the new landscape of global education.

NEW ORLEANS – This year’s Association of International Education Administrators Annual Conference took as its theme “Re-imagining Higher Education in a Global Context” and sessions have focused on many of the phenomena that are propelling change, including the increasing interest in branch campuses and dual and joint degree programs, the potential of online learning, the consolidation of English as the lingua franca in academe, and the growth of private sector investment in international student recruitment and programming.

“Hopefully internationalization will again become much more innovative,” said Hans de Wit, the director of the Centre for Higher Education Internationalization at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan and a professor at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. “We still do basically what we have done for the last 20 years, and the landscape of internationalization has completely changed.”

Among the key changes discussed were the increasing numbers of globally mobile students, the rise of MOOCs, or massive open online courses, which disproportionately are offered by universities in the United States but attract students from outside it, and the proliferation of academic programs taught in English, which universities in non-English speaking countries view as a mechanism for increasing their international student enrollments. (emphases added; full article)

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