Strategies and challenges of internationalisation in HE: an exploratory study of UK Universities
International Journal of Education Management, 23, (7), . (doi:10.1108/09513540910990799).
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Purpose – Although internationalisation has become a key strategic element of universities across the world, there is little empirical evidence suggesting the nature and extent of integration of internationalisation into the strategic mission of individual institutions. Little is also known about challenges faced by institutions in their quest to integrate internationalisation into their broad strategic choices. This paper aims to address these issues.
Design/methodology/approach – An exploratory study is conducted in six universities in the UK selected from the Russell pre-1992 group, the post-1994 group and former colleges of higher education (HE). The study has three distinct but interrelated aims: how internationalisation is conceptualised in the study institutions; the available evidence for its structural integration into the university services and understanding the perceived challenges institutions face in the quest to integrate the idea as a broad strategic element of those institutions.
Findings – There exist a range of distinct barriers working against the full integration of the concept into the institutional cultures. These include: conceptual and structural deficiencies in the organisation of institutional internationalisation; over emphasis on human exchange initiatives over cultural integration efforts and increasing undercurrents of feelings among staff and students of local neglect at the expense of global attention.
Originality/value – The paper creates a sound basis for a more broad-based study across the HE sector. Specifically, the paper suggests that the increasing cultural diversity in UK HE brought about in part by internationalisation and also by general human migration occasions new thinking and practices in organisational and management terms to address the needs of the “mosaic or cultural melting pot” phenomena characterising the increasingly multicultural HE learning environments.
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