How internationalised is your university?

Date:Sep 2015
Type(s): Surveys and reports, Occasional Paper
From structural indicators to an agenda for integration
By Helen Spencer-Oatey and Daniel Dauber
Centre for Applied Linguistics,
University of Warwick

Universities all over the world are seeking to ‘internationalise’ their ‘business’. Driven by risk diversification, organic growth, reputation and demands by stakeholders, such as future employers, higher education institutions (HEIs) face a competitive environment that increasingly requires them to operate very strategically towards multiple, sometimes conflicting, goals. Yet in this race for international students/staff/partners, less attention seems to have been paid to the social viability of internationalising a university’s community. This paper challenges the adequacy with which current benchmarking data on internationalisation provide the information that HEI policy makers need for designing a strategy that meets the goals they identify. We call for the inclusion of an ‘intercultural’ component, which takes into account the social complexity of truly internationalised university communities.