Information about the event
Extant research on processes of internationalisation within higher education has highlighted important inequalities. Students from more privileged homes have been shown to be much more likely than their peers to be internationally mobile; some international students suffer racism and other forms of discrimination; and there are considerable disparities between nations in the income derived from international student mobility and other forms of internationalisation. However, there remain significant gaps in our knowledge. We know relatively little, for example, about the impact on students of transnational programmes, which are offered by UK universities and delivered – at least partially – overseas. Moreover, there has been little work that has compared the impact of different forms of internationalisation. For example, do organised forms of student mobility encourage those who would be unlikely to move abroad under their own initiative (i.e. through spontaneous mobility)? Furthermore, while academic research has been effective in highlighting some of the inequalities which can often be exacerbated by international student mobility, there has been considerably less work on the action that can be taken by policymakers, university leaders and those who teach within higher education institutions to redress these problems.
This seminar will contribute to our understanding in this area by bringing together researchers, lecturers and staff from university international offices to: (i) compare the issues of (in)equality raised by different types of internationalisation (i.e. spontaneous student mobility, organised student mobility and transnational programmes); and (ii) on the basis of this analysis, consider how all those involved in international higher education can promote greater equality amongst students.
The aims of the seminar are:
To bring together researchers and higher education staff (lecturers and managers) with an interest in international education, and a commitment to promote equality between students.
To disseminate findings from recent research that has focussed explicitly on issues of equality and inequality with respect to international higher education.
To explore the implications of these research findings for policy and practice.
To consider the similarities and differences (in relation to achieving equality) between different forms of international higher education (i.e. spontaneous student mobility, organised student mobility and transnational programmes in which students are not necessarily geographically mobile).
Information about sessions and speakers
The aim of this seminar is to explore the implications for policy and practice of recent research on (in)equality within international higher education. The seminar will comprise: (i) three presentations which will disseminate the findings of recent research on different aspects of international higher education; (ii) a panel discussion in which four practitioners will discuss the implications of the research findings for their own work; and (iii) a general discussion in which all seminar participants will be able to explore how equality can best be achieved in different types of international programmes and through their own work.
The three academic presentations will each focus on a different type of internationalisation. The first paper, by Dr Qing Gu (University of Nottingham), will consider equality issues raised by spontaneous student mobility (i.e. students who move on their own initiative, outside of any formal programme), with a particular focus on Chinese students who study in the UK. The second paper, by Dr Hannah Deakin (Loughborough University) will focus explicitly on organised student mobility - under the European Union’s Erasmus scheme. The final academic presentation will be given by Dr Johanna Waters (University of Birmingham) who will consider the issues of equality and inequality raised by transnational programmes (in which students themselves do not necessarily move) – drawing on a study of degrees offered by UK higher education institutions in Hong Kong.
Reflecting this diversity, the members of the panel will be drawn from members of staff who teach on, or manage, different types of international programme and who have experience of teaching international students in the UK. It is hoped that the seminar participants, more generally, will reflect a similar range of experiences (i.e. of spontaneous and organised student mobility, and of transnational programmes).