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Higher education internationalization: Appropriating change management perspectives for curriculum internationalization for the next generation

Thursday 4 July: Conference day two, 4:45pm – 5:15pm parallel session



Room 6 – 303-B05 Sem  



Dr Craig Whitsed
Curtin University, Australia

Franka van den Hende
University of Groningen, Netherlands



Throughout the first decade of the 21st century, internationalization of the curriculum (IoC) received considerable attention as an institutional strategic priority in the Australasian higher education context. Across Europe, during the same period, internationalization at home (IaH) is emphasised in the internationalisation strategies of many universities. IaH, in slight contrast to IoC, places greater emphasis on the domestic learning experience for non-mobile students. In both IoC and IaH, internationalization is envisioned as an educational and transformational opportunity for students. Both focus on providing students with opportunities to further develop their intercultural capabilities and international perspectives by revising the formal curricula, introducing student exchange/mobility programs, and employing pedagogies to promote domestic/international students in-class interactions. However, as we demonstrate, curriculum internationalization initiatives present significant challenges at the level of implementation. This is largely due to the structure and nature of the university as an organisation, and the dynamic matrix of complex intersections involving university governance, management, faculty structures, academic leadership, and the academics responsible for developing and delivering a “fit-for-purpose” 21st curriculum and educational experience.

Drawing on the experience of Groningen University as a case study, and the results of a systematic review of 207 peer-reviewed journal articles published from 1995 to 2019 on curriculum internationalization, this showcase elaborates one of the major challenges related to both IoC and IaH: implementation. From the literature review, and with reference to the Groningen University experience, we first highlight the IoC conceptual landscape then narrow the scope to consider how a failure to conceptualise IoC as an organisational change needing management produces conditions that contribute to unsuccessful whole-of-institution embedding of IoC in educational practice and institutional culture. We propose that IoC approached as a change management process, informed by resource-based change perspectives, will more effectively enable curriculum internationalization in the contemporary or next generation of universities.


Presentation topic

Tertiary – Internationalization

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