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Possibilities and challenges for international teaching and research collaborations

Thursday 4 July: Conference day two, 11:30am – 12:00pm parallel session



Room 6 – 303-B05 Sem



Dr Wendy Green
University of Tasmania, Australia

Dr Craig Whitsed
Curtin University, Australia

Associate Professor Ly Tran
Deakin University, Australia

Franka van den Hende
Groningen University, Netherlands



It has never been easier – or more important – for those working in universities to form productive partnerships across borders. Rapid advances in online communication and decreasing costs of air travel mean that we can now enjoy unprecedented opportunities to research, to teach, and to learn with others. Pooling resources, both intellectual and economic, makes good sense.  Cross-border collaborations – either in research or teaching – can enable us to compare and debate culturally constructed pedagogical theories and produce richer, more reflexive understandings of teaching and learning. Pragmatically, international collaborations can help us address institutional expectations regarding our research ‘outputs’ in the face of significant reductions in public funding for higher education research in many regions.  Furthermore, there is a ‘citation impact benefit’ which comes with the publication of research conducted through international collaboration (Wagner & Jonkers 2017).


The issue

Despite the advantages of international collaborations, it can be hard to develop and even harder to sustain them. It takes time to develop an understanding of each other’s culture and institutional context. Compatibility in terms of approaches to research, methods, ethics, expectations of standards and outcomes – as well as personalities – is essential. Collaborations once established can be affected by change at the institutional level (such as restructures, staffing cutbacks) as well as the national level (such as legislative change or publishing practices). Of further concern are recent findings confirming that the majority of collaborations occur between the leading research countries of the United Kingdom, United States, northern Europe and increasingly China, thus potentially further marginalising researchers in emerging higher education sectors (Adams and Gurney 2018).  

This roundtable provides an opportunity to share experiences, discuss the major advantages, challenges and opportunities international collaborations bring to academic staff and tertiary institutions. 

Panellists leading the discussion will draw on literature as well as their own experiences in developing international teaching and research collaborations, often from quite humble beginnings. 


Intended outcome

This Roundtable is designed for those who wish to build their confidence and ability to engage in international teaching and higher education research collaborations.  Specifically, the intended outcomes for participants are that they will:

  • Develop enhanced appreciation of the challenges and opportunities international collaborations offer universities and their staff
  • Develop enhanced confidence in establishing international collaborations
  • Learn some practical tips on developing and sustaining international collaborations



Adams, J. & Gurney, K. (2018). Bilateral and Multilateral Co-authorship and Citation Impact: Patterns in UK and US International Collaboration. Frontiers in research analytics. Available at:
Wagner, C & Jonkers, K. (2017). Open countries have strong science. Nature, 550, 32 33. Available at:


Presentation topic

Tertiary – Collaboration

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