The Pedagogical Dimension of Internationalisation? A Challenging Quality Issue in Higher Education for the Twenty-First Century

From Section:
Theories & Approaches
Mar. 20, 2009

Source: European Educational Research Journal, Volume 8 Number 1 (2009), pages 117-132.

What are the pedagogical impacts of internationalisation on the development of higher education in Europe? How can we proceed in this process and take a pedagogical stance on the issue? This theoretical paper is partly based on a series of empirical studies, conducted by the author, investigating students’ and teachers’ experiences and understanding of an internationalised educational context in Sweden.
The paper examines and discusses some further implications of these studies in relation to recent publications and research concerned with internationalisation in higher education in various ways. Underpinned by the findings of earlier studies, the paper argues that even though the internationalisation of higher education has been extensively researched in recent decades, more qualitative studies are needed. In particular, there is a lack of studies from the perspective of teachers and students concerned with their experience of internationalisation, and with how they interpret various aspects of this process in relation to their respective educational contexts. The empirical results of the series of studies conducted earlier in this area by the author show that teachers’ and students’ experience of internationalised contexts varied, and that they were experienced as ambiguous and difficult to grasp. Both teachers and students experienced such contexts as difficult to evaluate in terms of learning outcomes. The paper argues in favor of a shift in research perspective, from an overall external perspective to a relational, experienced and context-based perspective, to understand how internationalisation in higher education is developed in practice.
Adopting this perspective not only sheds light on issues of meaning making in learning and understanding knowledge content, but also raises significant questions of a general order, concerned with the nature of knowledge development in international educational contexts.

Updated: Jan. 17, 2017
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