1 Penza State University / Ural Federal University (RUSSIAN FEDERATION)
2 Penza State University (RUSSIAN FEDERATION)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2021 Proceedings
Publication year: 2021
Pages: 2007-2013
ISBN: 978-84-09-34549-6
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2021.0523
Conference name: 14th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 8-9 November, 2021
Location: Online Conference
At present, internationalization of higher education is seen in many countries as a key aspect of educational policies and as a major factor of a university's competitiveness in the domestic and global environment. It holds true for both leading and local universities, as the latter have to struggle for their financial and professional well-being too.

Being a complex multi-faceted process, internationalization embraces a whole range of various mechanisms, including the enrollment of foreign students, academic mobility of students and staff, international educational programmes (joint diplomas), joint research projects, etc. It also involves different groups of participants and stakeholders, who develop their own views of the system. These groups include state authorities, universities and organizational structures within them, teachers, students, and prospective students.

In this pilot study we approach the issue from two ends. On the one hand, we examine how university authorities conceptualize the aim and potential of internationalization at Penza State University, Russia. On the other hand, we aim to reveal how university teachers understand and evaluate their role in internationalization. This group has been chosen as a source of data due to its crucial role: teachers educate, motivate and integrate foreign students into the Russian context. Such an approach discovers major inconsistencies typical of the system.

To discover the main trends of internationalization at Penza State University, annual reports on international cooperation and the university website were put under scrutiny. The main technique of the research involved a Google Form questionnaire that was designed for university teachers to answer a few questions on the process under study.

The findings of this pilot study suggest that Penza State University authorities implement various mechanisms of internationalization but there exist some discrepancies between the university goal to enhance internationalization and the teachers' perception of its importance. For instance, more than half of the respondents consider internationalization to be inseparable part of globalization. However, the teachers narrow the process down to the mere increase in the number of foreign students and, thus, are only occasionally involved in international activities at the university. The final results of the study can be used to work out the ways to match the official policy and the teachers’ attitudes.
University, internationalization, teachers, attitude, Russia.