About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 10501-10510
Publication year: 2018
ISBN: 978-84-09-05948-5
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2018.0981

Conference name: 11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 12-14 November, 2018
Location: Seville, Spain

BUILDING OUR HOUSE ON SAND? HIGHER EDUCATION INTERNATIONALIZATION STRATEGIES FROM THE ACTORS’ PERSPECTIVE

A. González Bonilla

Universidad Complutense de Madrid (SPAIN)
In the last 30 years Higher Education (HE) has evolved into a very competitive arena, where ensuring appropriate academic standards and complying with the increasingly global trends and perspectives, while congruently combining the national and local substance emerge as major challenges. Nowadays, it is a truth universally acknowledged that Universities must be international if they are both to be prepared for the global modern world and to properly prepare their students for the new global job market. In this competitive context, Internationalization enters the picture as a key issue of the utmost strategic importance both for national governments and for Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) individually.

Literature defines Internationalization as a spinning process where six main gears have been identified: rationales, commitment, strategy, operation, monitoring and reinforcement. In this conceptual framework, strategies become essential, since it is assumed that HEIs develop their international dimension according to a planned design, integrated and embedded within the institution’s general guidelines, opportunities, resources and projections.

The emphasis towards strategic approaches is strong worldwide, but in Europe it has grown most particularly since the Bologna Process and the launching of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA), in parallel with European Union (EU) policies and programmes designed to encourage the progressive incorporation of a European dimension into the central strategic planning processes of institutions.

This paper examines the above-mentioned cornerstones of the Internationalization process (rationales, commitment, strategy, operation, monitoring and reinforcement), focusing on the perceptions and perspectives of the actors most directly involved in the process (academic international coordinators and International Relations Office’s -IRO- administrative staff). It is based on the results of a joint online survey project designed by the international teams of the faculties of Psychology, Social Work and Economics at Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM), and sent to 258 European HEIs combining quantitative-multivariate and qualitative analyses of the answers. Data obtained in the survey were presented and discussed in an informal meeting and round-table of international experts whose comments and reflections have been also incorporated to the final results.

Results show a strong and general commitment of HEs towards internationalization, and also a high rate of personal interest and dedication of the individuals directly involved in the process. However,a few discordant notes have been identified, which may cast a shade on the efficiency of the strategies adopted by HEIs.

Based on the above, this paper aims to provide useful empirical information for practitioners, institutions and policy-makers alike about how internationalization processes are actually being carried out in HEIs, as well as to raise awareness about possible weaknesses in the design and application of internationalization strategies.
@InProceedings{GONZALEZBONILLA2018BUI,
author = {Gonz{\'{a}}lez Bonilla, A.},
title = {BUILDING OUR HOUSE ON SAND? HIGHER EDUCATION INTERNATIONALIZATION STRATEGIES FROM THE ACTORS’ PERSPECTIVE},
series = {11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2018 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-09-05948-5},
issn = {2340-1095},
doi = {10.21125/iceri.2018.0981},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2018.0981},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {12-14 November, 2018},
year = {2018},
pages = {10501-10510}}
TY - CONF
AU - A. González Bonilla
TI - BUILDING OUR HOUSE ON SAND? HIGHER EDUCATION INTERNATIONALIZATION STRATEGIES FROM THE ACTORS’ PERSPECTIVE
SN - 978-84-09-05948-5/2340-1095
DO - 10.21125/iceri.2018.0981
PY - 2018
Y1 - 12-14 November, 2018
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2018 Proceedings
SP - 10501
EP - 10510
ER -
A. González Bonilla (2018) BUILDING OUR HOUSE ON SAND? HIGHER EDUCATION INTERNATIONALIZATION STRATEGIES FROM THE ACTORS’ PERSPECTIVE, ICERI2018 Proceedings, pp. 10501-10510.
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