To be or not to be internationalised: Local and international students’ experience of the internationalising university

Research output: Unpublished conference presentation (presented paper, abstract, poster)Conference presentation (not published in journal/proceeding/book)Academic researchpeer-review


With rising nationalism across the world, and increased tension between East and West, internationalisation of education is arguably more important than ever. Internationalisation is a popular buzzword, which permeates mission statements in universities around the world, and is used as a yardstick for measuring success: the more we internationalise, the better we are. But what exactly is internationalisation? It often implies that English is used as the medium of instruction, and it means increasing the number of non-local students. But not many universities have implemented organisational changes that promote a more internationalised study- and work environment. In this talk, I report on an ongoing study of international and local students’ experience of the internationalising university. 101 students from all over the world participated in small-group sharing sessions about the challenges and positive experiences they had encountered during their time in Hong Kong. The talk takes a discourse analytic approach and focuses on how students talk about the Other. First, I analyse some examples of what internationalisation is not, then some examples of what it might be. The essence in the examples of ‘successful’ internationalisation is that students have engaged in genuine intercultural dialogue and this has changed them. They have realised that you can accept cultural differences without understanding them, and this is arguably what internationalisation should be about.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusNot published / presented only - 21 Mar 2021
EventInterculturality in Chinese Higher Education - Nottingham Ningbo University, Ningbo, China
Duration: 20 Mar 202121 Mar 2021


ConferenceInterculturality in Chinese Higher Education
Abbreviated titleRICH-Ed


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