Internationalisation and Transnationalisation in Higher Education

by Vesa Korhonen (Volume editor) Pauliina Alenius (Volume editor)
©2018 Edited Collection 314 Pages


Internationalisation have recently featured in discussions and initiatives related to various fields of higher education. Educational leaders, institutions and national policy-makers, but also international actors, such as the European Union and UNESCO, have promoted the internationalisation of higher education. Increasing emphasis on internationalisation has diversified also teaching and learning contexts in higher education and has given rise to a growing need for searching appropriate cross-cultural pedagogical approaches. However, internationalisation in the context of higher education is a multifaceted concept and involves more than just one international dimension in institutional or pedagogical activities. These recent developmental features are examined in the book with the conceptual lense of emerging pattern of internationalisation.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Contents
  • Authors
  • Introduction: International and transnational dimensions in higher education (Vesa Korhonen / Pauliina Alenius)
  • Part I: Educational policy, institutional cultures and transnational activities
  • 1. The ethical implications of internationalisation for a knowledge economy: A critical discourse analysis approach to contemporary strategies in Finland and Canada (Jani Haapakoski / Sharon Stein)
  • 2. Internationalisation of higher education in Russia: National policy and results at institutional level (Svetlana Shenderova)
  • 3. Quality conventional perspective on the quality assurance of education export in the case Finland (Henna Juusola)
  • 4. Internationalisation and education hubs: The case of Singapore (Vesna Holubek)
  • Part II: Cross-cultural pedagogy
  • 5. Equal opportunities for learning? An investigation of lecturers and international students’ experiences with learning and teaching in an international classroom (Berit E. Simonsen / Anna Hammershøy / Tanja Miller)
  • 6. Teaching in higher education: Is there a pedagogy of internationalisation? (Markus Weil)
  • 7. How much cultural diversity is embraced in European higher education? Growing challenges, policy interventions and pedagogical approaches for migrant and ethnic minority students (George K. Zarifis / Achilleas Papadimitriou)
  • Part III: International students
  • 8. An ethnographic case study of one Korean international student’s TL-mediated socializing in affinity space of the host country (Yoshifumi Fukada)
  • 9. Intercultural encounters: Intertwined complexities and opportunities in international students’ experience (Dely Lazarte Elliot)
  • 10. The role of institutional entrepreneurs’ agency in enhancing international graduate employability: the case of mentoring program (Yulia Shumilova)
  • 11. International doctoral students’ perceptions of factors contributing to their career visions (Yusuke Sakurai / Viivi Virtanen / Jenna Vekkaila / Kirsi Pyhältö)
  • Conclusion (Vesa Korhonen / Pauliina Alenius)
  • Series index

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Pauliina Alenius is a Postdoctoral Researcher and University Instructor at the Faculty of Education in the University of Tampere, Finland. Her research interests relate to transnational educational and learning spaces, multicultural work environments and informal learning of migrants. Pauliina has multidisciplinary background: she holds a PhD in Education and Masters’ degrees in Ethnic Relations and International Politics.

Dely Lazarte Elliot is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Education at the University of Glasgow. Her research interests lie in the intersection of higher education, educational and cultural psychology. She investigates academic cultures, learning orientations, critical thinking, socialisation, and the impact of social connections on learners’ educational journeys. She recently led two UK-funded projects aimed at enhancing international postgraduate researchers’ overall experience. Her publications appear in Studies in Higher Education, Higher Education Research & Development, Oxford Review of Education and International Journal of Research & Method in Education.

Yoshifumi Fukada is Professor in the Department of International Studies at Meisei University, Tokyo, Japan. His research interests include L2 learners’ and users’ dynamic identities, as in their agency in their English-learning and social interactions (in and out of class) and their use of English as a Lingua Franca (ELF) in international communities. He received PhD in International and Multicultural Education with emphasis in Second Language Acquisition from the University of San Francisco, and is currently working on his second doctorate, at the University of Tokyo, focusing on international students’ TL-mediated socializing.

Jani Haapakoski is a doctoral student at the Faculty of Education, University of Oulu, Finland. He is specifically interested in the implications that the current focus on knowledge economy has on internationalisation of higher education in terms of asymmetrical power relations, social justice and social responsibility. ← 9 | 10 →

Anna Hammershøy is an Associate Professor at the University College of Northern Denmark. Her research interests include internationalisation of education and inequalities in learning opportunities. Anna holds a Master’s degree from Aalborg University in Culture, Communication and Globalisation.

Vesna Holubek is a doctoral student and a researcher at the Faculty of Education in University of Tampere, Finland. She is a member of the Higher Education in Transition (HET) research group and her main research areas are internationalisation in higher education, student identities and neoliberal reforms in higher education. She graduated from Master in Research and Innovation in Higher Education (MaRIHE) and she is currently working on her PhD research on student identities in the context of neoliberal reforms in higher education.

Henna Juusola (MA) is a doctoral student in the Faculty of Management at University of Tampere. Her research interests include quality of education, higher education policy and transnational higher education. More specifically, her PhD research is focusing on quality of higher education in Finnish education export form the perspective of convention theory.

Vesa Korhonen is a Research Director and Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Education in University of Tampere, Finland. He is a leader of the local Higher Education in Transition (HET) research group. His research interests cover different areas of higher education related research, like student engagement and learning pathways within higher education or transition patterns to world of work, researchers’ and teachers’ identities and careers in scholarly communities and questions of internationalisation and encountering diversity in higher education. He has extensive experience over the years from several national and international research and development projects in the areas of higher education, cross-cultural lifelong learning and online education.

Tanja Miller holds a Ph.D. degree and is a docent at the University College of Northern Denmark. She heads the research programme Inequality and Disadvantaged people. Her research interests are threefold: assessment in education and internationalisation; early childhood ← 10 | 11 → education and learning environment; and social pedagogy and inclusion. Her disciplinary background is in history, psychology and pedagogy.

Achilleas Papadimitriou is a Research Associate in the School of Philosophy & Education at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. His research focuses on adult participation in higher education. He has worked extensively as an instructor in vocational education and training sector and has participated in a number of research projects in the same field.

Kirsi Pyhältö is Professor of Educational Sciences at the Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Oulu, and Professor in the Centre for University Teaching and Learning at the University of Helsinki. Her research interests include doctoral education, supervision, researcher communities, and post-doctoral careers.

Yusuke Sakurai, PhD, is a Project Lecturer at the Center for International Exchange, University of Tokyo, Japan. His research interests include international education and students’ learning experiences in higher education.

Svetlana Shenderova is a Researcher in the project “Towards Good Neighbourliness with Higher Education Cooperation”, EDUneighbours, hosted by the Faculty of Management, University of Tampere. Her research interests have comprised institutional arrangements and transaction costs in transnational higher education and internationalisation, higher education policies and university governance. She holds Doctor of Science and PhD degrees in Economics.

Yulia Shumilova has worked as a Researcher and Project Coordinator in Higher Education Group, Faculty of Management, University of Tampere since 2007 following her joint Erasmus Mundus Master’s studies in Higher Education Administration. Her PhD topic is related to the employability of international graduates in Finland. She has been involved as a researcher and administrator in a number of EU-funded projects with Russia, Ukraine, China and other countries. ← 11 | 12 →

Berit E. Simonsen is an Assistant Professor at the University College of Northern Denmark. Her research includes investigations in internationalisation of education, inequalities in learning opportunities, teacher agency and equity in education. She holds a Master’s degree from Aalborg University in Culture, Communication and Globalisation.

Sharon Stein is an Assistant Professor of Higher Education at Idaho State University, USA. In her work on international education and the social foundations of higher education, she seeks to interrupt colonial patterns of relationships and knowledge production, and pluralize possibilities for more just educational futures.

Jenna Vekkaila, PhD, works as a Lecturer at the Centre for University Teaching and Learning, University of Helsinki. Her research focuses on learning, wellbeing, and social interaction in doctoral education and researcher careers.

Viivi Virtanen, PhD, works as a Senior Lecturer at the Centre for University Teaching and Learning at the University of Helsinki, Finland. Her research focuses on doctoral education in STEM.

Markus Weil, Prof. Dr., is Head of the Centre for Organisational Continuing Education and Counselling at the School of Teacher Education, University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland (Pädagogische Hochschule FHNW). He is interested in research about structural and pedagogical aspects of teacher training in higher and vocational education. He has studied pedagogy, psychology and sociology and accomplished a doctorate in the area of small and medium-sized enterprises regarding their co-operation strategies for further and continuing education. His current work deals with higher education management and organisational aspects across the educational system.

George K. Zarifis is an Assistant Professor of Continuing Education at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. His research interests focus on adult educators’ training and professionalisation, university continuing education, and comparative examination of adult learning and vocational education and training policies and practices in Europe. He is ← 12 | 13 → co-convener of ESREA Research Network on Adult Educators, Trainers and their Professional Development (ReNAdET). He researches, publishes, edits and co-authors in the area of adult and continuing education and VET, and participates in a large number of European funded projects and studies in the same field. ← 13 | 14 →

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Introduction:  International and transnational dimensions in higher education

Abstract: Internationalisation and transnationalisation are significantly shaping the higher education landscape. These processes are related to globalisation and in­creasing transnational mobility of educational programmes and providers. The purpose of this introductory chapter is to present an overview of the traditional and emerging pattern of internationalisation and shed light on the underlying related conceptions and rationales. Political, economic and administrational agendas at cross-border, national and institutional level form a manifold chain of interconnected forces triggering international and border-crossing developments in the emerging pattern of internationalisation. Internationalisation of higher education appears to be in a constant state of flux and the underlying rationales vary from pure academic and socio-cultural to political and economic (Knight, 2008; de Wit, 2010).

The chapter introduces topical themes of research in the field and identifies a few gaps in the existing literature. For example, transnational teaching and learning environments, intercultural competence development and related challenges as well as the impact of cross-border flows of ideas in relation to emerging pattern of internationalisation have only seldom been scrutinized. The main thematic perspectives of the book will also be briefly introduced in light of a multilevel approach to internationalisation and transnationalisation development, namely: a) education policy, institutional cultures and transnational activities, b) cross-cultural pedagogy, and c) international students.


Growing trends towards internationalisation and transnationalisation significantly affect higher education on different continents. Both these processes are closely related to globalisation and the increasing strategic meaning of internationalisation in education worldwide. However, neither internationalisation, nor transnationalisation, are, strictly speaking, completely new phenomena in higher education. It can be stated ← 15 | 16 → that higher education institutions have always, throughout their exis­tence from medieval times, aimed to be international. The international dimension has been part of academia throughout the history of higher education since the Middle Ages, and scientific research already transcended national borders when scientific communities began to take shape (see, for example, Kreber, 2009). Despite the long history of the internationalisation of higher education, the processes that extend these activities across national borders have changed in recent decades. The traditional patterns are particularly related to the mobility of students and academic staff, the balance of trade and exporting activities across borders (Trondal et al. 2003). However, recent developments are characterized by ever greater and more systematic emphasis on the international dimension of higher education in international, national and institutional strategic documents and mission statements (de Wit, 2010). Emerging pattern of internationalisation is therefore more routinized, institutionalized and formalized at many different levels (Trondal et al. 2003). This applies to both the Western and Eastern parts of the world.

For instance, over the last twenty years, the international dimension of higher education has been on the agenda of regional and national policy-makers, higher education institutions, student organizations and accreditation agencies in Europe (de Wit, 2010). A new feature of recent developments is higher education providers’ movement across borders to offer academic programmes and qualifications in foreign countries (Knight, 2016) which is also related to globally changing higher education landscape. Particularly educational institutions in the USA, Australia and the UK, and moreover in some European countries have been taking an active part in higher education export since the 1990s (van der Wende, 2003). Meanwhile in Asia many countries have endeavoured to establish modern higher education systems by sending students and faculty members abroad for advanced studies or research (Huang, 2007). Thus, internationalisation and transnationalisation are used in many ways as vehicles for the modernization of local higher education systems, and also as vehicles for national and cross-national economic and sociopo­litical development and competitiveness. Still, it might be claimed that the emerging pattern of internationalisation do not supplant the existing ones, but come as an addition and may accelerate the traditional patterns (Trondal et al. 2003). ← 16 | 17 →


ISBN (Softcover)
Publication date
2018 (October)
Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Warszawa, Wien, 2018. 314 pp., 4 fig. b/w, 9 tables

Biographical notes

Vesa Korhonen (Volume editor) Pauliina Alenius (Volume editor)

Vesa Korhonen is a Research Director and Senior Lecturer at Faculty of Education in University of Tampere, Finland. His expertise relate to higher education research, cross-cultural lifelong learning and online education. Pauliina Alenius is a Postdoctoral Researcher at Faculty of Education in University of Tampere, Finland. Her expertise covers transnational education, multicultural work environments and informal learning of migrants.


Title: Internationalisation and Transnationalisation in Higher Education