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Internationalisation of Higher Education: understanding layers of policy context in Australia, Norway and the United States

conference contribution
posted on 2023-05-24, 18:18 authored by Sarah FischerSarah Fischer

As the globalisation of economies and global mobility continue to expand and allow for the rapid exchange of commerce and ideas across political boundaries, internationalisation of education is becoming increasingly important. Around the world, nations are developing strategies, policies and programs to ensure that their higher education students are fully equipped to contribute to and participate in the global circulation of ideas and commerce.

Understanding the context and rationale for the internationalisation of higher education can help to inform policy and decision making processes surrounding internationalisation. This, however, is complex, given the variety of circumstances that affect how and why a higher education institution internationalises. Australia, Norway and the United States are all members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), but each has different approaches and rationales for internationalising. In this study, policy documents from nested geopolitical layers are analysed to determine how rationales have changed and shifted not only over time, but also between political layers. The development of internationalisation policy and practices in different national contexts is compared using case studies focused on higher education institutions in Australia, Norway and the United States. In this qualitative study, a thematic analysis of policy documents at the international, national, state/county and institutional levels is used to determine rationale trends and impacts in the development of international education policies. Although the universities in this study are quite similar in terms of size, location and rankings, the results reveal dissimilar patterns for internationalisation at each institution. The comparative case study seeks to answer the overarching research question: Why are some universities able to internationalise comprehensively, or develop “a commitment, confirmed through action, to infuse international and comparative perspectives throughout the teaching, research, and service missions” (Hudzik 2011 p. 10), while others are not?


Publication title

Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE) Conference 2018


DVC - Education

Place of publication


Event title

Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE) Conference 2018

Event Venue

Sydney, Australia

Date of Event (Start Date)


Date of Event (End Date)


Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Policies and development; Policies and development

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