Stay in the loop! Subscribe to our mailing list

IAU Calls for Actions to Affirm the Academic Values in Internationalisation of Higher Education

The academic values in internationalisation of higher education have been challenged on many fronts by the changing context in which internationalisation occurs (e.g. globalisation, commercialisation of higher education), as well as the changing concept and nature of internationalisation, in particular from cooperation to competition. While the substantial benefits of internationalisation are widely recognised, there are also potentially adverse unintended consequences in internationalisation that higher education institutions (HEIs) need to acknowledge and avoid.

Examples of possible adverse consequences of internationalisation cited in the call include diminishing diversity in teaching languages and institutional models, increasing use of unethical international recruitment practices, deteriorating quality of teaching due to unchecked international expansion, partnering for the sake of reputation-building rather than actual interest to cooperate, widening rich-poor gap between institutions, and accelerating brain drain from developing countries.

The International Association of Universities (IAU) has therefore launched a call to HEIs to affirm the academic values in internationalisation and to be socially responsible when designing and implementing their internationalisation strategies. HEIs are also urged to be clear and transparent about the rationales behind their internationalisation initiatives, how the initiatives are related to their academic mission and values, and what mechanisms can be put in place to avoid possible negative consequences of internationalisation.

International Association of Universities (IAU)