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Internationalization has attained great significance in Higher Education, driven by both educational philosophy and commercial imperatives. Cultural change is implied as both a related process and as a goal. The article considers the multifaceted ways in which culture might be conceived and linked to different orientations to internationalization. The metaphor of ecology is used to highlight the dilemmas faced by leaders attempting to use cultural exchange as a market product while they may be simultaneously eroding the distinctiveness of cultures on which such a strategy relies. The short termism of humans in general and business in particular is argued to militate against action to protect cultural assets other than one’s own. The article suggests considered and careful leadership of internationalization, preserving distinctiveness and promoting equality among cultures is in the long term commercial interest of universities, as well as offering individual and societal benefits.