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ACA Think Pieces: Inclusion in International Higher Education: European Perspectives & Insights
At the start of this year, 2021, ACA prioritised learning more about and supporting inclusion in international higher education in the context of Europe. We decided to publish our insights along the way with the help of experts in the area of inclusion through a new ACA Think Piece series, Inclusion in International Higher Education: European Perspectives & Insights.
This month we have Jeanine Gregersen-Hermans, Zuyd University of Applied Sciences), Marina Casals Sala (Universitat Rovira i Virgili), and Craig Whitsed (Curtin University) writing on the notion of belonging to an institution as a crucial aspect in creating a truly inclusive university.
In Internationalisation for all: Belonging or not, that is the question, illustrated with four specific situations happening to incoming students, the authors make a strong argument for focusing proper attention to the hidden aspects of student support and describe candidly how it can strengthen or undermine the inclusion efforts made at strategic levels.
The piece calls for the commitment of leaders in higher education internationalisation to provide all students with equitable opportunities to engage in international activities and learning. It further argues that such a commitment has to be grounded in a praxis of critically reflecting on the underlying assumptions and practices in the formal, informal and hidden curriculum that hinder the development of HEIs as inclusive, international communities of learning and teaching. This calls for leadership capabilities of all involved in internationalisation, and the willingness to move beyond ‘this is how we do things here’ as the default position.