IIE Network - Fall 2013 - (Page 40)

THE FUTURE OF INTERNATIONALIZATION The Growing World of Collaborative Internationalization: Taking Partnerships to the Next Level By Susan Buck Sutton IT MAY BE time to name a trend that has been building for more than a decade and shows no signs of abating. During this same period, another term, “comprehensive internationalization,” was coined to describe the spread of international initiatives across all aspects of an institution—something heralded in the 1990s but gained added speed through the emphasis given by this naming. This essay suggests we add “collaborative internationalization” or even “internationally collaborative internationalization” to our arsenal of significant terms, thereby bringing to the forefront of theory and practice yet another critical trend in international education, one that is overlooked in many definitions of internationalization but has already brought profound changes in what we do. Collaborative internationalization employs partnerships, consortia and other linkages that span institutions and nations as both philosophical underpinning and key methodology for institutional growth. International academic alliances have been present in various modes for decades, sometimes in the form of what was once called “development cooperation,” more commonly referred to as student exchanges. The past 10 years, however, have seen significant growth in the number of such collaborations and an equally important shift in what they are asked to do. While this growth in international linkages may have begun as a tactic for advancing international goals already defined by each institution, the conversations and collaborations thus engendered became a force in their own right, redefining these goals and broadening understandings of what is at stake in internationalization, what we can accomplish, who benefits, who is left out, and what more we should be doing. The power of dialogue and collaboration made itself felt. Unilateral understandings of internationalization gave way to bi- or multi-lateral ones, and the concept of mutual benefit trumped more narrow discussions of advantage. It is time to recognize the importance of this shift, position it more centrally in our conversations by naming it, and think about how it will change us in the future. In short, the collaborative internationalization here nominated as a “next big thing” in international education is not a new technology or technique, but a recasting of how we think about and enact internationalization, and a recognition that the recent growth in international academic partnerships was only the first step in what promises to be an on-going process of mutual growth and discovery. The Rise of Transformational Alliances International linkages are on the rise. The 2012 edition of the American Council on Education’s survey of U.S. institutions revealed, for example, that 90 percent of doctoral universities and 50 percent of baccalaureate colleges substantially increased their partnership activity in the past five years (ACE 2012). This flowering of collaborative internationalization was not just a growth in numbers, but a deepening in understanding why partnerships are central to internationalization and what we might do with them (de Wit 2004, Sutton & Obst 2011, Sutton, Egginton, & 40 Favela 2012). There has been a move from transactional exchanges, in which institutions trade students and faculty, to more transformational collaborations in which partners form long-term relationships that combine resources and generate mutually beneficial goals and projects that change institutions as well as individuals. The 25-year collaboration between Indiana and Moi Universities presented all who had the privilege of participating with repeated moments of reflection and reformulation. This partnership and its two member institutions have ended up in very different places from where they started. As this example and others demonstrate, internationalization is not just learning about other nations or recruiting their students. It is also constructing forums through which we bring different international perspectives into genuine and serious dialogue, rise above ourselves, better understand the world as a whole, and collaborate for mutual transformation. This understanding has opened a torrent of creative new partnership activities that run across the tripartite academic mission of teaching, research, and civic engagement. International voices now enter our classrooms both virtually and face to face, joint research centers advance disciplinary knowledge beyond what scholars from any one nation could achieve, and global collaboration is used to tackle global problems. This work has revealed something missing when internationalization is defined simply as infusing international perspectives into an institution. Where do these perspectives come from? Who should be involved in voicing them? What about generating new ideas from a dialogical give-and-take? How can we expect students to develop international competence, if their institutions are not engaging the broader world as well? Should internationalization not move outward as well as an inward? Definitions focus thinking, which is why this essay sees utility in efforts to include external engagement in basic definitions of “internationalization” (Ellingboe 1998, Hawawini 2011, Hudzik 2011, Sutton 2010) and nominates “collaborative internationalization” for the lexicon as well. Collaborative internationalization provides an umbrella for a range of new cooperative initiatives, including several profiled in this special issue. It demarcates an outward turn in how we understand internationalization, a turn that has introduced such additional concepts as mutual benefit. Rather than focusing only on what their own side derives from a partnership, institutions increasingly understand that what they gain will be enhanced if their partner gains something significant as well. This understanding echoes the theory of “collaborative advantage” in international business, which has empirically demonstrated that corporations which partner with in-country corporations have a competitive edge over corporations that attempt to go it alone in the same countries (Kanter 1994). Internationalization works better when we do it together. Going Further We have only just dipped our toes into what collaborative internationalization offers and can expect its power and momentum to produce www.iie.org/iienetworker http://www.iie.org/iienetworker

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IIE Network - Fall 2013

A Message from Allan E. Goodman
News
Megatrends: Predicting the Future of International Education
Considering Study Abroad’s Past to Prepare for its Future
The Promise of International Education: Building a More Just and Elevated Civil Society
Global Research and Commercialization: An Under-the-Radar Next Big Thing
Clustering Innovation and Industry: New Opportunities for Europe
Connecting the Dots: Integrating Engagement with International Stakeholders
The Rise of Real-time, Online International Recruitment
Hold on to Your Hats, MOOCs... Here Come the TOQUES!
The Global Youth Engagement Platform: A Peace Corps for the 21st Century
Growing Globally Competent Students to Achieve True Internationalization
Beyond Ourselves: Embracing Our Global Responsibilities
India: Expansion, Equity, Excellence
The Growing World of Collaborative Internationalization: Taking Partnerships to the Next Level
From Multi-national Universities to Education Hubs to Edu-glomerates?
Advertisers Index
Beyond the Numbers: The Who, How and What of Global Student Mobility

IIE Network - Fall 2013

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