1. Internationalization: Past,
Present and Future
Michael A Peters
University of Illinois at Urbana-
1. Internationalization is a set of processes in search of a
theory and/or concept of internationalism yet to be
2. Internationalization most often figures as a discourse
of strategy with an emphasis on ‘how to’ questions
rather than a reflective discourse examining political
ends or purposes.
3. Internationalization as a set of processes has changed
over time, most recently reflecting changes in the
political economy of higher education and the global
4. There are different forms of internationalization that
differ according to colonial past, geopolitics, and
global position so we should talk of
‘internationalizations’ (in the plural).
3. The Past: A genealogy of
Internationalization before globalization
1. Internationalization in the ancient world with first academies in Pakistan,
India, Egypt, China and Perisa (Takshashila, Nalanda, Al-Azhar, Yuelu,
Gandishapur) in the 7th
centuries BC that attracted students from
all over Asia and Middle East.
2. The Academy established by Plato in 387 BC (also Kos, Rhodes and
Alexandria) and traveling ‘itinerant’ scholars – Sophists (Protagoras,
Gorgias, Prodicus, Hippias) wandered about Greece teaching rhetoric.
3. First wave internationalization in Europe during the period of the
establishment of the medieval university (Magnaura, 849; Salerno,9th
century; Bologna, 1088; Paris, 1100) and cathedral schools established by
4. Translation as a form of internationalization and spread of texts – into
Arabic during the ‘Golden Age’ (750-950) of Muslim scholarship and into
Latin with great revival of Greeks texts fueled by proliferation of texts
from the East in 15th
century Italy exerting an influence on 16th
4. The Ancient Geography of Ideas
A full history of internationalization in the ancient world needs to take into
account a complex set of movements that emphasize the
interrelationships between trade, conquest and traveling scholarship,
including, for example:
1. the Hellenization of Syria and the foundation of Gandishapur as a center
of learning (how Greek science passed to the Arabic world);
2. Christianity as a Hellenizing force and Christian Syriac writers, scholars,
3. The Nestorians and the Monophysites;
4. The Indian influence, Alexandrian science, the sea route to north-west
India and Buddhism as a possible medium spreading west;
5. Khalifates of Damascus and Baghdad (762) and early Arabic translators
(Abu Mahammad Ibn al-Muqaffa‘, Al-Hajjaj Ibn Yusuf Ibn Matar Al-
Hasib, Yuhanna Ibn Batriq, 'Abd al-Masih Ibn 'Aballah Wa'ima al-Himse,
Abu Yahya al-Batriq, Jibra'il II, Abu Zakariah Yahya Ibn Masawaih) who
translated Buddhist and Greek texts, including Euclid’s Elements,
Aristotle’s Poetica , Ptolemy's Tetrabiblos, Galen’s texts etc.
5. Europeanization and the Rise of
1. The life of science in its recognizable modern form dates from the Royal
Society, which was preceded by the Philosophical College the members of
which (Robert Moray, Robert Boyle, John Wilkins, John Wallis, John Evelyn,
Christopher Wren and William Petty) held regular meetings from 1645.
2. They were inspired by induction and experimental science, the ethos of
which had been explored by Francis Bacon (1561-1626) a generation earlier
in utopian works like, The Advancement of Learning (1605) Novum Organum
(1620), The New Atlantis (1626). Bacon’s ideas were highly influential,
championed by Newton, popularised by the Royal Society--and figuring
centrally in Thomas Sprat’s The History of the Royal Society (1667)—and
celebrated by the philosophes of the French Enlightenment.
3. While Bacon, the Renaissance man, travelled little outside England, members
of the Royal Society established in 1660 had strong contacts in Europe and
travelled to meet other scientists.
4. Learning Greek, Latin, French and Italian enabled English scientists to read
the works of Copernicus, Kepler, Mersenne Galileo, Gilbert, Descartes,
Pascal, Cavalieri, Roberval, Torricelli, and many others.
6. Development of Learned Societies
1. The development of learned societies in Europe--from the establishment of
Compagnie du Gai Sçavoir in 1323—were contemporaneous with the
establishment of the early medieval universities at Bologna, Paris, Padua, St
Andrews, Oxford, Cambridge, and Glasgow in the eleventh, twelve and
thirteenth centuries. Both learned societies and universities slowly
developed the norms of cooperation and textual conventions in scholarly
activities that were inherited by the modern research university in the early
nineteenth century, beginning with the establishment of the University of
Berlin in 1810.
2. The Academy of Science, modelled on the Royal Society, was founded Paris
in 1666 and similar societies were established in Dublin (1683), St.
Petersburg (1725), Stockholm (1739), and Edinburgh (1783). Learned
societies, in particular, were responsible for publication of scientific findings
and issued the first academic journals that institutionalised the norms of
3. A model of scientific communication gradually became established as
printing and publishing industries developed and helped to shape the
scientific analytical method through rationalising research methods, sharing
theories and methods among scientists from different countries, and
gradually establishing an international ‘scientific community’. By 1700 there
were already 30 journals and by 1800 hundreds of scientific journals existed.
7. Colonial Science
1. The learned societies were concerned with spread and diffusion of
2. These developments in the institutionalisation of science
simultaneously were part and parcel of the first wave of colonial
expansion and conquest by the European powers.
3. Both Linneaus and Banks, for example, brought back specimens for
the benefit of their national economies, placing science at the very
centre of trade and politics and forging an interdependent
relationship between scientific inquiry and the state that still
4. The origins of global science, it might be argued, had its origins in
‘imperial science,’ where science contributed to colonial
development and administration, not only to facilitate the
exploitation of native natural resources but also to administer local
populations (see Peters, 2006).
5. Establishment of universities in colonies to ‘train’ elites and the
migration of colonial scholars to universities of European powers.
8. Science, the University and The
1. ‘The development of science in the modern era has taken place in a
variety of institutional settings. However, since the widespread
recognition of German scientific leadership in the last third of the
nineteenth century, and continuing through the ascendancy of
American science in the mid-twentieth, the university has served as
the predominant home of science’ (Geiger, 1985: 53).
2. Despite its ‘cultural inheritance with idealistic, spiritual, and high-
minded aspiration derived from an important philosophical and
theological traditions’ (Rothblatt & Wittrock, 1993: 1), especially in
the tradition of German idealism, the modern research university in
the period of the world wars became inextricably with the
promotion of science in the service of the state.
3. The emergence of the modern research university with its division of
intellectual labor, subdivision into specialized disciplines, and new
social organization of science, became a national institution.
4. Convergence of university structures, organization, curriculum,
disciplines etc. and notion of sabbatical.
9. University Science, WWII and The
1. The importance of the German university science system and the U.S.
university system, first, in terms of German escapee Jews to e.g.,
Princeton’s Center for Advanced Study (Einstein, Gödel etc) and the New
School (‘The University in Exile’); and, second, the active recruitment
(‘Operation Paperclip’) of German scientists (almost 500) at the end of the
war, including some who were Nazis (Wernher von Braun, father of the
U.S. space program) and war criminals.
2. Cold War redefined American science and DOD became the biggest
single patron, driven by politics of national security and competitive
advantage surpassed its wartime budget peak reaching $5.5 billion in
3. ‘Brain drain’ was a term first used to refer to human capital flight and the
outflow of scientists and technologists from Britain to the U.S. in the 1950s
but subsequently became official policy disguised by the term
‘internationalization,’ with a rising cap in the U.S. of 195,000 (under H1B
program) during the early 2000s.
4. Brain drain not only from Europe to the U.S. but also from South to
North, developing to developed countries, intensified with globalization.
10. Internationalization, IAU &
1. One of the most commonly used definitions of internationalisation of
higher education was initially elaborated and subsequently adapted by
Jane Knight and Hans de Wit and in its most recent iteration (Knight 2005)
reads as follows: “the process of integrating an international, intercultural
and/or global dimension into the goals, functions (teaching/learning, research,
services) and delivery of higher education”.
2. This is the most broad and all-encompassing concept that integrates many
different activities such as all forms of academic mobility, research
collaboration, international development projects in higher education,
curricular aspects in terms of the scope of programs and courses (area
studies) offered or changes in curriculum of specific disciplines.
3. According to OECD, it is “the complex of processes whose combined effect,
whether planned or not, is to enhance the international dimension of the experience
of higher education in universities and similar educational institutions”.
4. Various schemes after WWII were based on intergovernmental efforts
directed at social and economic development such as The Colombo Plan
which was a Commonwealth initiative to promote such development in
Asia and the Pacific, often involving educational exchanges and
11. The Present: An analysis
Internationalization after Globalization
• A major impact of globalization on higher education is the advent of the view of education as
a service, a commodity, that is not only produced and consumed domestically but also traded
internationally. The General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) is a set of multilateral,
legally enforceable rules governing international trade in services. Negotiated under the aegis
of the World Trade Organization (WTO), it came into force in 1995.
GATS covers 12 different sectors of services, including transportation, recreation, construction,
education among others. As a sector education is further subdivided into primary, secondary,
higher, adult education and other services as well. The agreement distinguishes four modes of
supply and applies these to the trade of ALL services. These are:
(1) Cross-border supply
(2) Consumption abroad
(3) Commercial presence
(4) Presence of natural persons
• To understand how these modes apply to education, it is easier to see that the four modes
cover respectively (1) program mobility (distance education, online education, courses
franchising…), (2) student mobility, (3) institution mobility (branch campus) and (4) academic
mobility (professors and researchers working temporarily abroad).
Source: IAU at http://www.unesco.org/iau/internationalization/i_definitions.html
12. Student Mobility
• According to UNESCO, roughly 2 million higher
education students are being educated outside their
• Projections from the British Council and IDP
Education Australia suggest that this number may
double by 2015 and double again by 2025.
• By 2025, almost 8 million students will be educated
• Greatest percentage and most growth until recently
in Anglo-American neoliberal capitalist economies
of US, UK, Australia, Canada & NZ
13. Distribution of foreign students by
host country/territory, 2002/2003
• Out of every ten tertiary students studying abroad, five are
Asians, three are Europeans and one is African.
• Half of all foreign students study in Europe and one-quarter in
the United States.
• Three countries host almost half of the world’s foreign students
(United States, United Kingdom and Germany). Add the next
three highest hosting countries (France, Australia and Japan), and
these six countries serve two-thirds of the world’s foreign
• While 25% of all foreign students are in the United States, they
represent only 4% of the country’s tertiary students. In the United
Kingdom and in Germany, foreign students make up one in ten
total tertiary enrolments, in Australia almost one in six.
• South America is the least common destination for foreign
students (hosting only 0.6% of the global foreign student
population), followed by Africa (1.4%).
14. Foreign students by continent of
• Eight out of ten foreign European students study in another European
• North American students make up only a small part of those who study
abroad (6% of the total number of foreign students).
• Three out of five foreign students in Europe are studying either in the
United Kingdom, Germany or France.
• The United States hosts the largest number of foreign students,
welcoming 586 thousand students in 2002/03. Sixty-three percent of these
students come from Asia.
• 46% of all foreign students are women and only eight countries host more
foreign female students than male.
• The percentage of foreign students per country varies considerably
throughout the world. Some of the highest percentages are found in
Macao (China), where foreign students make up 67% of tertiary
enrolments, in Cyprus (29%), Qatar (21%), Australia (19%), Switzerland
(18%) and Austria (14%).
UNESCO Institute for Statistics - UIS/FS/05/02 (updated: November 2005)
15. Recent Decline in HE International Enrolments
for Major English Speaking Countries
• USA- 5% decline from 586,323 in 2002-3 to 572,509 in
2003-04 (-5% undergrad + 2.4% postgrad – a trend since
- According to CGS, 41% of the current graduate
students in the physical sciences and 50% of the
graduate students in engineering are from other
• UK decline – to 300,055 in 2003-4
• Australia – 344,815 enrolments by full-fee overseas
students in 2005 - increase of 7.0% from 2004
• Canada –104,662 foreign student enrolments
elementary/secondary (38,086), college/trade (14,341),
and university (52,235) enrolments in 2001-2
• NZ decline - 44,652 in 2002-3 to 32,022 in 2003-4
16. Other Countries
• France - over 147,000 international students in 2001-2
• Germany - over 246,000 international students in 2003-4
(China, Poland, France, Bulgaria and Spain - increase
• Ireland - 18,605 international students in 2003-4
• Increasing importance for Nordic countries
• China -110,844 international students in 2004
• Malaysia - 23,000 international students in 2005
• Singapore - 50,000 international students in 2003
• Increasing importance for India and Middle East
17. Trends: Increasing World Competition
Since 2003/04, there appears to have been a decline in demand for
international education affecting the major Anglophone countries,
particularly in the undergraduate sector. The reasons behind the decline are
unclear and are likely to vary from country to country but probably include:
• increased global security concerns inhibiting travel by students and
• increased competition, particularly from new players such as Singapore and
• more places becoming available as investment in domestic infrastructure in
source countries grows.
International education is an area of interest for an increasing number of
countries. These countries are recognizing the benefits international
education brings, they are selecting their target markets, establishing
national level bodies whose mission is to attract international students, and
are increasingly emphasizing the provision of courses taught in English.
This increased interest is happening in a time of structural changes in the
market such as increased in-country provision, the establishment of off-
shore campuses and the development of on-line delivery.
Source: Australia’s Competitors in International Education: July 2005 Update at
18. Trends: National & Regional Policies
• The U.K., Canada, and Australia all have national policies to attract international students and
- US is implementing targeted marketing strategies such as university fairs and in-country
recruitment; admissions processes are being expedited and overseas missions are being
encouraged to promote the value of US education
- UK launched PMI in 1999 that targets to increase the number of non-EU international
students studying in the UK by 75,000 by the year 2005 (50,000 in Higher Education and 25,000
in Further Education).
- New Zealand Government announced a $40 million international education package in May
2004. Some of the key features include the provision of four education counselors in China,
Malaysia, the US and Europe; the provision of more scholarship places; and the development
of satellite campuses, e-learning and off-shore courses.
• Over three dozen European countries have signed the Bologna Accord, a plan designed to
reform higher education to achieve the following results:
– create a system of comparable and understandable degrees throughout the European
– establish a clear and standard division between undergraduate and graduate studies
– promote student mobility among different fields of study, institutions, and nations
– develop a quality-assurance process and governing body to ensure standard
qualifications and quality throughout participating countries
– define a European focus for higher education.
19. UK Case Study
• UK launched PMI in 1999 that targets to increase the number of non-EU international students
studying in the UK by 75,000 by the year 2005 (50,000 in Higher Education and 25,000 in
• The targets were exceeded ahead of schedule, with an extra 93,000 in HE and 23,300 in FE.
• Funding for the global promotion of UK education over the next two years (2006-7 and 2007-8)
will be over £27 million of which
– £3 million is earmarked for UK/Africa partnership initiatives
– £2 million for UK/Russia partnerships
– £4 million for UK/China for scholarships and other partnerships
– £7.5 million for the UK/India Education and Research Initiative.
• The second stage of PMI will be more ambitious than the first with a target of an extra 100,000
Further and Higher Education students. It will also have a wider international agenda,
focusing on building sustainable partnerships between UK universities and colleges and
similar institutions in other countries. It will aim to:
– position the UK as a leader in international education
– increase number of international students in UK
– Ensure that international students have a high quality experience
– Build strategic partnerships and alliances
– Maintain the UK's position in major education markets, while achieving growth in student numbers from a
wider range of countries
International students contribute approximately £5 billion a year to the UK economy.
20. Trends: Value of Trade in Education
• An international market of more than USD 30
billion in 1998, approx 3% of global services
• In the USA gross exports to be $11493 million in 2001;
net exports in the same year amounted to $9115 million
• 2001-02 export education in UK 10264.3 M; HE (tuition
and spending) 3121.4M (Johnes, 2004)
• Education is Australia’s fourth largest export. In 2003–
04, education services were worth A$5.9 billion to the
Australian economy, a 13 per cent increase on 2002–03.
21. Internationalization as Globalization
The IAU 2005 Internationalization Survey (Preliminary Findings – Jane Knight, 2006)
based on 526 HEI’s in 95 countries
‘Internationalization means different things to different HEIs, university associations,
governments and non-governmental agencies. For some it means, international
activities such as study abroad, international development projects, institutional
agreements, or branch campuses. For others, it means integrating an international
dimension into teaching/learning, research and service functions of higher education.
And still others see it as an international profile or brand in order to be competitive
both domestically and globally.’
Rationales driving internationalization at national levels (Table 2.0)
Strategic alliances 20%
Human resources capacity 15%
International cooperation 14%
Cultural awareness 9%
Education exports 7%
Regional priorities 7%
“‘competitiveness’ as the most important rationale driving internationalization at
the national level while ‘international development cooperation’ ranks fourth in
level of priority is indicative of a major shift over the last five years”
22. Benefits & Risks of Internationalization
by HEIs (IAU Survey cont’)
Ranking of most important Benefits of Internationalization by HEIs
Internationalize staff/students 22%
Academic quality 21%
Strengthen research 15%
Innovation in curriculum 14%
International solidarity 12%
Diversy of programs 6%
National and international citizenship 4%
Revenue generation 4%
Brain Gain 2%
Ranking of most important Risks of Internationalization by HEIs
More foreign degree mills 17%
Loss of cultural identity 15%
Overuse of English 12%
Growing elitism 9%
Brain drain 9%
Jeopardize quality 8%
Homogenize curriculum 7%
23. Futures of Internationalization
1. Market futures
- The driving force under globalization has been a neoliberal export
education trade by Anglophone countries who together comprise most of
the world market to exploit South-North transfers;
- The neoliberal market share will continue to expand in absolute terms but
decline proportionally in the long term;
- Emergence of university consortia, strategic alliances, university
agreements and university-business partnerships;
- Greater world competition with rise of China, India, Singapore and
Middle Eastern countries as regional hosts;
- Greater privatization of international education by transnationals and
globally integrated enterprises, especially in areas of business education,
science and technology;
- Greater market diversification of four modes of (1) program mobility
(distance education, online education, courses franchising…), (2) student
mobility, (3) institution mobility (branch campus) and (4) academic mobility
(professors and researchers working temporarily abroad).
24. Increasing Globalization of Higher Education
Four key elements of globalization:
• the growing importance of the knowledge society/economy;
• the development of new trade agreements which cover trade in education services;
• the innovations related to ICTs; and
• the emphasis on the role of the market and the market economy
have been the catalysts for new developments in higher education including:
i) the emergence of new education providers such as multi-national companies,
corporate universities, and media companies;
ii) new forms of delivering education including distance, virtual and new face-to-
face, such as private companies;
iii) greater diversification of qualifications and certificates;
iv) increasing mobility of students, programmes, providers and projects across
v) more emphasis on lifelong learning which in turn increases the demand for
postsecondary education; and
vi) the increasing amount of private investment in the provision of higher education.
Source: UNESCO (2004) ‘Higher Education in a Globalized Society’ A NESCO Education Position Paper, Paris.
25. New Providers & Provision
The extent, range, and form of ‘new providers and provision’ varies widely. Context is all-
important when seeking to understand the nature of developments in each country (Jamaica,
Bangladesh, Malaysia, and Bulgaria) and the reasons for them. Certain variables seem to be
significant. These include:
• Historical educational traditions and cultural values (e.g., the status of overseas study, the
existence or otherwise of an elitist public education system)
• Adequate development of primary and secondary schooling (in terms of access and
participation, and appropriate quality to assure a foundation for entry to tertiary education)
• The influence of government policy
• Economic development sufficient to create demand for fee-paying programmes combined with
under-supply of sufficient or relevant public education
• The adequacy of student financial support arrangements
• The form, focus and level of ‘applied rigour’ of the regulatory framework
• The influence of the World Bank’s policies and funding.
The vast majority of transnational provision appears to be at the postgraduate level and private in
nature, while the majority of local private provision is at sub-degree or degree level organised
through franchise arrangements with local or international universities. Both types of
provision take the form of vocationally focused courses (e.g., Business, Finance, ICT) that can
provide a rapid return on investment (ROI) through increased employability and access to
local and global employment markets.
Source: Middlehurst, R. & Woodfield, S. (2004)
26. Development Futures
2. Development Futures
Higher education is a leading sector in the knowledge economy which is characterized
as a structural transformation based on acceleration of knowledge creation and
accumulation and a substantial decrease in the costs of codification, transmission,
and acquisition of knowledge (Foray, 2004).
The new paradigm of ‘Knowledge for development’ of the World Bank recognizes the
hugely increased significance of HE for development.
With the transition to the knowledge economy increasingly pressure is being exerted
on transition and developing countries to view higher education as one aspect of a
holistic system of education which is ‘more flexible, diverse, efficient, and
responsive to the knowledge economy’ (p. xi). The World Bank’s (2002: xix)
Constructing Knowledge Societies: New Challenges for Tertiary Education
‘The state has a responsibility to put in place an enabling framework that
encourages tertiary education institutions to be more innovative and more
responsive to the needs of a globally competitive knowledge economy and to the
changing labor market requirements for advanced human capital.’
And the report warns:
‘Developing and transition countries are at risk of being further marginalized in a
highly competitive world economy because their tertiary education systems are not
adequately prepared to capitalize on the creation and use of knowledge’ (p. xix).
27. Development Futures and the Promotion of
Public Knowledge Cultures
Two readings of the knowledge economy:
- first, as knowledge capitalism characterized by neoliberal
commercialization and privatization of ‘export education’ based
on brain drain, brain circulation and brain waste;
- second, as public knowledge cultures, which assumes continued
importance of states and governments in defining HE policy
(mixed pp system) and HE as a (global) public good.
Public knowledge cultures are based on the convergence of open
source, open access and free science movements and nonmarket
peer production models of academic exchange that hold that
‘information, knowledge, and culture are central to human
freedom and human development’ (Benkler, 2006).
• Various stakeholders including teacher unions, HEIs and student
groups (Nation Union of Students in Europe) support the notion
of education remaining a public good and responsibility, and
oppose any further liberalization of trade in education through
GATS and WTO (e.g., The Porto Alegre Charter).
28. The Cosmopolitical University
3. Political Futures
Internationalization as a strategy requires a theory of
internationalism which explicitly links HE and universities to
political development through the notion of cosmopolitanism
drawing on a theory of inter-institutionalism.
Cosmopolitanism differs from globalization
• by valuing, promoting and protecting cultural diversity (rather
than cultural uniformity through the market);
• By recognizing indigenous peoples and their right to education;
• by protecting and enhancing education as a global public good.
29. Cosmopolitan Democracy
Cosmopolitanism differs from internationalism
• by questioning, transcending, and offering a critique of the
category of the nation-state (its naturalness and giveness) and
- theories of nationalism insofar as they lead to jingoism, ethnic
hatred, expansionism, militarism, or aggressive separatism;
- theories of modernization associated with the development of
• by transcending territoriality per se
• by encouraging a form of global citizenship based on ‘feeling at
home in the world’ and the concept of cosmopolitan democracy
inherent in Kant’s (1970) ‘Perpetual Peace’ that preserves a rights-
based approach to education.
On cosmopolitanism and the university see Derrida (1994, 2001) and
Beck, U. (2004) ‘Cosmopolitan Realism: On the distinction between cosmopolitanism in philosophy
and the social sciences’, Global Networks, 4 (2): 131-156.
Benkler, Y. (2006) The Wealth of Networks How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom, New
Haven and London, Yale University Press.
Derrida, J. (1994) ‘Of the Humanities and the Philosophical Discipline. The Right to Philosophy from
the Cosmopolitical Point of View (the Example of an International Institution)’ Surfaces, Vol IV,
Derrida, J. (2001) On Cosmopolitanism and Forgiveness, London, Routledge.
Johnes, G. (2004) ‘The global value of education and training exports to the UK economy,’ British
Kant, Emmanuel 1970 ‘Idea for a universal history with a cosmopolitan purpose’ and ‘Perpetual
peace: a philosophical sketch,’ in H. Reiss and H.B. Nisbet (eds.) Kant: Poliitcal Writings.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Middlehurst, R. & Woodfield, S. (2004) The Role of Transnational, Private, and For-Profit provision in
Meeting Global Demand for Tertiary Education: Mapping, Regulation and Impact, Commonwealth of
Learning & UNESCO, Center of Policy & Change in Tertiary Education, University of Surrey.
OECD (2004) Internationalization and Trade in Higher Education: Opportunities and Challenges. Paris: The
Peters, M. (2006) ‘The Rise of Global Science and the Emerging Political Economy of International
Research Collaborations,’ European Journal of Education, (forthcoming)
UNESCO (2004) ‘Higher Education in a Globalized Society’ A NESCO Education Position Paper,
The World Bank (2002) Constructing Knowledge Societies: New Challenges for Tertiary Education at