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Globalisation, Societies and Education Vol. 2, No.

1, March 2004

Taking a critical stance toward internationalization ideologies in higher education: idealism, instrumentalism and educationalism
Jonas Stier*
Vxj University, Sweden
jonas.stier@iped.v School J 1.Stier ation, 22 8March (print)/147 20 04 Special of 2004 14 76-7724EducationVxj GlobalisIssue 720420 001770 69 10 .1080/14767Societies UniversitySE CGSE20106. sgm & Edu cation Taylor & Francis Ltd 6-7732 (online) 351 95 Vx jSwed en

This article suggests that difficulties in the implementation of internationalization policies in higher education can be explained by the fact that universities are guided by divergent understandings of the term internationalization as well as by diverging or even contradictory ideologies. This text, therefore, critically singles out and investigates three internationalization ideologies, referred to as idealism, instrumentalism and educationalism with a special emphasis on their explicit as well as implicit visions, foci, goals and strategies.

Learning, too, and wonder, as a rule, are pleasant; for wonder implies the desire to learn, so that the wonderful is something desired, while learning implies a settlement into our normal state. (Aristotle)

At the dawn of the new millennium internationalization is a popular and frequently employed conceptin varying contexts and for diverse purposes. Yet it undoubtedly remains ambiguous and unclear (Knight, 1997; Stier 2001, 2002b, Yang, 2002). Policy-makers in Europe, North America and Australia encourage, or even require, universities to facilitate international co-operation. Educational fairs and conferences, with thousands of participants are arranged annually, ambitious inter-university agreements are signed, vast (albeit insufficient) financial resources are allocated, and students and teaching staff travel abroad by the thousands. And even if some people do not wish for personal involvement, the majority, nonetheless, seem to be at ease with the academic parlance of our timesthe need for internationalizing higher education.
* School of Education, Vxj University, SE 351 95 Vxj, Sweden. Email:

ISSN 14767724 (print)/ISSN 14767732 (online)/04/01008315 2004 Taylor & Francis Ltd DOI: 10.1080/1476772042000177069

84 J. Stier By the same token, for many academics internationalization has, more or less, taken the shape of a commitment, or a vocation and become an integral part of their professional deed. Personally I have invested more than a decade in these matters, and yet it was not until recently I more thoroughly started reflecting over commonly held conceptions and ideological underpinnings of internationalization in higher education. Particularly significant was the following event (cited from Stier, 2002b). I was on my way home from a trip as an international educator. On the aeroplane I sat next to a man in his 60s. As boredom struck us we became involved in a conversation. Taking turns, we told each other about ourselves. For 35 years my new friend has been working as a technician with the whole world as his professional turf. With a big portion of enthusiasm he told me many interesting anecdotes. When I told him that I worked with internationalization issues he rightly asked for an explanation. At length I explained what I meant by internationalization. Afterwards he said: but, isnt my job an example of internationalization? I agreed. He thought for a while and then said: Strange. I never thought of it as internationalization. I just saw it as a job. This mans reaction made me think of the vagueness or even contradictory usage of the term internationalization and how we, in higher education, advertise it as an invention of late modern society. At the same time I came to realize how seldom we critically scrutinize the ideological underpinnings of internationalization policies. Instead discussions tend to be fairly idealistic and founded in taken-for-granted assumptions, rarely questioned or investigated more closely. Finally, and perhaps most important of all, our conversation evoked curiosity in me to seek explanations as to why the spirit of internationalization does not let itself easily be transformed into educational practice. Aim, foci and limitations Against this background, in the following it is assumed that explanations of the ambiguity and difficulties of implementing internationalization policies can be sought in two interconnected problem-complexes. The first problem-complex pertains to divergent conceptualizations of internationalization within the existing discourse. More specifically, there are different understandings of the term. Some people see internationalization as a state of things, others as a process and some see it as a doctrine. Discussions on internationalization also tend to circle around varying foci. For university administrators often form-issues are the centre of attention (e.g. the form of agreements, structure of student exchanges etc), whereas content-issues (e.g. underlying ideas of curricula, perspectives, biases, pedagogic considerations etc.) largely are left aside (Stier, 2002b, 2003). In addition to this, educational actors adhere to divergent motives in their ambition to internationalize. The other problem-complex pertains to the fact that diverging or contradictory ideologies appear to guide internationalization in higher education. This presumably has repercussions for the strategies universities choose to adopt. It is this latter source of explanation that it the primary focus of this presentation.

Idealism, instrumentalism and educationalism 85 Hence, by drawing upon personal experiences as an international educator and on examples from the theoretical discourse on globalization, intercultural training and internationalization, the focus of this paper is, therefore, to critically investigate the ideologies on internationalization in higher educationfocusing on their explicit as well as implicit visions, foci, goals and strategies. Attention will also be drawn to the consequences for higher education of these ideologies. For the purpose of this text a generic conception of ideology will suffice. Consequently, ideology will refer to a set of principles, underpinnings, desired goals and strategies that structure actions and beliefs of international educatorsadministrative and teaching staff alikegroups, organizations or societies. Ideologies may be, partly or completely, conscious (e.g. as manifested in educational doctrines) or make up a set of taken-for granted assumptions about internationalization, manifested as an unconscious frame of reference for the individual. Purposively the discussion will not thoroughly address the relationship between internationalization ideologies and other political ideologies (e.g. socialism, conservatism, liberalism, etc.). It seems unavoidable that discussions on internationalization take on an ideological or a normative character. This text is no exception. More specifically, it addresses normativity at three different levels. At the first level, the discussion takes off from a conviction of the unquestionable value of internationalization (as it is understood below) for higher education. At the second level, it attempts to deconstruct this conviction by identifying three different normative views in the discourse on internationalization. These views will be referred to as three ideologies of internationalization. At the third level, the presentation is concluded with some personal suggestions as to how internationalization can be approached in higher education. Internationalization then and now Internationalization is habitually seen as something unique for the last two centuries. But ever since time immemorial, people have interacted with other cultures, out of curiosity, necessity or by sheer coincidence. Explorers such as James Cook, Vasco da Gama and Christopher Columbus travelled the world in their thirst for knowledge, impulses or material gratification. Famous Swedish scientists Carl von Linn and Emanuel Swedenborg worked in different parts of the world. Academics and students travelled abroad to the universities in Bologna, Gttingen, Paris, Greifsvald and Oxford, to mention just a few, to take advantage of the intellectual elite of those days (Sjstrand, 1970; Egidius, 2001). Thus, an interest in the world, other people, cultures, languages and ideas or simply the quest for knowledge and competence are ancient motives for academic training abroad. A significant difference nowadays is, however, that late modernity is distinct from any previous erawith regard to the pace and extent of societal change (Giddens, 1996, pp. 1617). We also live in a globalized world (Giddens, 1996; Beck, 1998; Bauman, 2000). People, capital, ideologies, media images and cultural impulses travel around the world more rapidly and efficiently than ever before. Appudurai (1996, p. 33) refers to such movements as global cultural flows or scapes. By utilizing

86 J. Stier the term scapes he stresses the fluidity and irregularity of global flows and that any given flow can be understood in the light of the viewers perspective and ideological background. The internationalization of higher education is intertwined with these scapes in at least two ways. First, it enables or even initiates the transference of ethno-, media-, techno-, finance and ideoscapes (Appudurai, 1996, p. 33). For example, collaborative international research or international students by the thousands constitute significant actors in transferring capital (e.g. through study fees and by contributing the local and national economies), life styles, know-how, ideas etc. Second, the internationalization of higher education is influenced by such scapes. As we will see, internationalization, among other things, is entangled with commercial, pragmatic and ideological motives of educational actors. International experiences are constantly available for us in the work place, on campus, in our own neighbourhoods or on-line. The internet connects people with different backgrounds across large distances, enabling domestic students to more easily engage in intercultural interaction as part of their learning. It is even fair to say that the internet is totally indifferent to international boundaries (Graham, 1999, p. 86). It links together people who otherwise would be strangers to one another by common interests that have little to do with nationality (Graham, 1999). Virtual reality has become a significant factor, not merely in their learning, but in many peoples identity construction. Against this background, territorial, local or national identities have supposedly been substituted for mobile and cosmopolitan identities. Being on the go, in constant movementphysically or virtuallychanging and searching for new impulses has become a life-style for some people (Bauman, 2000). In constructing such identities internationalization plays a vital role, in facilitating mobility within higher education as well as promoting certain supranational identities (e.g. a common EU-identity). In addition to this, late modern society is a consumer society to an extent never seen before (Bauman, 2000, p. 77). In this context higher education is a double-edge sword. On the one hand, by imposing a consumer ideology (e.g. to view students as customers purchasing a commodity) it may (purposively?) reproduce existing structures. On the other hand, through critical scrutiny and emancipatory measures higher education has a potential to affect the course of society. This has led people to frantically seek new modes of social, cultural and existential anchorage (Giddens, 1991). They struggle to attach themselves to the fluid, global and late modern worldand it seems that many feel frustrated, confused, disoriented or lost. By the same token, peoples identities appear to be more fragile, dispersed or dislocated than ever before, which have urged the construction of new identities (Friedman, 1994; Castells, 1997). As a consequence, self-help books and therapy (or university courses) are seen as paths to self-actualization and wellness (Giddens, 1991, p. 198). Solutions are commonly presented as being simpletypically reflecting a cause-effect relationship between the origins of the problem and the possible solution. Such a simplified view may be counterproductive to some ideologies of internationalization in higher education. For instance, intercultural competence is

Idealism, instrumentalism and educationalism 87 not something that is easily accessible of achievable by using a manual or conduct, but requires that hand of time and a vast personal investment. Finally, Ziehe (1993, p. 36) argues that another overall characteristic of late modern society is the principle of achievement. Success, development, or results of higher education are objects of registration, measurements, evaluations and comparisons. A person is defined by his or her accomplishments, more than before (this is not, however, to suggest that sex, social class, race, ethnicity etc. are unimportant). By the same token, universities are objects of constant critical scrutiny. In Sweden, for example, there is a trend to continuously assess results and levels of competitiveness of education and research, and hence to compare institutional achievementquantitatively and qualitativelywith peer institutions around the world. Against this background, the significant role of higher education in late modernity seems unquestionable. Internationalized higher education in a globalized world Responding to the needs of global man, higher education policies have become increasingly internationalized (Klvemark et al., 1999). Within the European Union the need for mutual exchange of know how, a strategic utilization of competencies and resources, and a constant quality-enhancement of higher education is emphasized. Internationalization is seen as one valuable path to achieve these goals. The European Commission (2003, p. 2) argues that:
The knowledge society depends for its growth on the production of new knowledge, its transmission through education and training, its dissemination through information and communication technologies, and on its use through new industrial processes or services. Universities are unique, in that they take part in all these processes, at their core, due to the key role they play in the three fields of research and exploitation of its results, thanks to industrial cooperation and spin-off; education and training, in particular training of researchers; and regional and local development, to which they can contribute significantly. The European Union therefore needs a healthy and flourishing university world. Europe needs excellence in its universities, to optimize the processes which underpin the knowledge society and meet the target, set out by the European Council in Lisbon, of becoming the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world, capable of sustainable economic growth with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion.

As the example indicates, pragmatic, economistic goals of higher education are emphasized. But in conjunction with such goals, it is often assumed that education may be enriching for individuals and a mode for enhanced learning, self-actualization, personal growth as well as national cultures in general:
The transnational mobility of people contributes to enriching different national cultures and enables those concerned to enhance their own cultural and professional knowledge and European society as a whole to benefit from those effects. Such experience is proving to be increasingly necessary given the current limited employment prospects and an employment market which requires more flexibility and a greater ability to adapt to change. (Official Journal of the European Communities, 9.8.2001).

88 J. Stier It is assumed that higher education may function, in a highly complex fashion, as a catalyst in initiating social change, stimulating economic growth and increasing peoples overall sense of life-quality. Beck (1998, p. 178) argues that enlarging the educational sector is one of the most crucial responses to the global world and may encompass prolonging educational programmes, emphasizing the acquisition of broad competencies (e.g. social and intercultural competencies, conflict management), rather than competencies narrowly defined a profession-specific needs and requirements. Internationalizing the curriculum may be one strategy to enable students to obtain such skills. Reversibly, exclusion from or limited access to higher education potently sustains social inequality in the world, both within countries and between countries. The bulk of know how and necessary resources for scientific innovations are still located to a limited number of the worlds countries. Due to their access to capital, political influence and human resources for research, transnational corporations are powerful actors in political decision-makingincluding policies of higher education and research (Beck, 1998). From these assumptions, and illustrated by the two quotes, in the discourse three divergent ideologies on internationalization crystallize. Analytically, these are idealtype constructsi.e. they are to be viewed as means of discussion on internationalization rather than mutually exclusive categories. Also, universities and educational policy-makers do not adhere to merely to one of these ideologies, but often vacillate between them. Nor do educators within a given institution necessarily share the same interest or ideological view of internationalization. I have chosen to refer to these ideologies as idealism, instrumentalism and educationalism. Typically, they are not visible to us, but taken-for-granted conceptions influencing our actions and decisions. Idealism The idealist rationale of international academic cooperation stems from the normative assumption that internationalization is good per se. It is believed that through international cooperation, higher education can contribute to the creation of a more democratic, fair and equal world. Hence, the task of universities is, among other things, to foster citizens that adhere to an emanicipatory outlook on the world. This rationale presumably has roots in pre-global times. Bauman (2000, p. 58) argues that globalization replaced the old idea of universalism. He considers universalism as central to the modern discourse on international issues. Just like concepts such as civilization, convergence and evolution, universalism embodied a belief, intention or ambition to establish a sense of world order, i.e. to create such an order at a global scale. Mans intellectual capacity was considered a means for societal progress and improvementthe old was obsolete and should be replaced by a new and better world. In this endeavour internationalization plays a significant role. Internationalized curricula supposedly increase the awareness of global life-conditions and social

Idealism, instrumentalism and educationalism 89 injusticesboth for students and staff. In turn, as aware and knowledgeable citizens they may eventually demand a redistribution of resources and welfare as well as enable people to establish a satisfactory level of life-quality. The UNESCOconference stresses the important role of higher education to accomplish this:
Without adequate higher education and research institutions providing a critical mass of skilled and educated people, no country can ensure genuine endogenous and sustainable development and, in particular, developing countries and least developed countries cannot reduce the gap separating them from the industrially developed ones. Sharing knowledge, international co-operation and new technologies can offer new opportunities to reduce this gap. (UNESCO, World Declaration on Higher Education)

Among other things, international co-operation is to grant students and staff from the poor world access to essential knowledge and competence (a Swedish example is the Linnaeus-Palme programme). It should also, to domestic students, communicate an understanding for the relativity of cultural beliefs, values, living patterns and ideas. Among them, it should, induce tolerance, respect, democratic values, and induce a personal commitment to helping less fortunate peoplei.e. making them willing to make a difference. Ideally this should eventually enable a sense of global community and solidarity and prevent ethnocentrism, racism and self-righteousness. With the risk of generalizing, my experience is that expressing and promoting such view points is more widespread among university teachers than administrators, and more common among teachers within the social sciences and the humanities than among their colleagues in the technical and natural sciences. The idealistic standpoint can be criticized insofar that internationalizationand the creation of a better worldis approached within the realms of the rich worlds value systems and ethnocentrism. In the discourse on internationalization residual idea of universalism are clearly visible. Internationalization is predominantly conceived of as a one-way flowthey can learn from us, i.e. we have little to learn from them (Stier, 2003). Accordingly, their competencies are devaluedmany times even without being given proper attention. In its most extreme, arrogant guise large portions of the world are collectively victimized and the wonder cure is spelled internationalization. It is the instrument to educate uncivilized people. This attitude has (rightfully!) lead to accusations of Western cultural imperialism and of claims of global hegemony. Finally, it seems paradoxical that much of the measures implemented to promote and facilitate internationalization aim at an increased level of international or global convergenceof ideas, educational systems and ideologiesat the same time as things such the respect and value of pluralism are stressed. Instrumentalism Policy-makers want to increase the level of transparency and transference between national educational systems, to facilitate and simplify the labour forces mobility of people and homogenizing university degrees, grading systems etc. To the instrumentalist viewpoint this is consistent with its inherent pragmatic and economistic goals.

90 J. Stier Instrumentalists consider higher education to be one means to maximize profit, ensure economic growth and sustainable development, or to transmit desirable ideologies of governments, transnational corporations, interest groups or supranational regimes. For instance, the EU:s rationale for providing life-long learning, e-learning, international study programmes etc, is to have a more flexible labour force as well as to enhance its competencies and, in turn, to increase the Unions competitiveness on the global market. At a national level, higher education may serve as a buffer to regulate unemployment rates. During recessions or depressions more resources may be allocated to higher education. For decades this has been a strategy of Swedish governments. The rationale is that it is more cost-efficient to educate people than having them on the public payroll, doing nothing. To attain the goals above, university administrators play a key role, since they constitute the organizations executive force. Hardly surprising it is not uncommon that teachers and researchers are more reluctant or even oppose such a rationale for internationalizing higher education. Nonetheless, in Western Europe, study-programmes with broad foci have been prioritized. Real, de facto competencies and qualifications with a wide range of application are emphasized (Beck, 1998, p. 178). The value of a given competence is characteristically decided how easily and fast it may be enacted in a professional, money-generating context. For the same pragmatic reasons policy-makers stress the value of life-long learning, inclusive education, social competencies, critical thinking, and, last, but not least, intercultural understanding. The primary objective is to ensure a sufficiently large labour force, with adequate skills for competence-demanding jobs, in an increasingly more complex global and multicultural world. Accordingly the Swedish National Agency for Higher Education writes in a report (1998, p. 25):
an increasing number of Swedish enterprises will be active in arenas outside the EU and the export industry will face great and new challenges in foreign markets. To be prepared for the 21st century, the private sector will need skilled and well-educated labour. [My translation]

Thus, internationalizing higher education is assumed to meet the demands of the capitalist, global and multicultural world. Today an increasing number of employers seek multilingual professionals with knowledge of diverse cultural codes (Beck, 1998, p. 178). The importance of intercultural training for university staff and other educators is also a primary area of concern for the EU:
Mobility fosters the discovery of new cultural and social environments. There is therefore a need to facilitate the cultural preparation and initiation of the persons concerned into living, learning and working practices in different European countries, as well as their return under appropriate conditions, namely by training relevant contact persons of the target groups (university teachers and administrators, vocational teachers and trainers, teachers and head teachers, staff of sending and hosting organizations) interculturally, and to encourage educational and training establishments to appoint staff to coordinate and facilitate their intercultural training. (Official Journal of the European Communities, 9.8.2001, p. 32).

Idealism, instrumentalism and educationalism 91 For these reasons, it seems fair to suggest that university education has become a global commodity (Beck, 1998; Stier, 2003). Countries market themselves as research and education nations. Accordingly, universities want to strengthen their and their countrys competitiveness at the global academic arena. Griffith University, Australia formulates this as:
[The goal is] that the University through its scholarship contribute to Australias competitiveness as a nation in the global market place. ( Policy_Statement_on_internat.html)

In this respect, academia is no different than other markets. For educational traders having access to new, unexploited markets is essential. American and Australian universities make big efforts to attract fee-paying students from India, China, South Korea and Taiwan, since they bring money into the system. Traditionally, this view on education has not been widespread among Swedish universities, because the majority of them are publicly funded and by law prohibited to charge individual students study fees. Yet recently an ideological shift is visible, where universities seem more prone to commercialize their education. The instrumentalist viewpoint can also be criticized. Wealthy nations attempt to attract academic staff and fee-paying students from the poor world, not only for short-term financial gains, but with an intent to keep their competence in the country, thus risking to brain drain their home countries. In addition to hidden economic incentives, there are concealed ideocultural goals. Subtly and deceptively internationalization policies may be tools to impose a way of life on others. Or as in the case with the European Union, internationalization policies may be part of a large-scale identity-project, intended to replace local, regional or national identities with supranational identities (Stier, 1998). In line with this and other objectives of the Union, internationalizing higher education in the member states may serve as an instrument in establishing ideological convergence and facilitate a European sense of community and cultural conformity. Against this background, it becomes understandable why the Union allocates vast resources for internationalization and undertake measures (e.g. simplifying transparency and grade and degree equivalencies) to simplify student mobility (Klvemark et al., 1999). But the eagerness of administrators and policy-makers to remove international obstacles may be perceived as an oppressive standardization of higher education and homogenization of cultures by teaching staff. This seems contrary to an idealistic ambition to preserving and promoting cultural pluralism, where cultures and nations are valued equally and appreciated for their peculiarities. Educationalism The ideology of educationalism implies a wider and deeper view on education vividly expressed in the German distinction between Ausbildung and Bildung. In short, Ausbildung is typically what most of us presumably think of when we hear the expression higher education. It is organized, limited in time, and its purpose may be

92 J. Stier professional or academictypically with the intent of obtaining a given set of skills. By contrast, Bildung refers to life-long learning, beyond organized education, with a strong emphasis on the value of learning itself. What this means it that although internationalization may be a response to the labour markets competence demands, for educationalists its purposes extend beyond mere idealistic and professional aspirations of policy-makers. Educationalists argue that being exposed to and having to adapt to an unfamiliar academic setting (with its unique culture, teaching style, norms and grading system) enriches the overall academic experiences of students and teaching staff alike (Stier, 2002a). At the same time by being abroad the features and oddities of the home institution become obvious. By comparing home to away advantages and disadvantages of both can be seen. As an exercise syllabi and contents of lectures and literature may scrutinize to detect cultural biases or embedded ideologies. As an example we can ask ourselves the question: to what extent do readers in global studies reflect other perspectives than Western? What does a global perspective imply? Exposure to a new, perhaps unknown, national culturewith its unique features, social expectations and languageis a learning experience per se where cultural competence is acquired and respect for the equality and value of cultural differences and similarities is developed. For some individuals this may trigger feelings of uncertainty, uneasiness, frustration, anxiety or chauvinism (Stier, 2002a). Acquainting oneself with such feelings may, however, enhance his or her self-knowledge and, in turn, facilitate the development of fruitful coping-strategies. In such situations the individuals beliefs, attitudes, prejudices and stereotypes are challenged. The role of education is to assist him or her, not merely in detecting cultural differences and similarities, but in understanding, scrutinizing and respecting them. Furthermore, education in the Bildung-sense facilitates a unique and enriching learning process. Unlike one-dimensional instrumental learning, it is a multilevel learning process, which stimulates meta-reflection and the adoption of an outsiders perspective. Students should therefore not only understand that there are numerous perspectives and interpretations of most things. Rather, they should also grasp the anatomy of a perspective and how it distorts our conception of reality. Parenthetically it can be said that here e-learning has an important role to play. It may facilitate or intensify intercultural interaction between students in different parts of the world. It also enables students who, for whatever reasons, are unable to study abroad to obtain an international experience. Whether it will facilitate mutual respect, tolerance and understanding between people around the world or not, only future can tell. So all in all, from an educationalist standpoint internationalization may contribute to personal growth and self-actualization. This is supported by a report from the Swedish National Agency for Higher Education. It indicates that studies abroad give students a sense of greater independence, self-esteem and evoked an interest in other cultures (1999, p. 28). What the long-term and in-depth effects studying abroad had on them is a matter of further research.

Idealism, instrumentalism and educationalism 93 The educationalist standpoint has its flaws. For instance, time spent on education as it is outlined above will draw time from other subjects. The standpoint is also more congruent with some academic disciplines than others. For example, students and teaching staff in sociology or anthropology presumably see more direct relevance to their respective field, than colleagues in engineering or computer science may do. On the other hand, albeit internationalization per se has been much of a concern, for natural and technical sciences international cooperation and exchange ideas has been an actual and natural part of their work. To put it differently, rather than talking about it, they simply do it. Moreover, in an eagerness to learn about the world we are often unaware of our own ethnocentrism and ignorance. Likewise, higher education has its own version of ethnocentrismacademicentrism. Among teaching staff and researchers academicentrism is for example manifested in a conviction that our methods of teaching, research and degrees are better than those of other countries. Among administrators it may be expressed as a lack of understanding or rejection of the rules, routines or grading principles of foreign systems. Finally, educationalists can be accused of, albeit not necessarily intentionally, individualizing solutions of structural and global problems, i.e. educated and enlightened people are considered the cure for poverty, inequality or exploitation. Nonetheless, transforming or reforming the global system requires measures at different levels and in multiple areas. And individual attitudes always make up a significant resource or obstacle in times of change. The three internationalization ideologies summarized It has been argued that there are different normative motives and ideologies embedded in the educational discourse on internationalization, and that these significantly influence policy-makers and educators in their understanding and approach to internationalization. At the first level of normativity there is a common denominator among these actors; internationalization is desirable, beneficial and crucial. It is at the second level of normativity that significant differences become visible, manifested as three distinct and yet overlapping ideologies, with their unique visions, foci, goals, strategies, and possible critiques. Table 1 summarizes these three ideologies, which once again are to be seen as idealtype constructs. They can be employed to describe the internationalization of higher education in general or with regard to specific institutions. It is obvious that these ideologies to some extent overlap and that taken separately each ideology does not account for the vast array of aspects that the concept of internationalization embodies. Educational actors are preoccupied with different aspects of internationalization. Generally speaking, politicians and policy-makers tend to focus on the objectives and overall course of higher education. Internationalization is seen in the light of political and economic ends. In contrast, university administrators concentrate on practicalities of international co-operation (e.g. student visas, health insurance, grading systems, course-equivalencies etc). Problem-solving and rapid, visible and measurable

94 J. Stier
Table 1. Ideology Vision Focus Goals Idealism Create a better world The moral world Mutual understanding, respect, tolerance among people Social change Redistribution of wealth Personal commitment Provide global knowledge Facilitate insights Stimulate empathy and compassion Instrumentalism Sustainable development The (global) market Economic growth, profit Competence availability Exchange of know how Cultural transmission Educationalism Education (in a broader sense) The individuals learning process Enrich learning New perspectives and knowledge Personal growth Commitment to learning Stimulate self-awareness and self-reflection Train intercultural competence


Attract international feepaying students Provide relevant professional training Conduct market-relevant research Brain drain Increased global disparity Exploitation Cultural imperialism


Arrogance Victimization Ethnocentrism

Acadamicentrism Chauvinism Individualizing Social and global problems

results are emphasized. Teaching staff is typically concerned with course contents and pedagogic issues. Results of internationalization are seen as long-term and of a more qualitative character. By understanding that even if policy-makers, administrators and teachers share a commitment to internationalization, they adhere to different ideologies and normative objectives as well as work under dissimilar organizational and monetary conditions. At universities around the world it is not uncommon that the organizational duality of administration and education constitutes an obstacle in the implementation of internationalization policies. Similarly, within universities there may be significant ideological variations between academic subjects, faculties, departments or individual teachers. In addition to this, there are numerous cultural differences that affect international cooperation. Just to mention one example, American, Canadian and Australian universities operate within a dual system of international student mobility. On the one hand, they want to attract as many fee-paying students as possible since these generate substantial annual revenue. On the other hand, American, Canadian and Australian universities participate in international student exchange schemes such as ISEP or sign bilateral agreements with other universities. Within such arrangements study-fees are typically waived between institutions, and students pay the home

Idealism, instrumentalism and educationalism 95 institution regular fees instead. Consequently, no extra income is produced for participating universities. This is sometimes overlooked by their Swedish counterparts to whom international students and exchange students is the same thing. Reversibly, non-Swedes may not grasp the Swedes unfamiliarity with and unwillingness to sell education. A final outlook Moving to the third level of normativity, as I see it, there are a number of issues that deserve attention for future discussions on internationalization. First, a closer cooperation between policy-makers, administrators, teachers and students is needed. Today there is a mutual lack of familiarity with the others expectations, obligations, ideologies and understanding of internationalization. Ideological goals need also to be addressed in the light of any given universitys administrative and organizational peculiarities, and educational policies and aspirations. Second, until now the discourse on internationalization has predominantly focussed on form-issues. Now it is time to emphasize content-issues. Ideological and cultural biases in the curricula, course literature, bedrock assumptions, perspectives and theories must be highlighted. The inherent learning potential and problems in international study groups must also be given more attention. Third, as international educators we must expose and reflect over of our own ideological motives. We must ask ourselves why we do what we do and what we want to achieve. Regardless of our personal motives, the realization that internationalization in itself is an ideological endeavour is essential. For these reasons, there is a need for scrutiny. Fourth, academia has traditionally claimed its relative independence from governments, despots, capitalist or the sacrality (although this is partly a figment of the brain). Yet it seems as if higher education today is more entangled with the ideologies and agenda-setters of society than ever before. It is imperative that academia does not allow others fully dictate its ideologies. This is not to suggest that utilitarian gains of education and research should be categorically rejected, but merely to ensure some degree of academic freedom. To put it differently, there is a need for mutinyfor emancipation. Fifth, by providing internationalized education of good quality, the long-term relevance and usefulness for all sectors of society, commercial or non-commercial, private or public, will eventually become evident to every one. Internationalizing higher education will have positive effects on future society. For instance, it may facilitate understanding and tolerance among people of the world and prevent arrogance, ethnocentrism and chauvinism. Here universities need to be self-critical and actively work against academicentrism and victimization of nations or cultures. Sixth, if internationalization is seen as a means to decrease global disparity, prevent exploitation, brain drain and cultural imperialism, and work to resolve social and global problems, economic incentives should not be allowed to exercise hegemonic influence on higher education, but other higher ends need to be allowed to co-exist

96 J. Stier and flourish. On the other hand, economic realities and the global world order cannot be overlooked. The task is, hence, to find an acceptable balance between an economistic and an idealistic outlook on education. Finally, in the era of globalization internationalization may serve as a powerful mode to re-establish a sense of identity, meaning, continuity and coherence for people. By being exposed to new impulses, ideas and adding new experiences to their personal repertoires, travellingphysically, intellectually or culturallycan fill the existential gap that late modern society has created. Eventually local communities may be replaced by international, ethnic identities may become increasingly meshed with global, national cultures may be transformedat least partlyinto more cosmopolitan. Over time cosmopolitan identities may become the late modern version of the old academic vagabond, though his turf no longer is local or regional, but global. Being part of this endeavour is a great challengeand as international educators our job extends far beyond education in a narrow senseit is a vocation and a path to development, for us, our students, and the world as a whole. It is up to us whether the internationalization of higher education merely becomes a consequence of globalization, or rather a powerful tool to grasp and debate its effectspositive and negative. Note on contributor Jonas Stier is Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the School of Education, Vxj University, Sweden. His areas of interest are intercultural interaction, interculturality, identity change and the internationalization of higher education. For several periods he has been a visiting faculty in Australia, Canada, UK and the USA. References
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