Constructing globalisation in international higher education

Year: 2003

Author: Dixon, Mary

Type of paper: Refereed paper

The discourse of internationalization is well established but it appears that globalisation has crept 'by stealth' (Currie, 1998) into our international programs resulting in an apparent domination by a neoliberal economic discourse. Clyne, Marginson and Woock (2001), drawing on research regarding globalisation and internationalization in Australian universities, suggest that this domination is so pervasive that the term is "irretrievably lost" to cultural usages of globalisation. This paper arises from a case study of the understandings of globalisation within an international higher education program. Understandings of globalisation were sought from both Australian and Thai policymakers and participants in an international higher education program. It is argued that domination by the neoliberal discourse is evident and predominant but that, in the use of metaphors of globalisation by these educators, a repositioned understanding from lived experience exists alongside the economically dominated experience of international higher education. It is here that divergent understandings of globalisation are constructed. These findings are of value to those involved in the internationalization of higher education.

Keywords: globalisation, international higher education, metaphors