Table of content
2. Internationalization and higher education institutions: The concepts
3. Historical development ofintemationalization ofhigher education and general internationalization strategies
4. Internationalization in Germany and the United States
4.1 Strategy of internationalization at Georg August University, Göttingen
4.2 Strategy of internationalization at New York University
4.3 Comparison of the similarities and differences of the two strategies
4.3.3 What differences of the two strategies can be incorporated into each other to improve the internationalization ofhigher education institutions?
Ever thought about a semester abroad? Which student has never been asked this question or never asked himself? In our increasingly globalized world, it has become a matter of course that even undergraduate education is often international in nature. Learning and improving another language, getting to know other cultures and versatile teaching styles but also challenging flexibility and adaptability to new environments are elementary parts of a stay abroad. Especially these points are interesting aspects on which international and globalized companies put a lot of emphasis when someone is applying for ajob. These versatile advantages for the students, research teachers and future employers are desired by the educational institution university from completely different aspects. This is because the internationalization rate of an educational institution is a very special measurement figure in the global comparison ofhigher education institutions.
The attractiveness factor of universities can be determined by a high ratio of international students. An increase in the quota results in a positive response from potential international students, as they explicitly look for an educational institution that meets their wishes for international exchange opportunities. This attraction factor, in turn, increases the internationalization rate, potentially leading students to choose the more internationalized higher education institution in the future. The partnership of universities is a very enriching factor for the exchange between lecturers as well as between students for the universities. The partnership of universities is a very enriching factor for the exchange between lecturers as well as between students for the universities. Once crossuniversity partnerships exist or have been established, it is straightforward for higher education institutions to create an attractive offer for international students.
In order to achieve these goals of universities to attract international students, various internationalization strategies exist worldwide. Although these cannot be captured in their completeness in students' individual decisions, they contribute strongly to the decision-making process.
2. Internationalization andhigher education institutions: The concepts
When talking about the internationalization of universities and higher education institutions in general, it is necessary to explain and define the terms at first.
The definition of internationalization of higher education institutions is often based on the internationalization of society and the five goals of internationalization defined by Brandenburg. These five goals are described as follows:
Goal 1: to enhance the quality of education
Goal 2: to enhance the quality of research
Goal 3: to prepare students effectively for life and work in an intercultural and globalizing world
Goal 4: to enhance the international reputation and visibility of the unit
Goal 5: to provide service to society and community social engagements (Brandenburg and Laeber, 2015)
Based on these five goals, Hans de Wit has drawn up a general definition for the internationalization ofhigher education institutions:
Internationalization as “the intentional process of integrating an international, intercultural or global dimension into the purpose, functions and delivery of postsecondary education, in order to enhance the quality of education and research for all students and staff, and to make a meaningful contribution to society.” (de Wit and Hunter, 2015)
There is not only one definition for internationalization of higher education. Due to the many influencing factors on internationalization, academia does not always agree and continues to develop the definition. Terms such as transnational education, borderless education, and cross-border education are also often used in reference to internationalization ofhigher education, but they represent only partial aspects of general higher education internationalization. (Knight, 2003).
In conclusion it can be said that internationalization of universities is shaped and defined by society on the one hand, but also by the goal of globalizing and advancing science on the other.
Furthermore, the term of higher education institutions must be defined. Depending on how the education system is designed, the definition ofhigher education institution also differs. For this scientific paper, the following will focus on the specific definition used by the U.S. and Germany.
In the United States the types of higher education institutions may be defined relative to institutional control, level of degree or function within a multicampus system for example community colleges, technical colleges, or a regional campus (Teixeira and Shin, 2020). Germany on the other hand defines their higher education institutions differently. Tertiary education institutions are divided into four types: universities, technical schools, colleges and universities of applied sciences
(Teixeira and Shin, 2020). Due to the different structures of the educational systems, the degree pursued or the institutional control does not have an influence on the definition of higher education institutions in Germany. In summary, it can be stated that the differences of the educational systems result in different definitions for the term “higher educational institutions” but for this scientific work, the differences of the definition are not relevant and therefore will not be explained further.
3. Historical development of internationalization of higher education and general internationalization strategies
The historical development of the internationalization ofhigher education is often traced back to the Middle Ages. Philip Altbach states that the universities have always been international institutions (Altbach, 1998). During this period, pilgrimages to other university cities, enabled the exchange of research and teaching. New knowledge was gained in the various fields of research and friendships were made between researchers. Hans de Wit disagrees with Philip Altbach’s statement, as according to his research it is clear that universities had clear national orientations and functions (Deardorff et al. 2012). Due to the later development of the nation-states, it was not yet possible in the Middle Age to act “internationally” as a higher education institution. Regarding to the Middle Ages it can be stated that three quarters of the students went to a higher education institution in their region and if some students studied internationally it was mostly in the European area because the other political entities did not yet exist (Deardorff et al. 2012). In the period of the 18th and 19th century, the internationalization ofhigher education institutions has progressed further. Before, higher education institutions developed naturally and through the influence of culture. Now, universities have been de- Europeanized by the emergence of nation-states and are primarily controlled by state policy (Deardorff et al. 2012). With the transition to small nation states, Latin was no longer considered a universal language, and higher education institutions adapted to professional needs and ideological demands (Deardorff et al. 2012).
Due to the expansion of the British Empire in the 19th century, English became the world language and the language used in science (Hasselbeck, 2018).
The spread of research fields, the individual mobility of students, and the export of higher education systems emerged as three aspects of the internationalization of higher education (Deardorff et al.2012).
The second World War was a historic event and has also had its influence on the internationalization of higher education. Before World War II began, various institutes such as the Institute of International Education in 1919, the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst in 1925 and the British Council in 1934 were founded to promote the internationalization of higher education institutions. The mobility towards the US has increased significantly and many private organizations and sponsors of study abroad programs have supported the students more and more (Deardorff et al. 2012).
After the second World War, internationalization was very much limited to the US. Europe had to recover from the severe consequences and could not advance in internationalization of the higher education. While the fronts between the countries have become more and more tense and the Cold War started, the internationalization of higher education has not evolved either (Deardorff et al. 2012). The collapse of communism, after the cold war, at the end of 1980 visibly changed the situation between the countries. The exchange between Europe and the US was visibly stimulated and especially the economic aspects were used to promote the internationalization of the universities (Deardorff et al.2012).
Since the beginning of the 21st century, the internationalization of higher education institutions has been driven even further by the increasing globalization and the will of the higher education institutions and economy to act more and more globally.
In addition to the historical development of internationalization of higher education institutions, it’s important to understand the related strategies used for the internationalization process. There is not a specific strategy which must be applied to internationalize higher education institutions. Many strategies are made up of different activities to integrate a global aspect into research, teaching, service functions, management policies and systems (Zolfaghari et al. 2009).
According to Knight the different activities to improve internationalization can be divided into two streams.