Students, Staff and Academic Mobility in Higher Education
Academic mobility in higher education is an old phenomenon, but it has become a high profile issue as the numbers of students and staff engaged, and the number of countries involved, has increased hugely in the last few decades. For this reason and many others – political, cultural and educational – this book reports research on the many facets of the experience and people involved, both now and in the past. The emphasis in research has so far tended to focus on contemporary student mobility but this collection deliberately includes articles on mobile staff, because the question of mobility is a matter for universities and higher education in its entirety and not just a matter of bringing new students into existing and unchanging lectures, laboratories and seminars.
Despite the fact that universities are and have been international institutions in their composition from the beginning, universities became in the 19th and 20th century de facto national institutions. This has changed and continues to change in the 21st century, for many reasons, but often financial, as universities seek to enhance their budgets in a globalised economy, and students seek to enhance their employment chances by acquiring qualifications with a difference. However, even if the starting point is financial, nonetheless the chapters in this book demonstrate that the effects of mobility are much more far-reaching.
The effects are on host universities, on the university community of staff and students, on the ways in which staff and students understand the nature of university study, on the ways students may or may not integrate with a local community. By experiencing something different—for institutions, an influx of students with different ideas about academic study, for students an interaction with ‘locals’ and with other ‘internationals’, for staff a challenge to their assumptions about teaching and learning—all see themselves in a new light and are often forced to change. This book charts the changes which are happening now and will undoubtedly continue for the foreseeable future. It therefore offers all involved a reflection on their own experience and practice and the means of improving them.
Mike Byram is Professor of Education at the University of Durham, England. He has researched education for minorities, the teaching of intercultural competence and the experience of residence abroad for language specialists.
Fred Dervin is Senior Lecturer in French studies at the University of Turku, Finland. He specialises in the use of discourse analysis in the exploration of identification in “new technologies of the self”, the use of lingua francas and student mobility.
'...valuable additions to the small but growing literature on international student migration.... makes its own distinctive contribution to describing and unpacking the international student experience.'
Russel King, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, University of Sussex, 2010
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