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Durham University

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Publication details

Castro, Paloma, Woodin, Jane, Lundgren, Ulla & Byram, Michael (2016). Student mobility and internationalisation in higher education: perspectives from practitioners. Language and Intercultural Communication 16(3): 418-436.

Author(s) from Durham


Internationalisation is high on the agenda of higher education institutions across the world. Previous research on national and local policies surrounding this phenomenon has identified different discourses of internationalisation which may have an effect on practices such as student mobility. In order to understand better the role of student mobility in practice, the article analyses responses to an inquiry about internationalisation to a group of academic staff involved in intercultural education from universities around the world. Informants, all members of the research network Cultnet, working at 28 different universities in 15 countries, describe internationalisation within their practice, and their understanding of the role which student mobility plays in relation to this. Data were collected through questionnaires and interviews over a period of six months. The findings locate student mobility within discourses of internationalisation. They also raise questions in relation to the need for an intercultural dialogue approach in internationalisation. We argue that institutions and their staff should be aware of the discursive field of internationalisation in Higher Education, take a critical stance and analyse their own role in student mobility. How mobility fits within the field of intercultural education for incoming, outgoing and ‘home’ students should be highlighted and clarified in internationalisation agendas.