The Critical Study on the Internationalization of Higher Education in Taiwan: The Grounded Views

Li-chuan CHIANG
National University of Tainan, Taiwan
lcchiang@mail.nutn.edu.tw

Abstract

Internationalization has changed from experiencing the growth of outward mobility in the 1980's and 1990's to one that begins to implement certain practices on campus. , Taiwan has become an interesting case study for critically addressing the unintended consequences and key questions about whose interests are being served during the process of internationalization at the institutional level. This study aims to explore the grounded views about internationalization of higher education in Taiwan and to subsequently fill in the gap between policy rhetoric and realties. Providing empirical evidence to identify the perceptual gap between what is being said and what is actually happening is a promising step for stakeholders of higher education to think over what internationalization is for and who it is for. Interviews with 52 academics from various disciplines and 14 focus groups with 122 students were adopted as the method of data collection. The results revealed that faculty members questioned what internationalization is for and for who, and moreover, students' feelings of disengagement about internationalization. The paper argues that the grounded views are challenging the take-for-granted assumptions that institutional practices of internationalization would benefit students' learning if the coordination and engagement between the institution, faculty, and student aspects are not strongly established. Based on the results of the study, conclusions and suggestions are proposed.

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