Perspectives on Internationalisation: Creating an international Masters of Design
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
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This paper demonstrates how two universities from opposite sides of the world have reached beyond traditional boundaries by collaborating in a jointly delivered Masters programme. It discusses the importance of internationalisation within the current economic educational context and explains how, in the case of this jointly delivered programme, internationalisation theory has driven programme practice. The challenges faced by the UK higher education sector serve as the socio-economic context for this paper. There is no doubt that there are dramatic changes ahead for many UK universities. Austerity cuts are already affecting many universities and questions are already being asked about the ability and will of home and European students to pay increased tuition fees. The temptation in the current economic climate might be for universities to develop international strategies aimed at increasing the numbers of full fee paying international students and to regard these students only as a source of additional income. This paper will suggest that this strategy is short-sighted and likely to encounter resistance from staff, students and other stakeholders who might have reason to perceive the strategy as another example of the increasing commercialisation of higher education. Moreover, this paper will argue that institutions will need to consider the changing nature of international education when developing their international strategies. Many UK universities have been welcoming large numbers of international students to their campuses. It is likely, however, that these numbers will begin to decline in the future, in part as a result of the increasing provision of quality courses elsewhere. This paper will suggest, then, that the most successful HE internationalisation strategies move beyond sole reliance on a traditional recruitment model, embracing the benefits of providing an internationalised curriculum and a truly internationalised educational experience, actively encouraging students (and staff) to participate in schemes such as exchanges and study abroad programmes. Key to such strategies is the commitment to encouraging a more fluid mobility of students between institutions and countries. It is within this context that cooperation developed between UWIC and the Samsung Art & Design Institute (SADI) in Seoul, South Korea. Together the two institutions have developed a unique Masters of Design programme partly delivered in Cardiff and partly in Seoul. The principles and practices of an internationalised curriculum and student mobility are fundamental to the success of the programme and the programme responds to the needs of the global design employment market, preparing students to operate professionally and confidently in the international design arena by developing their international perspectives and capabilities. The paper concludes by reflecting on the programme and the staff and student experience and demonstrates how the application of ethical internationalisation theory has influenced programme delivery practice and how programme practice is now informing internationalisation policies more widely within both institutions.
Barham, G. (2013) 'Perspectives on Internationalism: Creating an international Masters of Design', In: Stiasny, M. & Gore, T. (eds.) Going Global: Identifying Trends and Drivers of International Education. Bingley: Emerald
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