20 July 2022

Internationalisation - what focus for Australian universities?

I was delighted to present a lunchtime seminar today as part of the Melbourne Centre for the Study of Higher Education Issues and Ideas in Higher Education seminar series. 

Deliberately provocative, in line with the approach of this series, I drew from my PhD and experience as a scholar-practitioner to argue that Australian universities (and others in the English-speaking world) are only involved with internationalisation for financial gain.


While the international strategies of many Australian universities speak to global engagement and international collaboration, Australia’s approach to international education remains strongly competitive and commercially oriented. As such, Australia is frequently criticised for only being interested in the money.

Drawing on reflections of how international strategies are framed and what purpose they serve, this seminar will explore the differential roles of internal stakeholders in their implementation - leadership, international office and academic staff – as well as the inherent dilemmas of metrics and performance indicators. Are global rankings the only measure of success in international education? And does counting international students really tell us how internationalised a university is?