Research: Internationalization Strategies in HE

The core research question we will be asking at the IES Bologna Research Centre: what are the internationalization strategies employed by higher education institutions in Canada, when faced with the burgeoning Europeanization of the global higher education sector?  These effects are felt differently across different political jurisdictions, yet whether inside or outside Europe, Europeanization implies some level of acceptance of rules or norms, and some degree of integration, harmonization or standardization. Canada offers an interesting case study for understanding these dynamics, because higher education policy in Canada is decentralized, and higher education governance is ‘de-concentrated’.  Regarding the former, HE policy-making responsibility is divided between the federal government (research funding, for example) and the provincial governments (distribution of funding for teaching, for example), with weak inter-governmental relations in this sector. Regarding the latter, universities are relatively autonomous in terms of academic programming, internal funding decisions, and internationalization strategies, a governance tradition amplified by federalism. Universities in Canada have often been ‘on their own’ when navigating the opportunities and pitfalls of internationalization, with the Bologna Process being no exception. Therefore, we propose to drill down to the institutional level, and examine how Canadian higher education institutions engage with internationalization.