June 24


Student Engagement, Identity And Belonging


Time: 10:45 AM - 12:15 PM
: Laurie Rancourt
Room: 8-180

1) Student Engagement: Rethinking Chinese Student Experience In Canadian Graduate School - Meng Xiao
Room: 8-180

With the landscape of internationalization, the dominant approach to understand student engagement characterizes it as a way of engagement impacted by the neoliberal ideology and Western dominant colonizing culture norm. However, this Euro-centric perspective fails to recognize the broader social and cultural inclusivity and diversities of student engagement. Specifically, drawing on Chinese international graduate students in Canada, who are situated within the Chinese educational system and impacted by Chinese values and culture, have been stereotyped as less engaged in and out of classroom. Framing the engagement integration of Chinese international students into Canadian graduate programs, the challenges and needs faced by those students in Canada need to be examined. Now more than ever, the extent of student engagement within these Canadian institutions will affect more international graduates.

With the cross-cultural understanding of Chinese and Canadian education and values, my project aims to explore the factors that contribute to a new understanding of student engagement based on rethinking Chinese international student experiences in Canadian graduate schools by utilizing a reciprocal student engagement framework, deconstructing the neoliberal and colonial ways of understanding Chinese student engagement and reconstructing student engagement based on social justice values to empower international students around the globe.

Rethinking student engagement in and out of classroom is an effective way to explore what ‘international’ means in and out of the classroom, how can internationalization efforts contribute inclusivity of the notion of student engagement respectfully, and in what ways is student engagement based on internationalization playing out similarly and differently in different parts of the world. I choose roundtable to present my project because it can be an effective reciprocal learning process to support my project that targets to inclusivity and reciprocity.

2) International Student Perceptions On Support: Towards Sustainable Internationalization In Higher Education In Ontario - Phoebe Kang

This paper presentation session will provide an analysis of the perceptions of adult international students regarding support in post-secondary institutions in Ontario, Canada. The research focuses exclusively on international students' experience with support systems within universities in southern Ontario. Recent research regarding international student success suggest that university support is crucial for international students' success in both the host university and society; however, international students have much less educational, social, and cultural resources to draw from when compared to domestic students. The methodology for this research utilizes qualitative interviews with four adult international students, with a first language that is not English. They are currently enrolled in post-secondary institutions in Ontario and are at different stages of completion of their respective programs. The presenter will discuss and examine the student subjects’ awareness of the services, challenges, and successes with their respective support systems using the conceptual framework provided by Roberts and Dunworth (2012). The qualitative interview data was further analyzed using Pelletier’s (2003) seven International students’ needs 1. Practical needs 2. Emotional needs 3. Cultural and integrational needs 4. Language needs 5. Pedagogical needs 6. Needs relating to the curriculum and assessment 7. Needs associated with performance outcomes.

Opinions varied amongst the four participants about the types of support they needed. This suggests that a one-size fits all approach is insufficient. In keeping with Roberts and Dunworth (2012), international students’ impressions vary even when they receive the same consistent support. Individualized support is optimal for students’ needs, but presents fiscally and logistical challenges for the Ontario higher education institutions. This is especially true for institutions that are looking to international students’ tuition to generate revenues and mitigate their fiscal challenges. A thorough review of current universities’ policies and practices is needed to implement systemic support. International students bring many benefits to the campus, but the benefits cannot be truly embraced without adequate support. The discussion at the end of the session will include the conversations between researchers, policymakers and the practitioners of internationalization strategies in Ontario Higher Education sector.

3) International Mobility Of Albanian Students - Elona Xhaferri, Genc Alimehmeti

International student mobility, has a far reaching benefit at different levels (Souto-Otero et al. 2013): (i) for individual students, the experience benefits their personal development and labor market returns; (ii) higher education institutions which obtain a high level of mobility among students, gain more reputation and higher international ranking; and finally, (iii) at the country level, mobility is described as a factor in enhancing international competitiveness, stimulate effective labor markets, and support the interaction between citizens of different countries. These benefits are very important especially for Albania, as an ex-communist country with a tortuous transition to democracy and open economy. This past has left its mark in the education system of Albania which has inherited a centralized education system characterized by a high level of institutional rigidity. While Albania is part of different mobilities programs (such as Erasmus Plus), still a very low number of students benefit from the opportunities. This raises questions regarding the barriers that Albanian students face in relation to studying abroad. Some of the barriers referred in the literature are related to the credit transfers, and to other factors such as insufficient knowledge of academic prerequisites and qualifications of various countries, differences in the structure of the academic year, disparities in the times at which examinations are taken, lack of foreign language skills, lack of information on the host country living conditions, culture and administrative requirements, lack of suitable accommodation for the study-abroad period, and additional costs to students, such as additional insurance coverage and bank and currency-exchange charges. We use the narratives of over 50 students which have experienced international mobility over the last 2 years and returned to their home universities. We investigate the importance of social and personal considerations that relate to balancing the risks (credit recognition, costs and benefits) and to managing personal anxieties (social factors) in making the decision for pursuing an international experience.

"Successful" Internationalization Of Higher Education: Aspirations Versus Lived Experiences


Time: 13:30 PM - 15:00 PM
Facilitators: Michael O'Sullivan, Rahul Kumar, Clinton Kewley, Cecilia García Vega, Amira El-Masri
Room: 8-180

Internationalization of higher education is being adopted increasingly by postsecondary education institutions (PSEIs) in Canada and around the world. Scholars reported different rationales for PSEIs efforts to internationalize their institutions such as economic, political, academic and sociocultural (de Wit, 2002; Knight, 2004).

Whereas Knight (2004) argues that the real processes of internationalization takes place at the institutional level, many scholars draw attention to the influence of global, national and local contexts on institutional internationalization rationales and approaches (Cerna, 2014; Marginson & Sawir, 2005; Stensaker et al., 2008). Seeber, Cattaneo, Huisman and Paleari (2016) propose a conceptual framework on factors that predict PSE institutional rationales for engagement in internationalization by integrating factors at multiple levels: competitive and institutional forces (nationally and globally), organizational goals and the influence of internal actors. Engaging with this conceptual framework, this panel presents Brock University Faculty of Education’s (FOE) internationalization rationales and approaches and outlines the enabling and hindering factors in the development and enactment of its internationalization plan focusing on inbound mobility.

The panel meets the Conference’s themes particularly quality and sustainability of internationalization of higher education programs. In particular, this presentation (which includes a former international student at Brock, an international program instructor, an international program administrator, an expert policy analyst, and a policy maker (associate dean) will address one of the conference’s questions on the drivers behind internationalization and how they shape actions by policy actors. This presentation will provide a glimpse of the institutional struggle to balance different, sometimes competing, rationales towards internationalization.

The panel represents some competing and some complementary voices and will use its time so as to include a significant opportunity for dialogue with those who attend our session.

Internationalization and Research


Time: 15:30 PM - 17:00 PM
Chika Sehoole
Room: 8-180

1) Sino-EU Cooperation In The Field Of Research And Innovation - Ying Li

This paper shares the study on Sino-EU cooperation in the field of Research and Innovation (R&I). After 1998, the first framework agreement between China and the EU at the official level, with the joint efforts of sides, Sino-EU R&I cooperation is improved and enriched, and achieved remarkable results. It is closely connected to the conference theme ‘reciprocity’.

This paper first analyzes the promoting and restrictive factors of EU-China R&I cooperation. Then it comes to the comparison between the EU R&I Policy and China’s Innovation Policy. Finally, through the typical case study “Dragon program”, this paper attempts to find out the problems in the R&I cooperation between the two sides and give some possible advice.

2) Making The Most Of International Mobility Of Faculty: Exploring The Moderating Effects Of Readjustment On Research Capacity Outcomes Of Faculty Mobility Programs In Kazakhstan - Aliya Kuzhabekova

In our presentation we will share preliminary results of a qualitative study we are currently conducting in Kazakhstan. We are in the process of interviewing 30 Kazakhstani faculty, who participated in various international mobility programs, which have the goal of improving research capacity of the faculty. The main purpose of the study is to explore how the faculty re-adjust to Kazakhstani research environment, how their ability to engage in productive and high quality research changes as a result of participation in an international mobility program, how the re-adjustment experiences affect the ability of the faculty to gain benefits from the capacity, which was developed as a result of international mobility, and which international mobility program-related, institutional, and disciplinary factors affect the ability of the faculty to benefit from the international visit.

Our study will enhance existing knowledge in the field of international higher education and research on the development of faculty research capacity in transitional contexts. Within research on internationalization, most attention is given to the analysis of the transition experiences of students, mostly undergraduates, who studied abroad (Szkudlarek, 2009). To a lesser extent the literature is concerned with the experiences of faculty (Szkudlarek, 2009). Studies of both types of population tend to be restricted to the Western context (Szkudlarek, 2009), where they represent the field of research on the short-term and long-term impact of study abroad. Much less attention is paid to the transition of students and faculty returning to home countries in the non-Western settings, post-Soviet settings in particular. Furthermore, little is known in the global inquiry about how the process of adaptation of returning scholars is related to research capacity.

3) How Are Transnational Research Collaborations In African Universities Constructed, Governed, And Integrated Into National Innovation Systems? - Jackline Nyerere

This paper presents findings of a study that was designed to critically examine and evaluate  the organisation, policy frameworks, and governance structures associated with diverse forms of transnational research partnerships and networks in selected research organisations in Africa; including how existing research networks interface with national innovation systems and institutional priorities. Higher education organisations can play a critical role in promoting economic competitiveness and sustainable growth through innovative transnational research and development initiatives. Further, the significance of cross-border partnerships in strengthening institutional capacities is not in dispute. The problem however is that most higher education institutions in Africa tend to be characterised by relatively weak and unstable governance structures and capacities. This has been blamed partly on chronic under-funding, political interference, and limited importance attached to developing excellence in institutional governance and leadership. The task of constructing and managing boundary-spanning transnational research and development initiatives therefore raise fundamental questions and challenges to many universities with respect to organisation, governance, and relevance.


June 25


The Role Of English Language In Internationalization


Time: 10:15 AM - 11:45 AM
Chair: Kate Peters
Room: 8-180

1) ‘Uneven Consequences’ Of Internationalization Of Higher Education In China: A Critical Epistemological Perspective - Yang Song

According to the Institute of International Education, the total number of inbound international students in China has reached 489,200 in 2018, ranking the first in Asia and the third in the world. Nevertheless, it remains largely unknown how international students with diverse life trajectories understand and live out their experiences in internationalizing Chinese universities (Tian & Lu 2018). Adopting a critical epistemological perspective (Chen 2010), the present study examines international students’ investment in multiple forms of capital (Bourdieu 1986) during their study in English-Medium-Instruction (EMI) Master’s degree programmes in a top-rate comprehensive university in Shanghai, China. The ethnographic classroom observation, in-depth student interviews and curriculum document analysis converge to reveal that the EMI curriculum has constructed an implicit hegemonic hierarchy among students based on their pre-enrolment possessions of linguistic capital of English as a(n) (academic) lingua franca and cultural capital concerning relevant academic norms and discipline-specific knowledge. Students’ investment strategies are also influenced by their epistemological stances towards China as an alternative, equally legitimate player other than the Global North in the world knowledge politics. In addition, these students differed in their investments in learning the Chinese language and developing social relations in China based on their perceptions of China's role in the regional and global geopolitics. It is hence argued that the international students' ‘uneven’ patterns of capital investment are shaped by their varied, sometimes contesting, positions structured by and/or stances towards multiple frames of reference, including (1) the language politics of English as an academic lingua franca, (2) the Global-North-dominated knowledge politics in the academia, and (3) the re-emergence of China as a world ‘power’ as well as Chinese as a regional lingua franca. Critical implications on IHE policymaking and curricula design are proposed in order to foster educational equality.

2) International Teaching Assistants And Accented Professionalism In The Internationalizing Canadian University - Vijay Ramjattan

The professionalism of international teaching assistants (ITAs) is often assessed by their accents, which may be perceived as interfering with their communication skills. However, in the context of the internationalizing Canadian university where ITAs and their students are likely to share the same national, racial, and linguistic backgrounds, there is the question of whether ITAs need to modify their accents given that they already sound like their learners. Using narratives from 14 ITAs working in internationalizing universities in Ontario, I explore how they conceptualize professionalism in terms of their accents. The ITAs had two main perceptions of “accented professionalism.” First, being an effective teaching assistant entailed being able to be understood by a wide array of students, which required the emulation of the white native speaker of English. Yet due to the identities of interlocutors and/or the discipline in which they work, the ITAs also believed that the heterogeneity of their accents did not hinder their professionalism. These findings are important to share because they highlight how the increased linguistic/racial diversity that comes with internationalization requires linguistic work from those who are part of this process (i.e., ITAs).

Moreover, regarding the themes of the conference, this research connects to quality as it hopes to inspire changes to existing ITA training programs that assume that ITAs need to aurally conform to a linguistically and racially homogeneous classroom. With regard to inclusivity, it reveals and critiques the language/racial ideologies that make certain accents “professionally deficient” and suggests more emancipatory ways to help ITAs acquire intelligible speech.

A paper-presentation format is suitable to articulate the above information because it will allow me to concisely deliver my arguments and then use the remaining time to have audience members help me generate further recommendations for changing the curricula of ITA training programs (in Canada).

3) Teaching about Internationalization at School for Future Student Success - Gabrielle Alves, Diandra Dos Santos Andrade

Many changes are happening in Brazilian education since the last years. One of the most important facts was the creation of Common National Curricular Basis, called BNCC (Base Nacional Comum Curricular) in Brazil. The government created with the help of a large number of teachers a normative document that gathers essential knowledgement that the students throughout the country must have during their studies in basic education.

In Brazil, the compulsory education of an additional language, English, starts in the 6th year of the Elementary School. According to BNCC, to learn English is fundamental considering that borders between countries are “diffuse and contradictory” (Brazil, 2018) and because its enlarge the participation of the person in the world making he or she an active citizen. The document still considers the concept of English as a lingua franca, and the teachers have to consider it when they will teach.

It is very significant that the suggested model by BNCC happens in Brazilian classes. Considering the importance of the internationalization in higher education, the students must be prepared since the basic education. Currently, we do not have a model of English class that favors a teaching focused on internationalization. Then, when the student arrives in the Higher Education he or she cannot follow the internationalization process. According with some researches the internationalization in Higher Education in Brazil needs to move forward and be more efficient. So, we want to analyze from different points of view and discuss proposals that encourage the internationalization of education, from the Basic to Higher Education, considering also changes in teacher training.

External Models Of Higher Education And Intercultural Implications


Time: 13:00 PM - 14:30 PM
Facilitators: Grace Karram Stephenson
Room: 5-160

1) Branch Campus Diversity And Sustainable Student Services - Grace Karram Stephenson

Malaysia and the UAE are home to many established branch-campuses. The students who attend these institutions are from a range of ethnic, linguistic and religious backgrounds, and rarely are they from the nation's ruling groups. When students from minority groups enrol in Western branch-campus , they are faced with numerous challenges from new pedagogies to new expectations based on gender and ability. This workshop will highlight several important inter-cultural tensions that exist at branch-campuses, specifically those related to: group-based learning, business curriculum, English dominance, gender expectations and career planning. The case studies of Malaysia and the UAE will be used to lead participants, working in groups, as they share and advance best practices for student service in diverse contexts.

2) The Implications Of Diversifying The Higher Education System Through Foreign Backed Universities - Hayfa Jafar

This proposal explores the impact of diversifying the higher education systems through foreign backed universities taking the German – Jordanian University (GJU) as a case study.

The development of the backed university involves the establishment of a new institution through collaboration between higher education partners in two countries. Foreign-backed universities usually affiliate themselves to one or several institutions in other countries in order to receive assistance in their academic development. These ‘mentoring universities’ indicate their brand of education signify quality and contribute to furthering the host country development and capacity building. Partnerships offer higher education in the developing countries prospects into accessing useful resources, networks, and skills. The Policy Borrowing and the Educational Transfer model developed by Phillips and Ochs (2004) serves as an analytical tool in this study.

This study aims to explore what opportunities the foreign backed university model is bringing for students, faculty, and the national education system besides the possible challenges and risks. This analysis shows that change is not always a result of proactive planning, but a reaction to external and internal pressures. For the case of GJU, the impulse that sparked the establishment of an Applied Sciences University is politically motivated by both countries Jordan and Germany to invest in collaborative projects of clear economic and social benefits.

The imperative for the collaboration with Germany is linked to the need for an applied sciences university that can contribute to Jordan’s development. The decision to establish the university is perceived as an ‘opportunity’ to transfer the Germans’ know how in technology, research, professionalism, and culture.

I believe that the proposal is an excellent fit for the ‘quality’ and ‘reciprocity’ themes of the conference. I think a roundtable session is a relevant forum to share the outcome of this study and to engage in a scholarly discussion about the benefits, challenges and risks these institutions are producing while they transfer from one culture to another.

Religious Diversity and Intercultural Competence: Ways to Inclusive Internationalization


Time: 15:00 PM - 16:30 PM
Facilitator: Punita Lumb
Room: 8-170

Given the current socio-political climate of nationalism and populism, what role does religious literacy play in positively contributing to a pluralistic campus and/or society?

In response to the conference theme of inclusivity and the question of how internationalization efforts engage respectfully with worldviews and peoples, I propose an exploration of diverse student populations in the context of religious pluralism. I explore how we can frame the discussion of religious pluralism within intercultural competencies. These competencies are essential for globalized campuses and diverse local communities.

In this workshop, I would like to explore what religious pluralism looks like in secular institutions of higher education, the need to increase religious literacy, and how religious literacy can be viewed as a competency that students can develop on diverse campuses or through international experiences. Given that students are bringing their whole selves to university, religion, spirituality, cultural traditions and worldviews are also brought onto campus with them. Along with the diversity, also come the politics of inclusion, accommodation and unfortunately, division. Regardless of how higher education institutions define themselves, religion, faith and the related politics are very much part of the student experience.

I propose a workshop format in which participants can engage with the presentation material and as well as define some steps to addressing or furthering their engagement with religious pluralism at their own campuses/programs. This workshop would cater mainly to higher education professionals and faculty.