Research seminar: Global gatherings and digital divides: internationalisation and the digital in higher education

In a series: Educational Research Seminars 2015-16
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Dr Philippa Sheil discusses the intersections between internationalisation and the digital in higher education

Educational research seminar, 12 November 2015

Global gatherings and digital divides: internationalisation and the digital in higher education

Dr Philippa Sheail, University of Edinburgh

 

Abstract
This paper is drawn from a wider research project which problematises the discourse of ‘internationalisation’ in higher education (Haigh 2014) by drawing on issues of geopolitics and the digital. The project takes a critical approach to current imperatives that universities should ‘think global’, incorporating the expansion of ‘digital learning’ (European Commission 2013), by considering how higher education institutions are made international (after Lin and Law 2013), both physically and digitally. My starting point in the literature is Sidhu and Dall’Alba’s (2011) work on ‘International education and (dis)embodied cosmopolitanisms’, in which the authors critique the education ‘export industry’, arguing that there is a gap between the way international students are represented (disembodied) and student experiences (embodied), which works against the promise of the ‘cosmopolitan’ in international education (abstract, p413). In this paper I present early findings from an event ethnography undertaken in 2015, which focused on a visual analysis of a major education research conference with an international theme. Here I argue that, in order to open up new ways of thinking about internationalisation through the digital, we first need to recognise the complex practices of making education international.

Biography
Philippa is a Lecturer in Digital Education, and a member of the Digital Cultures in Education (DiCE) research group, at the University of Edinburgh. Her research interests are interdisciplinary, based in the area of digital and higher education, but drawing on organisational theory, cultural geography, and social theories of time. In 2014 she was awarded a Society for Research into Higher Education (SRHE) newer researchers prize to fund the research project, ‘Global gatherings and digital divides: internationalisation and the digital in higher education’.

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Interested in global higher education? Check out this list of useful resources on internationalisation & HE and Professor David Sadler’s lecture on the Growth & Impacts of Transnational Higher Education.

What does global higher education mean to students? In this series of videos, QMUL students reflect on how they have fulfilled one of the key QMUL Graduate Attributes, ‘Have a Global Perspective’.