University of Oulu

Implications for equity and diversity of increasing international student numbers in European universities: Policies and practice in four national contexts. Jani Haapakoski, Karen Pashby Policy Futures in Education Vol 15, Issue 3, pp. 360–379 First published date: June-22-2017 DOI: 10.1177/1478210317715794

Implications for equity and diversity of increasing international student numbers in European universities : policies and practice in four national contexts

Saved in:
Author: Haapakoski, Jani1; Pashby, Karen2
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Finland
2Manchester Metropolitan University, UK
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.5 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: SAGE Publications, 2017
Publish Date: 2017-08-15


This paper examines the main rationales for and possible implications of the policy of increasing international student numbers in higher education (HE). Drawing on critical discourse analysis, we map key themes emerging from two sets of data—university strategy documents and interviews with staff—collected at eight universities in four national contexts in Europe as a part of a larger project focused on ethical internationalism in HE. In our analysis of the data, we apply social cartographic mapping to consider overlapping, competing and absent discourses related to the push to increase international student numbers by using a heuristic developed in the larger project. We found the imperative to increase international student numbers to be largely driven by economic rationales across different national contexts, reflective of a corporatization trend. Where more civic rationales are presented, these discourses are ultimately framed and mediated by neoliberalism. The findings contribute insight into the complicated discursive terrain of internationalising HE. The mapping makes visible what can be taken for granted or is left unexamined. It serves as a jumping-off point for reflection on the policy, practice and research of internationalisation in HE, promoting the formulation of key questions around the assumed benefits and ethics of internationalisation.

see all

Series: Policy futures in education
ISSN: 1478-2103
ISSN-E: 1478-2103
ISSN-L: 1478-2103
Volume: 15
Issue: 3
Pages: 360 - 379
DOI: 10.1177/1478210317715794
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 516 Educational sciences
Copyright information: Copyright © 2017 SAGE Publications. Reprinted by permission of SAGE Publications.