Challenges and Opportunities in the Context of Internationalization of Higher Education

The World Bank’s 1991 ‘World Development Report’ has made a fascinating observation that scientific and technological progress and enhanced productivity in any nation are closely linked with investment in human capital and the quality of the economic environment. However, scientific and technical capabilities are unevenly distributed globally and are connected with the education system in a nation. The 21st century has seen massive changes in higher education systems in terms of the complexity of the systems and their utility for converting education into an effective tool for social and economic changes. An exciting relationship emerges among education, knowledge, conversion into suitable entities from a trade point of view, wealth, and economy.


Internationalization of education includes the policies and practices undertaken by academic systems, institutions, and even individuals to cope with the global educational environment. The motivations for internationalization have commercial advantage, knowledge, and language acquisition, enhancing the curriculum with international content, and many others. Specific initiatives such as branch campuses, cross-border collaborative arrangements, programs for international students, establishing English-medium programs and degrees, and others have been implemented as part of internationalization. Efforts to monitor global initiatives and ensure quality are integral to the international higher education environment.


The higher education system across the world has witnessed two more interesting revolutions. The first is connected with the advent and use of computers in teaching, learning, and research, and the second is linked with the communication revolution. Today, education transcends geographical boundaries. Besides, the structure and context of academic work also have undergone tremendous changes. Student diversity and the administrative and pedagogical demands of new modes of curricula delivery characterize the academic’s everyday working environment.

The accomplishment of any educational change is linked with the readiness of teachers to implement new methods and innovative practices. The present paper attempts to understand the role of teachers in the internationalization of higher education in India. The focus of the present paper is to be acquainted with the challenges and opportunities for faculty in the context of the internationalization of higher education and their inclination to adopt the change.

Review of literature:

A growing number of papers and studies document how the university experience of students, the academic and administrative staff has been radically transformed [Chandler & Clark 2001, Deem 2001]. Student diversity and the administrative and pedagogical demands of new modes of curricula delivery characterize the academic’s everyday working environment. Academics are constantly challenged as academic staff take on multiple and often conflicting roles as consultants, researchers, teachers, counselors, and international marketers. Support for academics involved in international activities is scarce, and the central strategic control of resources with its demands for flexibility compromises the quality of academic life.

A qualitative study examines the role of international experience in the transformative learning of female educators as it relates to professional development in a higher education context. It also investigates how the learning productions of these experiences were transferred to the participant’s home country. Nine American female faculty and administrators who worked at universities in Arab countries in the Gulf region participated in this study. The results suggest that the transformative learning of the female educators was reflected in three themes: changes in personal and professional attitudes, experiencing a new classroom environment that included different studentstylesarning styles and unfamiliar classroom behavior, and broadening of participants’ global perspectives.

Another study sought to assess how and why some higher education institutions have responded to aspects of globalization, particularly how organizational culture influences universities’ responses to globalization. Using a predominantly qualitative, mixed-methods approach, empirical research was used to explore the impact of globalization at four Canadian universities. Multiple case-study methods were used to achieve a depth of understanding to establish the universities’ culture, institutional strategies, and practices in response to globalization.

Context of the study:

Political & educational context

Everyone recognizes that India has a serious higher education problem. Although India’s higher education system, with more than 13 million students, is the world’s third-largest, it only educates around 12 percent of the age group, well under China’s 27 percent and a half or more in middle-income countries. Thus, providing access to India’s expanding young population and rapidly growing middle class is a challenge. India also faces a serious quality problem – given that only a tiny proportion of the higher education sector can meet international standards.

By international standards, almost all of India’s 480 public universities and more than 25,000 undergraduate colleges are mediocre at best. The justly famous Indian Institutes of Technology and the Institutes of Management, a few specialized schools such as the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research constitute a tiny elite, as do one or two private institutions such as the Birla Institute Technology and Science, and perhaps 100 top-rated undergraduate colleges. India has complex legal arrangements for reserving places in higher education for members of various disadvantaged population groups. Setting aside up to half of the seats for such groups puts further stress on the system.