Internationalizing higher education is not a new phenomenon at universities. It is multifaceted, multi-dimensional, and idiosyncratic in the ways in which it is interpreted and critiqued for being viewed as primarily a globally travelling discourse. This symposium pays attention to these realities and critiques with presentations and space for dialogue on the dichotomies of home/abroad and international/domestic student, and the institutional capacity to internationalize curricula to better equip students with knowledge and skills to compete in a globalized knowledge economy.
Dr. Roopa Desai Trilokekar will present on “Internationalization of Higher Education: Localizing a Global Policy Discourse” using an inquiry circle that takes up five interrelated questions around history, identity, experience, community and policy to critically engage and localize this globally travelling policy discourse, challenging faculty and staff to reclaim internationalization as engagement with diversity: “as a normal part of life at university which defines the student, [staff and faculty] experience” (Leask, 2010).
Dr. Jane Ngobia’s topic, “Internationalizing at Home” makes a distinction between two approaches to internationalization - at home and Abroad/cross-border. The focus will be on the non-mobile majority who do not directly engage in cross-border academic endeavors. The discussion will focus on teaching and learning approaches that incorporate intercultural and international perspectives. Key questions for consideration include:
- How can the university become an internationalized campus and influence the internationalization of the curriculum across all academic departments?
- What is the role of students, staff and faculty in internationalizing the campus?
- An optimal learning environment reflects diverse cultures, perspectives and experiences of students (Banks, 2004). How can this optimal learning environment be achieved in an already structurally diverse classroom?
Bios of Roundtable Discussants
Roopa Desai Trilokekar (PhD) is an Associate Professor (Post-Secondary Education) in the Faculty of Education, York University. She comes to an academic career after 20 years of experience as a professional in the field of international education in Canada, India and the US. Her research interests are focused on internationalization of Canadian higher education, student experiential learning through international education and internationalizing pre-service teacher education. Her most recent work focuses on untangling the ‘International Students as ideal immigrants’ global policy discourse. She is also currently engaged with colleagues Glen Jones and Merli Tamtik on a volume titled, International Education as Public Policy in Canada under contract with McGill-Queen’s University Press.
Jane Ngobia (Ph.D) is the Assistant Vice President, Diversity and Human Rights at the University of Guelph. She also teaches Pathways to Global Citizenship and Human Rights in Educational Setting at the university and her PhD thesis is titled Internationalization and the Undergraduate Student Experience: How Domestic Students Experience Interaction with International Students. Dr. Ngobia provides executive leadership for the strategic plan and priority setting of the university’s Diversity and Human Rights Office. The office serves as a centre of excellence, which provides university wide programs and advice on policy, programs, communications, dispute resolution, organizational development and change management. Dr. Ngobia is responsible for university’s implementation and evaluation of the standards developed under the Accessibility for Ontarians Disability Act (AODA), Employment Equity Act as well as the Human Rights Policy under the Ontario Human Rights Code.