Conference Agenda

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Session Overview
RN10_10b: Internationalisation
Friday, 23/Aug/2019:
2:00pm - 3:30pm

Session Chair: Mieke Van Houtte, Ghent University
Location: UP.3.211
University of Manchester Building: University Place, Third Floor Oxford Road

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Who Choose to Study Abroad, and What Educational Field Do They Choose?

Håvard Helland

OsloMet - Oslo Metropolitan University, Norway

Studies from many countries show that internationally mobile students are of higher social origin than their peers at home, and that both cultural and economic capital influence the propensity for studying abroad. Much less, however, are known about how social origin correlates with choice of educational field. Are the social differences similar in different fields like e.g. medicine and business administration? Or do the patterns vary between fields? Another interesting question relates to the internal horizontal cleavages in the upper- and middle classes. Are there horizontal differences between different middle class factions with different composition of cultural and economic capital? Do the effects of parents’ income vary between different educational fields, or are the overall patterns the same across fields?

The proposed paper investigates such questions by analysing Norwegian register data (from Statistics Norway) covering the entire population born between 1940 and 2000. Norway has a generous public funding programme for students, implying that studying abroad is not necessarily more expensive than domestic HE. Hence, one could expect that mobile students would be less socially selected than in other countries. We still find considerable social differences, and preliminary results suggest that the correlations vary considerably across fields and class factions.

The impact of European school partnerships: The case of Greek participation

Theodoros Zevgitis, Anastassios Emvalotis

University of Ioannina, Greece

This paper deals with European Education policies as implemented in the Lifelong Learning Programme by Comenius multilateral school partnerships. The study is based on all the final reports that Greek schools submitted during 2008-2013 combined with the outputs from the European Shared Treasure. The data, which was collected from the final reports, provided a means of integrating quantitative and qualitative approaches to the study of the partnerships’ impact on the school. This paper presents the preliminary results of the quantitative analysis.

The objective of the analysis was to evaluate, based on a constructed evaluation framework, the extent to which European school partnerships affect schools. A further aim was to identify the encountered problems and obstacles the schools had to deal with and pinpoint the key competences that were addressed by each partnership. In addition, the analysis was used to examine if the school profile, where school profile refers to number of students, number of staff, school level and geography, affects the impact of European partnerships in school.

The main results of the analysis showed that, regardless of the school type, all the schools felt that the impact from the partnerships was high. The students and teachers who participated in the mobilities gained the most from the partnership, whereas the impact on the school and on the local community was significantly lower. Moreover, the key competences that most partnerships had focused on were the communication in foreign languages and cultural awareness. In addition, the problems that mostly occurred were lack of time for project work and the high administrative workload. Finally, the longer-term impact seems to be week based on the availability of the produced outcomes.

The Education of the Global Elite: The Role of ‘Traditional International Schools’

Hugh Lauder, Tristan Bunnell, Michael Donnelly, Sam Whewall

University of Bath, United Kingdom

This paper argues that the children of global elites, such as those from families who are employed by Transnational Corporations, multilateral agencies and international NGOs, are constructed in ways that, to use the British Prime Minister’s phrase, are ‘citizens of nowhere’; their understanding of and commitment to particular geographic spaces and places is being replaced by an outlook that perceives a world in which diversity is valued and global concerns, such as the environment, take precedence over a world view which is firmly located in the local. The hyper mobility they experience in their early lives, as well as the nature of the curricular to which they are exposed, provides a unique platform to cultivate elite global subjectivities. This is both a theoretical and empirical paper which critically examines international curricular and draws on interview data with students attending ‘Traditional International Schools’.

These schools offer the programmes of the International Baccalaureate (IB), which promote the concept of ‘international mindedness’ (IM). We argue that the process and experience of IM offers a platform which has the potential to provide an element of global social solidarity amongst students. It enables them to speak with the same vocabulary, with the same mindset, even if their interpretations and experience of IM differ. However, the IB programmes also emphasize service in local communities, which may be seen as a way of grounding the students in local contexts. If they are constructed by the local community as ‘citizens of nowhere’, then this form of service is likely to be contradictory to the aim of IM.

Accountability Reform in the Chilean Education System: Exploring its Trajectory and Enactment through a Cultural Political Economy Approach

Lluís Parcerisa1, Alejandra Falabella2

1Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain; 2Universidad Alberto Hurtado, Chile

In the last decades, accountability reforms have been adopted in many countries around the world. In the case of Chile, a new wave of accountability policies was enacted during the 2000s as a way to solve the “market failures”. In this regard, the main purpose of this research is to analyze the adoption and re-contextualization of accountability policies in the Chilean education system, as well as to examine the actors involved and the main drivers and local contingencies that have mediated their enactment. The study uses Cultural Political Economy (CPE) approach because it allows us to explore the emergence of particular problems that push for reform, the reasons that explain the selection of particular policy options, and the dynamic processes of institutionalization. Methodologically, the research combines 30 semi-structured interviews with stakeholders with document analysis.

The findings show that the crisis of the Chilean educational system occurred due to the confluence of two problem streams, which opened a window of political opportunity for policy change. In this context, the mechanisms of accountability, framed under a new public management logic, emerge as a “magic solution” between decision-makers. Accountability was a place of consensus between the right and center-left Chilean policy-makers because it allowed aligning their political preferences. In addition, accountability was promoted and legitimated by international organizations, and especially, by the World Bank, which contributed to reinforcing decision-makers' preferences to accountability policies. As a result, far from reversing the market logic, accountability policies contributed to the sophistication of the educational market.

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