Virtual exchange for internationalisation at home in China: staff perspectives
Keywords:internationalisation at home, virtual exchange, Chinese higher education, intercultural competence (IC)
Despite the central role of internationalisation strategies in the agendas of universities all over the world – with BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) emerging as powerful regional stakeholders – very few studies have investigated how internationalisation is interpreted and operationalised in non-Western contexts. We offer an exploration of Internationalisation at Home (IaH) (Robson, Almeida, & Schartner, 2018) in the context of Chinese Higher Education (HE) with a focus on the perceptions of staff. This qualitative study investigates how 15 teachers and administrators understand the practice of Virtual Exchange (VE) within their institution’s IaH agenda. Findings show that participants think that VE could contribute to internationalisation and provide an inclusive way of accessing international and intercultural experiences. VE has the potential to enhance internationalisation and global engagement of Chinese HE Institutions (HEIs). At the same time, its implementation presents challenges that require careful consideration and planning. These include means for establishing partnerships with a mutual understanding of realities, unique power dynamics among learner groups, and techno-political challenges.
Copyright (c) 2021 Sara Ganassin, Müge Satar, Ashleigh Regan
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