Pouneh Eftekhari


Internationalisation at the Program Level:  
Disciplinary Differences in Policy & Practice
While internationalization of higher education (IoHE) as a field of research has been around for decades now, only recently has internationalization of the curriculum (IoC) been described as a critical, component of IoHE. Therefore, it is no surprise to find that there are still few studies exploring IoC.

Current research on IoHE and even IoC, in general, focus on institutional and national policies and their impact on implementation of IoHE policies. Very few consider the disciplinary influence, which is problematic as it has been argued and widely accepted by leading researchers in the field of IoHE (and elsewhere) that disciplinary culture transcends national boundaries and that academics owe their primary allegiance to their disciplinary communities rather than their institutions. In other words, it is argued that academics, at times, have more in common with disciplinary colleagues working in other countries than with those working at the same university but from different disciplines.

In order to further explore this phenomenon, the objective of this study is to answer the following questions:
  • How do different disciplines formulate their strategy for intended internationalization?
  • Which factors support or impede the implementation of that strategy?

By answering these questions, this study will not only highlight differences in how disciplines define internationalization and evaluate their own level of internationality, but it will also consider a number of variables (e.g., organisational elements, external stakeholders, etc.) and explore how these variables impact the implementation of program level internationalization policies.

Pouneh Eftekhari is a practitioner-researcher who is passionate about improving the primary functions of higher education institutions and their supporting processes in order to bridge the gap between the policy and practice of higher education internationalization at both the institutional and program levels. As a practitioner, Pouneh works full time with internationalisation initiatives at Lund University in Sweden. She brings to this role over a decade of experience working with various aspects of internationalisation at home and education abroad in Asia, Europe, and North America. As a researcher, she has carried out analysis for the European Consortium for Accreditation as well as for a European Commission funded Erasmus Mundus Action 3 project on topics related to quality assurance/assessment and internationalisation. Pouneh is also certified by the European Consortium for Accreditation as an Expert in Assessing Quality of Internationalisation. Currently, Pouneh is enrolled as a PhD student at the Centre for Internationalisation of Education at the University of Groningen (NL). She also holds a Joint Erasmus Mundus Master’s degree in Lifelong Learning: Policy & Management from Aarhus University (DK), the University of Deusto and the Institute of Education at University College London (UK); and a Bachelor’s degree in Human Resource Development from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities (USA).

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/pounehe/

Email: pouneheftekhari@gmail.com

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