Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

External Global Forces that Affect Higher Education Internationalization Strategies and How Three U.S. Universities Adapt to Them
by Kettler, Lauren Kathleen, Ed.D., University of Pennsylvania, 2018, 246; 10829576
Abstract (Summary)

When major transnational events occur, such as the 2015 economic crisis within Greece, the 2016 violent conflicts within Turkey, and the creation of political policies such as the 2017 President Trump Executive Orders on visa and immigration, the effects ripple throughout the field of international higher education. How higher education institutions take into consideration such external forces, ultimately, can affect their internationalization efforts, strategies, and successes.

This qualitative study explores what the external forces are that affect a university’s internationalization strategies, specifically in inbound and outbound mobility programs. It further examined in what way these forces are affecting their strategies and how universities adapt to these forces. Using data from the Open Doors: Reports on International Education Exchange and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), three private universities were selected that demonstrate large internationalization, inbound and outbound mobility strategies: Boston University, Northeastern University, and the University of Southern California. Further, this study was grounded in Kim Cameron’s (1983, 1984) strategic choice and adaptation frameworks as a theoretical foundation, as the survival of the institution in today’s global age is dependent on how well the institution can adapt during times of change.

The findings in this study reveal common themes across the three institutions, which resulted in seven external forces, or the Internationalization Forces. These forces have positive and negative effects on universities, which are demonstrated and plotted on a coordinate plane resulting in four distinct quadrants: Beneficial, Stressful, Harmful, and Creative. Finally, each case demonstrated that they are adapting their strategies across Cameron’s (1983, 1984) three domains: Defense, Offense, and Creation.

Overall, the study underscores the impact that the external world has on higher education. Understanding the volatility of the Internationalization Forces can further assist higher education institutions in the facilitation of their internationalization strategies.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Armacost, Mary-Linda
Commitee: Eynon, Diane E., Stanley, Joseph F.
School: University of Pennsylvania
Department: Higher Education Management
School Location: United States -- Pennsylvania
Source: DAI-A 80/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Higher Education Administration, Higher education
Keywords: External forces, Globalization, Higher education strategies, International students, Internationalization, Study abroad
Publication Number: 10829576
ISBN: 978-0-438-33907-1
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