Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Internationalization Alive: International Student Experiences, Higher Education Policy and the Imagination of Brazil in the Global Knowledge Economy
by Bindi de Oliveira, Frederico Menino, Ph.D., The New School, 2018, 426; 10934011
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation presents a critical analysis of the internationalization of Brazilian higher education. In the initial decades of the new millennium, Brazil pioneered several initiatives to increase transnational academic cooperation and expand the mobility of Brazilian university students and scholars worldwide. Inspired by this recent process, this study engages with part of the contemporary literature in the fields of international education and global studies in order to ask: how has internationalization been defined, imagined and continuously reproduced through higher education policy in Brazil? How has internationalization become a ‘business of the state’, an integral part of ‘national policy-making’ and a new paradigm for ‘national identity formation’? Also: why and how has internationalization been reframed—by academics, government officials and society at large—as an inevitable need in the context of a new global knowledge economy? Last, but not least, how has this ‘need’ been re-defined during the widespread political crisis that erupted with the re-election and impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff?

Among the central assumptions of this work is that effective answers to these and other interrogations cannot be found only by looking at the state, its actors or its internal bureaucracies. Alternatively, the overarching argument presented in this dissertation is that the continuous imagination, production and reproduction of internationalization is ultimately consolidated through the acts, conducts and personal narratives of those individuals and groups who were the most affected by recent internationalization policies in Brazilian higher education—namely international students and scholars themselves. Largely marginal to the contemporary literature on international education, these subjects are in the epicenter of the present analysis.

In addition to an extensive revision of the development of internationalization policies throughout the history of Brazilian higher education, this study presents evidence from in-depth interviews and ethnographic analysis conducted, between 2012 and 2017, with Brazilian academics and educational authorities both in Brazil and the United States. By critically addressing the complexity of the international academic experience(s), this study also engages with salient sociological debates around the notion of governmentality and its applications to contemporary studies on international higher education.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Forment, Carlos
Commitee: Arato, Andrew, Challand, Benoit, Dassin, Joan, Reddy, Sanjay
School: The New School
Department: Sociology
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 80/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: International Relations, Sociology, Higher education
Keywords: Brazil, Governmentality, Higher education policy, International education
Publication Number: 10934011
ISBN: 978-0-438-81957-3
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