Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

International education partnerships: A case study of two universities in the United States and South Africa
by Stinson, Barry L., Ph.D., New York University, 2010, 167; 3427005
Abstract (Summary)

As globalization continues to shape the world, higher education is one of many arenas that have been broadly impacted. As U.S. universities expand their reach across the globe in an attempt to internationalize their campuses, one approach open to them is a strategic alliance, or partnership, with another international institution of higher education. Therefore, it is important to understand the underlying factors that influence and shape these relationships. This study explored one aspect of the internationalization process by specifically examining bilateral partnerships between institutions of higher education in the context of interorganizational relationship theory in an attempt to better understand how these relationships are formed and maintained. More specifically, international partnerships are defined as any agreement between an institution or any subunit of an institution that links that institution to an international partner for the purpose of exchange and sharing of knowledge, people or resources.

The following research questions guided this research: how does entry motivation impact the relationship; how important is the individual within the relationship; and, how are these relationships understood and valued by those interacting within them? The study employed an interpretive case study analysis of two partnered institutions of higher education in an attempt to understand the "intricacies" of these relationships on two levels: the historical perspective based in the agreements that established the relationships; and how the realities of the relationships are understood through individual experiences and perceptions. The two universities, one in the United States and the other in South Africa, maintain four exchange agreements. These four partnerships, and the individuals familiar with them, provided the core information for this study.

Understanding how these partnerships were formed and how they function might guide university faculty and staff who are interested in forming international partnerships. The partnerships in this study exhibited a lack of communication and were not highly structured. Only with articulated goals, processes, and increased communication between the partners can these joint ventures evolve into international partnerships that are valued by the individuals involved and therefore by the institutions whose goals they support.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Moja, Teboho
Commitee: Astuto, Terry, Stage, Frances
School: New York University
Department: Administration, Leadership, and Technology
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 71/12, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: International Relations, Higher education
Keywords: International, International education, Interorganizational, Partnership, South Africa, United States
Publication Number: 3427005
ISBN: 978-1-124-29556-5
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