‘Integrated internationalism’ in UK highereducation: interpretations, manifestations and recommendations

  • V F B Lewis

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Business (DBA)


This study explores the internationalisation of higher education institutions in the UK. First, the varying meanings and interpretations of internationalisation are examined, along with its relationship to terms such as globalisation and internationalism. The concept of “integrated internationalism” is introduced. Variations in institutional rationales for internationalisation, and the influence of national attitudes, are explored. The empirical research project then offers a snapshot of institutional internationalisation in the UK in 2005. It explores, via a predominantly qualitative, mixed methods approach, variations in interpretation and focus among UK HEIs. Institutional motivations are probed via a national survey, revealing that economic and prestigeorientated rationales tend to dominate, with social and academic rationales playing a lesser role. A subsequent comparison across three institutional case studies yields insights into the ways in which the ethos of internationalism is integrated with institutional mission and how the latter affects an institution’s international priorities. Through interviews and documentary analysis, both public and private faces of the institutions are illuminated, resulting in three distinctly different profiles. Common and contrasting themes are drawn out, reflecting some of the nuances of mission and values. From these are derived some recommendations and questions for consideration by leaders, policymakers and practitioners in institutions which are serious about internationalisation. A practical tool is proposed, which has the potential to help institutions interrogate their motivations for internationalisation as a prelude to strategy development. In light of the research, a revised interpretation of “integrated internationalism” is also suggested. The thesis concludes with a summary of my own personal development during the course of the DBA, which prefaces an update on recent, significant national developments related to internationalisation and a justification of the continued validity and relevance of the findings of this study.
Date of Award1 Apr 2007
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorRoger Dale (Supervisor) & Rajani Naidoo (Supervisor)

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