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Sustainable & Ethical International Partnership in Higher Education BELMAS 2013 Dr. Linda Devlin Dr. Mahmoud Emira.

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Presentation on theme: "Sustainable & Ethical International Partnership in Higher Education BELMAS 2013 Dr. Linda Devlin Dr. Mahmoud Emira."— Presentation transcript:

1 Sustainable & Ethical International Partnership in Higher Education BELMAS 2013 Dr. Linda Devlin Dr. Mahmoud Emira

2 Aim & Research Questions  LFHE funded.  To examine ethical and sustainable international partnership in higher education.  How is strategic international partnership perceived in an English Million + university?  What are the aims/drivers of international partnership?  What are the ethical dilemmas that face higher education institutions in international partnership activities?  How could universities sustain international partnership activities?

3 Importance of this research  to the university and  the wider academic context (esp. Million + universities?)

4 Methodology  Qualitative case study (Pring, 2000)  Purposive sampling (Mason, 2002): representatives of members of staff in an English Million + university.  The participants (n=20) responsible for international partnership within the institution and abroad.  Semi-structured interviews (piloted). Ethical approval and consent forms (Christians, 2000).  Inductive data analysis (Morse, 1998).

5 Findings Overview  Strategic partnership  Aims/drivers of international partnership  Ethical dilemmas and  Ways for making international partnership more sustainable.

6 Strategic Partnership Multi-faceted:  Beneficial (n=7) to the partners, e.g. enabling them to meet their needs.  Collaborative (n=7) (Cristol, 2004), with ‘transnational and education partners’ creating ‘shared commitment and contribution, understanding, expectations, responsibilities, future direction and goals’.

7 Strategic Partnership (cont.)  Sustainable (n=6) (Goto et al, 2007): ‘very structured’,’ ‘long-term’ planning, ‘not opportunistic’  Ethical (n=4) ( Bañon Gomis, et al. (2011) : ‘place ethics and values first’; ‘before commercial income’.  Multidimensional’ (n=3) work in ‘different directions’ at different levels ‘School’ and is central and the international offices’.

8 Aims/Drivers of International Partnership  ‘ Finance’ (n=15) (Witt, 2010): ‘finance because of the stage of higher education in this country and government policies etc. is forcing universities to look elsewhere for income’.  Globalisation’ (n=10) (Stinson, 2010) of education and the ‘growth potential’ in the international market: ‘should be crossing national borders’.  Moral purpose (n=9) (Bañon Gomis, et al. 2011) because ‘it is the right thing to do’.

9 Aims/Drivers of International Partnership (cont.)  Knowledge, research & PD (n=7) (McEwan, Goto and Horike, 2010): ‘exchange of information’ to ‘inform what they do……and inform your other teaching and your own research’  Student-driven (n=6) (Edmondson, et al., 2009): ‘to encourage an international exchange of PG students…and provide them with hopefully some positive learning experiences’.  Raising partner’s status (n=6) (Borthwick, and Others, 1992*; Maletzke, 2009): ‘want the credibility of an English HE qualification in order to raise the political economic and social status of their countries’  Raising university’s status (n=2): ‘it raises our profile and it is good for us to broaden our links with international universities’.

10 Ethical Dilemmas: Delivery, Context & Outcomes Delivery  Practicalities of partnership delivery (n=8) (Cushman*, 2010): use of ‘mobile phone’, ‘WIFI/Broadband’, ‘safety of staff’, ‘tight time frame’, ‘poor communication’ and ‘not having full approval’.  To be drawn into politics (n=4) (Pike and Charles, 1995): ‘I am aware of potential governance issues’. ‘We decided that we were a non-political with regard to any of this activity’.  Funding (lack of/driver) (n=3) (Witt, 2010): ‘It can’t be about the financial agreement, that’s clearly a factor but I do believe that the values and the ethics need to come first and then we sort out the finance’.

11 Ethical Dilemmas: Delivery, Context & Outcomes (Cont.) Context  Cultural values (n=4) (Tedrow and Mabokela, 2007): ‘Well it’s to do with differences in cultural values’, ‘when the education system in that particular country does not match that to the UK education levels’.  Corrupted system (n=1): ‘now there are countries that work on bribery and corruption…. [Which] are very much known for it’.  Poor quality partner (n=1): ‘you would avoid certain types of partners and go for partners that as far as you can see are absolutely above board and watertight’.

12 Ethical Dilemmas: Delivery, Context & Outcomes (Cont.) Outcomes  Not benefitting the partner (n=2): ‘Ethical dilemmas I think are about trying to make sure that the relationship is one that benefits both parties and not one that is just in favour of the university and obviously we wouldn’t go into a relationship if we felt it was only in favour of our partner’; ‘I think there are dilemmas within international education by importing or exporting a particular model which might work well for yourself but it’s a form of an academic imperialism I suppose’.

13 Ways for making international partnership more sustainable  Facilitate communication and sharing of information (n=9) (Stinson, 2010): ‘wider discussion at school level…not just with the executive…so maybe some sub- committees that they can feed into and share their thoughts and ideas’.  Understand the target market (n=7) (UNESCO, 1998 in Chatterton & Goddard, 2000) : ‘the culture needs to be understood’ to manage and meet partners’ needs: It is about ‘catering to local demands’.  Build trust (n=6) (Shore and Groen, 2009): ‘have good working relationships’; ‘Being transparent’, ‘relationships are sustained because ….you don’t just know one person in one situation but you know them in other situations too…at social level’.

14 Ways for making international partnership more sustainable (cont.)  Maintain work quality (n=4) (Cushman, 2010): through a) regular reviews: ‘to make sure we are on top of what is happening and that we ensure that the strategic plan for the relationship is followed’ & b)‘high quality staff’.  Quality not quantity (n=4) (Johnson and Scholes, 1997): ‘sustainability should not be driven just on costs’. Flexibility: ‘Well there has to be some compromise….the countries we are going to go in partnership with, there is a great deal of poverty and economic disadvantage so there has to be flexible financial arrangement to ensure sustainability and that is what I say, it is not just about the finance’.

15 Ways for making international partnership more sustainable (cont.)  Long-term planning (n=3) (Causley de la Sierra, 1994, in Hagen, 2002): ‘projects can be a short term cut off thing & you don’t know how it’s gone so one thing I always look for is to then talk about taking it further’.  Strengthen academic partnership and teamwork (n=3) (Ayoubi and Al-Habaibeh, 2006): ‘partnership is between administrators who make sure the paperwork is done & I’d like perhaps more partnership between like likeminded academics’, e.g. opportunities to bid & write academically together.  Clear roles, responsibilities and aims (n=2) (Wanni, et al. 2010): ‘roles and responsibilities need to be clear’, ‘more widely known amongst its own employees as I think that would work within the university and externally, it’s got to be clear what its purpose is in that sense’.

16 Definition Beneficial Collaborative Sustainable Ethical Multidimensio nal Aims/Drivers Status Globalisatio n Finance Moral PD/Student- driven Dilemmas Not benefitting Cultural values Practicalities / Poor quality Driven by politics/ Corr uption Funding Ways for improvement -Maintain quality -Target market - Communicatio n / Clear roles & aims -Trust/quality -L-Term planning/aca demic

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18 Thank you! Questions? L.devlin@wlv.ac.uk emira@wlv.ac.uk L.devlin@wlv.ac.uk emira@wlv.ac.uk


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