How the Covid-19 Pandemic Affected the Internationalization of Higher Education in Canada

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  • In my capping paper, I have two concerns: How globalization or the global knowledge economy interacts with the internationalization of higher education in the Canadian context and the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. A market-oriented ideology integrates economic or trade value into cultural, political and social decision-making, leading to debates about commodifying education and learners as a potential knowledge workforce. Under a globalized ideology, the internationalization of higher education focuses the attention of national governments and academic institutions on developing their sustainability and global competences. Unlike other dominant western countries treating international students, Canada is proud of its multiculturalism and prevents the emergence of Canadian cultural colonialism, imposing visiting students. Typically, host country governments see international students as a potential workforce. That affects the way the students are treated both by the host government and academic institution. In this paper, I want to explore the ways that Canada’s federal government and academic institutions treat international students; specifically, I want to examine the internationalization of higher education and its challenges in a Canadian context, and I want to do so from the perspective of international students, both undergraduates and graduate students.
    The primary source of my capping theoretical framework comes from the book Global Auction (2010) by Brown and his colleagues, especially for their discourses about human capital theory. I agree with Knight (2004), other researchers, and Canadian international education policy experts who believe that institutional, provincial, and federal government levels need to implement consistent policy objectives when it comes to the internationalization of higher education. However, Canada is still developing its internationalization process through branding and enhancing international students' mobility. The economic risks brought from the Covid-19 pandemic also force either the federal
    government or regional academic institutions to re-concern the free trade and commerce in the internationalization of higher education. Overall, the internationalization is an evolving process and impacts of Covid-19 pandemic on economic, cultural and social life are also ongoing and unexpected. The inconsistency of internationalization’s objectives between governments and academic institutions makes the implementation vary in the different regions. Thus, further research needs to focus on the case studies, exploring impacts on international students' agents and higher education structural adaptations in Canadian universities’ internationalization.

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    Research Material
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    Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International