Assembling Internationalization through Policies in the Governance of Higher Education

  • Author / Creator
    Viczko, Melody M
  • The purpose of this study was to trace how relationships between global, national and local policy spheres are enacted as actors assemble in educational governance through their engagement with internationalization policy. Based on this purposes, the following research questions were addressed: 1) What are the assemblages of multi-scalar actors in higher education governance that are enacted through internationalization policy?; 2) What policy spaces are enacted through the assemblages of multi-scalar actors? 3) How does studying assemblage contribute to shifting policy platforms and relationships of internationalization and the global governance of higher education? Drawing on the tools and sensibilities of Actor Network Theory and the concept of policy networks, this qualitative study used policy ethnography, whereby policy was the site of study, to trace the ways sociomaterial policy networks were assembled through internationalization policy at one Canadian university. As an interpretivist policy analysis, study methods were observations of key meetings; document analysis of strategic plans, policy statements and agreements related to internationalization processes; and interviews with policy actors at different levels of governance. The findings of the study focus on three policy texts. First, the multiple performances of memorandums of understanding (MOUs) suggested they are political tools of inclusion and exclusion. The tinkering involved in bringing MOUs to reality was a process of change, shift, and fluidity that redefined the relations between actors through the determining of the conditions by which partnerships are enrolled with MOUs. Second, a proposal for funding was an important actor in bringing together knowledges for a research project. In the context of neoliberal market rationalities in higher education, the findings in this study demonstrated that the proposal can be seen as part of a network that forms the social relations between different actors, located both at the university and abroad. Third, the networks formed around two Canadian national strategies for internationalization showed the enrolment of immigration and trade interests. Through competing efforts between the two texts, multiple framings of internationalization were produced through discursive and material practices, suggesting there are ontological politics at play in how internationalization policy is enacted across levels of engagement. In conclusion, the saliency of the concept of assemblage demonstrated how powerful spaces of internationalization are not performed through the work of one lone actor. Rather, the ways in which power is generated through the actions of heterogenous networks of actors, who may be hidden and invisible, is an important analysis of internationalization policy processes. A consequence of this multiplicity is how power is performed through collective action in ways that designate what becomes important and legitimate in internationalization through interactions with policy. Recommendations for policy and practice focused on illuminating the multiplicity of actors engaged in internationalization work in order to better understand the relations that are performed through the connections between multi-scalar actors and how these relations matter in higher education governance.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2015
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
  • Specialization
    • Educational Administration and Leadership
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Joshee, Reva (Leadership, Higher and Adult Education)
    • Wimmer, Randolph (Eduational Policy Studies)
    • Abdi, Ali A. (Educational Studies)
    • Wallace, Janice (Educational Policy Studies)
    • Snart, Fern (Educational Psychology)