Event details

Internationalisation and Intercultural Engagement in UK higher education – revisiting a contested terrain

Friday, 24 May 2019

Whilst international student mobility and recruitment dominate much public debate on the internationalisation of UK higher education, scholars and practitioners in the field of HE continue to explore meaningful approaches towards the sustainable management and facilitation of increased cultural diversity across university campuses. To this end, concepts like ‘intercultural engagement’, ‘sensitivity’ or ‘connectedness’, as well as ‘intercultural skills/competences’, etc. have been harnessed for many years as key strategies to enable inclusive curricula; stimulate interactions between ‘international’ and ‘domestic’ groups; forge engagement with local communities; or boost graduate employability.

Despite ongoing attempts by UK universities to develop intercultural learning environments (e.g. through ‘internationalisation at home’ or ‘internationalisation of the curriculum’ schemes), present evidence suggests that there is a prevailing ‘us and them’ mentality when it comes to assess the cultural, educational and social relationship between ‘domestic’ and ‘international’ stakeholders (Lomer, 2018; Yun & Moskal, 2018). Such discriminating discourses and practices are highly complex and go beyond nationality as the sole determinant of cultural differences in higher education. As such, they intersect with prevailing inequalities related to ethnicity, gender, language, race and religion, and at the same time, they are influenced by the epistemic heritage of UK higher education curricula and ‘academic traditions’.

This event, jointly hosted by the SRHE ‘International Research and Researchers Network’ (IRR) and the Department of Education at the University of Manchester, seeks to revisit some of the complexities and contestations surrounding ‘intercultural engagement’ (and related concepts) in UK higher education. Presenting recent research by three eminent guest speakers, it will explore both the potentials and limits of ‘intercultural engagement’ in the UK higher education sector and will allow ample space for critical debate among participants.         

Sylvie Lomer (2018) UK policy discourses and international student mobility: the deterrence and subjectification of international students. Globalisation, Societies and Education, 16(3), pp. 308-324.

Yun Yu & Marta Moskal (2018) Missing intercultural engagements in the university experiences of Chinese international student in the UK. Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, DOI: 10.1080/03057925.2018.1448259


Dr Jenna Mittelmeier & Dr Sylvie Lomer, University of Manchester

Dr Alina Schartner, University of Newcastle

Dr Maureen Rhoden, University of Greenwich

Network: International Research and Researchers
Date(s): Friday, 24 May 2019
Times: 11:00 - 16:00
Signup Deadline: Monday, 20 May 2019
Location: University of Manchester,Oxford Rd,M13 9PL
Lunch Provided: Yes
Spaces Left: Places available
Prices: Members: Free, Guests: £75.00
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