Fanning flames of international debate

October 30, 2008

Sir Drummond Bone seems to think that the criticism that UK higher education institutions recruit overseas students just for the money is the result of a very small fire giving off rather a lot of smoke ("Concern that UK's overseas ventures oversold", 23 October). How certain is he that it is not a large fire behind the billowing fumes?

Research has already indicated that UK higher education institutions over-promise and under-deliver to international students. A quick check on how much effort any UK university puts into its recruitment of European Union (EU) students will tell you whether or not it is focused on money in its "international" activity. In UK higher education institutions, purely for funding reasons, the EU isn't "international".

Most UK universities initially recruited international students to make up the shortfall in public funding. But with the progressive reliance on such funding in an increasingly global higher education landscape, how much evidence can we show of institutional transformation to accommodate and adapt to these changes?

Many in UK higher education are unable to see a distinction between "international activities" and "internationalisation". The former is about recruiting international students, delivery of courses overseas and linking with international institutions.

The latter is the integration of academic, social, cultural, political and economic factors into teaching, learning and research. It is internationalisation that is needed to maintain and build on UK higher education's strengths and success in an increasingly competitive environment.

Christopher Sharrock, Stafford.

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 6 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering

Norwegian University Of Science & Technology -ntnu

Researcher in the Marine UAS-project

Norwegian University Of Science & Technology -ntnu

PhD Position within Marine Structures

Norwegian University Of Science & Technology -ntnu

PhD Position in Biogas-Hydrogen

Norwegian University Of Science & Technology -ntnu
See all jobs

Most Commented

Doctoral study can seem like a 24-7 endeavour, but don't ignore these other opportunities, advise Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O'Gorman

Laurel and Hardy sawing a plank of wood

Working with other academics can be tricky so follow some key rules, say Kevin O'Gorman and Robert MacIntosh

Matthew Brazier illustration (9 February 2017)

How do you defeat Nazis and liars? Focus on the people in earshot, says eminent Holocaust scholar Deborah Lipstadt

Improvement, performance, rankings, success

Phil Baty sets out why the World University Rankings are here to stay – and why that's a good thing

Warwick vice-chancellor Stuart Croft on why his university reluctantly joined the ‘flawed’ teaching excellence framework