Systematizing internationalization policy in higher education: Towards a typology

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The internationalization of higher education has become a strategic priority for governments because of the benefits expected to derive from it in the economic, political, socio-cultural and academic spheres. Nevertheless, a review of the academic literature on internationalization in higher education reveals that the concept of “internationalization” has been understood and applied in a variable manner. Considering that internationalization is a central theme in higher education research and practice, this state of affairs is problematic. In response to this situation, this article proposes the establishment of a conceptual typology for the analysis of national internationalization policies as a solution. In turn, such a heuristic device will ease knowledge accumulation, cross-case comparability and disciplined use of terms and procedures. The paper ends by dispelling common concerns related to classifications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-56
JournalPerspectives of Innovations, Economics and Business
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • higher education
  • Internationalization
  • typology
  • conceptualization
  • policy


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