SAGE Handbook of International Higher Education

The SAGE Handbook of International Higher Education, edited by Darla K. Deardorff, Hans de Wit, John D. Heyl and Tony Adams is the most comprehensive collection of articles on internationalization of higher education. It brings together leading experts on the topic to take deep into issues, developments and trends related to international higher education. It is available for sale on amazon. Here is sample chapter entitled “Bridges to the Future The Global Landscape of International Higher Education” available for free download and a blog on the Handbook.

The handbook comprises five sections, covering key areas: internationalization of higher education in a conceptual and historic context; different thematic approaches to internationalization; internationalization of the curriculum, teaching and learning process, and intercultural competencies; the abroad dimension of internationalization and the mobility of students, scholars, institutions, and projects; and a concluding section on regional trends in international education and direction for the future of internationalization in the 21st century.

Given below are a couple of questions I asked editors–Darla and Hans–about the handbook.

Darla K. Deardorff is currently executive director of the Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA), a national professional organization based at Duke University, where she is a Research Scholar in the Program in Education. Dr. Deardorff has published widely on topics in international education, global leadership and intercultural learning/assessment and is editor of The SAGE Handbook of Intercultural Competence (Sage, 2009) as well as co-editor of The SAGE Handbook of International Education (Sage, 2012) with Hans de Wit, John Heyl and Tony Adams, Building Cultural Competence (Stylus, 2012)  with Kate Berardo and author of Beneath the Tip of the Iceberg:  Improving English and Understanding US American Cultural Patterns (University of Michigan Press, 2011). Dr. Deardorff holds a master’s and doctorate from North Carolina State University where she focused on international education.

Rahul- Please provide the background on how this handbook idea was conceived and what is the biggest change in content from its first edition 20 year ago? 

Darla- The idea for this handbook originally came about through the Association of International Education Administrators’ desire to update a seminal book in the international field: Bridges to the Future, edited by Charles Klasek and originally published in 1992 by AIEA. Given how much the field had evolved since that time, it was felt that a more fully developed handbook was necessary to document the dramatic changes over this period, as well as the issues, trends, and conceptualizations of the current field. The biggest change in content from the its first iteration 20 years ago is its decidely global context and focus. In 1992, the contributors and editor of Bridges were all US-based; the Handbook builds on the legacy of that first publication but expands the content and perspectives through not only an editorial team that spans three continents but through contributions from leaders and experts around the world. As we write in the preface, “This Handbook serves as an ambitious guide to international education in this millennium and offers global perspectives… for the further creation, development, and enhancement of the internationalization of higher education in the years to come” (p. x).

Hans de Wit is Professor (lector) of Internationalisation of Higher Education at the School of Economics and Management of the Hogeschool van Amsterdam, University of Applied Sciences, and as of 2012 also a professor of Internationalisation of Higher Education and Academic Director at the International Education Research Centre (IERC) of the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (UCSC) in Milan. He is the Co-Editor of the Journal of Studies in International Education (Association for Studies in International Education/SAGE publishers). His latest books are Hans de Wit (2011), Trends, Issues and Challenges in Internationalisation of Higher Education, CAREM HvA, and Hans de Wit (2009). (Ed.), Measuring Success in Internationalisation of Higher Education, EAIE Occasional Paper, Amsterdam. He is also a founding member and past president of the European Association for International Education (EAIE).

Rahul- In the preface, co-editors mentioned that the handbook takes a”strategic approach to internationalization…which aims at changing quality of higher education itself.” Could you please elaborate  how the handbook helps in achieving this goals? 

Hans- Internationalization has become a key and rather broad concept in higher education, including many different activities, strategies, rationales and approaches, with different traditions, positions and prospects by type of institution and country/region. Its contribution to enhance the overall quality of higher education should be driving the internationalization agenda, even where sometimes more commercial, political or social rationales appear to be dominant. The Handbook provides a comprehensive overview of all these drivers and approaches, and provides views and tools to combine these with the main objective: its quality enhancement by improving the quality of what we do under the umbrella of internationalization, and the contribution of internationalization to the quality of education and research.

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