Thursday, 18 April 2013

The focus of this network is on global ethics in higher education, particularly in processes of internationalisation: how trans-national subjects, relations and ideals are constituted and framed, their historicity, political economy, and implications for educational practice and research in higher education. The literature on the internationalization of higher education presents two major influences: market oriented discourses (i.e. related to fostering economic performance and competitiveness) and humanitarian discourses (i.e. related to altruistic or charitable concerns for enhancing the quality of life of disadvantaged communities) (see for example Matthews and Sidhu 2005, Rhoads and Szelényi 2010, Khoo 2011, Altbach 2011). Recent literature also indicates that concepts associated with ‘global citizenship’ (ideas of social responsibility, mobility, interculturality and cosmopolitanism) expressed in higher education mission statements, policies, curriculum, and international initiatives (e.g. international cooperation, study abroad and service learning schemes) have come to combine and embody both market and humanitarian influences (see for example Jefferess 2008, Kelly 2000, Pashby 2009, Khoo 2011, Andreotti et al 2010, Rhoads and Szelényi 2010).

This IRN seeks to examine, problematize and think beyond these influences (and other influences we may identify) with a focus on global ethics. In terms of market oriented changes (i.e. marketization), an emergent body of literature has engaged with ethical challenges related to the role of university as critic and conscience of societies with the potential to offer insights into problematic historical and normalized patterns in the present (that are perceived as natural and unproblematic), as well as different possibilities for thinking and being (i.e. epistemic difference) that move beyond such patterns (see for example Roberts 2004, Biesta 2007, Simons and Masschelein 2009, Popkewitz 2009, Dale and Robertson 2009). The discussion about the role and place of higher education (including research and education) in globalizing and interdependent societies is the central theme of this network.

Click here for the accepted proposal.