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CHEF debating (de-)internationalisation of Danish universities

On February 6th, 2019, CHEF hosted a seminar and debate on the state of internationalisation at Danish universities. Speakers were Director of CHEF professor Susan Wright and CHEF core member associate professor Hanne Adriansen, both DPU. The seminar debate was hosted at DPU, Aarhus University, Campus Emdrup, and video-linked to CUDiM, Campus Aarhus. The seminar had around 25 participants, including masters and PhD students, academics from DPU, CUDiM, Copenhagen University, and University of Ljubljiana in Slovena, the Head of School at DPU, the international officer at Deakin University, Australia, and 2 civil servants from the Ministry of Research and Higher Education.

08.03.2019 | CHEF

In autumn 2018, Danish universities were notified that they had to make specific reductions in the number of their international students. Universities complied and quickly made top-down decisions about how many numbers to cut in which departments, often without academic considerations about what kinds of ‘internationalisation’ and disciplinary developments they were cutting. This session reviewed the background to this political decision. It analysed how reforms to university governance have made it possible for a political decision to be quickly carried out by ‘autonomous’ universities. It considered the need for carefully developed and ‘flagship’ approaches to internationalisation, such as that of one of the programmes affected, Anthropology, Education and Globalisation (AEG). Universities have tended to concentrate on how to internationalize and the numbers of students but it is more important to consider what is meant by internationalization, and why a course is being internationalized and only afterwards consider how to do so. This session opened a discussion about how universities can ‘internationalise’ in current conditions and what changes need to be achieved for the future.