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Internationalization of Higher Education in Romania and Portugal: Strategies and Transitions at the (Semi‑)Periphery (2017-2018, 2018-2019)


Author: DECA, Ligia


Publication: 10.58367/NECY.2023.2
Field of study: Political Science

Governments and higher education institutions see internationalization of higher education as one of the main factors that influence their strategic endeavours in the years to come. When looking at the national level, the drivers of internationalization are linked to economic and geo-political positioning, cultural influences, as well as international competitiveness for knowledge and human capital. Party politics, foreign affairs, economy and immigration policies also play a big role in shaping country level approaches. For universities, prestige factors, disciplinary or constitutive groups’ interests and financial imperatives
predominantly drive internationalization policies. In this context, the paper will look at national and institutional strategic
pursuits in the field of internationalization of higher education, in the case of two countries geographically (and perhaps economically) positioned at Europe’s periphery: Romania and Portugal. The choice of these two countries relies on their recent transition from totalitarian regimes to democracies, coupled with similar trends of massification and underfunding of the higher education sector. The conclusion will include policy lessons for decision-makers, especially with a view on whether well-established global models of internationalization of higher education are fit for purpose for transitioning countries.

Keywords: internationalization, mobility, higher education, governance

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