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This presentation was prepared in response to a request from the European University Association for a brief comparative analysis of higher education internationalization in Europe and North America from a North American perspective. After adapting de Wit's four-category definition of internationalization (academic programs, technical assistance, research collaboration, and extracurricular activities), the paper considers first how international partners view the internationalization efforts of European universities--observing that the Europeans seem to be further ahead in student mobility schemes while the North Americans appear more advanced in technical assistance strategies, and concluding that these distinctions are due in part to the differential degrees of autonomy that universities have achieved from national governments in their respective settings. Secondly, the paper outlines some of the ways in which North American (particularly Canadian) universities identify and pursue opportunities to engage in internationalization activities--focusing especially on networking opportunities with select "clubs" of universities, formal organizations of institutions, non-governmental organizations, government agencies, multilateral entities, and internationally active national and multinational industrial enterprises. Finally, the paper offers suggestions for effective inter-institutional cooperation in university internationalization--stressing the fundamental importance of each higher education institution's "getting its own act together" before approaching potential partners through clarifying its purposes and priorities in pursuing internationalization, adjusting its organizational structures to accommodate internationalization, and then pursuing collaborations with other institutions to gain desirable economy of scale, division of labour, and range of response.

Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Higher Education, Comparative Analysis, Global Approach, Extracurricular Activities, Technical Assistance, College Programs, Research, Institutional Autonomy, Social Networks, Institutional Cooperation

Autor: Farquhar, Robin H.


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