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Ten Facts About Internationalising Higher Education Online: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly?

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings - With ISBN/ISSNChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Publication date1/06/2022
Host publicationReconfiguring National, Institutional and Human Strategies for the 21st Century: Converging Internationalisations
EditorsLeon Cremonini, John Taylor, K. M. Joshi
Place of PublicationCham
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9783031051067
ISBN (Print)9783031051050
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Publication series

NameKnowledge Studies in Higher Education
ISSN (Print)2566-7106
ISSN (Electronic)2566-8315


This chapter aims to provide a comprehensive account of the phenomenon of internationalising higher education (HE) online. For the past decade, the fast advancement and adoption of the Internet and personal devices worldwide have enabled HE institutions to provide online programmes and courses across national boundaries. Given the exponential growth in online HE during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is a particularly timely attempt to critically review relevant claims to the focused phenomenon. The article first problematises a recent “Internationalisation Abroad” and Internationalisation at Home” division based on the relational positionality of being domestic and international students. The Good: the “benefits” of online HE for individual students, their course communities, and universities concerning their internationalisation efforts are introduced. The Bad: the “problems” with internationalising HE online in terms of the disadvantages and harms made to individual students, their pedagogical experiences, and universities are discussed. The Ugly: more significant “dangers” and long-term impacts both on individual students and HE institutions in different countries are unpacked. Although they may not be directedly nor intentionally caused by universities’ internationalisation agenda, they tend to produce more damaging consequences on a global scale, such as educational colonisation.