Updating the definition of internationalization
Internationalization (sometimes shortened to "I18N , meaning "I - eighteen letters -N") is the process of planning and implementing products and services so that they can easily be adapted to specific local languages and cultures, a process called localization .The internationalization process is sometimes called translation or localization enablement .Universities in many parts of the world have been ‘internationalising’ for a number of decades, the emphasis being on encouraging the mobility of students and collaborative research.
Schoorman (2000:5) exemplifies this approach with her definition: Internationalization is an ongoing, counter hegemonic educational process which occurs in an international context of knowledge and practice where societies are reviewed as subsystems of a larger inclusive world.
The process of internationalization at an educational institution entails a comprehensive, multifaceted program of action that is integrated into every aspect of education.
Schoorman, like Knight (2003) emphasises the comprehensive, ongoing, multifaceted and integrated nature of internationalisation, but her counterhegemonic stance and program of action speaks to a transformative curriculum.
Bremer and van der Wende (1995) saw the enhancing of student knowledge and comprehension of different countries as enabling students to compare their institutions and systems to those of others and to analyse events and problems from an international perspective.
Other approaches have focused on student interaction and cross-cultural understanding, Olson and Kroeger (2001) saw sensitivity to the perspective of others, a willingness to try and put oneself in the shoes of others and see how things might look from their perspective, as an essential part of intercultural competence.
Nilsson (2003) also had a strong focus in this area seeing: broadmindedness; understanding; respect and empathy for other people, their culture, values and way of life; and an understanding of the nature of racism, as integral to intercultural competence.
More recently interest has increased in fundamentally rethinking curriculum so that graduates are equipped to live and work successfully in our interdependent, multicultural world (a transformative approach).
Internationalisation in these terms is now generally understood but the concept of internationalising the curriculum (Io C) still causes consternation (Clifford, 2009; Green and Mertova, 2011) the recent surge of interest in internationalising the curriculum for global citizenship has further added to levels of concern (Clifford and Montgomery, 2011).
An internationalised curriculum may have several recognisable components: global perspectives; intercultural communication; and socially responsible citizenship.