International Academic Partnerships: What Are They For and Who Do They Benefit?

Does a university exist in isolation, or does it have a responsibility to externalise and connect? With shifting patterns of recruitment and ever changing funding sources, there is a clear need to examine the role of a university within its own environment and in the wider world.

Most academic institutions will be members of some form of consortia or international partnership. This paper asks whether these consortia are living up to their full potential, particularly in light of recent developments in higher education and the need for a more inclusive and sustainable approach to activity. In exploring the motivations behind consortia, the paper presents a typology that identifies and categorises the different forms of engagement and activity. What becomes evident is that the very nature and design of consortia are often at odds with their actual impact. Does that really matter? Even if the collaboration may be more in name than in practice, is the demonstration of willingness to work together at least one benefit, maybe even that first important step towards true partnership and impact.

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Posted by IAFOR