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A transnational collaboration in the establishment of a graduate program in counselling psychology

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Thesis type
(Dissertation) Ed.D.
Date created
Counselling psychology has experienced international growth in recent years. Because of this growth, universities in non-Western countries are seeking out collaborations with established Western graduate programs for assistance in developing their own programs. This dissertation examines a transnational collaboration between an Indonesian university and a Canadian university and seeks to discern whether an equitable partnership can develop in a context of global inequities and levels of privilege. While there is growing literature on the nature of such partnerships, including power and ethics, there is little about actual methods or protocols that can be used to guide equitable collaborations. This qualitative case study examines the effectiveness of the Adapted Rapid Participatory Appraisal, a protocol developed for this partnership, in achieving an equitable collaboration. Grounded in a theoretical framework that includes postcolonial theory and Freirian principles of participatory development, this study used The Enhanced Critical Incident Technique (ECIT) to guide interviews with seven faculty members in an Indonesian psychology department who were developing the graduate program. Through themes of mimicry, ambivalence, the intimate enemy, conscientization, hybridity, learning from below and persistent colonialism, the complex nature of the partnership and collaboration were analyzed. My findings showed that despite the participants’ claims of feeling that equality was attained a pattern of power hierarchies reflecting Indonesian culture and colonial patterns was maintained. Postcolonial ambivalence on the part of the Indonesian partners and counterambivalence on my part were embraced and negotiated to create a satisfactory culturally ambivalent program. The research suggests that while equity can be attained, equality is more elusive and not necessarily desirable. This study contributes to the literature on PLA and international higher education in that it looks beyond process and identifies some of the complex relationships that presently constitute our globalizing higher education landscape. As well, this study offers a successfully implemented collaboration protocol, the ARPA, and a cultural adaptation in the use of the ECIT.
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Scholarly level
Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: Beck, Kumari
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