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A context, categorization and measurement of international learning outcomes

Resource type
Thesis type
(Dissertation) Ph.D.
Date created
The movement of scholars to centres of learning - academic mobility - predates both the nation state and the university. As notions of statehood evolved, the state assumed responsibility for educating its citizenry, authority which has stood the test of time. Institutions evolved relying on external support in exchange for suasion over what was taught and to whom, evolving a dynamic symbiosis as all players realized positive outcomes from their engagement in education. In today's more complex context, each player continues to realize value in supporting education and in supporting international student mobility. This dissertation places the activity of mobility in historical, political, educational and global contexts that illustrate the evolving role of the state in supporting higher education, and the state's continuing attempts to influence the course of education through the more modern activity of student mobility. Trends such as globalization and massification are addressed, as is internationalization, to explain the rationale of the state for this continued engagement and the motivations of primary stakeholders - the state, the institution and the individual - to support study abroad. Positive outcomes are achieved by all players, hence their ongoing support. But what are these outcomes? A continuum of potential international learning outcomes is established from which the primary stakeholders choose hoped-for outcomes to motivate their engagement; these include economic and linguistic imperatives as well as intellectual, social and personal/attitudinal outcomes. The literature review leads to a methodology and research instrument used on a population of sojourners to test for the achievement of these outcomes and if achievement is significantly and causally related to the study abroad activity itself. or perhaps to some other variable. Data are conclusive and corroborate previous studies in showing positive intellectual and personal outcomes. Recommendations are made on the current research and for other research topics germane to the field of outcomes study. Of import is an exploration of the data's applicability for practitioners in pursuing outcomes-motivated programming, and the adaptation of new mobility models to replace much of the laissez-faire mobility programming common today, towards achieving sought-after outcomes and the internationalization objectives of institutions.
Copyright statement
Copyright is held by the author.
Scholarly level
Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: Walls, Jan
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etd2118_A.pdf 3.57 MB

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