Historical Analysis of Internationalization and Diversity Policies and Practices at a Higher Ed Institution

Lydia Hou, University of Illinois at Chicago

Colleges and universities across the United States have continually demonstrated trends of increased international student recruitment and enrollment in response to growing financial need (Institute of International Education 2018). This growth in international students in US colleges and universities is also accompanied by increasing interests in diversity initiatives in higher education, including the creation of institutional roles, policies, and practices designed to promote diversity (Clark 2011). This paper brings together the scholarly issues of multicultural diversity and internationalization in higher ed by examining how international students can be utilized by an institution to address both. Higher education institutions in the United States adopt strategies to enroll international students, send domestic students for study abroad programs, partner with international organizations, and develop institutional values and platforms embracing global interests all to fulfill driving institutional interests in internationalization and diversity. I argue that diversity initiatives and internationalization practices in higher education can be integrated institutional efforts. This paper supports this claim through an analysis of archival data on the historical institutional policies and practices of internationalization of a large public university in the U.S. Midwest with long standing and compelling claims to success at diversity. Investigating how historical internationalization approaches have taken place at the institutional level in a particular site is important for building on current understandings of how such policies and practices can inform the higher ed landscape.

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 Presented in Session 42. Education and the International