What is it about?

Case studies of four English universities were developed via a Grounded Theory methodology. Internationalisation has gone through three phases, as the approaches of universities to this phenomenon have matured and progressed from operational to strategic. Mintzberg and Waters’ (1985)'s, ‘deliberate’ and ‘emergent’ strategies were used to analyse the trajectories of the international strategies of the case study universities. It was found that the international strategies were deliberate in each strategic period, whereas they were emergent over a longer time frame.

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Why is it important?

The internationalisation of higher education has developed from a number of separate initiatives to become a strategic objective in its own right. However, it has not been investigated from a strategic organisational perspective. A conceptual model which describes the trajectory of the international strategies of these English universities is developed and is a major addition to the internationalisation literature. Future research should examine the applicability of the model to other countries.


Internationalisation is a hot topic in the higher education literature. However it has not been investigated from a strategic organisation perspective. This publication is important contribution to the strategy literature.

Professor John R Anchor
University of Huddersfield

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This page is a summary of: The international strategies of universities: deliberate or emergent?, Studies in Higher Education, March 2018, Taylor & Francis, DOI: 10.1080/03075079.2018.1445985.
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