Internationalization: A Global Phenomenon with Regional Differences—Perspectives of Young Universities in Austria, Chile, and Peru

  • Lígia Franco PasqualinEmail author
  • Christian Friedl
  • Ulrike Pölzl-Hobusch
  • Rupert BeinhauerEmail author
Part of the Intercultural Studies in Education book series (ISE)


Amplified by globalization, internationalization strategies are moving to the top of the agenda of higher education institutions (HEIs) worldwide. While the spotlight is on first-tier institutions offering the full bundle of internationalization services, little evidence is available on how young HEIs cope with this challenge. Therefore, this chapter sets out to analyze the internationalization level of three HEIs in Austria, Chile, and Peru. The applicability of the Söderqvist (Internationalisation and Its Management at higher-Education Institutions: Applying Conceptual, Content and Discourse Analysis. Helsinki School of Economics, Helsinki, 2002) internationalization model to classify HEIs according to their operational and strategic behavior in five stages shall be tested in an attempt to provide a recommendation tailored to each higher education institution (HEI) to improve its internationalization approach. An explorative qualitative research design has been applied. Based on a literature review and analyzing national contexts, 30 semi-structured interviews with key staff, engaged in internationalization affairs, were carried out and analyzed following the systematic text analysis approach of Mayring (Qualitative Inhaltsanalyse: Grundlagen und Techniken (12., überarb. Aufl.). Beltz Pädagogik. Beltz, Weinheim, 2015). The three HEIs were assigned to respective levels of the Söderqvist model according to empirical research outcomes, resulting in each HEI being placed on three different internationalization stages with corresponding implications and challenges. The findings indicate a good practical applicability of the Söderqvist model. The model’s bottom-up approach in growing internationalization efforts within HEIs was fully reflected by our cases. Through analysis of the interviews, the following main barriers preventing internationalization from moving to the next level, or entering the next stages, were identified: lack of top management recognition and support; lack of resources and infrastructure; and weak communication channels at the university, departmental, and individual level. Comparable HEIs may apply our utilization of the model and findings of this research to review their own internationalization path.


Higher education Internationalization Latin America Europe Young universities Söderqvist model 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of International ManagementFH JOANNEUM Gesellschaft mbH University of Applied SciencesGrazAustria

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