The Global Ambitions of Irish Universities: Internationalizing Practices and Emerging Stratification in the Irish Higher Education Sector

  • Aline Courtois
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Global Higher Education book series (PSGHE)


As higher education is increasingly harnessed to national economic goals and as funding shifts from public to private sources, Irish universities are under unprecedented pressure to “internationalize.” Yet the way they mediate national policy is constrained by funding and market forces as well as by their own organizational features and position in the field. Analysis of bilateral non-EU partnerships reveals competing logics of prestige, finances, and alignment with national ambitions in the global economy. Historical hierarchies between Irish third-level institutions are thus reinforced, while internally, status distinctions emerge between the various types of partnerships and student exchange programs. The shape taken by internationalization may reinforce various strands of inter-institutional and intra-institutional inequality, without guaranteeing that Irish universities succeed in their ambitions to achieve “world-class” status.


Higher education Internationalization Ireland University partnerships 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University College London Institute of EducationLondonUnited Kingdom

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