This book is a rich collection of essays on the internationalization of higher education. They are written by over 40 scholars and practitioners in the international higher education field from a broad range of countries on all continents. It was assembled on the occasion of Laura Rumbley’s farewell as Associate Director and Assistant Professor of the Practice at the Boston College Center for International Higher Education (CIHE), and her transition to a newly created position as Associate Director of Knowledge Development and Research at the European Association for International Education (EAIE), in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
This publication, following the foreword, preface and Laura Rumbley’s contribution setting the scene, consists of 39 chapters divided into five parts. The first part contains four chapters on global trends in, and broad perspectives of, internationalization. It is described adequately in the title of Philip Altbach’s contribution: clear trends and murky future. In eight chapters, Part 2 addresses internationalization through the eyes of two essential higher education actors: students and faculty. Part 3 has fourteen chapters exploring regional and national internationalization policies, addressing the challenges and opportunities for internationalization in different parts of the world. The fourth part, including nine chapters, focuses on institutional strategies and practices, with a strong emphasis on curriculum. And the three chapters in Part 5 attempt to bring it all together. The chapters are nearly all original contributions, though a few co-authored by Laura Rumbley with colleagues, were originally published in International Higher Education and University World News. Together they give an inspiring view on the future of internationalization from a broad range of perspectives, trends and themes, with gratitude to Laura Rumbley’s inspiration, Intelligent Internationalization: The Shape of Things to Come.
Serving the field of international higher education, Laura Rumbley is an astute administrator, an international scholar-practitioner, and a convener of important thinkers. Her work includes extensive contributions to CIHE, Boston College, the Academic Cooperation Association (ACA), Boston University, and the numerous organizations with which she has collaborated, as well as editor and/or advisor for the Journal of Studies in International Education, International Higher Education, the Forum, Studies in Higher Education, and former chair of the EAIE publication committee. Time and again, she has proven herself to be an excellent knowledge curator, one with a particular aptitude for highlighting underrepresented voices. Her recent publication with Douglas Proctor (2018), The Future Agenda for Internationalization in Higher Education: Next Generation Insights into Research, Policy, and Practice, is particularly indicative of her mission to elevate fresh perspective in our field.
In a 2015 International Higher Education article, Laura coined the term intelligent internationalization. Building on that notion, Chapter 1, authored by her, launches a provocative call for the next generation of thinking and practice in the global education sphere. That thinking spawned an international symposium of scholars, policymakers, and education leaders who gathered at Boston College in November 2018 to discuss the future of internationalization and bid formal farewell to Laura before her move to Europe. The symposium discourse was invigorating. Participants debated the challenges of integrating research, practice, and policy while giving nuanced attention to various cultural contexts and issues like refugees and migration, growing nationalism, the technology revolution, equity and inclusivity, global mobility, and an ardent call to decenter traditional players and scholarly resources (especially the U.S.). Indicative of Laura’s own work over the last decade, the discussion culminated by amplifying the student voices in the room, inviting them to critique, contribute, and react to our debate. Much of the writing in this collection was inspired by that day. As several of the contributors to this publication explain, Laura calls for a more synergistic articulation of research, policy, and practice.
However, an inspiring foreword starts the discourse somewhat unconventionally—not with scholarly analysis, but with a personal story that embodies the deep, intercultural intellect, feelings, and acumen that fuel our work in international education. Urbain (Ben) DeWinter, former Associate Provost at Boston University, shares a delightful reflection of what lies behind and ahead.