Internationalization Higher Education for What?

An Analysis of National Strategies of Higher Education Internationalization in East Asia


  • You Zhang University of Toronto



Internationalization of higher education, national strategies, East Asia


This article examines national strategies on higher education internationalization in three East Asian countries: China, Japan, and South Korea. Specifically, through document analysis of five national educational documents since 2014, it examines what activities of higher education internationalization are underway and, more importantly, how nation states justify them. It finds that the three countries tend to associate internationalization with the countries’ global competitiveness and status. In addition, internationalization in the three countries focuses on regional cooperation, justified by its benefits for economic growth and national security. Drawing on the realist perspective in international relations, this article argues that internationalization of higher education at the national level in East Asia is instrumentalized to benefit national economic competitiveness and development and political security, while the important aspect of teaching and learning is overlooked.


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2021-02-05 — Updated on 2021-02-05


How to Cite

Zhang, Y. (2021). Internationalization Higher Education for What? An Analysis of National Strategies of Higher Education Internationalization in East Asia. Journal of Comparative & International Higher Education, 12(6S1).



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