Aren't We All International Students?: Supporting Diverse Populations at University Branch-Campuses

Aren't We All International Students?: Supporting Diverse Populations at University Branch-Campuses

Grace Karram Stephenson (University of Toronto, Canada) and Danielle N. Gabay (McMaster University, Canada)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9752-2.ch013
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Abstract

International university branch-campuses (IBCs) host a diverse body of students whose identities cannot be captured through the binary definitions of international or local. Of significant interest are regions where IBCs cater mainly to minority, expatriate and mobile students. For Western universities, many of which have long-standing traditions and approaches to student support, understanding the nuances of these groups is essential to facilitate their success. This chapter describes and contextualizes the changing population of students that Western universities are servicing at IBCs. Using the case studies of Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates, IBCs in these regions are shown to host a variety of students, most of which face significant degrees of social marginalization within the broader society. These new contexts, and their current programs, are contrasted with the traditional literature on international student supports to establish a new model with which to conceptualize and nurture diverse students in global contexts.
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Background

Since the late 1990’s universities around the world have been actively engage in internationalizing their students, programs and campuses to remain relevant in a global world. Though the much debated process of internationalization takes different forms at different institutions around the world, Knight’s definition is widely accepted as the process of integrating “an international, intercultural or global dimension into the purpose, functions or delivery of post-secondary education,” (Knight, 2004, p. 11).

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