The Case of the International Research Center for the Development of Education (CIIDE): A Re-Centered North-South Asymmetrical Partnership

The Case of the International Research Center for the Development of Education (CIIDE): A Re-Centered North-South Asymmetrical Partnership

Pilar Mendoza, Fredy E. Cardenas Riaño, Maryluz Hoyos Ensuncho, Juanita Reina Zambrano
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3796-1.ch012
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The authors in this chapter describe the approach, purpose, and work of the International Research Center for the Development of Education (CIIDE per the acronym in Spanish) as an illustration of a glocanal internationalization effort involving research and flows of faculty and administrators between a non-elite university in the Global South and a research-intensive university in the Global North. CIIDE is a joint effort between the College of Education at the University of Missouri in the U.S. and the main campus of the Corporación Universitaria Minuto de Dios (UNIMINUTO) in Bogotá, Colombia. In this chapter, first, the authors review the two theoretical lenses informing the analysis of the conceptualization and work of CIIDE, which are the glocanal agency heuristics developed by Marginson and Rhoades (2002) and the work of George Mwangi (2017) on mutuality in internationalization. Then, the authors present the actual work of CIIDE, including its origins and daily operations, followed by an analysis of CIIDE´s glocanal agency heuristics and mutuality.
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Most of the research in internationalization has focused on student mobility around the notion of “brain drain” from the Global South to the Global North, which ultimately traces geopolitical forces created in the XV Century with the colonization of the Americas by Spaniards and then expanded up to the XX Century by the British, French, and Germans, mainly, throughout the planet (Rhoades, et al., 2019). George Mwangi (2017) reminds us that the flow of international talent follows neocolonial patterns of extraction of resources from the colonies (e.g.: Majority countries, Developing Countries, Global South, Non-West) to the colonizers (e.g.: Minority countries, First World Countries, Global North, West). Scholars have theorized how globalization continues to promote these geopolitical dynamics, contributing to a “global imaginary” that assumes the superiority of the Global North (Stein & de Andreotti, 2016). Higher education systems worldwide are included in this imaginary, favoring the Western model of higher education and enabling neocolonialism (Blanco-Ramírez, 2014). Rankings have become the yardstick measuring the worth of universities worldwide based on modeling those institutions at the top (Altbach & Balán, 2007; Cantwell & Kauppinen, 2014; Rhoads & Torres, 2006; Stein, 2017). The “ideal” higher education, favoring Global North institutions as reflected in global rankings, is one that supports the neoliberal state and globalization through human capital development and knowledge useful in the global market (Rhoades, et al., 2019).

Recently, scholars of internationalization of higher education are calling for contributions problematizing this hegemonic imaginary to work that re-centers the scholarship in the Global South and imagines alternatives to the current status quo (Blanco-Ramírez, 2014; George Mwangi, 2017; Shahjahan, 2016; Stein, 2017). For example, Rhoades, et al. (2019) call for the need to understand how non-elite universities engage in internationalization. Others have also mentioned the need to do more work on diasporas and networks of faculty and researchers, consortium of institutions, and institutional partnerships (Chen & Koyama, 2013). In the same vein, Shahjahan and Kezar (2013) argued that studying the internationalization of research is important in breaking the methodological nationalism common in higher education research, which privileges domestic views when in reality higher education systems respond to cross-national forces.

At the same time, not all aspects of higher education are subject to globalization and geopolitics, and so, others have called for the need to include national and local variations reflecting agency in the Global South or resistance in the Global North (Maldonado-Maldonado, 2014). Therefore, Marginson and Rhoades (2002) put forward a glocanal agency heuristics as a theoretical framework to account for the multiple layers and agency in internationalization work. The idea of agency is largely unexplored and connects with the call by George Mwangi (2017) to conduct more research on the actual practice of internationalization that breaks with the status quo. For that, she introduced the framework of mutuality as a powerful approach in internationalization practice that can break current hegemonic paradigms.

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