Internationalisation has been a driving force in higher education for over a decade. But how relevant is it to the pressing agendas of rapidly transforming societies? In a time of stretched resources and urgent problems where the relevance of tertiary education itself is being increasingly scrutinised, why should we fund internationalisation? Does it offer anything other than academic tourism for the privileged elite? If so, how might internationalisation be re-thought and re-focussed to make a real contribution in different national and regional contexts?

We consider what role internationalisation of the curriculum, research and innovation agenda means for tertiary education. And, what contribution do these make in the context of the fourth industrial revolution, rapid digitisation, automation, machine learning, and big data?

Questions for discussion include:

  •  what can be learnt from the different models about re-purposing internationalisation?
  • how might we create models that can support the agendas of different countries and contexts? What are the contextual settings that need to be taken into consideration?
  • How can we align national and institutional priorities within new models of internationalisation?
  • What are the challenges, threats, opportunities and risks involved?

Speakers from Thailand, Hong Kong, Germany and Africa provide insights into different approaches to internationalisation, suggesting that one model certainly does not fit all. In a World Café session, participants are invited to contribute their own experience.