The lure of internationalization: Paradoxical discourses of transnational student mobility, linguistic diversity and cross-cultural exchange

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This paper scrutinizes a set of paradoxes arising from a mismatch between contemporary discourses that praise and promote mobility in and internationalization of higher education, and the everyday effects of mobility and internationalization on university teaching and learning practice. We begin with a general characterization of the discourse of mobility and internationalization in a European context and then turn toDenmark as a specific case in which we unfold and discuss three paradoxes in turn:internationalization and linguistic pluralism, internationalization and intercultural understanding and, finally, internationalization and competitiveness. We then link ourdeconstruction of the three paradoxes to a critique of the concept of “parallel language policy,” widely promoted in the Nordic context, and show how it potentially undermines the ideals of internationalization.
TidsskriftHigher Education
Sider (fra-til)577-595
Antal sider18
StatusUdgivet - 2017


  • Internationalisation, higher education, language policy, Denmark


ID: 153448559