Accompanied by an emergent ‘strategy’ and ‘sustainability’ discourse, international higher education (HE) partnership building has become increasingly orchestrated by non-academic (i.e. operational, and managerial) agents, thereby shifting away from universities’ ‘academic heartland’. The purpose of this article is to scrutinise the frequently used, yet often ill-defined, ‘strategic’ and ‘sustainable’ nature of international partnership building and the way it transforms power dynamics and sense of agency both across and within universities. Drawing on qualitative research with university staff at two partnering higher education institutions (HEIs) in UK and China, this article explores different interpretations of what strategic and sustainable partnership building means and sheds light on the conflicts that emerge between academic and non-academic stakeholders in this process. In doing so, it highlights the all-pervasive influence of managerialism in HE and the potential effects it can have on the success or failure of international partnerships.
|Number of pages||20|
|Journal||Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education|
|Early online date||5 Apr 2022|
|Publication status||E-pub ahead of print - 5 Apr 2022|
- Higher education
- strategic partnerships
ASJC Scopus subject areas