Views on multilingualism and internationalisation in higher education: administrative staff in the spotlight
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The key role of administrative staff in the implementation of specific institutional policies at university has often been ignored when analysing policies or attitudes related to higher education. Consequently, little is known about the administrative staff's attitudes and involvement relating to the processes of internationalisation and multilingualism in higher education. In order to confront this problem, this paper is intended to shed some light on the following questions: (1) What features do administrative staff associate with the concepts of ‘international university’ and ‘multilingual university’? (2) What degree of interconnection do they establish between internationalisation and multilingualism at university? and (3) How do their views compare with those of academic staff and students? The study combines quantitative data, obtained through a Likert-scale based questionnaire, and qualitative data, derived from open questions included in the same questionnaire as well as two focus group sessions with members of the administrative staff. The analysis of the data shows that for administrative staff an international university is characterised by incoming mobility, the presence of English as a third academic language and academic excellence. A multilingual university has more advantages than disadvantages for them, and most of these are connected with the internationalisation of the institution.