International universities and implications of internationalisation for minority languages: views from university students in Catalonia and Wales
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European higher education institutions are in general highly committed to internationalisation, seeing it as providing ways into the global education market, as an indicator of academic excellence, and for generating income. In multilingual settings, minority languages are not always given adequate consideration in this process and may be a source of tension and ambiguities in the local communities and universities. We report on part of a study of international and home students at universities in two bilingual contexts: the University of Lleida (UdL, Catalonia) and Cardiff University (CU, Wales). The students were asked about their understanding of what an 'international university' is, and also, how they saw the implications of internationalisation in the universities for the respective minority languages. Results show some differentiation amongst the student groups. For example, in the case of the first item, the Lleida home students associated international universities with opportunities for travel, exchange and employment advantages far more than the other groups. And in the case of the second, international students at Lleida showed greater negativity and opposition towards the minority language than other groups. Findings highlight the difficulties in reconciling the vitality of minority languages with the forces and the priorities of internationalisation
Is part ofJournal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 2014, vol. 35, num. 4, p. 361-375
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