A Shared Vision?

Understanding Barriers to Internationalization


  • Peter G. Ghazarian Ashland University




internationalization, higher education, mixed methods, stakeholder analysis, Korea


This mixed methods study identified obstacles to internationalization in the Republic of Korea by examining differences in stakeholder perceptions at a large, private regional university. Questionnaire data (n = 127) and interview transcripts (n = 17) were analyzed. Independent samples t-tests of Korean and international stakeholders (administrators, faculty, and students) and one-way ANOVAs of faculty, students, and administrative staff were conducted to detect differences in the perceived importance and quality of internationalization at the university. Stakeholder groups shared high perceived importance for internationalization, but internationals perceived quality to be lower than Koreans (p = .023), and faculty lower than both students (p = .03) and administrative staff (p = .025). Qualitative analysis revealed differences rooted in inconsistent conceptualizations of internationalization among stakeholder groups. Resentment, confusion, a lack of communication, and low organizational commitment emerged as barriers. Without a change in approach, internationalization efforts at Korean institutions of higher education will likely stall.


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Author Biography

Peter G. Ghazarian, Ashland University

Dr. Peter G. Ghazarian has been involved in international education at the secondary and tertiary levels in the USA, Germany, UK, and Korea. His research interests include social change in multicultural and knowledge economies, the international flow of human resources, processes of regional integration, and the politics of education. 


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How to Cite

Ghazarian, P. G. (2020). A Shared Vision? Understanding Barriers to Internationalization. Journal of Comparative & International Higher Education, 12(Fall), 99–123. https://doi.org/10.32674/jcihe.v12iFall.1839



Empirical Article