Internationalisation in Higher Education as a catalyst to STEAM

Thumbnail Image
9._De_la_Garza_Final.pdf(142.64 KB)
Accepted Version
de la Garza, Armida
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Springer Nature Switzerland AG
Published Version
Research Projects
Organizational Units
Journal Issue
Internationalisation efforts in Higher Education are usually led by the institutions' International Offices in partnership with the academic units at various levels, thus providing an ideal opportunity to promote collaboration across colleges, schools and departments, and to bring staff with a broad range of experience and expertise to work together. This chapter discusses two ways in which Higher Education institutions can take advantage of these internationalisation efforts to cultivate and nurture STEAM. First, considering internationalisation of the curriculum (IoC) across disciplines, which entails the incorporation of 'an intercultural dimension into the content of the curriculum as well as the teaching and learning processes and support services of a programme of study' (Leask 2015). Inasmuch as IoC seeks to develop students' international and intercultural perspectives as global professionals and citizens, it requires engagement with the arts, humanities, social sciences and sustainability initiatives across programmes, providing an opportunity to embed STEAM in the curriculum. Further, I argue that there is a parallelism between the national cultures that IoC seeks to draw from and the disciplines themselves, which are also different cultures, 'separate communities of practice with their own organisations, power hierarchies, questions to answer and [sometimes heavily policed] entry boundaries' (Brown and Harris 2014, 115). An interdisciplinary approach, and in particular one that promotes STEAM, should enrich the curriculum and increase its relevance in the same way that an international approach would. And second, through matching an employability and transferable skills training programme across disciplines to the 'internationalisation at home' initiatives that seek to deploy international students and staff as resources in Higher Education institutions (Altbach and Yudkevich 2017). Such a programme would focus on bringing skills traditionally associated with the arts and humanities - such as aesthetic appreciation, critical thinking or communication skills - to students of technology and science, while also bringing skills traditionally associated with science and technology - such as planning and problem solving, numeracy and the use of information technology - to students of arts and humanities, actively taking advantage of the innovative perspectives that international staff and students bring. In sum, the chapter argues that the internationalisation agenda in Higher Education partly inherently overlaps with that of STEAM cultivation, and highlights two practical ways in which curricula can be modified to promote the latter while advancing the former for a more inclusive student experience, enhancing employability skills and promoting the interdisciplinary outlook to the most pressing wicked problems that societies so badly need today.
Internationalisation , STEAM , Curriculum , Skills , Employability , Interdisciplinarity , Collaboration
de la Garza, A. (2019) 'Internationalisation in Higher Education as a catalyst to STEAM', in de la Garza, A. and Travis, C. (eds.) The STEAM Revolution, Bridging the Divide: Transdisciplinary Approaches to Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Humanities and Mathematics. Cham, Switzerland: Springer. pp. 143-154.
Link to publisher’s version
© 2019, Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature. All rights reserved.