The International Education Agenda: International and New Zealand Women Students

Vivienne Anderson


The International Education Agenda constructs internationalised education as central to New Zealand's economic transformation and strengthened sense of national identity. Its key outcomes for New Zealand students include their increased understanding and respect for 'other cultures'. The Agenda promises international students enrichment, support and integration in New Zealand educational institutions and communities. In this paper I consider doctoral research interviews with international and New Zealand women students, to show how, while laudable, the Agenda's social aims may also be contradictory. Specifically, I discuss how national identity, if predicated on assumptions of New Zealander's homogeneity, may preclude relations that are understanding and respectful, and how international student's enrichment and integration may be jeopardised by their concurrent positioning as a source of revenue. After highlighting how some women constructed New Zealand-ness and international-ness differently, I suggest some implications for international education policy and practice.

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