chapter  4
15 Pages

An ethical commitment: responsibility, care and cosmopolitanism in the internationalized university


The internationalization of higher education has decisively moved from being a scholarly tradition of mobility across borders to an almost purely economic concern. This is a trend that is most pronounced in countries such as England, Australia and the USA in particular, which have become the dominant exporters of the higher education business or, as Allan Luke suggests, the global ‘edubusiness’ (Luke 2010). Alongside the growth of this edubusiness has developed a growing literature theorizing the implications of the shift to the student as consumer model of higher education (e.g. Kuo 2007; Lambert et al. 2007; Maringe 2011). For those of us working in international classrooms, particularly in the developed countries that are the main exporters of higher education globally, our relationships with international students are formed against a backdrop of an increasingly predominant consumerist model of higher education. In this chapter we will take a critical view of the shift towards a consumerist model of internationalized higher education, through a consideration of how this shift has eroded the moral basis for relationships with international students. However, there are signs of hope, and in the second part of the chapter we will be offering a philosophical approach based around the concepts of care, responsibility and cosmopolitanism. We will argue that these commitments, taken together, have the potential to re-establish an ethical commitment to students.