Document Type

Theses, Ph.D


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence



Publication Details

Successfully submitted for the award of PhD.


Recognising the educational value of internationalisation in higher education institutions for both international and domestic students is of paramount importance. Despite the increasing presence of internationalisation strategies at national and institution levels, the resultant consequences for the teaching and learning environment are not being adequately explored. Research into lecturers’ engagement with the practicalities of internationalisation in the teaching and learning environment is underdeveloped. This study explores the key variables that affect the implementation gap between the theory and practice surrounding internationalisation of higher education from lecturers’ perspectives. It also examines the inherent lack of engagement between lecturers and the concept of Internationalisation of the Curriculum. Finally, it develops a Continuous Professional Learning model to enhance engagement and subsequently improve the implementation of Internationalisation of the Curriculum strategies in the classroom. Change theory is the theoretical perspective adopted in this study. This is a complementary theory to the philosophical standpoint which is pragmatism. Furthermore, the study employs an action research approach to address comprehensively the challenge of engaging lecturers with Internationalisation of the Curriculum, which is by definition a transformational change. Mixed methods are utilised at the various phases of the action research cycle to gain both a new understanding of the implementation gap and new knowledge of how to support lecturers to internationalise their curricula. The efficacy of an action research informed Community of Practice, as a means of Continuous Professional Learning for driving curriculum innovation such as Internationalisation of the Curriculum, is also investigated. The findings reveal that lecturers’ engagement with Internationalisation of the Curriculum and pedagogic change in general needs to be approached through the lens of lecturers’ perspectives and should be underpinned by Change theory. These considerations should also inform policy, practice and the associated implementation plan in order to ensure a successful and sustainable implementation of Internationalisation of the Curriculum at the teaching and learning level. The key theoretical/conceptual contribution of this study is, new knowledge and understanding of Internationalisation of the Curriculum, the inherent theory/practice implementation gap, and the associated Continuous Professional Learning required, from the lecturers’ perspectives in an Irish higher education, merger context. The key practical and methodological contribution is recommendations for a Continuous Professional Learning model to engage lecturers with the concept and practice of Internationalisation of the Curriculum. This will be achieved through re-contextualisation and adaption of an existing model. This will inform higher education policies and practice.