Internationalization of Higher Education: Lithuanian Experience in Bologna Process and Beyond
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The purpose of the article is to investigate the influence of international documents on the process of internationalization of higher education and to identify political, legal, organizational, financial pre-requisites for internationalization of higher education in Lithuania. Method of comparative critical analysis of references was employed for the study. Therefore, this paper aims at investigating the influence of international documents, related to internationalization of higher education and at identifying political, legal, organizational, financial prerequisites for internationalization of higher education in Lithuania. The study showed that the scope and content of internationalization may be conceptualized as having several tiers: macro, mezzo and micro. Macro tier assigns higher education with the role to contribute to positive developments in society and economies, to democracy and cohesion. Mezzo tier assigns higher education with a task to provide students with high level educational services in order to help graduates to acquire necessary competencies. Micro tier assigns higher education institutions with task to organize their activities in order to secure achievement of tasks at mezzo and macro tiers. In Lithuania both idea and purpose of internationalization gained support by general public, national authorities and authorities of individual higher education institutions. The numbers of students incoming and outgoing of Lithuania in the framework of Erasmus program is increasing but the negative difference between the outgoing and incoming Erasmus students could be addressed by the Lithuanian authorities. Its negative influence is outweighed by the steadily increasing number of foreign students coming to study to Lithuania without any supporting exchange programs.
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