From 2012-2016 the EIHE project convened researchers from 23 universities in 10 countries to map understandings and experiences of higher education internationalisation at national, institutional, and individual levels. The project aimed to collect data and devise frameworks for understanding and challenging current HE internationalisation(s).
The project generated a wealth of data about perceptions, policies and contexts which has yet to be completely analysed, understood and compared. A key output of the project was the co-creation of analytical heuristics for interpreting the data. This paper presents a social cartographic heuristic, used to analyse strategy documents for 19 universities in 6 countries and discusses some key findings on perceptions of internationalisation and global citizenship gathered from student surveys. We situate both data and analyses in the shared commitments of the research collaboration – intelligibility, dissent and solidarity.
We argue that analytical heuristics and collective research ethos are as important as data, as without them, data remain unintelligible. The heuristic rendered three dominant discursive configurations and their interfaces intelligible. To us researchers, embedded within the everyday confusions and constraints of internationalising higher education, the heuristic enabled us to name our confusions, set research agendas, mobilise ethical concerns and dissent, and explore potentially alternative possibilities.