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International networks in higher education: realising their potential?

Roger Ottewill (Education Developer, Centre for Learning and Teaching, University of Southampton Southampton, UK.)
Paul Riddy (Education Technologist, Centre for Learning and Teaching, University of Southampton Southampton, UK.)
Karen Fill (Researcher, Centre for Learning and Teaching, University of Southampton Southampton, UK.)

On the Horizon

ISSN: 1074-8121

Article publication date: 1 September 2005




To illustrate the nature, range and variety of international networks linking individuals and institutions and reflecting the globalisation of higher education and desire of educators with common interests to shed their parochialism and communicate and collaborate on aspects of academic practice across national boundaries.


The authors draw on their personal experiences of securing European Union funding for establishing a network of tertiary level educators and some targeted online research, to inform their review and analysis.


Internationals networks in sphere of higher education can be either subject‐specific or thematic in their aims and either global or restricted to one part of the world in their membership. Some are the outcome of activities at grass roots level while others are a response to policy initiatives from inter‐governmental organisations.

Practical implications

Although widespread, international networks in higher education are by no means unproblematic and questions inevitably arise as to their contribution and role in facilitating innovations in academic practice. The authors identify a number of issues concerning their modus operandi and roles that need to be addressed if they are to play a full part in contributing to academic practice in higher education.


By highlighting the nature and contributions of international networks faculty are alerted to this mode of academic communication and collaboration and the steps that need to be taken if the full potential of such networks is be realised.



Ottewill, R., Riddy, P. and Fill, K. (2005), "International networks in higher education: realising their potential?", On the Horizon, Vol. 13 No. 3, pp. 138-147.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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