Have we addressed internationalization sufficiently? Investigating British and Sino-British postgraduate curricula with a postcolonial design perspective

Qian Wang, Amy Gooden, Haibo Gu*, Hanlihui Ma, Yuchen Pan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Using the Internationalization of the Curriculum (IoC) model, this study analyses postgraduate educational programmes that contribute to internationalization in higher education at British and Sino-British transnational universities. The purpose is to explore postcolonial curricular design influences and opportunities. The study identified patterns based on content analysis of twelve programmes' goals, approaches, and course listings. The findings reflected noteworthy similarities with limited emphasis on the emerging paradigmatic shift of IoC. The study invited one programme director from each type of university to speak about the design intentions from an insider's perspective. The discovery was that both types of universities were driven, in part, by a response to global market trends rather than an ideological postcolonial design imperative. Semi-structured interviews of postgraduate Chinese students in the Sino-British university's programme were conducted to understand students' perceptions of learning and former pedagogical experiences. Students appreciated opportunities to explore indigenous knowledge and experiences to make the curriculum relevant and meaningful. They expressed a clear need to conduct independent discoveries without necessarily following the patterns established by Western scholars. The paper offers suggestions for constructing postcolonial learning environments. Implications for educational practices are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-221
Number of pages19
JournalCurriculum Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022


  • internationalization of curriculum
  • postcolonialism
  • postgraduate programme
  • transnational university

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