English-Taught Degree Programs and the Internationalization of Political Science in Poland

English-Taught Degree Programs and the Internationalization of Political Science in Poland

By Dorota Pietrzyk-Reeves, Jagiellonian University in Krakow

Poland, Lithuania, and Estonia are the only countries in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) that have adopted official strategies for internationalization in higher education (Crăciun 2018, 100). These strategies provide incentives for public universities and impact their specific development strategies. Understood as an intentional process of integrating an international and/or intercultural dimension into the goals, functions, and delivery of higher education, internationalization aims to improve the quality of national education and research and their global impact (De Wit and Altbach 2021, 29). More generally, it is a set of strategies that promote the idea of internationality in higher education. One strategy is the development of English-taught degree programs (ETDPs) in non-English-speaking countries. This Spotlight article illustrates that offering international ETDPs in the field of political science requires not only internationalization of the curriculum and student learning outcomes 1 but also may significantly strengthen the internationalization of research. Moreover, internationalization of research in political science may contribute to further development of international degree programs. This trend is visible in some CEE countries, especially Estonia, Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary. 2 EDTPs usually are offered by leading public universities and private institutions to increase additional revenue and achieve better results of internationalization. Based on nine interviews conducted at three political science departments in Poland, we contend that the benefits of these education and research statistics and existing scholarship accrue when teaching and research in the area of internationalization are treated intentionally as supportive of one another. Thus, the development of ETDPs is designed to contribute to the quality of education and international visibility but it also enhances research potential in political science.

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