International higher education's scholar-practitioners: bridging research and practice
The idea of the professional who bridges both research and practice has been largely overlooked and at times even disregarded by the academic and administrative structures that govern activity in higher education today. In international higher education, the number of students who now engage in mobility and exchange has expanded globally, along with the administrative cadre that manages all facets of internationalization, and the quickly growing scholarly attention to understanding the phenomenon. In this process, two distinct professional categories have emerged: those who `study it' and those who `do it' - the scholars and the practitioners. Practitioners are seen as those who manage the daily logistical flow of students and personnel around the globe, while scholars are seen as those who conduct research, collect and analyze data, and publish findings to inform, improve, and justify the activity. Yet this dichotomy is overly simplistic, outdated, and excludes the large and growing class of hybrid scholar-practitioners who now engage regularly in both kinds of activity. It is this rapidly growing population of bridge builders that are profiled and discussed in this book through critical essays on the notion of the scholar-practitioner and its implication for the further development of international higher education. The chapters include detailed analyses from university faculty, senior international officers and other high-level administrators, directors of research centers, key leaders from influential professional associations and private organizations, managers of study abroad and exchange, and graduate students. This book launches a much-needed dialogue about the perception and reality, potential and promise, of the scholar-practitioner in higher education today. It will be of relevance to a wide variety of readers, from those within universities and organizations to those who are outside observers of higher education.