Internationalization and the invisible language? A language perspective into the Finnish higher education internationalization policy

Responsible leader of the research: Taina Saarinen, PhD


Funding: The Academy of  Finland (2011-2013)

The purpose of this project was to analyze the tensions caused in Finnish higher education policies by demands for “internationalization”, by taking language as the point of departure, and aiming at understanding the emerging trends towards multilingualism and the increasing use of languages other than Finnish or Swedish in higher education tuition. The study was conducted from a historical, discursive (policy), and language usage (practice) viewpoint. The results of the project imply a change in the conceptualisation of “language” indexing “national”. In the Finnish higher education context, it seems that the invisibility of “language” is challenged by English rather than Swedish (which is the case in education in general). New, unanswered issues begun to surface, as I begun to see emerging patterns of policy taking place, being construed, contested and reproduced in a multi-sited manner.