Internationalization of higher education in Central Asia: a systematic review

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Despite the growing literature on higher education internationalization in Central Asia, such literature remains unexamined for its criticality. Our systematic integrative literature review helps address this lacuna. The article utilizes critical internationalization perspectives to examine the extent to which the literature on internationalization in the region addresses the critical questions currently dominating the internationalization discourse globally. We analysed 56
peer-reviewed journal articles published in English between 2012 and 2022 to address the following themes: (1) internationalization as Westernization, (2) internationalization and the modernization of the university, (3) internationalization equals Englishization and 4) internationalization and the recreation of unequal relations. We assert that the published work does not promote the reimagination of dominant patterns of relationship, representation and resource distribution. By providing a systematic review, we hope to have helped academics, researchers, students, administrators and policymakers reflect upon and reimagine internationalization practice.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCentral Asian Survey
Early online dateMar 4 2024
Publication statusPublished - Mar 4 2024


  • Internationalization; epistemological hegemony; development; Westernisation; higher education; Central Asia


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