Internationalization is now of central importance for higher education institutions across the world, and the development of an international strategy is high on the agenda. In this paper we look at the complexities of globalization and internationalization as they play out in the particular circumstances of higher education, and provide a number of taxonomic approaches that can serve to organise the range of responses to globalization’s challenges, as possible precursors to strategy development and as aids to strategy revision and implementation.
The title of this paper has two meanings. First it marks the difference between educational objectives and learning outcomes. In the past we were used to describing what we as educators had as aspirations for our students – what we hoped the results of our teaching would be. Nowadays, we are encouraged, perhaps even obliged, to describe instead what students as learners will develop as capabilities – what we can guarantee the results of their (successful) learning will be. In that sense then the move is from aspirations (our hopes) to capabilities (their skills). The second meaning refers to what I see as the very significant gap between what we (as educators) aspire to achieve through an approach based on outcomes, and what we are currently capable of demonstrating through the adoption of that approach. It seems to me that despite our claims to be moving (or to have already moved) to an outcomes-based approach to education, we are really still a very long way from fully implementing those changes, and consequently a long way from benefiting from having done so.