Internationalisation of higher education and nation building: resolving language policy dilemmas in Lithuania

Tatjana Bulajeva*, Gabrielle Hogan-Brun

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

14 Citations (Scopus)


Our paper discusses trends and challenges faced by Lithuanian Higher Education (HE) internationalisation policy processes in the context of European and global internationalisation tendencies. Using 2001-2011 EU mobility statistics and data from recent HE Lithuanian strategic programmes aimed at promoting the internationalisation of university education (for 2009-2010 and 2011-2012), we discuss implications of these developments for the country's language (education) policy and its practical implementation. The officially practiced policy approach that aims to strengthen the national language and culture (as is visible throughout the post-Soviet space) faces challenges with the development of societal multilingualism. This contrasts with Western policy practices, where common/mutual rationales and approaches seek to support multilingualism and multiculturalism. In the Baltic region, protectionist national political instruments have had to address dilemmas that have arisen in connection with Western-mediated HE internationalisation processes. This has led to the deployment of different internationalisation policy rationales that promote global and regional cooperation. New approaches focused on linking Baltic language studies centres with departments of Baltistics and Indo-European studies have worked to establish stronger bonds with structures at foreign universities. As a consequence common interests in the study, research, development and promotion of the languages in the Baltic are now more widely shared, both regionally and internationally.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)318-331
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • HE language policy
  • HE policy
  • internationalisation in HE
  • Lithuania

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