Institutional Theory and the Internationalization of Higher Education in South America: The Brazilian Case

Leonardo Flach, Lisandra Flach


Theory of internationalization has mainly focused on the internationalization of firms and their economic effects and has neglected the role of the education institutions. The Brazilian higher education system is the largest in Latin America (Inep, 2010) and has passed through important structural changes since the beginning of the 1990s. This paper aims to analyze, from the lens of institutional theory, the process of internationalization of higher education in Brazil. We use the lens of institutional theory as a way to understand the elements that permeate the organizational field of universities, institutional managers, regulatory agencies and decision makers at the organizational and national level. Finally, we perform an analysis of some international patterns and standards and propose strategies to the South American higher education institutions.


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