Internationalization Between Strategy and Ethos: Multilingualism as a Sphere of Glocal Paradox

Ravit Mizrahi-Shtelman*, Gili S. Drori

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The analytic distinction between internationalization and globalization parallels the distinction between organizational strategy and organizational ethos. In higher education, internationalization revolves around the increasing mobility of students, faculty, and research funding, whereas globalization refers to the long-standing translocal ethos of science, academia, and higher education. Multilingualism serves as a sphere for expressing both strategy and ethos: Academia operates in the global and epochal lingua franca (Mauranen, 2012), namely Latin in the Middle Ages, German in the nineteenth century and, currently, English, which expresses the global and humanistic unity of science and academia while enabling strategic acts of communications and mobility. Nevertheless, for higher-education systems outside the global core (i.e., in societies whose native language is different than the dominant academic lingua franca), multilingualism frames the paradox of glocality (see Stevens & Giebel, 2020), global-local orientation. Seeing scant study of multilingualism and glocality in higher education, in this chapter we outline paradoxes driven by multilingualism in an Israeli research university. We analyze the debates about multilingualism around three academic practices: (1) organizational identity as expressed in the university’s mission documents, in English and in Hebrew; (2) the use of non-native languages in the university’s public space, namely in signage; and (3) language requirements on faculty members.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationHigher Education Dynamics
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media B.V.
Number of pages20
StatePublished - 2023

Publication series

NameHigher Education Dynamics
ISSN (Print)1571-0378
ISSN (Electronic)2215-1923

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2023.


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