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RESEARCH ON CULTURE IN THE FIELD OF HIGHER EDUCATION: THE CULTURAL READINESS OF SLOVENIAN HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS TO THE INTERNATIONALISATION OF HIGHER EDUCATION
The contribution places the concept of culture in the context of (internationalisation of) higher education within three substantially rounded and complementary units of research. In the first part, it focuses on the conceptual dimension of the term 'culture' as a set of existing values, attitudes and modes of behaviour that is shaped and reinforced by the repeated practices of groups of individuals in a particular context (Becher & Trowler, 2001). In this way, the presentation provides an appropriate starting point for further discussion on the relationship between culture and higher education which is analysed from the perspective of the disciplinary and institutional tradition of cultural studies in higher education. In the second part, attention is paid to the concept of organizational culture which is considered one of the most important factors that either stimulate or inhibit the process of internationalisation of higher education. The concept of organisational culture is explored from the standpoint of influential typologies, models, and frameworks as important tools for investigating the impact of organisational culture on higher education (e.g., Tierney, 1988; Sporn, 1996; Stier, 2010) and hence, on the development and implementation of internationalisation strategies. On this basis, the presentation also provides an appropriate starting point for the third part discussion which places organizational culture in the framework of the internationalisation of Slovenian higher education institutions. Through an in-depth analysis of various documentary sources and, in particular, institutional strategies for internationalisation (where the focus is on their mission, vision, main strategic objectives and orientations), the contribution firstly places on this basis the selected Slovenian higher education institutions into Davies’ conceptual framework or matrix of the four main internationalisation approaches (Davies, 1995), whilst in the following, it identifies and evaluates with the model of cultural readiness for internationalisation (Agnew & VanBalkom, 2009) specific influences that support or inhibit the cultural readiness of selected Slovenian higher education institutions for the internationalisation at the micro, meso and macro levels of higher education. The research of the title topic is conducted as part of the research programme Cultural Formations Research which is co-financed by the Slovenian Research Agency.