Teaching Matters as a collaborative space: Learnings from the internationalisation series

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This post culminates the Teaching Matters series on internationalisation curated by Dr Omolabake Fakunle as invited editor, in collaboration with Joséphine Foucher and Joe Arton. In this post we reflect on the collaborative process and revisit key themes in the series.

A snapshot of the stages during the collaborative journey below may be helpful for others within the University community.

  • Identifying a theme related to teaching and learning in the university

The selection of a theme for the series emanated from a previous Teaching Matters post. This underpins the importance of all contributions to Teaching Matters as a potential impetus for future collaboration. In our case, the Teaching Matters editorial team spotted the opportunity for collaboration and reached out to Labake as an invited editor of the internationalisation series. This does not preclude individuals from pitching their ideas to the Teaching Matters editors for potential areas of collaboration.

  • Defining and refining the scope of the series

While we generally agreed on the theme, it was important to clearly communicate the conceptual focus of the series. In this case, the series focussed on individual perceptions on internationalisation in relation to teaching and learning. This was helpful for the selection process of contributors. We had one online meeting to talk through the scope of the theme.

  • Managing timelines

Feasible timeframes were agreed, taking into account other primary responsibilities. We put together a feasible timeframe for the editor to seek and review contributions, and the numbers of contributions relevant to the specific topics related to the overall theme. A period of three months was allocated (December 2020-February 2021) to collect, review and send final contributions to the Teaching Matters editors for publication.

  • Planning and organising

A structured and organised approach towards the collaboration ensured that most of the submissions were ready before the introductory post was published on 02 March 2021.

  • Managing expectations

Understandably, two contributors did not meet the internal deadline to send their drafts. Nevertheless, the posts were submitted before the scheduled  publication.

Two invited contributors were unable to submit due to competing schedules and a lack of time. This was not unexpected considering the continuing demands on staff and students in these challenging times. This stresses the importance for potential future series editors to make allowances for colleagues who may ‘drop out.’ This potential hitch can be mitigated by seeking more contributors than you may think you need. The Teaching Matters editors are always open to receiving contributions.

  • Publicising and enhancing visibility

All contributors are asked to check their post before it is published. Contributors are invited to submit their social media details to enable further dissemination of their posts beyond the university.

It is important to commend all the contributors to Teaching Matters and the hardworking editorial team for their commitment to building a community where we can share good practices for the benefit of our academic community, and beyond.


As detailed above, this series aimed to highlight what internationalisation at the University entails from  a variety of voices and perspectives. The contributors  problematised terms such as ‘diversity’, ‘internationalisation’, and ‘decolonising the curriculum’. The series featured blog posts and podcasts by international and ‘home’ students, teaching fellows, lecturers, school administrators and directors, and Edinburgh Global support staff. Here are a few highlights:

  • Cam Starbuck provides an insightful look into an often overlooked dimension of the internationalised classroom: the experience of ‘home’ students. He discusses how sharing a pedagogical space with international students helped him to develop a reflexive outlook on his own situated experiences and on the impact of his voice.


  • In another post, Jingyi Li unpacks the restrictive understanding of diversity in taught postgraduate courses and advocates for discursive and dialogical take on diversity, in order to break certain assumptions about learning styles and approaches.


  • Davies Brenda discusses the double bind that surrounds universities’ efforts in supporting both themes of internationalisation and decolonising the curriculum when the former is widely seen to uphold a hegemonic Western agenda that the latter aims to interrogate and dismantle.


  • In their post, Marie Hamilton and Claire Chalmers highlight how their role as administrators intimately shapes the experience of international and home students. They share vivid anecdotes about how making small communication and logistical adjustments can go a long way.


  • Mark Pace shares a personal story about how his own lived experience having grown up in an international environment along with his practice of dance feed his teaching practice.


  • Finally, two podcast episodes recorded by Omolabake Fakunle are in the works to conclude this series. They will feature Dr Shari Sabeti, Director of Postgraduate Research Studies at the Moray House School of Education and Sports, and Prof James Smith at the School of Social and Political Science and Vice-Principal International. Stay tuned!

We encourage readers to have a look at all the contributions in this series because, when read together, they form a more comprehensive look at what internationalisation means and the ways in which it can be improved, questioned, and transformed. All the posts can be revisited here:


The Teaching Matters editors deeply enjoyed working with Omolabake Fakunle on this series; we learned a lot and hope to continue making Teaching Matters a reflective and collaborative platform for staff and students.

photograph of the authorOmolabake (Labake) Fakunle

Dr Omolabake (Labake) Fakunle is a Chancellor’s Fellow at the University of Edinburgh (UoE) and Coordinator of the MSc Education General Pathway, Moray House School of Education. She is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Labake leads an EDI subgroup at the School level and is a Steering Group Member for the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities (IASH) Project on Decoloniality (2021-2024). Her award-winning research explores the intersection of internationalisation, inclusivity, employability and education policy. Labake has led and worked with multi-disciplinary teams on national and multi-national research projects in higher education.
Email: omolabake.fakunle@ed.ac.uk
Twitter @LabakeFakunle

photograph of the authorJoséphine Foucher

Joséphine is doing a PhD in Sociology at The University of Edinburgh. Her research looks at the intersection between art and politics. She works with Joe Arton as the Teaching Matters Co-Editor and Student Engagement Officer.

photograph of the authorJoe Arton

Dr Joe Arton is an Academic Developer at the Institute for Academic Development at the University of Edinburgh, he is the co-editor and producer of Teaching Matters blog and podcast and curates The Edinburgh Hybrid Teaching Exchange, the University of Edinburgh’s internal site for Hybrid Teaching and Learning resources and best practice.

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