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Abstract

Leaders of higher education institutions are eager to identify effective internationalization strategies in today’s fast-paced, interconnected global environment. International academic partnerships are a common yet understudied strategy designed to take advantage of globalization’s opportunities and to meet an institution’s internationalization goals. However, because these are based squarely on human interpersonal relationships, they depend heavily on the perceptions, interpretations and appropriations of those involved. This study offers an in-depth exploration of how an international academic partnership is perceived and interpreted by stakeholders on both sides of the partnership. Guided by a policy implementation theory and a case study approach, the study’s results yield a rich insider perspective on various facets of the partnership’s origination, operation and perceived effectiveness. The study provides suggestions for future research as well as recommendations for practice, such as the critical function of faculty involvement and the exercise of prudence by senior administrators who possess international partnership ambitions.