A Model for the Regionalization of Higher Education: The Role and Contribution of Tuning

  • Jane Knight Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, Canada
Keywords: regionalization, system alignment, curriculum convergence, credit systems, qualification frameworks, organizational, functional, political, African Union, Latin America, Bologna, Europe, Central Asia


A notable evolution in the internationalization of higher education in the last decade has been the increasing emphasis on regional level collaboration and reform initiatives. The purpose of this paper is to examine the process of regionalization through the lens of a conceptual model and to demonstrate how different Tuning initiatives serve as useful instruments in the application of the model, and the ultimate realization of higher education regionalization. The evolving nature and meaning of region and regionalization are explored in the first section of the paper. This leads to an analysis and conceptual mapping of the many terms used to describe the phenomenon. The proposed model is based on three distinct but complementary approaches; Functional, Organizational and Political Approaches (FOPA). The three approaches are inter-related. The model is generic in concept and purpose so that it can apply to the evolving process of higher education regionalization in different parts of the world. The article examines how the initiatives and implications of the Tuning process are directly related to the model and consequently make important contributions to the regionalization of higher education in all regions of the world.

Published online: 4 July 2014


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Author Biography

Jane Knight, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, Canada

Jane Knight is Professor at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto (Canada). She focuses her research on the international dimension of higher education at the institutional, national, regional and international levels. Her work in over 65 countries with universities, governments, and UN Agencies helps to bring a comparative, development and international perspective to her research, teaching and policy work. Prof Dr. Jane Knight is the author of numerous publications on internationalisation concepts and strategies, quality assurance, institutional management, trade, education hubs, and cross border education. She is the co-founder of the African Network for the Internationalization of Education and sits on the advisory boards of several international organizations, universities, and journals. In 2010 the University of Exeter awarded her an Honorary LLD; in 2011 she was the recipient of the Outstanding Researcher Award from the European Association for Institutional Research, and in 2013 she was awarded the Gilbert Medal from Universitas 21 for her contribution to higher education internationalization.


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How to Cite
Knight, Jane. 2014. “A Model for the Regionalization of Higher Education: The Role and Contribution of Tuning”. Tuning Journal for Higher Education 1 (1), 105-25. https://doi.org/10.18543/tjhe-1(1)-2013pp105-125.