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Internationalisation of higher education and climate change: A cognitive dissonance perspective

Updated: Jan 22

Journal of Studies in International Education, December 2022

A cognitive dissonance perspective on the tension between international education and its impact on climate change.

Abstract This article applies cognitive dissonance theory to the internationalisation of higher education sector to comment on tensions experienced by practitioners associated with their work's climate impact. The existing literature and relevant climate action drivers and challenges within the sector are reviewed. A case study of a global grassroots initiative, the Climate Action Network for International Educators (CANIE), is considered to discuss possible solutions for how stakeholders can increase or decrease tensions at work in the relationship between international higher education and climate change. This article posits that cognitive dissonance theory can contribute to a better understanding of how dilemmas emerge at the intersection between international higher education and climate change to promote climate action within the sector. Avenues for future research are recommended.


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