Knowledge Mobilization (KMb): Multiple Contributions & Multi-Production Of New Knowledge

Tag Archives: global community

International Students As A Knowledge Mobilization Perspective


Accepting international students offers universities and our local communities an opportunity to create benefit – not just financially – but also from a knowledge mobilization perspective.

While the underlying economic value of international students contributes to improving financial and graduate enrollment struggles for universities, there is also broader value and benefit that international students bring as part of knowledge mobilization efforts. According to the Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE):

  • Canada ranks as the world’s 7th most popular destination for international students.
  • International student enrollment grew from 159,426 in 2003 to over 290,000 in 2013 – an 84% increase.
  • International students comprise 8% of the post-secondary student population in Canada.
  • Canada derives $8B annually from international student expenditures including tuition and living expenses.
  • The presence of international students created over 83,000 jobs and generated over than $291M in government revenue (2009).

These numbers stress the value of international students by financial benefits gained; however, the importance of the development of knowledge mobilization networks also draws on these numbers as international students exchange knowledge from their own cultures to our own – and in turn, bring back knowledge to exchange further around the world.

As an example, York University is Canada’s third largest university with approximately 55,000 students, 7,000 faculty and staff, and 260,000 alumni worldwide – with international students representing over 150 countries from around the world. York even has its own unit – York International – specifically designed to welcome and address the needs of international students studying at York. The Faculty of Graduate Studies at York is particularly focused on encouraging international graduate students. Such a breadth of knowledge networking opportunities from York alone provides valuable international perspectives that help shape and influence the lives of others on a global scale to make the research being done by international students – particularly graduate students – not only useful to our Canadian society but also to our greater society around the world.

Our domestic and foreign policy-makers can benefit from knowledge exchange opportunities that arise from potential, future world leaders through knowledge mobilization efforts being done by and for international students within our Canadian universities. The opportunities for Canadian universities to conduct research with broader impact is enhanced by incorporating knowledge mobilization strategies – particularly for international graduate students – by encouraging these students to research locally while thinking globally.

Knowledge mobilization is inherently about creating broader networks of knowledge exchange to make the world a better place. Drawing on the knowledge and skills of international students can create the potential for helping to overcome many of the wicked problems that all of us face on our planet. There are opportunities for benefit beyond our own borders that can contribute to a genuine shift in addressing socio-economic challenges when international students who have received a graduate degree in Canada return to their own countries around the world.

Although there is a definite financial benefit for struggling universities, obviously there are further advantages in exchanging knowledge on a broader, global-scale through knowledge mobilization. International students who study in Canada create ties and build trust and become future representatives in their home countries. They can bring back to their home countries the Canadian values of freedom, respect for cultural differences and a commitment to social justice. Welcoming international students to study in Canada and learn from these values – while also providing Canadian university students, staff and faculty an opportunity to learn from the values of other countries through knowledge exchange can transform our world. Seeing the value of universities investing in international students goes well beyond financial opportunities to long-term knowledge mobilization opportunities as the ultimate global community/campus collaboration.


Seeking Unchangeable Knowledge

Knowledge in this world comes through individual experiences.  No experience is ever exactly the same as any other – just as no person is exactly the same as any other. As each moment is different – so is each knowledge moment Trying to “capture” knowledge as something unchangeable will lead you on a wild-goose chase. This type of “knowledge” will never be attained.  But if you pursue knowledge with an open-mind and expectation of the ongoing process of knowledge you might very well find greater happiness in your life – and a deeper understanding of our ever-changing humanity.

I am definitely one of those people who recognizes each changing knowledge moment and oppportunity – now finding greater happiness in my life.  When I stopped trying to capture knowledge as something unchangeable and started looking for knowledge in the diversity of everything and everyone around me – I started finding greater happiness.

Earlier in my life I always expected certain things, certain people or certain situations to conform to my ideas of knowledge. It was very “black or white” thinking. I would say “why are they doing it that way, why not this way?”  It would often lead to frustration, annoyance and even anger.

Then I started opening myself up to other forms of knowledge that didn’t always fit into my “little box of knowledge” and I started to realize that the world is made up of many types of knowledge. When I decided to just let that knowledge happen, guess what? I started learning new things and new ideas that expanded my thinking – and quite frankly – made me a better person to be around.  I also started to realize that my own knowledge could contribute to the diversity of knowledge I was opening myself up to – and it was helpful – not just to myself – but to others.

I started to discover the meaning of knowledge as a daily practice and a daily process that connects me to the world around me. I also discovered that by sharing knowledge – especially through social media with people all around the world – I am connecting myself with a diversity of knowledge that can be used for social benefit.

If we spend all of our energy trying to “capture” unchangeable knowledge we miss out on the daily flow and process of knowledge. It’s like trying to hold back a waterfall with your hands. When we are open to learning and sharing knowledge with others we have the opportunity to let the diversity of knowledge come into our lives and transform our own knowledge. When our own knowledge is mobilized it becomes helpful – not just to ourselves – but to everyone.

Knowledge Sharing

Knowledge sharing improves our global population.

Knowledge In Every Voice

Everyone has a voice to be included in the collaboration and refinement of knowledge within our global community.