Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Doctor of Philosophy




Paul Tarc


The Doubleness of International Double Degree Programs at Ontario Universities: Challenges and Prospects for Global Citizenship Education

This research explores transatlantic partnerships in higher education, specifically the international double degree programs (IDDPs) as strategic venues for fostering global citizenship at Ontario Universities. In fact, the advent of internationalization of higher education has compelled universities to connect with others around the world in the pursuit of world class status to remain competitive in attracting funds, academic talents and international students. IDDPs are partnerships between two or more universities located in different countries that allow for student mobility and academic collaboration. Students registering in these programs are required to spend half of their time in each partnering university to complete their academic requirements. This doctoral research is a hermeneutic phenomenological study on the lived-experiences on current students and graduates of IDDPs at the University of Ottawa and Western University in partnership with universities in France. The character of these programs resides in the ‘doubleness’ engendered in the IDDPs: the geo-cultural experiential learning for students to evaluate and appreciate the intricacies of living in two different countries with the potential for identity hybridization and the cultivation of cosmopolitan virtues in this increasingly interconnected world. Fourteen students and three university administrators were interviewed as stakeholders of the IDDPs. Although findings reveal a positive participant perceptions of these academic programs, there are many challenges for IDDPs that include insufficient curricular and extra-curricular programming to facilitate immersive experience within students’ host communities whilst completing their study-abroad requirements, and linguistic and financial barriers inhibiting prospective growth and expanded access. The findings of this research can inform policy and practice reform in study abroad programming.

Keywords: international double degree programs, cotutelle, global citizenship, cosmopolitanism, internationalization, hermeneutic phenomenology