Institutes of higher education embracing internationalization needs to define it beyond the mere movement of students, but also assess its impact on people.
This was one of the comments on the recently launched “Global Survey of the Internationalization of Higher Education” by the International Association of Universities which surveyed 1336 institutions in 131 countries.
In commenting on the outcomes of the survey Dr Rahul Choudaha, senior director of strategic development at World Education Services in New York, said in a blog institutions need to become more focused not only on defining internationalization beyond the movement of people, but also on assessing the impact on people.
“Institutions should strive to establish campuses that are welcoming environments and are conducive to learning for a wide variety of students from various backgrounds, and to teaching for faculty of different national origins.”
As part of collecting information on the impact it has on its students WUAS recently launched a new effort get in touch with its former students and create an active alumni network. Therefore it is encouraging all its former students - Bachelor and Master students - to make contact with the university in order to know about their experience at Wittenborg and current status. They can do so by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr Choudaha further writes that In terms of student mobility, leaders should decide what success would be at their institution. “Universities generate ideas. In the global knowledge economy ideas are an essential aspect of internationalization.
Internationalization strategies should incorporate global elements into research and curricula that are relevant to the mission of the institution. Core competencies and relevant research that will prepare students for the world should take precedency over unnecessary new movements towards curricular fads.
Some of the highlights of the report includes:
Institutions world-wide are focusing on internationalization. Over half of the respondents report that their institution has an internationalization policy/ strategy, and 22% report that one is in preparation. Just over 15% indicate that internationalization forms part of the overall institutional strategy.
Student knowledge of international issues is the most significant expected benefit of internationalization.
Student mobility and international research collaboration are the highest-priority internationalization activities within institutions.
International opportunities being available only to students with financial resources, was ranked by respondents as the most significant potential risk of internationalization for institutions while the most significant societal risk is noted as commodification/commercialization of education.
In the majority of regions, respondents indicated that their geographic focus for internationalization was on their own region. Europe is also a strong focus for most regions.
Respondent institutions report that they seek to promote values of equity and sharing of benefits through their internationalization strategy and activities.
by Anesca Smith