More than student recruitment: developing international strategies

Internationalisation needn’t be limited to student attraction and its gains are not just financial. Join our live chat Friday 17 August to explore shifting trends and values in global higher ed

Internationalisation in higher education is nothing new. For decades – before there were economic gains to be made from international student recruitment and possibly even before the term was coined – the brightest and wealthiest students from developing countries have gone to study abroad. The institutions selected have been as much a reflection of the political ties between countries, as they’ve been an indication of a student’s personal ambitions.

But since the development of the higher education market, the rising costs of a university education and the diminishing support of governments through the public purse, universities – old and new – are actively pursuing internationalisation strategies. The other big change of course, is that the new key players in higher education (India, China and Brazil) reflect wider geopolitical shifts.

Still, to see internationalisation as simply synonymous with international student recruitment is both a limited approach and one loaded with concerns over neo-colonialism and imperialism. The sector now speaks more of international partnerships – from research collaborations and consultancy to academic and student exchanges.

Engaging globally has becomes both more popular and more complex. In turn, universities are beginning to adopt a variety of approaches – often led by institution heads. In this brave new world, how do you go about developing a strategy that works and is embedded in your existing institutional culture? How do you pick your partners and as universities start multiple partnerships in multiple countries? How do you determine who the stakeholders are, to whom you should be accountable? And, perhaps most contentious of all, how do you assess internationalisation strategies? Should universities measure their activities or the impact of those activities? Ultimately, what does quality look like in international higher education?

Join our panel, Friday 17 August to understand the place internationalisation strategies fill within wider higher education and share your experiences and expertise on how the best internationalisation strategies are developed.

The live chat will begin at 12 BST and will be in the comment threads beneath this blog. To join the panel, email Eliza Anyangwe

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