22 SES 11 A, Internationalisation: Student Experience
Universities around the world are changing rapidly in response to the influences of globalisation, advances in technology, and the increasing imperatives, financial and cultural, to 'become international'. Internationalisation has become n agenda of ket strategic importance for many higher education institutions, often assoicated with success in terms of global rankings, research funding, and international staff and student recruitment. The top 100 universities are ranked on 'international outlook' , defined by diversity on campus in terms of ratio of international to domestic students, and the extent to which academics collaborate with international research partners (Times Higher Educuation World Rankings). The Council of Europe urges member states to foster 'an international culture' by enrolling students from third countries, by fostering exchange and mobility of students and staff, projects and knowledge, and by engaging in academic and research cooperation. Internationalisationis considered to be necessary tbecause of the requirements of the European labour market and the need to increase European innovation capacity (Ritzen and Marconi, 2011). Internationalisation of outlook and culture present possibilities for transformative institutuional change in higher education (Killick, 2012; Robson, 2011). Key to this are academic staff, and the ways in which they enact an international outlook in their professional roles (Debowski, 2012) and contribute to the collective culture, vision, and imagination of their institution. Yet despite being key players in the process of internationalisation, academics have been undervalued in the debate (Teekens, 2006). The European Parliament Report on the Internationalisation of Higher Education (2015) notes that to realise the potential of internationalisation, a shift of emphasis is required from 'how many' international students, staff and agreements are secured by institutions, or how many places are gained in the rankings, to more qualitative considerations, such as how to achieve 'internationalisation at home'. If universities are to take seriously their mission to become international, they must also ensure that their academic staff possess the skills and knowledge, aptitude and mindsets that contribute to an international outlook (Sanderson, 2011; Teekens, 2006), and a global identity. This paper investigates how acadmeics percieve internationalisation as an institutional imperative, and whether they perceive themselves as 'international academics'. (Fanghanel, 2012)
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