Tag: international

EAIE report: Strategic partnerships in Europe

70385492-eaieLOGOEAIE has compiled a report examining strategic partnerships in Europe, a topic that has gained attention in European policy debates. The report is based on an EAIE survey “The EAIE Barometer: Internationalisation in Europe”.

The survey was sent out to EAIE members and beyond, yielding 2411 responses in total. Just over 2000 of these came from about 1500 European higher education institutions. One of the findings from the survey was that international strategic partnerships have been on the rise in recent years, 79% of the respondents in the survey had indicated that partnerships were an element of internationalization strategies. The current report examines the survey data that concerns strategic partnerships.

In this context, strategic partnerships are in the report defined as concrete agreements that are continuous, that is that they “encourage durable collaboration between institutions and organisations by building sustainable academic networks, strengthening exchanges among students and staff, and enhancing exchanges of knowledge and practices” (p.5).

Student blogger: International students and democratic deficit?

Enzo Rossi  (University of Oslo)

Enzo Rossi
(University of Oslo)

This guest entry is written by Enzo Rossi, who is a current student of the HEM programme, a former full-time student representative, and the co-founder of Internationalista, a platform that aims at increasing international students’ awareness of democratic processes and  involvement in governance at the University of Oslo. 

Are international students disproportionately underrepresented in formal governance, decision-making and leadership positions? Data for Norway seems to suggest that this is the case for all Norwegian Universities except Stavanger!

Democratisation has been hailed as one of the benefits of student mobility (Guruz, 2008). International students are expected to gain democratic principles from their adopted countries and go back home with an increased respect for democracy and a desire to uphold the rule of law and participate governance and decision making processes, becoming a positive influence for their community. But how can this be operationalised? How can democracy become an integral part of a study programme? One of the easiest ways to involve foreign students in democracy in their place of study is through being involved in student democracy.

Enzoblog2Norway has a long democratic tradition in its universities, and all decision making bodies must have student presence. Norwegian Students’ Unions have a pretty homogeneous way of doing things, they elect representatives for their “student parliament”, the highest decision making body for students, from different political factions present on campus. Several of those are linked to specific political parties and others are based on faculties or interests. Those elected then in turn elect students to take a paid sabbatical year working at the student parliament.

Administrative support for internationalisation – mobility agreements and joint degree programmes

Kristi Barcus (Univeristy of Oslo, Hedda)

Kristi Barcus
(Univeristy of Oslo / Hedda)

In this entry, Hedda’s own Kristi Barcus (University of Oslo) shares her expertise about working with internationalisation within the study administration. While we often hear about the importance of internationalisation as a strategic objective for universities, an administrative perspective provides valuable insights into the specific measures that can be taken to assure that such policies are effectively put into practice. 

Since I started working at the University of Oslo in 2006, internationalization has become an ever increasing “hot topic”.  The university even dedicated an entire year to internationalization, calling 2012 “internationalization year”. UiOs Strategy 2020 has set a strong emphasis on internationalization both within its teaching and research activities. But what does internationalization mean to a study administrator and what are some ways in which administrators contribute to internationalization at universities?

Student Mobility

Working in study administration, internationalization is to a large extent linked to student mobility. During the recent SIU Internationalization conference in Trondheim the rector of the University of Bergen, Dag Rune Olsen, reflected on the importance of student mobility.  He said, “If a student doesn’t plan on studying aboard during their degree, maybe they should reevaluate their reason for studying. (own translation)” The idea that all students should spend time abroad during their studies is often a core aspect of internationalization policies at universities. The expectation that having an international dimension of a study program is valuable not only for the student and her future, but also to the university itself is an important factor. But how do you motivate students to study abroad? What can an administrator do to facilitate this?

Guest blogger: Internationalisation of higher education in Norway – towards strategic partnerships and alliances

dr. Jennifer R. Olson  (University of Oslo)

dr. Jennifer R. Olson
(University of Oslo)

This guest entry is written by dr. Jennifer R. Olson who is currently employed as a post-doctoral fellow at the Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Oslo, the hosting institution of Hedda. In this post, she reflects on some of the recent trends in internationalization of higher education in Norway, following a nation wide conference on the topic.  

Internationalization of higher education in Norway is clearly a priority area for many higher education institutions and organizations as the third annual “internationalization conference”, held 5-6 March 2014 in Trondheim, underscored. More than 500 participants from the Norwegian higher education sector attend the conference organized by the Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Education (SIU) in cooperation with the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).

The title of the conference, “Strategiske Partnerskap og Allianser” (strategic partnerships and alliances) focused the presentations and discussions on a key theme running through much of the current internationalization of higher education discourse.

In many countries, including Norway, and international organizations (i.e. the European Unions’ Erasmus + program) the notion of strategic partnerships and alliances indicates a new direction for internationalization, namely to be more specific and active with particular programs and countries, and organized at an institutional (rather than individual faculty or department) level.  This perspective was supported by the new Minister of Education, Torbjorn Røe Isaksen. In his opening speech, Isaksen, highlighted the importance of strategic internationalization, emphasizing key partners: Europe and North America and the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) countries. The growing attention given to partnerships with the BRICS countries draws questions as to why should countries focus on the BRICS but as well signals internationalization is aligning with other national interests.  Indeed, Isaksen stated that there is a global power shift where the BRICS countries are becoming increasingly important and Norway needs to keep abreast with these trends. As such the government is in the initial stages of developing a national strategy to engage with the BRICS countries. Moreover, in 2012 the Ministry of Education asked SIU to strengthen the knowledge base for policy development and cooperation with the BRICS countries. The comparative study devised by SIU and carried out in 2013 looked at how Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Germany and the Netherlands organize their cooperation with the BRICS countries. One key impression that emerged, according to SIU project leader Arne Haugen, was that many of these countries have clearer goals for what they want to achieve as compared to Norway. The targets are primarily related to national economic interests.

Hedda podcast: AHELO Feasibility study with dr. Hamish Coates

Episode 41 of our podcast series features dr. Hamish Coates from the LH Martin Institute at University of Melbourne in Australia, and in the interview we discuss the AHELO Feasibility Study. AHELO stands for Assessment of Higher Education Learning Outcomes, and is a OECD funded project international project where Dr. Coates has been the Project Director.

Read more about AHELO here

You can also listen to the podcast in audio version:

Listen without the Flashplayer

Dr. Hamish Coates is the Director of Higher Education Research at the Australian Council for Educational Research, and an Associate Professor with the LH Martin Institute. In the last decade he has been responsible for a number of large scale projects and he has published numerous publications on the definition, measurement and evaluation of education processes, contexts and outcomes. His further research interests include large-scale evaluation, tertiary education policy, institutional strategy, outcomes assessment, learner engagement, academic work and leadership, quality assurance, tertiary admissions, as well as assessment methodology.

He is a member of a number of editorial boards, as well having experience with consultancy work for both the World Bank and OECD. Furthermore, he has held visiting fellowships at the University of Michigan and UNESCO’s International Institute for Educational Planning