Keynote Presentation - Higher Education Academy

The importance for universities of a holistic
approach to Internationalisation
Professor Ella Ritchie OBE
[email protected]
• Scope of internationalisation in UK Higher Education
• Current trends in international context
• The HEA framework and challenges for implementation
Scope of Internationalisation I
• Universities have always been highly international in nature
(knowledge exchange, internationalisation of profession and mobility)
• Acceleration and prominence in UK from 1980s with growth in
numbers of international students coming to UK and changes in
funding regimes.
• In 2000s growth of partnerships, networks, increased competition,
• Increased focus an ‘international student experience and
employability agenda.
Internationalisation is not new….
Alumni Reception
in Beijing (medics)
in 1932
Scope of Internationalisation II
• Now vital for university strategy ( positioning, rankings, teaching and
learning, research, business development, student experience, alumni
• Most HE providers have international strategies covering
 Recruitment
Partnerships, networks
• As research by HEA and others have shown growing move to
mainstreaming internationalisation into all strategies.
Likely Future Trends
Horizon scanning, what will HE look like in 2020?
OBHE on behalf of leadership foundation and International Unit UK
• Changes in patterns of recruitment (more regionalisation, new hubs emerging).
• Accelerated growth of TNE.
• Student mobility likely to increase but destination shift.
• Growth of technology enhanced learning and on-line learning.
• Growing importance of the European framework (which is itself becoming more
international) for both R+T+L
• More (varied) providers.
• De-coupling of provision from qualifications?
• More competition, more networks and partnerships.
• Greater commodification of HE?
Internationalisation may be becoming more
central to most HE providers but it is challenging
• To structures
 Executive teams
 Centre, faculty, school relationship
 ‘concept’ of University in case of TNE
To budgets
To governance
To process especially QA and accreditation
To Values
To academic body
To professional services
Cross-cutting nature of internationalisation means that an holistic approach is
best (both within HEIs and with partners)
Limits of “Internationalisation”
• It’s a process
• Diversity across sector and within institutions
• In 2011 only 2% of UK students spent any time outside the UK
• Not on everyone’s horizons!
• Often implicit rather than explicit process.
Message “devil is in the detail”
HEA Project
Development of framework for teaching and learning and students for
“high quality, equitable and global learning experience for all students”
Thoughts on the Framework
• Enhancement Tool
• Values driven
• Supports and guides
• Student focused
• Goes some way to answering the questions ‘are we there yet’ by
• Is it Normative or descriptive?
• What is value for TNE?
Thoughts on the framework
• Need to get all key agencies in University on board for
successful implementation.
• Important to spread best practice and make it meaningful.
• Also share what doesn’t work well !
• Always think what ‘naysayers’ view would be.
• Need to think about the framework in a transnational way.
The Example of Student ‘employability’
• The premise “that international study aids employability”.
• Need to unpick this.
• Not all employers do recognise this, many are hostile ( role for universities in
changing this).
• Need Personal Tutors, course leaders, Students Union, International office all
giving same message as careers and module leaders about value of international
• Need it to support students in articulating more clearly to employers what value
 Strengthening core competencies
 More confident, flexible students
 Gain of cultural awareness
• Need to temper messages realistically
• Path to internationalisation can be full of obstacles and challenges but
it can be an enhancing activity.
• Benefits can spread across different areas of university so it is
important to communicate well.
• Very important to share good practice with both peers and senior
leaders…. you are experts in your field.
• Use the HEA framework in an iterative way.