For a number of decades, higher education institutions worldwide have been opening their doors to an increasing number of international students, research partners and academics. According to a survey by the International Association of Universities (IAU), internationalisation is now considered to be one of the most integral parts of higher education institutions’ strategies: an overwhelming 91 per cent of institutions worldwide either already have an internationalisation policy or are in the process of preparing one.
With internationalisation becoming increasingly more important, a variety of complex policies and strategies has followed, aiming to increase the benefits of having more international institutions, while breaking down barriers and minimising risks.
Internationalisation at the University of Warwick
Warwick is one of the most successful overseas recruiters in the country, with around 7,000 international undergraduate and 10,000 postgraduate applications received each year. As such, internationalisation is one of our top priorities, with the International Office implementing initiatives for internationalisation, such as the creation of an international quarter on campus.
While current Warwick practice does not include an overarching strategy for internationalisation, our ambition is inherently international, with practices such as content approach, student exchange programmes, intake of overseas students and the inclusion of international staff (or staff with international experience) into the faculties.
Case Study: Claire O'Leary, Global Engagement
Claire O'Leary is the Assistant Director (Student Experience) at the Office for Global Engagement.
The Office for Global Engagement aims to carry out Warwick's strategy of becoming a truly global institution by extending its worldwide reach and reputation, developing its students' global intercultural skills and creatingan integrated community on campus.
Why is Warwick interested in becoming more international?
Professor Peter Corvi explains the reason for Warwick's interest in attracting more international students and how the University can contribute to the global society.
Responsibilities to international students
Professor Peter Corvi talks about the responsibilities that come with opening up the University to more international students, and how we can ensure that we help students as best as we can from the perspective of the Warwick International Foundation programme.
Case Study: WMG in India
WMG has a longstanding relationship with India; from collaborating with the Confederation of Indian Industry to develop a programme of training and internships for Indian companies to help solve the talent crunch, to assisting in the Indian Government’s initiative to increase the number of Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT), including a strategic partnership with the IIT at Bhubaneswar.
Dr Harita Joshi presents the case study on WMG's delivery of custom short courses for Tata Group employees.
Case Study: Year Abroad as a Liminal Space
As all undergraduate degrees in Modern Languages are four years long, students will typically spend their third year abroad, doing one of three things: working as a language assistant teaching English in a primary or secondary school; studying full-time at a partner university in your chosen country; or on a work placement.
Dr Cathy Hampton talks about her research on how the Year Abroad affects Modern Languages students, what effect it has on their skills, personalities and ability to communicate their experiences.
Internationalising the curriculum
'Internationalising the curriculum' is a catch-all term which covers a wide range of approaches, depending on factors such as intended learning outcomes of a programme, the interest of staff and students, or research and developments in the discipline.
According to a piece by Valerie Clifford from Oxford Brookes University, “an internationalised curriculum may have several recognisable components: global perspectives, intercultural communication, and socially responsible citizenship.”
At Warwick, international factors have long been a part of our curricula. Below are some examples presented by Fellows of the Academy, who discuss their experience of incorporating internationalisation in their disciplines.
Case Study: Global Health
Warwick Medical School puts a strong emphasis on promoting Global Health, incorporating it into their curriculum and committing to making an impact through numerous initiatives.The case study is presented by Dr David Davies, Associate Professor (Reader) at Warwick Medical School. David has worked in Malawi and Tanzania to develop and lead a training course on leadership, service improvement, and values-based practice for clinical officers in maternal and child health. He talks about how Global Health is incorporated into teaching throughout students' entire journey at WMS, and why it is important for a modern doctor.
Cultural differences between Home and International students
Dr Harita Joshi speaks about the differences in students' knowledge of fundamentals and ability to challenge their teachers dependent on the teaching approaches they are used to in different cultures.
Case Study: Warwick International Foundation Program
The Warwick International Foundation Programme (Warwick IFP) is an intensive 9-month pre-university programme designed to provide students with the perfect preparation for degree-level study.
The case study is presented by Professor Peter Corvi, who in 2015 redesigned the Warwick IFP curriculum.
Peter Corvi: Academic skills
Peter Corvi talks about the need to help international students learn certain academic skills to ensure that they are independent and critical thinkers.
What are the perceived benefits of internationalisation?
- According to the Higher Education Academy Framework for Internationalising Higher Education, internationalisation boosts institutions’ global reputation, and supports excellence in teaching and research through the promotion of values of equity, student mobility and international research collaborations.
However, according to the aforementioned survey, higher education institutions cite student knowledge of international issues as the most significant benefit of internationalisation. In other words, internationalisation can “enrich the design and delivery of the curriculum” and can help ensure a programme’s success and sustainability. By expanding the curriculum to cover international issues and topics, it helps to promote learning and future employability through the preparation of graduates who will become contributors to a globally interconnected society.
David Davies: Transformative Learning Through Internationalisation
Dr David Davies speaks about the importance of exposing students to different cultures.
Are there any difficulties tied to transformative learning experiences?
Dr David Davies introduces the common, and often deliberate, pitfalls students experience when met with transformative experiences.