EAIE New Knowledge Alert: February 2020

EAIE New Knowledge Alert: February 2020

Across Europe at this time of year, change and challenges are in the air. The days are beginning to last a little longer and the cold of winter (already somewhat mild for many of us this year) is beginning to relent slightly. While these are heartening developments, matters such as the fast-moving COVID-19 outbreak are highly sobering.

Against this backdrop, a crop of recent publications and reports offers new information and insights into the internationalisation of higher education across Europe and beyond. This first 2020 instalment of the quarterly EAIE New Knowledge Alert blog series highlights a short but wide-ranging list of recently published resources that offer new statistics, perspectives and food for thought.

Reflecting on recent accomplishments in Europe

January 2020 saw the release of the Erasmus+ annual report 2018, an important yearly statistical reference point for many of us. As expected, the publication provides an overview of the programme’s overarching priorities for the year in question, and gives indications of future aspirations for the 2021–2027 generation of the programme. Here, attention is paid to the quest to achieve a European Education Area by 2025 and to see the European Universities initiative flourish. Additionally, the report highlights the centrality of focusing on social inclusion as a key objective, as well as increasing digitalisation and other technology-enabled enhancements in order to simplify administrative burdens and enhance access and participant experience. Budgetary information, participation figures, and other relevant details are provided for each of the programme’s Key Actions, as well as the Jean Monnet and Sport activities encompassed by Erasmus+.

For the real research junkies among us

The first instalment in 2020 of the Journal of Studies in International Education was published earlier this month and consists of a special issue titled “Moving Beyond ‘North’ and ‘South’: New Global Perspectives on International Research Collaborations.” The issue consists of eight articles that explore various aspects of the complex contemporary realities of research collaborations within and across the highly diverse contexts of the so-called Global North and Global South. Examples from Norway to Tajikistan, South Africa to Kazakhstan, Brazil to Germany offer up a rich set of insights into old challenges, new developments, and possible futures.

For those of us working with international research partnerships and programmes in Global South contexts (and, yes, it’s a contested term, to be sure), this is a timely exploration of some of the key trends and issues framing this vitally important area of internationalisation.

Meanwhile, if you’re interested in this particular line of conversation, we urge you to stay tuned (or better yet, contribute) to the Winter 2020 issue of Forum, which will focus on ‘Europe and the Global South’. We’re actively accepting submissions for that issue of Forum until 15 June 2020.

A very big picture perspective

The International Association of Universities has released its latest instalment of the International Handbook of Universities. Touted by its publisher as being “The most comprehensive and authoritative guide on higher education systems, credentials and institutions around the world,” this exhaustive directory aims to catalogue the global landscape of institutions that offer at least a four-year degree or a four-year professional diploma. Details are provided not only on individual institutions, but also on the education systems in which they operate. At more than 8000 pages in length, this extensive volume includes national-level information such as admission criteria (including for foreign students), quality assurance and recognition systems, and national higher education bodies, while for individual institutions details such as specific programmes of study, degrees and diplomas awarded, and key personnel are provided.

New insights on the horizon

This month, the EAIE undertook a snapshot survey to gauge how higher education institutions in the European Higher Education (EHEA) area are being affected by and are responding to the COVID-19 outbreak. In the coming weeks, information from that survey exercise will be made available, in the hope that we can help shed light on how this situation is evolving. Interestingly, our colleagues at the International Institute of Education (IIE) in the United States have conducted a similar survey at nearly the same time. So, in addition to our work to understand European developments, we look forward to also gaining insight into how institutions in another major international education context are experiencing this challenging situation.

Stay tuned for more and good luck in your work as 2020 marches rapidly onward.

Keep up to date

Want to stay abreast of news like this and other important developments in the field? In addition to highlights in the monthly newsletter, EAIE members enjoy full access to publications, research and more in our resource library.

Laura E. Rumbley
EAIE, the NetherlandsLaura is Associate Director of Knowledge Development and Research at the EAIE.