Do you know how your country and institution fare when it comes to internationalisation? The findings of the newly launched EAIE Barometer report show that differences in internationalisation trends are clearly discernible among countries in the European Higher Education Area (EHEA). These differences are prevalent when looking at how institutions are funded, as well as at the internal organisation of internationalisation and the presence of an internationalisation strategy.
The EAIE Barometer is the first study to map the internationalisation of higher education in Europe from the perspective of practitioners. It also sheds light on the knowledge and skills needed by staff to further professionalise internationalisation.
Advancing internationalisation through knowledge provision
Responding to the acknowledged need for comparative European data on the developments in internationalisation from practitioners’ points of view, the EAIE, in partnership with research and consultancy company Ecorys, developed The EAIE Barometer: Internationalisation in Europe.
The aim of the EAIE Barometer is to provide comprehensive research that effectively maps the state of internationalisation in the EHEA on an aggregate and national level from the perspective of the actors directly involved in internationalisation. The report particularly focuses on:
• Rationales behind internationalisation
• Organisational and strategic choices
• Internationalisation activities
• Influence of policy levels and evaluation of internationalisation
• Skills and knowledge needed by the staff involved in international education
The voice of professionals at the heart of internationalisation
2093 individual respondents from approximately 1500 higher education institutions in 33 EHEA countries filled in the survey in spring 2014. Their responses were complemented by those of 318 professionals working in the field beyond higher education institutions. A set of preliminary results was presented at the EAIE Annual Conference in Prague in September 2014. Today’s launch of the full report reveals a wealth of unique findings on various aspects of internationalisation.
Success is enhanced by skilled staff, a targeted strategy and monitoring of developments
The results of the EAIE Barometer are conclusive that international education must be approached as an integral part of the higher education institution’s strategy, while aiming to provide high-quality education for all students, international and domestic. The results also show that internationalisation has a distinctive place within higher education institutions’ strategies, with a clear distribution of internationalisation responsibilities duly extended in all echelons of a higher education institution’s hierarchy. Consequently, higher education institutions that strive to catch up with institutions leading in internationalisation would first and foremost need to develop a targeted strategy. At the same time, they would need to invest in building the relevant skills and knowledge of staff engaged in strategy implementation as well as establish the appropriate mechanisms to implement and monitor the implementation of the strategy.
Providing the right tools and skills to develop internationalisation
Internationalisation staff express distinct skill and knowledge needs, with the latter being stronger among the respondents. They indicate that they generally have the skills to adequately perform in their daily work but lack the state of the art knowledge to apply these skills. For an association like the EAIE it is important to focus on the knowledge and skills professionals in the field deem necessary to do their jobs better; only with skilled and knowledgeable staff, equipped with the right tools, can internationalisation reach its true potential. This study should be seen as a first attempt to better understand the tools higher education professionals in Europe require to develop internationalisation.
These are only some of the findings unveiled in the EAIE Barometer. To see how you, your institution and your country compare to your European peers and how you can further professionalise your internationalisation efforts, make sure you purchase the full publication now.
Want to take a sneak peek into the report? If you are an EAIE member you can access an extended version of the summary in the Member Centre and save 30% on the publication price.