2022 Winter Forum call for submissions: Universities and their communities

2022 Winter Forum call for submissions: Universities and their communities EAIE Forum

The 2022 Winter edition of EAIE Forum magazine is now accepting submissions! This blog post elaborates on the issue theme of ‘Universities and their communities’ and explores a few topics and angles that will be well-suited for inclusion in the edition. Submit your article on by 01 August.

Higher education institutions don’t operate in a vacuum: they are connected through their activities and interests to a wide range of actors with a stake in what they do and how they do it. Indeed, service to society has long been considered one of the core functions of higher education, alongside education and research, and universities typically have strong links with their local and national communities, with whom they share physical space and close cultural, social and economic ties.

As internationalisation becomes more embedded in the fabric of higher education institutions across Europe and beyond, in what ways do universities’ international activities and orientations intersect with – and ideally enrich – their community engagement approaches and service to society agendas? This issue of Forum magazine endeavours to explore that very question from a variety of perspectives.

Ideas to practice

In recent years, prominent voices in the field of international education have been highlighting the power and potential of internationalisation to play a transformative role in society. But what do these kinds of ‘big ideas’ look like in practice? In what ways are individual programmes, departments, faculties or institutions operationalising community engagement in their internationalisation activities? And do these examples offer real-world lessons that others can learn from?

At home and abroad

Community engagement can be an aspect of an institution’s work in its domestic environment as well as in any one of the international contexts in which it may also operate. So, how do universities undertake community engagement activities in support of their Internationalisation at Home agenda, and how do they approach this work when it comes to internationalisation abroad? Are there essential ingredients or formats that can usefully be applied in both areas, or are there distinct information, skills or resources required to attend to this work in these different contexts? What kinds of partnerships make sense to foster meaningful community engagement?

Research, curricula and learning outcomes

The notion of community engagement in (international) higher education is often associated with ideas about how an institution behaves in relation to its external stakeholders. Our interest in this topic both embraces that perspective and extends beyond it, to encompass how social responsibility connects with what and how students learn and how the production of new knowledge is prioritised and developed. What does the notion of global citizenship mean to higher education institutions today? And if this is a learning outcome they seek for their students, what choices are institutions making today in relation to the curricula and learning experiences they offer students? How is social responsibility embedded in institutions’ research agendas and priorities?

Risks, challenges and opportunities

The work to effectively engage communities in connection with an institution’s internationalisation agenda may be characterised by layers of complexity. How do universities ensure they are involving the right actors and addressing the issues that are most relevant to the community (or communities) in question? How are matters of power, privilege, equity and inclusion dealt with in this work? How are institutions assessing their community engagement efforts and making determinations about their long- and short-term impact? Importantly, what does the future hold for community engagement as a core component of internationalisation in higher education – in specific national contexts where different political and social trends are in play, and more broadly at the European level, with its unique policy dynamics?

What’s your take?

Local communities and the broader societies that encompass them are experiencing an accelerating set of changes and challenges, whether in the face of pandemic conditions, climate change or geopolitical tensions. Meanwhile, internationalisation in higher education has been increasingly seen as a phenomenon that can be leveraged in service to society. How do you see the dynamics between universities and their communities today?

The EAIE welcomes articles of 800 to 1200 words on any aspect of this topic from both EAIE members and non-members by 01 August 2022. For more information on the issue theme, examples of article topics and guidelines for writing, see our page on Writing for the EAIE.

Spring Forum: Our changing climate

How can international higher education address the climate crisis? Learn more in Spring Forum. Members can access the entire issue and non-members can download the Editor's pick for free.