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UUKi releases Int’lisation at Home handbook

A handbook has been launched for universities wishing to internationalise their campuses, crafted by sector experts belonging to Universities UK International.

IaH stems from internationalisation of the curriculum, which was coined by Betty Leask. Photo: Pexels

IHEC recently released a report that called for IaH to be a "central part" of the UK's next HE strategy

Internationalisation at Home (IaH) is increasingly popular among universities in the wake of difficult travel conditions borne out of the Covid pandemic, as well as cost constraints.

A UK team led by Anthony Manning, the University of Kent’s dean for global and lifelong learning, and internationalisation officer Emma Marku developed the handbook in response to growing discussion around IaH.

The International Higher Education Commission recently released a report that called for IaH to be a “central part” of the UK’s next higher education strategy.

“Universities are operating against a backdrop of developing environmentally sustainable practices, widening participation from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds in global activities, financial pressures, and ensuring inclusivity and belonging amongst their student cohorts,” the handbook foreword wrote.

“IaH provides an excellent opportunity to bring global dimensions to our university experiences through recognition of the diversity on our campuses and the value which can be unlocked from within our international student communities.”

Students deserve to “experience a curriculum which reflects the rich diversity of our local and international communities” and access an “inclusive form of learning”, it added.

The document looks at challenges that could be experienced in IaH, including potential cultural issues.

“Some academic staff… are less persuaded of the need to engage in the discourse… It’s important to remember that one size doesn’t fit all in terms of individual staff members’… experience or subject focus,” the document read.

It contends that IaH should be implemented across all services “and not confined to international offices”.

The handbook also offers pointers of good practice that can inform IaH, with various case studies on how some UK institutions have approached it.

IaH is not just growing in the UK though. As part of a new, free internationalisation course offered by Cormack Consultancy Group, IaH will also form an integral part of the core sessions in the course that will be offered first to Indian Universities.

“A core module is on internationalisation will include global trends, Indian trends, and then there are subtopics like recruitment, international projects, internationalisation at home and, COIL,” Anzhela Stashchak, director for projects at CCG, told The PIE News.

“All these things… are really important when you are starting with the internationalisation and [it’s something ] from which students and staff can actually benefit,” she continued.

One of the people behind the handbook, Manning, is also the lecturer that will be spearheading the course’s IaH module, with modifications made specifically for Indian universities and how they can benefit from the practice.

IaH can also be, according to the handbook, formal, informal, or hidden – depending on how it is implemented within the institution.

“Different higher education institutions will have a range of resources and time availability to be able to engage with IaH, due to competing demands and priorities,” the handbook noted.

“These activities can help institutions make progress towards a range of key policy and strategic missions, including: global engagement; employability; equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI); sustainability; participation; and progression,” it added.

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