IIE Network - Fall 2013 - (Page 27)

COMPREHENSIVE INTERNATIONALIZATION Connecting the Dots: Integrating Engagement with International Stakeholders By Douglas Proctor HIGHER EDUCATION PROVIDERS have begun to drive internationalization into all corners of their institutions, and it is now common for international strategy to inform agendas in learning and teaching, research and outreach/engagement. Indeed, this is at the very heart of the concept of comprehensive internationalization put forward in 2011 by Prof John K. Hudzik. In his terms, “comprehensive internationalization is a commitment, confirmed through action, to infuse international and comparative perspectives throughout the teaching, research, and service missions of higher education. It shapes institutional ethos and values and touches the entire higher education enterprise (…)”. However, to what extent is international engagement joined up? Do we have an integrated approach to engagement with international stakeholders? Institutional success in internationalization is generally measured through the scale and scope of our various international activities—the level of our international collaboration in research, the research funding we’ve secured from international sources, the number of international students recruited and enrolled in our courses, the size and reach of our outbound student mobility program, our efforts to internationalize the curriculum, our alumni community abroad, our engagement with partner institutions and governments abroad and our contribution to international public policy. However, despite a profusion of international activities within a given institution, it remains the case that international engagement is only partially “joined up,” and this presents a significant opportunity for the future of international education and internationalization more broadly. This opinion piece argues that it will become crucial for institutions to connect the dots between their international stakeholders (and their international engagement activities) if they are to realize the broader benefits of comprehensive internationalization. Harnessing this collective potential will lead to outcomes which would otherwise go unrealized—greater philanthropy, additional resources from government or non-government funding agencies, new opportunities for research collaboration and the mobility of staff, enhanced access to student mobility, etc. Importantly, joining the dots on international engagement will enable a more holistic understanding of the values associated with internationalization within today’s institutions. Were we to find the right ways to connect the dots between the various forms of international engagement, I imagine that we would succeed in truly embedding internationalization (as a process of change) within our institutions and re-position its value beyond and outside the simple metrics of international student numbers, outbound students or international research funding. As such, I believe that the next big agenda item for the International Office is how it can support and drive an integrated approach to engagement with international stakeholders across the institution. Building the Case for Integrated Stakeholder Engagement Many higher education providers have adopted an integrated approach to managing the student lifecycle, from initial inquiries and applications, through admission and enrolment, to study and then a long future as a member of an alumni community. Rationales for such an approach include a streamlined and improved experience for a diverse student body (including sizeable international student cohorts), as well as increased student retention. In the background, much work has been done to improve administrative efficiency and to ensure a seamless student experience regardless of internal processes and of which campus office might be supporting the particular stage of the lifecycle. Investment It will become crucial for institutions to connect the dots between their international stakeholders (and their international engagement activities) if they are to realize the broader benefits of comprehensive internationalization. has been made in advanced Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems to support these endeavours. In terms of international engagement, this focus on the student lifecycle has done much to support the experience of a growing number of international students on campus. However, similar initiatives have not been launched in relation to the “cycle of engagement” with other international stakeholders, including business/industry, government, funding bodies, peer institutions, NGOs and the community sector. Indeed, responsibility for managing relations with this group of external stakeholders can often be so widely distributed across campus that the very process of mapping the stakeholders can be a lengthy and involved exercise, let alone developing plans of coordinated action. Nevertheless, a strong rationale can be built for the importance of a holistic approach to our engagement with international stakeholders. As an illustration, consider the following examples: • An alumnus is appointed Australian Ambassador to a country of key importance to the University’s research strategy—do we have the systems in place to 27

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IIE Network - Fall 2013

A Message from Allan E. Goodman
News
Megatrends: Predicting the Future of International Education
Considering Study Abroad’s Past to Prepare for its Future
The Promise of International Education: Building a More Just and Elevated Civil Society
Global Research and Commercialization: An Under-the-Radar Next Big Thing
Clustering Innovation and Industry: New Opportunities for Europe
Connecting the Dots: Integrating Engagement with International Stakeholders
The Rise of Real-time, Online International Recruitment
Hold on to Your Hats, MOOCs... Here Come the TOQUES!
The Global Youth Engagement Platform: A Peace Corps for the 21st Century
Growing Globally Competent Students to Achieve True Internationalization
Beyond Ourselves: Embracing Our Global Responsibilities
India: Expansion, Equity, Excellence
The Growing World of Collaborative Internationalization: Taking Partnerships to the Next Level
From Multi-national Universities to Education Hubs to Edu-glomerates?
Advertisers Index
Beyond the Numbers: The Who, How and What of Global Student Mobility

IIE Network - Fall 2013

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