IIE Network - Fall 2013 - (Page 27)
Connecting the Dots: Integrating Engagement with
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
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
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
if they are to realize
the broader benefits
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
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
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IIE Network - Fall 2013
A Message from Allan E. Goodman
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?
Beyond the Numbers: The Who, How and What of Global Student Mobility
IIE Network - Fall 2013
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