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British universities come together to internationalize at home.

British universities come together to internationalize at home.
British universities come together to internationalize at home.


The International Innovation at Home Forum took place in London on 10 June, welcoming university staff and public-private partnership providers to share best practice on IaH and discuss how to build more cohesive strategies across UK universities.

The IaH Handbook, published by UUKi in 2023, defines this concept as the intentional integration of international and intercultural dimensions into the formal and informal curriculum of all students within the domestic learning environment.

There are no two [IaH] The tapestry is the same. This is a beauty, but it is difficult to measure because they have certain commonalities. But there is a very rich wealth of informal activity that takes on unique forms across different universities and locations, says Anthony Manning, dean of global and lifelong learning at the University of Kent.

The value of IaH has often been overlooked by university staff and has fallen victim to the Cinderella concept, Manning told delegates.

Something more concrete and measurable is needed to demonstrate the positive correlation between IaH, intercultural competence and employability.

Polly Collingridge, British Cultural Information Center

Rather than being seen as the “poor cousin” of study abroad, attendees agreed that IaH is becoming increasingly important in bringing more diverse perspectives and intercultural competencies to students’ experiences.

According to HESA, Covid-19, Brexit and rising living costs have led to a steady decline in the number of UK students with study abroad experience, from less than 6% in 2016/17 to less than 1% in 2020/21. data.

Currently, around 2% of UK students benefit from overseas education opportunities, Manning said. However, the sector awaits the release of HESA's 2022/23 data, which has been delayed until August 2024.

The IHEC report published last year warned of a decline in international diversity within universities and a hollowing out of international capabilities.

At the same time, according to Education Insight founder Janet Ilieva, the number of international topics in university curricula used as an indicator of IaH is slowly increasing, although this indicator is in an stage.

During the forum, attendees shared IaH strategies that benefited from innovations in Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) and virtual exchanges.

This included a language program to foster a sense of belonging among medical and BME students from different countries sharing best practice in patient care and communication.

If COIL could be funded in a similar way to Turing, we would be able to engage more with its activities in a more inclusive and accessible way, Manning said.

The formal elements of a university's IaH strategy typically consist of credit-bearing courses, accompanied by informal extracurricular activities and hidden intercultural elements of campus culture.

The mixed settings and indirect effects of IaH, such as intercultural skills and global awareness, may take time to emerge and are more difficult to measure than study abroad, where credits and transcripts provide substantive evidence.

A number of recent reports from IHEC and UKCISA have identified the need for more quantitative data across the sector, with declining funding and increasing political scrutiny calling for increasingly evidence-based feedback on the importance of higher education. Emphasizes.

More work also needs to be done to ensure that domestic students, who often struggle to understand the relevance of IaH, feel part of a global community, representatives said.

As the cost of living rises, there is growing demand from domestic and international students for greater employment support from universities.

Polly Collingridge, senior consultant at the Cultural Intelligence Center UK, says that to demonstrate the positive correlation between internationalization at home, intercultural competence and employability, something more concrete and measurable is needed. I said I needed it.

Delegates discussed various certification options for providing evidence of IaH on student transcripts and agreed on the need for an institutional and systematic approach to encourage and recognize IaH efforts across the sector.




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