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In late 2008, ACA was awarded funding from Action 4 of the European Commission’s Erasmus Mundus programme to support the so-called ENATIS project, short for Enhancing Attractiveness through International Student Services. ENATIS featured the collaborative efforts of ACA and two highly experienced partners, CIRIUS (former name of the Danish internationalisation agency) and International Education Consultants, UK. The project took as its starting point the notion that attracting and retaining international academic talent (particularly full-degree students from outside Europe) hinges as much on institutional responsiveness in the area of student support as it does on high quality academic programming. Student services, therefore, represent a potentially powerful tool for enhancing the quality and sustainability of the overall internationalisation agenda of European higher education, not to mention its global competitive position.
The final two of the ENATIS project’s three main outputs were recently completed. Support Services for International Students: Towards a European Code of Good Practice is a colourful four-page leaflet that suggests minimum action guidelines for those actively engaged in the recruitment, support and education of non-European, full-degree international students to European higher education institutions. The leaflet can be downloaded from the ACA website using the link below; alternatively, printed copies may be requested directly from the ACA Secretariat. Meanwhile, the final report of the ENATIS project has been published as a book, entitled International Student Support in European Higher Education. Needs, Solutions, and Challenges (ISBN 978-3-932306-99-0). The report surveys the international student services landscape, at both national and institutional levels, in six European countries, as well as provides a rare window into international student perspectives on support services provided to them.
Preliminary reactions from the press and professionals in the field indicate keen interest in this important and evolving topic.