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The International Association of Universities (IAU) has released its 3rd Global Survey Report, Internationalization of higher education: Global trends, regional perspectives. The aggregate results of the survey confirm popular beliefs that internationalisation in higher education is focused mainly on student mobility and that the lack of funding is the major obstacle faced by institutions keen to be active in internationalisation. The survey also spots two emerging trends: the introduction of joint/dual degrees and the development of monitoring frameworks for internationalisation.
The survey includes responses from 745 higher education institutions from 115 countries. It is not possible to directly compare the current findings with those from the IAU’s first and second Global Survey Reports on internationalisation (in 2003 and 2005, respectively), due to the introduction of new questions in the latest survey. However, the opportunity to compare results across major world regions does provide some very interesting insights.
The survey authors and contributors caution that the results must be read in context, particularly in terms of taking into account major developments in different regions. For example, the external dimension of the Bologna Process may have resulted in greater emphasis by European respondents on issues of profile and reputation enhancement rather than research collaboration, which is not a new phenomenon in Europe. The increased number of respondents over previous years is an encouraging trend, although the relatively small number of respondents in comparison to the global population of higher education institutions globally does present challenges. The inclusion of analysis by regional experts, however, provides fine insights into the story behind the numbers of this very ambitious survey.