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Internationalisation and professional development of staff

In March, ACA’s member OeAD organised the Bologna Day 2023 dedicated to the transversal topic of internationalisation explored from the perspective of professional development. Hosted by the Paracelsus Medical University in Salzburg, the event brought together 160 participants including 40 speakers.

The participants discussed the key links between human resources development and management and the broader field of internationalisation at universities and highlighted the following aspects:

  • The importance of welcome culture involving not only international academics and students but also local academic and administrative staff and due attention paid to onboarding;
  • Internationalisation at home activities including regular invitation or recruitment of international academics to ensure students’ exposure to other pedagogical approaches, teaching methods or service learning;
  • A balanced curriculum design in line with international demands and specific local context;
  • Internationalisation of administrative services through the allocation of adequate resources, training and awareness-raising;
  • Clear recognition procedures especially in the context of Erasmus+ mobility linked to individual career development pathways and broader institutional development goals;
  • Possible use of "mobility windows" for academic and administrative staff;
  • Connecting students’ skills and teachers’ competences, in the field of ethics, design thinking, cooperation, and communication;
  • Translation of statutes and key regulatory documents into English.

Following a series of inspiring keynotes, five workshops were organised to dive deep into the following topics: systemic and strategic approaches to internationalisation, individual and institutional impact of Erasmus+ staff mobility, foreign language and intercultural skills of academic staff, intercultural skills of administrative staff, and internationalisation of university teaching. The recommendations developed by the workshop participants will be published on the event page.

The institutional impact of Erasmus+ staff mobility is a topic of interest to several ACA members. Six ACA members including AMEUP, CMEPIUS, DZS, OeAD, Rannis, and TPF are jointly conducting a study to map various impact areas of staff mobility and collect good practice in knowledge transfer activities pursued by selected higher education institutions in Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Iceland and Slovenia. The preliminary findings of the study were presented at one of the five workshops at the OeAD Bologna Day and the final report will be published this summer. Stay tuned!