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The insiders’ scoop on internationalisation

The European Association for International Education (EAIE) has released the first edition of its Barometer, a report aiming to map out the state of internationalisation in the European higher education area from the point of view of the actors directly involved in this process. The EAIE Barometer 2014 is based on a survey of over 2400 respondents across Europe, mostly working in higher education institutions. It focuses on: 
  • The current state of affairs regarding internationalisation in EHEA countries
  • Key developments and challenges in the field
  • Skills and knowledge needed by the staff involved in international education
The outcomes of the Barometer –only some of which confirm findings from previous surveys –offer valuable insights to higher education governance stakeholders and policy makers. 
  • In terms of higher education institutions’ rationales for internationalisation, the EAIE Barometer found that most of them aim to improve the overall quality of higher education, prepare students for the challenges of a globalised world, and attract more international students.
  • Institutions leading in internationalisation have either a fully developed strategic plan for internationalisation or hold internationalisation as a specific priority within the overall institutional strategic plan. Strategic plans tend to focus heavily on international research and innovation, but also frequently include features such as strategic partnerships, international rankings and marketing/promotion.  
  • As for trends in internationalisation across Europe, the EAIE Barometer found an increasing number of (active) international strategic partnerships, and ever growing numbers of students choosing to study abroad. Concurrently, greater attention is being paid to the quality of the courses and programmes, as well as to the services for international students. Specifically, more courses and programmes are being offered with an international component, and with English as a medium of instruction.
  • Staff working in internationalisation within higher education institutions expressed a number of needs, including, but not limited to: The need to improve their management, leadership and marketing skills; the need to improve their proficiency in languages other than English; the need to learn more about the latest trends and developments in internationalisation and funding programmes; and the desire to develop an internationalisation strategy for their institution. 
The EAIE intends to conduct the Barometer study on a recurrent basis, with the goal of achieving an ever more complete picture of the state of internationalisation of higher education across the European higher education area, so that leaders, policy makers and the community at large may benefit from the insights of staff working directly with internationalisation at various institutions. 
EAIE (Downloadable executive summary)