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Brussels, 23 March 2012

Internationalisation audits. Assessing and improving institutional strategies


Internationalisation has come a very long way in the past three decades. Once an object of Sunday speeches, it is today a distinguishing feature of European higher education. The phenomenon plays out to varying degrees in different countries and institutions, to be sure, and in ever developing forms and approaches. At the same time, much work remains to be done. The business of internationalisation is not ‘finished’ and its end is therefore not in sight – as some have recently suggested. Rather, internationalisation must now mature, i.e. grow in quality. It must be aligned to the overarching aims and objectives of universities. It needs to be customised, i.e. turned made-to-measure for different institutional settings. Last, but not least, it needs to develop further, to better reflect the rapidly changing multipolar ‘higher education world order’, in which Western universities and colleges continue to play an important, but not an exclusive role.

Recent years have witnessed the emergence of a number of instruments geared to the evaluation and the improvement of institutional strategies for internationalisation. The aim of this seminar is to present them, and to analyse their respective merits – and downsides.  Most of the tools presented are based on external review, but some are self-assessment exercises. Some of them have been developed for use across the globe (or an entire continent), while others target the institutions of one single country. Some are comparative, i.e. they engage in mutual benchmarking, while others are strictly non-normative and measure institutions exclusively against their self-set aims and aspirations.

With this seminar, ACA intends to contribute to the enhancement of quality internationalisation in Europe and beyond. Participants will be in a position to identify their “ideal” tool for quality improvement from amongst the instruments available – or, indeed, to construct their own self-assessment methodology.


Thursday 22 March


Seminar dinner

Friday 23 March



Registrations and coffee


Welcome to the audit society. An introduction
Bernd Wächter, Director, ACA, Brussels


The Internationalisation Strategies Advisory Service (ISAS)
Eva Egron-Polak, Secretary General, International Association of Universities (IAU), Paris


The International Student Barometer
Will Archer, Chief Executive, International Graduate Insight Group (i-graduate), London


Coffee break


The ACA Internationalisation Monitor (ACA AIM)
Neil Kemp, Visiting Fellow, Institute of Education, University of London


Indicators for Mapping and Profiling Internationalisation (IMPI)
Laura Rumbley, Deputy Director, ACA


Sandwich lunch


The German Rectors’ Conference’s audit ‘Internationalisation of universities’
Rolf Peter, Project Manager, Hochschulrektorenkonferenz, Bonn, Germany


NUFFIC’s ‘Mapping Internationalisation’ Service
Adinda van Gaalen, Senior Policy Advisor, NUFFIC, The Hague


Coffee break


MAUNIMO: a tool for institutional self-assessment in the area of international mobility
Elizabeth Colucci, Programme Manager, Higher Education Policy Unit, EUA, Brussels


The Saxion Internationalisation Monitor (SAINT). Self-assessment at programme and institutional level
Chris van den Borne, Director International Office, and Marloes Buter, Policy Advisor, Saxion University of Applied Sciences, Deventer, The Netherlands


Thanks and good-bye
Laura Rumbley, Deputy Director, ACA


Bernd Wächter

Bernd Wächter is the Director of the Academic Cooperation Association (ACA), a consortium of European and global agencies which support international cooperation in higher education. ACA is a think-tank which promotes innovation and internationalisation in higher education. Bernd was born in Giessen (Germany) and studied at the universities of Hull (UK), Giessen and Marburg (Germany). He lives in Brussels (Belgium) and is married to Thora Magnusdottir, a delightful lady from Iceland.

Bernd’s career has been focused on international higher education. In his first post, at the University of Kassel (Germany), he devised international degree programmes in cooperation with universities abroad. He later joined the British Council, before becoming the Director of the international office of the Fachhochschule Darmstadt. Moving on to Germany’s internationalisation agency DAAD, he became the head of this organisation’s European section. He subsequently became Director of Higher Education in the Brussels Socrates Office, with overall responsibility for the Erasmus Programme in Europe. In 1998, he took up his present post as the director of ACA. Bernd has published widely on international matters in higher education, and he is a frequent speaker at European and international education conferences. He is the editor of the ACA Papers on International Cooperation in Higher Education. He also works, as an expert advisor, for many international organisations.

Eva Egron-Polak

Eva Egron-Polak was educated in the Czech Republic, Canada and France.  Having studied French Literature, Political Science and International Political Economy, her post-graduate research focused on early stages of European Union policy in higher education. She has held various positions at the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) prior to becoming the Secretary General of IAU in 2002. Her last position at AUCC was as Vice-President, International.  

As Secretary General of IAU, an independent, global association of universities and associations of higher education institutions based at UNESCO in Paris, Eva Egron-Polak has focused the organization’s work on several of the pressing policy issues in higher education – internationalization, cross border education and intercultural learning, provision of equitable access to and success in higher education, the contribution of higher education to sustainable development, to Education for All and to the Millennium Development Goals, among others.  Under her leadership the Association has just begun working on guidelines for an institutional code of ethics for higher education. Expanding the Association’s convening role, consolidating the Association’s research and advocacy capacity and its function as a clearing house of information on the systems and institutions of higher education around the world while providing members with new and useful services, have been her overarching goals at IAU.  
Eva Egron-Polak is a member of many committees at UNESCO, the European Commission, OECD and others. She serves as a board member at Mykolas Romeris University in Lithuania. She has co-authored the 3rd Global Survey Report on Internationalization of Higher Education in 2010, written and presented numerous papers on a variety of higher education topics. At present, she is coordinating an international Ad hoc Expert Group on Re-thinking Internationalization.

Will Archer

i-graduate founder Will Archer directs the world’s largest on-going study of student satisfaction, tracking and comparing student opinion and reporting in confidence to universities across the globe. Adopted by governments and universities across 24 countries, the Student Barometer benchmark now includes feedback from more than a million students of 190 nationalities. Related studies compare perceptions of alumni, education agents, employees, prospective students and employers.

Will worked for 15 years as adviser to multinational corporations and governments on international recruitment, before founding i-graduate in 2005, with the goal of improving the education experience for students and educators worldwide.

Neil Kemp

Neil Kemp has contributed to a range of education and training projects in over twenty countries and has lived and worked for long periods in South and East Asia, including eight years each in Indonesia and India. His career has involved several posts with the British Council: Country Director in Indonesia and Sri Lanka and in the UK as, Director of Science and Technology and Director of Education UK Marketing.

He now manages his own international education consultancy and his many clients include UK and international universities, governments and other organisations. Neil is also a Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Education, University of London, and his research interests include national and institutional policies relating to the internationalisation of higher education; transnational education (TNE); and international student mobility. He is a visiting lecturer on the MA programme for the management of international higher education at Edge Hill University, UK.

He is a board member of the Council for Education in the Commonwealth; the Advisory Board, London School of Commerce; and Board Director of Open University Worldwide. Over recent years he has been a member of the UK government’s Education and Training Export Group, the Higher Level Steering Group for the PMI, the Education UK Board and was a Trustee of the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex.

Laura Rumbley

Laura E. Rumbley is Deputy Director of the Academic Cooperation Association (ACA). Previously, she was a research associate and adjunct faculty member at the Boston College Center for International Higher Education. In addition to experience as a university administrator in international programming, Laura has authored and co-authored a number of publications on topics ranging from academic salaries in comparative perspective; US, European and global student mobility trends; curricular issues in U.S. study abroad; and internationalisation in Spanish higher education. Most notably, she co-authored (with Philip G. Altbach and Liz Reisberg) the foundational document for the 2009 UNESCO World Conference on Higher Education, Trends in Global Higher Education: Tracking an Academic Revolution. A former U.S. Foreign Service Officer, Laura currently serves on the editorial board for the Journal of Studies in International Education.

Rolf Peter

Rolf Peter holds a PhD degree in Social Sciences from the University of Mannheim, Germany. His career includes intensive research in International Relations and European Integration Studies at the Mannheim Centre for European Social Research (MZES) and the Center for European Integration Studies (ZEI), Bonn.

Working in the International Department of the German Rectors’ Conference (HRK) since 2005, he was – amongst other things – in charge of “European Higher Education Affairs”. Between 2007 and 2009 he participated as a member of the research team in the EU-funded project: “U-Map: Developing a European classification of higher education institutions”. Furthermore, he was coordinator of and expert in several international consulting projects on behalf of HRK, which mainly focused on institutional development in higher education systems in the Balkans and Eastern Europe.

Being one of the developers of the HRK-Audit “Internationalisation of Universities”, he is currently working as head of this project, which offers consulting services to support German universities in developing their distinct international profiles.

Adinda van Gaalen

Adinda van Gaalen holds a Master’s degree in Culture Organisation and Management from the VU University in Amsterdam. She previously studied International Tourism Management and Consultancy at NHTV Breda and carried out her internship at the Research Department of the Ministry of Tourism in Mexico. She started her career in the field of internationalisation as head of the international office of the HES School of Business in Amsterdam. She worked for several years as a policy advisor and also taught intercultural awareness at the Hogeschool van Amsterdam. Adinda now works as a Senior Policy Officer at Nuffic, the Netherlands organization for international cooperation in higher education. Her fields of interest include internationalisation policy, strategy and quality assurance. Adinda is involved in carrying out studies and is project manager of the Mapping Internationalisation (MINT) project. She also works as a trainer in short courses and workshops related to internationalisation of higher education.

Elizabeth Colucci

Elizabeth Colucci is the programme manager of the Higher Education Policy Unit of EUA, which drives EUA’s input to the Bologna process and examines issues related to teaching and learning, lifelong learning, employability and internationalisation. In addition to working on a range of higher education reform issues, Elizabeth oversees EUA’s external relations with non-European countries. This has included project management as well as policy dialogue and policy input for international policy processes. Elizabeth has developed and managed a range of European Commission-funded international projects in partnership with associations from Africa, Latin America, Asia and North America. She also currently manages the EUA project Mapping University Mobility of Students and Staff (MAUNIMO), which is piloting an institutional self-evaluation for mobility.

Prior to EUA, Elizabeth worked for the Academic Cooperation Association (Brussels), the Fulbright Commission to Belgium and Luxembourg and the Directorate for Education and Culture (EAC) of the European Commission. She holds a Master of Science in European politics and governance from the London School of Economics and completed her Bachelor degree in comparative international studies and French at Duke University (USA).

Chris van den Borne

Chris van den Borne has a longstanding history in International Education. Trained as an academic researcher in Biochemistry he moved his attention to Environmental issues and Sustainable Development in the mid of the ‘80s of the last century. He has developed and run International Bachelor and Master Programmes in this field at Saxion University of Applied Sciences. In the beginning of this century he moved from his academic background to become the Director of the International Office where he is responsible for incoming and outgoing mobility and the policy of internationalisation at the institutional level.

Marloes Buter

Marloes Buter works as Policy Officer at the International Office of Saxion University of Applied Sciences. She holds a Master degree in International Management of the Radboud University in the Netherlands and specialises in measuring internationalisation in Higher Education. Marloes is responsible for implementing and analyzing the yearly conducted Saxion Internationalisation (SAINT)-Monitor. Since 2009 this monitor has been used to measure the level of internationalisation on programme, school/faculty and institutional level.


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