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ACA Think Pieces: Digitalisation in International Higher Education
Following the successful run of ACA’s “Think Pieces” series in 2020 on the world after Covid-19 and in 2021 on inclusion in the context of higher education, ACA continues in 2022 by exploring the multi-faceted nature of digitalisation in the higher education sector. Throughout 2022, leading voices on the digitalisation of HE field will be sharing their reflections and exploring the multi-faceted nature of digitalisation in higher education institutions from an international cooperation perspective.
This month’s Think Piece – Online International Education: The Case for Virtual Exchange – the sixth in this year’s series, is authored by Sake Jager, Senior Project Manager in Teaching and Learning Innovation at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands, and Assistant Professor in Applied Linguistics. Sake provides a typology of the myriad of online learning formats in higher education and integrates how each approach can be beneficial in universities’ internationalisation of higher education efforts.
In this piece Sake outlines and underscores the differences between Virtual Mobility and Virtual Exchanges, with special attention on the benefits and challenges related to curricula and pedagogy, institutional support, quality assurance, and more. He highlights the need for more cooperation between academic staff and international relations staff in leading mobility exchanges and institutional partnerships. Besides advantages for students in cultural competencies, knowledge and skills development, Sake emphasises Virtual Exchange’s potential to act as a catalyst for institutional and professional development. This informative piece reaffirms the value of digitalisation in international higher education and provides many resources and tools for those looking to learn more.