02 September 2014

Academic role(s) in the next era of internationalisation

The future success of international education may well depend on deeper engagement by academic staff. Indeed, there is broad consensus among scholars that the support and involvement of a critical mass of academic staff is crucial. In the words of the American Council on Education, "faculty engagement drives successful internationalization".

But what do we know about the international engagement of academics on our campuses? Where do the motivations of academic staff lie in terms of international activity - in research, in teaching, or more broadly? How do academic staff understand the internationalisation of higher education? And how best can they be supported to drive the implementation of an institutional international strategy?

These are the questions I have been asking, stimulated by the seeming absence of academic staff from the programs of the major international education conferences in 2013.

World view from the Pacific
However, in an attempt to redress the conference program balance, these ideas and more will be discussed at a panel session entitled "Waking the giant - the role of academics in the next era of internationalisation" at the upcoming EAIE Conference in Prague.

Chaired by Robert Coelen (Vice President, Stenden University of Applied Sciences, Netherlands) and scheduled on Friday 19 September from 12 noon to 1pm, this session will provide perspectives from Australia, Canada and the Netherlands:
  • Douglas Proctor, PhD candidate, University of Melbourne, Australia
  • Kees Kouwenar, Senior Advisor, International Strategy, VU University Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Vinitha Gengathanan, Director, International Initiatives, University of Toronto, Canada.

Between them, the three presenters will provide an overview of the relevant literature and outline examples from leading universities in different parts of the world.

Session participants will also be invited to share their own examples of best practice in engaging academic staff in internationalisation activities. What are your thoughts?