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Internationalising the student experience: a review of practice - challenges, successes, issues and practice? Rajesh Dhimar ( Sheffield.

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Presentation on theme: "Internationalising the student experience: a review of practice - challenges, successes, issues and practice? Rajesh Dhimar ( Sheffield."— Presentation transcript:

1 Internationalising the student experience: a review of practice - challenges, successes, issues and practice? Rajesh Dhimar Sheffield Hallam University HEA/UKCISA:TIS Project Conference Internationalisation of Pedagogy and Curriculum in HE: Exploring New Frontiers June 2011

2 Today's session Current context
Higher Education Academy framework for internationalisation Faculty perspective and core objectives Faculty approach to internationalisation - 3 strands (International Business Development, mobility and Learning, Teaching and Assessment) Developments in internationalisation and LTA in the Faculty of Development and Society at Sheffield Hallam Scoping project - summary, findings and recommendations

3 Current context - what's internationalisation all about?
Europe Unit The Prime Minister's Initiative 2 for International Education (PMI 2) Bologna Process -Towards the European Higher Education Area Northern Consortium - United Kingdom Leadership Foundation for Higher Education Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development - OECD Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) Higher Education Academy HEFCE - International Strategy DIUS - 9 perspectives on HE development (1 of which is about internationalisation - a ten year view (Bone,D. 2008) UKCISA (UK Council for International Student Affairs)

4 What can be surmised? Internationalisation in HE - a contested enterprise No single consensus on international development in HE International development - adds to the diversity of the student experience Survival of courses - reliance upon international recruitment and investment Significance of financial contribution from international students and their implications

5 Curriculum Issues for Internationalisation
Learner mobility challenges Accommodating international students in and out of LTA practice - should we rearticulate our LTA to be more flexible for a diverse body of students? Inclusivity-contributing to an evolving society vs. traditional HE delivery (private sector/class/hierarchy) Need a realistic, thought through approach across HE institutions - Employer engagement/Widening Participation/lifelong learning/graduate attributes Focus on partnership and collaboration between HE institutions

6 Higher Education Academy - Framework for Internationalisation (2009-11)
The HEA identifies five core components of an Internationalisation process and the Faculty is clustering its own activities around these components: Institutional; (values, policies, partnerships) Staff; (supporting, developing and rewarding) Students; (diversity, communication) Curriculum; formal and informal (internationalised curriculum, exchanges, integration) Support; (services & facilities, pastoral, linguistic/ cultural/academic)

7 Faculty perspective - Internationalisation Project at Sheffield Hallam (2007-2010)
University's Corporate Plan ( ) Sheffield Hallam International Strategy ( ) (New strategy is being developed during 2010/11) All Faculty international strategies/plans Heads of International Development in each of the 4 Faculties Approx - 14% of Sheffield Hallam students are international (rising year on year) Existing rationale - one way of trying to address current reputational and income needs The Internationalisation project is set in the context of other institutional related activities delivered by: - International Office - International Student Support - International Marketing - Partnership Support Unit

8 3 paradigms for internationalisation
Student and Staff Mobility Learning Teaching and Assessment International Business Development Research on student perceptions of mobility New partnerships with overseas HEI's Student information sessions to promote mobility opportunities Work on Undergraduate course structures to enable mobility Internationalisation of the student experience conference to share and promote good practice Attendance and representation at European/International recruitment fairs Development of 3 international focused optional modules in ASS Project to scope current practice and future direction in internationalisation and LTA International visits to HE institutions in China, India, Africa and the Middle east New curriculum partnership link with St Francis College Internationalisation Special Interest Group

9 Ongoing Internationalisation Project developments to support LTA strand in 2008/09
Internationalisation of the student experience special interest group evidence base of current practice establish new partner link disseminate practice - conference development of new international modules

10 Learning, Teaching and Assessment (LTA)
"to ensure that all students can benefit from an "internationalised" experience even if they are not physically mobile, for example by studying modules with an international focus and by working with students from other countries and cultures". Faculty Internalisation Strategy ( )

11 " Internationalising the curriculum is an important and strategic initiative of universities worldwide. An internationalised curriculum has the potential to enrich the educational experience of both local and international students by providing a range of opportunities for study and cultural exchange. This includes student mobility programs as well as incorporation of international content" Martin, J. and How, Kee.L (2008)

12 Enquiry- scoping internationalisation and Learning, Teaching and Assessment (staff perspectives)
Purpose and aims The objectives of the scoping exercise were to: Enquire about the opportunities that courses offer to integrate international and cross-cultural perspectives through learning, teaching and assessment Consider the international relevance of subject material through learning, teaching and assessment Explore understandings of different pedagogical cultures to ensure that teaching and learning remains sensitive to student’s educational contexts

13 The approach to enquiry
Opportunities for: mobility cultural diversity curriculum content student and staff profiles Stage 1. Course profile information semi-structured qualitative interviews with staff in key roles Including - Heads of Internationalisation - Heads of Learning, Teaching and Assessment (LTA; - LTA leads - Module/Course leaders Topic focus - covered: - staff roles and responsibilities; - International structures and processes - issues and benefits - overview of practice and impacts - future needs/plans 14/17 Faculty's subject areas had been represented Stage 2. Conversational dialogue

14 What did we find? Emerging themes
Cultural diversity and integration International practices Student and staff mobility Statutory requirements and Professional Bodies Curriculum Development Programme/course structures International research for staff and students Language and Linguistics International recruitment strategies Plagiarism Transnational education Institutional Partnerships Employability International student profiles Within discipline context

15 Diversity of staff practice
There was a general awareness of cross- cultural, global, citizenship issues The notion of HE being internationalised generally, was not necessarily something which was a core feature of subject curriculas. Interestingly, there was a common perception that 'Internationalisation' was perceived to be about the process of recruitment and teaching of international students and opportunities for work based learning/student placements abroad.

16 Statutory requirements/professional bodies
"it is one of the standards, which students have a requirement to meet, they know what the standards are and what they need to do to get there…one of the things for example around working with multicultural perspectives and an awareness of cultural diversity of people, especially in the jobs which they (students) may end up being employed in. Meeting competencies against national/international standards makes the course more meaningful for our students and so it is much more than just an academic qualification, it becomes part of what students believe in".

17 Curriculum Change "Our distance learning courses really do embrace internationalisation because the interest in the subject and the way it is delivered means they (students) can develop their own interests. Most of them live abroad, the idea of this module is how you connect with the locality and issues in globalisation , so you might study how a society is operating in Sheffield, but how does the world affect it? People who are interested in political movements, their interest in the wider world, people who are interested in manufacturing - they are dependent on overseas markets…how do they conceive and relate to the world…it's the concept between the relationship between a community and a society and its interactions with the wider world".

18 Programme/Course Structures
"…it seems like there's been a recent push in internationalisation, particularly over the last year, it's generated loads of interest and activity which is demanding on staff time and we've been asking what the resource for this is (referring to staff buy out time) and where the time on the work plan to set up partnerships with other Universities comes from. I raised this with other SGL's - eventually we were told that it would come out of our own subject resource. That's the current model. This presents a problem - the actually issue then is that it needs to be built into current core work planning and there's been no preparation for that. So my question is how is your international strategy is aligned with your work planning strategy? But it seems like nobody has thought to link them to together and how you would advise subject leaders about how to do this work in practice."

19 Student and staff mobility
"we include as much experience of travelling abroad as much as we can… we think the learning in terms of the experience from other cultures, even if they are just European cultures is fundamental for them (students). We've always enjoyed having international students on our courses, especially on our undergraduate courses and they bring a great deal to the rest of the cohort. Within this we've established a fantastic partnership with the host institution and they've given us a phenomenal service". "…it's taken a long time for us to get the partnership with (reference to an institution) exchange set up, but its been brilliant for students on our module who've been away and have come back completely transformed and enthused about their experience and their own learning. This has had a massive positive knock on effect on them and how they see themselves as professionals after they finish their degree, which is really encouraging to see".

20 Examples of practice Interpretation of subject/discipline as one which is international Statutory/professional body requirements aligned to national/international standards Subject accreditation to national/international professional bodies Opportunities for students to study a foreign language (in order to take up a future mobility opportunity, usually taken as an elective module at level 5 for undergraduates) International learning opportunities e.g. International group work presentations, discussion forums, case studies and guest lecture speakers International teaching opportunities for staff/students (e.g. sabbaticals and work based learning opportunities International research opportunities for staff/students Modules and courses framed within an international context - i.e. transforming subject material that is of international relevance Work based learning opportunities. e.g. ERASMUS scheme (ranging from year/semester/month/week long placements. weekend visits, day trips, field work, residentials Assessment which uses comparative analysis approach to learning (e.g. assessment tasks which compare and contrast different theories and/or international practices within subject/discipline contexts

21 Some issues Lack of staff development
Access to facilities and resources to support international related activity in courses was limited No explicit alignment with other institutional processes e.g. academic work planning, appraisal, CPD, SMT, course design and evaluation, validation Inflexible assessment and feedback practices e.g. one year MA courses Some "monocultures" in courses hinder experiences with and/or integration with other cultures Are the students ready for international change? (assessment the student profile)

22 Implications for LTA and the curriculum: developing internationalisation
How can we provide effective staff development processes to support the integration of international perspectives/relevance within the curriculum? How can we develop the facility, capacity and resource for supporting international related activity , which is aligned with University Central Support Services, IT Support, International Office, that includes aspects of international business development and student and staff mobility? How can we modernise assessment and feedback practices to facilitate international LTA activity? How can we provide students with opportunities for international related experiences both within and outside the curriculum? How can we effectively use student feedback to develop international activity which is relevant to their subject? How can we promote the development of international collaboration at individual, team, departmental, faculty, and institutional level?

23 Recommendations The findings of this scoping exercise should be used and disseminated across the Faculty in helping to provide input to the future support for internationalisation The need for a clear institutional lead and direction for Internationalisation Celebrate good international practice (reward and recognition) Promote greater awareness of the Internationalisation Develop Faculty wide and cross-institutional links on the strategic development for internationalisation Provide appropriate interventions for International learning, teaching and assessment support for staff Promote professional development and staff engagement in support of internationalisation Undertake further investigatory work, focusing on the needs and practices of relevant international stakeholders

24 Key texts and references
Burnapp, D. et al, (2008), Supporting international students in UK Higher Education: a staff development course, The Higher Education Academy, Subject Centre for Language, Linguistics and Area Studies (LLAS) Carroll, J. and Ryan, J.(2005), Teaching International Students, Improving Learning for All, The Staff and Educational Development Association Series Hudson, B. and Todd, J. M. (2000), Internationalising the Curriculum in Higher Education - Reflecting on Practice, Sheffield Hallam University Press Hyland, F. etc al, (2008), A Changing World: the internationalisation experiences of staff and students (home and international) in the UK Higher Education, The HEA, Subject Centre for Education (ESCalate) and Subject Centre for Language, Linguistics and Area Studies (LLAS) Internationalising students' unions in higher education (March 2008) - a strategic framework and audit toolkit for students' unions, National Union of Students, supported by PMI2 funding Jones, E. and Brown, S. (2007), Internationalising Higher Education, Routledge publications, British Library Catalogue Ryan, J. (2000), A guide to teaching international students, Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development, Oxford Brookes University The Prime Minister's Initiative for International Education in Higher Education - The Higher Education Academy - Internationalisation support Global Opportunities for UK Higher Education Oxford Brookes - Internationalising the Curriculum Resource Kit

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