Internationalisation of higher education is the process of integrating global perspectives, practices, and standards into the curriculum, research, and teaching of higher education institutions. It aims to prepare students and scholars for the challenges and opportunities of a globalised world.
Internationalisation of higher education can take various forms, such as:
- Academic credit transfer: Students can earn credits from different universities and institutions, enhancing their learning outcomes and exposure.
- Credit recognition in the twinning programme: Students can complete parts of their degree programmes in foreign universities and receive recognised credits from their home institutions.
- Global research collaborations: Universities can partner with other institutions and organisations to conduct joint research projects, fostering innovation and knowledge exchange.
- Student exchange initiatives: Students can spend a semester or a year abroad, experiencing different cultures and learning environments.
- MOOCs for global education access: Online courses can provide access to quality education from top universities to learners worldwide, regardless of their location, background, or resources.
- Collaboration between top universities and edtech: Universities can leverage the expertise and technology of edtech companies to offer online degrees, diplomas, and certifications to learners across the globe, using interactive and engaging platforms.
- Tech boot camps in high demand: Learners can enrol in short-term intensive courses that teach them the skills and tools needed for the digital economy, such as coding, data science, and artificial intelligence.
Why is Internationalisation of Higher Education Important?
Internationalisation of higher education has many benefits for students, scholars, institutions, and society. Some of the benefits are:
- It enhances the quality and relevance of education by exposing students and scholars to diverse perspectives, methodologies, and standards.
- It fosters intercultural competence and global citizenship by developing students’ and scholars’ awareness, appreciation, and respect for different cultures, values, and beliefs.
- It increases employability and career prospects by equipping students and scholars with the skills and knowledge that are in demand in the global market.
- It promotes academic excellence and innovation by stimulating creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving among students and scholars.
- It strengthens international cooperation and understanding by facilitating dialogue, exchange, and collaboration among institutions, organisations, and countries.
How is Internationalisation of Higher Education Taking Place Around Us?
Internationalisation of higher education is happening at various levels and scales around us. Here are some of the notable examples shared by Debjani Mukherji, Vice President – Strategic Alliances, TalentSprint.
- India’s Academic Bank of Credits: The Indian government has launched the Academic Bank of Credits (ABC) scheme, which allows students to choose courses from different universities and institutions across India. The ABC will act as a digital repository of credits earned by students, which can be transferred or redeemed at any time. The scheme aims to provide flexibility, choice, and mobility to students and enhance the quality and diversity of education in India.
- South Korea’s KSTAR Fusion Experiment: A team of physicists from South Korea has achieved a breakthrough in nuclear fusion research by sustaining a plasma reaction at over 100 million degrees Celsius for 30 seconds. The experiment was conducted at the Korea Superconducting Tokamak Advanced Research (KSTAR) facility in collaboration with researchers from other countries. The achievement brings humanity closer to the goal of creating clean and unlimited energy from fusion.
- UK’s Turing Scheme: The UK government has launched the Turing Scheme, a new programme that will fund international opportunities for UK students to study or work abroad. The scheme will replace the Erasmus+ programme that the UK left after Brexit. The scheme will support around 35,000 students per year to go to over 150 countries across the world. The scheme aims to enhance the skills, employability, and global outlook of UK students.
- US’s Coursera Degrees: Coursera, a leading online learning platform, has partnered with several top universities in the US to offer online degrees in various fields such as business, computer science, engineering, public health, and data science. The degrees are fully accredited and recognised by employers worldwide. The degrees are also affordable and flexible, allowing learners to study at their own pace and schedule.
- Australia’s RMIT Online Boot Camps: RMIT Online, the online arm of RMIT University in Australia, has launched a series of tech boot camps that teach learners the skills needed for the digital economy. The boot camps cover topics such as web development, data analytics, cybersecurity, cloud computing, digital marketing, and UX design. The boot camps are delivered in collaboration with industry partners such as AWS Academy, IBM Skills Network Academy, and Salesforce Trailhead Academy.