Monday, 11 March 2013

Internationalisation of curriculum

It is absolutely clear that the presence of international students on university campuses does not automatically bring about the internationalisation of curriculum and pedagogy and wider initiatives are needed. Having reviewed the current literature for my PhD in the area of internationalisation of curriculum, it is only evident that internationalisation now features as a goal in the mission statements of universities around the world and the debates no longer occupy the periphery; they have firmly moved into the mainstream. There’s an urgent call for reconsideration of contemporary realities and practices and re-examination of systems of knowledge and relevance of academic intellectual traditions in the wake of an unprecedented global movement of people (both students and staff) and ideas (through collaborative research and joint programmes).

I strongly believe that one of the most efficient ways of accelerating the process of implementation of internationalisation  is simply sharing good practice.

I can only speculate that some work is already in place apart from the enthusiasm of committed individuals from various departments. What might be the issue is that some of these initiatives occur in isolation instead of being shared across the entire institution.

In regards to bringing together some of this work and sharing it across with staff experiencing similar challenges and prompting and informing debate amongst those wishing to internationalise their teaching and learning policies, practices and programmes, I propose the following:

·         Create an internal space with information on Internationalisation of Curriculum (there is already a huge amount of work being done in that field – the idea would be to bring it all together and store it in one place, these would include: testimonials from staff and students, case studies, current research, links to other websites and ‘internationally converted’ universities).
·         Share existing practices, organise internal and external teaching and learning conferences and seminars; make it compulsory CPD/PDR events; distribute the outcomes of these events internally and externally

I have recently come across a very interesting book by Jeanette Ryan (Director of the UK HEA Teaching International Students Project and Research Associate of the China Centre at the University of Oxford) called Cross-cultural Teaching and Learning for Home and International Students. It is very relevant to our current debate

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