Internationalisation audits.
Assessing and improving institutional strategies

Brussels, 23 March 2012


Internationalisation has come a very long way in the past three decades. Once an object of Sunday speeches, it is today a distinguishing feature of European higher education. The phenomenon plays out to varying degrees in different countries and institutions, to be sure, and in ever developing forms and approaches. At the same time, much work remains to be done. The business of internationalisation is not ‘finished’ and its end is therefore not in sight – as some have recently suggested. Rather, internationalisation must now mature, i.e. grow in quality. It must be aligned to the overarching aims and objectives of universities. It needs to be customised, i.e. turned made-to-measure for different institutional settings. Last, but not least, it needs to develop further, to better reflect the rapidly changing multipolar ‘higher education world order’, in which Western universities and colleges continue to play an important, but not an exclusive role.

Recent years have witnessed the emergence of a number of instruments geared to the evaluation and the improvement of institutional strategies for internationalisation. The aim of this seminar is to present them, and to analyse their respective merits – and downsides.  Most of the tools presented are based on external review, but some are self-assessment exercises. Some of them have been developed for use across the globe (or an entire continent), while others target the institutions of one single country. Some are comparative, i.e. they engage in mutual benchmarking, while others are strictly non-normative and measure institutions exclusively against their self-set aims and aspirations.

With this seminar, ACA intends to contribute to the enhancement of quality internationalisation in Europe and beyond. Participants will be in a position to identify their “ideal” tool for quality improvement from amongst the instruments available – or, indeed, to construct their own self-assessment methodology.

33rd in the series “European Policy Seminars” of the Academic Cooperation Association