Getting started with Internationalisation at home in higher education
Before you get started
- Check whether you are already working on internationalisation at home (IaH) with the help of the ATIAH project.
- Find out which IaH activities are already being organised at your educational institution. Talk to your colleagues. They will no doubt have examples of IaH that you could use too.
- Keep up to date with internationalisation at home in higher education and exchange experiences with colleagues by participating in our IaH Community.
Which learning outcomes are important to you?
Suppose you have a great idea for an online international collaboration project or an assignment for your students in which they have to use their own international classroom. Before you get started, it is important to determine the learning outcomes.
What will your students ultimately need to be able to cope with international society and the international labour market? Once you have established this, determine which form of IaH is the most suitable. Remember that different competences are important for each course or study programme, which means that the learning outcomes may differ.
There are many ways to determine and achieve learning outcomes. Below is a brief explanation of common learning outcomes that can also be achieved with other forms of internationalisation, such as physical student mobility. We use the international competency model (61.11 kB) for the explanation. According to the international competency model, international competences consist of 3 parts:
- Intercultural competences. Your students have developed an open attitude and respect for other cultures. They are able to work together in teams, including international ones.
- International orientation. Your students are familiar with international themes and are able to apply different perspectives to issues and their field of study.
- Personal development. Your students have developed more self-confidence, flexibility and adaptability, for example.
This model is in line with the ICOM framework, which identifies 5 domains of internationalisation competences: personal growth, intercultural competence, language skills, international engagement and international professional knowledge. You can also use the ICOM framework to describe and cluster your learning outcomes.
Read more about international learning outcomes
- Is designing learning outcomes new to you? The European Consortium for Accreditation of higher education (ECA) has written an introduction to drafting learning outcomes.
- Would you like to know more about how to internationalise learning outcomes? Jos Beelen has written a useful guide for The Hague University of Applied Sciences on this topic.
- Radboud University has a useful website with clear descriptions and pointers to help with determining learning outcomes.
- You can use the self-assessment tool questions Cultural competence/Multicultural Personality Questionnaire to measure your students’ intercultural competences.
- You can also use a generator that can help you decide which learning outcomes to apply, such as Learning Objectives Builder and Easy generator.
- You can read more about the relationship between international competences and internationalisation activities in the report (in Dutch) entitled Begeleiders aan het woord .
Which type of Internationalisation at home should you choose?
Internationalisation at home can be applied in various manners, from simple assignments in class to international online collaboration projects. You can also combine the different types. Internationalisation at home can be addressed both offline and online.
Since there is a range of different learning outcomes and types of Internationalisation at home to choose from, we would like to offer you some help. Below, we give an idea of some of the learning outcomes and possible related forms of Internationalisation at home.
Would you like your students to develop an open attitude towards others and be able to work together? In that case, you can use your own international classroom. By specifically using the various cultural backgrounds of your students, they can learn from each other and learn to work together with people from different backgrounds.
Example: Cross-border Journalism
University of Applied Sciences Utrecht uses the international classroom in its ‘Cross-border Journalism’ specialisation semester. The students from four different enrolment profiles together form an intercultural and interdisciplinary editorial board. This means that these future journalists not only learn how to deal with diversity in the workplace, but also how to shed light on news items from different international and cultural perspectives.
International lecturers, themes and case studies
Inviting a guest lecturer will give your students the opportunity to work on their international orientation and intercultural competences. This will bring them into contact with international issues and teach them to develop other perspectives.
You can also make global social issues part of your course or programme. This will allow you to address Sustainable Development Goals in your lessons, and your students to work on developing their international orientation.
Would you like your students to have the courage to communicate with other cultures (and in another language) or to gain more knowledge and understanding of other approaches to a subject? In that case, you can use case studies from abroad or from international companies in your lessons or study programme. This will also allow your students to develop their international orientation.
Example: business cases for local start-ups
Students enrolled in Saxion's International Business degree programme work on international business cases for both local start-ups and international companies. For example, students have already collaborated with a South Korean cosmetics company, but have also worked with a local start-up to set up a supply chain for cradle-to-cradle socks. This gives students a different perspective, while also teaching them to deal with other cultures and work cultures, and letting them discover how to strike the right balance between People, Planet and Profit.
Virtual mobility and virtual exchange
Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL), Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs) and online intercultural dialogue – these are just a few examples of virtual mobility and virtual exchange that can be used as part of internationalisation at home.
Working online with students and lecturers in another country will make it easier for your students to work on their intercultural competences, international orientation and personal development.
Read more about virtual mobility and virtual exchange
- Would you like to know what students and lecturers think about COIL? Students and lecturers at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences and RMIT Vietnam discuss their experiences in a video.
- Are you looking for background information on virtual exchange? NAFSA wrote an article entitled Virtual Exchange 101 about this topic.
- The EAIE has 7 tips for successful virtual mobility.
- How can you ensure that a virtual internship is successful and what does this require? You can read about it in The Rise of Remote Global Internships.
- How can you supervise your students properly online? The Education Inspectorate provides tips on Effectief afstandsonderwijs (Effective distance learning) or see the infographic.
- Are you looking for ways to get started with virtual mobility and would you like to learn more about these types of virtual mobility? The OpenVM Learning Hub offers lecturers and students an online learning environment for developing, testing and recognising virtual mobility skills (VM skills) in higher education.
How do you make Internationalisation at Home part of the curriculum?
Suppose you have already set up and completed a challenging IaH activity. Your students are enthusiastic! So how can you make sure you will be able to do so again next semester? By embedding internationalisation at home in the curriculum, you will not only guarantee continuity and quality, but also acknowledge the importance of this form of internationalisation. This is important, because only by embedding internationalisation at home will it be possible to offer an international experience to all your students.
Are you planning to start recording your IaH activities and their learning outcomes? In that case, try to involve as many different colleagues as possible. By taking an inclusive approach and involving various stakeholders, internationalisation at home will truly become part of your educational institution. Besides lecturers, international officers, educationalists and managers should also be involved, as they can prove valuable and necessary. And don't forget your students: they can tell you what they need and expect from IaH.
Read more about internationalisation at home and the curriculum
- In How to implement internationalisation at home, Jos Beelen answers a number of questions on how internationalisation at home can indeed be implemented.
- The EAIE's Advancing internationalisation at home blog provides 5 insights on how Internationalisation at Home can be given a permanent place in the curriculum.
- The Internationalisation of the Curriculum (IoC) in action website offers tools and clear explanations on how to internationalise a curriculum.
- The Hague University of Applied Sciences has developed a compass for internationalisation based on Elspeth Jones’ compass, which describes the 10 indicators of internationalisation. The compass helps find the direction that your programme department and educational institution would like to take.
- Curriculum Development for Dummies, developed by Zuyd University of Applied Sciences, has manuals and background information on curriculum development.
How do you ensure the quality of internationalisation at home?
It makes no difference whether you have just started with internationalisation at home or it is already a regular part of the study programme: quality is paramount. It is important to monitor IaH, but always remember that your own professional development also has a role to play in this regard. Working on your own international skills and intercultural competences will mean that you will also be better able to pass these on to your students.
Few tools are currently available that focus specifically on quality assurance and IaH monitoring. A lot of the information and tools is currently focused on quality assurance of internationalisation in general.
Read more about quality assurance
- You can measure your own international competences using the international competence matrix, developed by Els van der Werf from Hanze University of Applied Sciences Groningen.
- The article entitled The missing link in internationalisation, by Jos Beelen, provides background information on the role and importance of the professional development of lecturers in internationalisation at home.
- Find out about the options at your educational institution to further develop your international skills and intercultural competences. You can also see whether the Nuffic Academy has a suitable training.
- For good practices, see the internationalisation platform of the European Consortium for Accreditation of higher education (ECA). You will also find various frameworks for measuring the quality of internationalisation there.
- The publication entitled European Approach For Quality Assurance of Joint Programmes has a lot of interesting information on quality assurance, which can also be used within IaH.