The overall aim of the project is to assess, reward and enhance internationalisation.
The project will develop an assessment framework (i.e. methodology) that can be used to assess the internationalisation of a programme or an institution and which, if completed successfully, can lead to the award of a European Certificate for Internationalisation. The Certificate is intended to confirm that a programme or an institution has successfully incorporated an international and intercultural dimension into the purpose, function and delivery of its education. The project is based on the consortium’s commonly agreed framework for internationalisation and will focus on both enhancement and excellence.
The framework will be tested in a series of pilot procedures in all European regions in which expert panels will apply the methodology to assess programmes or institutions.
The knowledge gathered in the project will be exploited in workshops, conferences and publications. For further dissemination, the project intends to deploy a platform for good practice in internationalisation.
The project will give HE programmes and institutions insight into their performance in the domain of internationalisation and will provide them with the means for improvements so that they can increase their competitiveness . The Certificate will lead to a considerable improvement in transparency of internationalisation in HE, which is beneficial for students, HE institutions and society. The project incorporates a strong European dimension and enhances coherence of the QA processes in Europe.
The project has three overall objectives:
The primary aim of the project is the development of a robust assessment framework (i.e. methodology) that can be used to assess the internationalisation of a programme or a higher education institution in Europe and which, if completed successfully, can lead to the award of a European Certificate for internationalisation. The concrete objectives incorporated into this project proposal are related to developing an agreed European methodology, to pilot-testing this methodology, to analysing the results and effects on HEIs and their stakeholders and to implementing a European certificate for internationalisation. The certificate is a distinctive quality feature and shall be awarded to those study programmes and/or institutions which have successfully incorporated an international and intercultural dimension into the purpose, function and delivery of education. The certificate provides evidence for successful internationalisation efforts of institutions and programmes and can be used for branding, attracting students from abroad, and making the own institution or programme more attractive for foreign students and for partnerships with foreign HEIs.
Secondly, the project aims to enhance the transparency of the internationalisation performances of HE institutions and provide them with the means for improvement in this area, thus strengthening their competitiveness in an increasingly international higher education market. By doing this it will contribute to the modernisation agenda of higher education in Europe and to a stronger European Higher Education Area.
Thirdly, from a quality assurance point of view this project aims at converging the quality assurance methodology in Europe, contribute to the development of effective external quality assurance and to foster cross-border cooperation in this area. Agreeing on a commonly approved accreditation framework for the assessment of internationalisation in Europe will facilitate cross-border recognition of qualifications and thereby promote mobility of students and staff in the European Higher Education Area. The proposed certificate adds a strong European dimension to quality assurance. Moreover the project aims to introduce a new, excellence-oriented procedure for accreditation in Europe. So far no specific assessments of internationalisation have been carried out on a European level. This shortcoming will be alleviated by the proposed European certificate.
The certificate is of voluntary character and does not substitute the national accreditation systems. Assessments for the certificate may be combined with regular programme accreditation or institutional audit procedures. It is a supplementary and improvement oriented additional service which will strengthen a constructive dialogue between HEIs and QA agencies.