- Development of a European framework: The framework will allow the assessment of the quality of internationalisation at the level of study programmes and institutions. Milestones of this first phase are: definition of standards and criteria for the assessment, development of guidelines for HEIs and experts, establishment of procedural rules, rules for decision-making and appeals, and trainings of experts. The assessment framework for the European certificate will be based upon the input from the stakeholders (associate partners) as represented in the Stakeholders Group, the existing literature and the experiences with the pilots in the Netherlands and Flanders. The judgement is envisaged to take place on a four point scale and to allow excellence judgements: unsatisfactory- satisfactory, good and excellent. A European certificate shall be handed out if the overall judgement is either “excellent” or “good”. The assessment framework will be prepared in a close dialogue with HEIs from different ECA members countries (Stakeholders Group).
- Pilot-Studies: The framework for internationalisation will be tested in 12 pilots, covering all European regions. The composition of the pilot-candidates will assure that various institutions, disciplines and study programmes will be represented in the sample. Eligible are recognized/accredited study programmes or institutions, both from the public and private domain. The candidates will have the choice between a stand-alone procedure or a procedure embedded in the normal national accreditation or QA system. In order to increase consistency of judgements, experts leaders and secretaries will be trained. An appeal committee will be set in place to handle justified complaints. Milestones of this phase of the project are the site visits and completion of the assessment pilots.
- Good practices workshop and evaluation of the pilots: After the completion of the twelve assessment reports a Good Practices in Internationalisation Workshop will be organised. During this workshop a selection of the good practices, as proposed by the experts in their assessment reports, will be presented and shared among participants. The pilot-studies will be evaluated and the results will be analysed and published. A survey will be set up to receive feedback on the pilots from the assessed programmes and institutions, experts and secretaries A specific research question will deal with the (potential) effect of the project on the institutions (internal QA system, strategy, admission policies, recruitment of staff, competence driven curricula, intercultural processes at education level, etc.).
- Dissemination of the knowledge: The knowledge gathered in the first three project phases will be disseminated through a variety of communication tools: the project website, a database where good practices in internationalisation are presented, the evaluation report, contributions to national and European workshops, seminars/conferences, the proposed publications and the dissemination conference.
After successful completion of phases 1) to 4) the European certificate for internationalisation can be implemented by ECA throughout Europe.