Europe’s universities will need to recruit academics by flexible, open and transparent procedures and to provide them with attractive career prospects. Without a committed and adequately compensated professoriate, universities will find it hard to recruit the best and brightest academics to work for them and to provide the teaching and research that Europe needs in order to be a competitive, knowledge-driven region. When comparing the attractiveness of the academic profession between European countries, salaries are naturally a key place to start.
When we compare European countries such as Italy, the United Kingdom, France, The Netherlands and Germany with the United States, and take into account international differences in purchasing power, Italy displays the widest salary range between entry-level, medium-level and top-level positions. Like the UK, it offers relatively high salaries to senior academics. The UK compares relatively well with the US, judging from the average academic salary. For entry-level positions (for example, assistant professor) the salaries are lower and higher for top-end positions.
French universities are not particularly attractive to foreign professors due to France's national career framework and non-competitive salaries. Hiring is very centralised, with a national screening of candidates by national councils. Until recently, institutional salary policies were not allowed, but this is changing. A bonus system to reward performance in teaching and research has recently been introduced, alongside laws to increase the autonomy of universities and to introduce more differentiation among academics. More...
Target group(s): All citizens, in particular young people, trainees, social partners, enterprises, education institutions.
Period of consultation: from 19/04/2012 to 11/07/2012.
Objective of the consultation
The objective of the consultation is to gather views about how the quality of traineeships can be enhanced through a framework in order to help young career starters make a smooth transition from education to work. The questionnaire is available online.
In the interests of transparency, organisations have been invited to provide the public with relevant information about themselves by registering in the Interest Representative Register and subscribing to its Code of Conduct. If the organisation is not registered, the submission is published separately from the registered organisations.
Their ideas can be reduced to the following extremely short synthesis: the Anglo-Saxon model provides the individual with a way to realise him- or herself through learning; in the German model learning serves the truth; the American model sees learning as being about human progress. In the two remaining models, the French and the Soviet, learning serves the needs of existing power structures.
As a French academic, my first reaction could have been taken straight out of an Asterix cartoon: “They are crazy, the Belgians”. But I do realise that our Belgian colleagues are so much better placed than we are to form a synthetic and comparative view of university systems. So after some thought and with my point of comparison defined as 1968, it became clear that this analysis is quite precise in historical terms.
There are actually not very many people, not even among academics, who know that the French Revolution suppressed traditional universities in 1793, and that Napoleon confirmed the new university system and placed it at the service of la nation with its essential mission being to provide professional training.
Universities were replaced by grandes écoles – including schools of engineering, military training, medicine, chemistry and law – all in the service of the state. Only two traditional faculties remained: faculties of letters and faculties of science. Their essential mission was to train teachers who, in turn, would train little French boys in the lycées (upper secondary) – girls were only admitted to the grandes écoles at a very late stage – and prepare them for Napoleonic schools. So the system was perfectly coherent and self-contained.
Napoleon’s université impériale took the place of a national ministry of education until it was replaced by the ministry of public instruction during the republic. In this way 'university' came to stand for the higher education sector of the regional administrative units known as 'academies' (as they are still known), at the head of which the government appoints a high-level administrator with the title of recteur. The French recteur is in charge of all types of education: primary schools, secondary schools and tertiary-level education. The académie awards the title of ‘university', but this does not relate to any unified structure. So, on the one hand, rectors manage the finances and personnel issues at universities while, on the other, faculties and their deans manage pedagogical issues and now also research.
Meanwhile, the schools of medicine, law and, later, pharmacy preferred to be known as faculties, as this sounded more prestigious in international terms and corresponded better to the development of research at these institutions. But the presence of several such faculties in any given city does not necessarily lead to the creation of a university. The rector remains the administrator appointed by Paris who has an overview of all areas of education, and the deans, elected by their peers, enjoy a wide measure of autonomy, although within the financial limits set by the ministry. The large majority of university personnel are civil servants.
The traditional grandes écoles, structured to meet the needs of the large corps de l’état, are essentially professional education institutions that enjoy wide autonomy and are usually linked to ministries other than the national Ministry of Education. They have increasingly included the large (and subsequently the less large) schools of commerce that are structured in much the same way, but are almost all under the auspices of chambers of commerce and not the national Ministry of Education.
French system is very different
From this it becomes clear that the French system of higher education differs in every way from the systems found in all the other countries surrounding France. Even countries that have been under strong Napoleonic influence, such as Spain or Italy, have maintained traditional universities with an elected rector, while polytechnic universities contain the equivalent of the grandes écoles for engineers or administrators.
In this historical perspective it is easier to understand the shock that occurred in France at the end of the 1960s: it was the result, on the one hand, of the demographic explosion in the number of young people who demanded enrolment in higher education and, on the other, of the implementation of a new law, which introduced new structures according to which universities could elect their own presidents. The first shock, that of student demographics, resulted in immense efforts being made by faculties of science and letters and, to a lesser extent, of law and economics, to overhaul their curricula completely in order to cope with the influx of students.
It was no longer a question of concentrating on the training of future teachers, as it had been earlier, but of diversifying courses to make them more professional and to respond to the need to prepare students for different jobs. All of this was done on a limited budget. In the light of limited funding, the constraints imposed (no changes were made around student selection and student rights) and criticism of institutions' lack of contact with civil and economic society – contact that was normally reserved for the grandes écoles) – this proved a success.
The second shock, however, came as a result of the 'Edgar Faure' law, which introduced genuine universities. It had disastrous consequences: the faculties embraced the new structures and under the fallacious but then famous pretext of ‘small is beautiful’, they set themselves up as universities by instituting haphazard alliances; law and medicine here, letters and law there.
In many cases they simply set up on their own. In this way, in the majority of our cities in the provinces (not to mention Paris) the faculties split into two, three, even four separate universities. It is not worth elaborating on the consequences of this state of affairs: a lack of visibility and confusion on the national as well as international level, not to mention sterile rivalries among universities in the same location and the multiplication of identical job functions, leading to a lack of efficiency and to funding problems. Unfortunately, this state of affairs is impossible to change easily.
Even with the best of wills and when people are persuaded of the argument about how inefficient these divisions are, a university president cannot lightly take the risk of attempting to merge with one or two other universities since a merger will always be seen internally as being advantageous only to the other institutions involved and will mean the president's power is diminished. Few mergers have so far been completed; the present powers of the presidents are far too strong and strategic. Now and again, a merger project is advertised. There are the ‘PRES’ structures, which bring universities and research institutions together in clusters, but they risk cementing divisions instead of minimising them.
And yet this question is scarcely addressed in the swelling debate on current university reforms in France, regardless of the fact that it is one of the fundamental issues if one wants to reinstate some sort of order in the French higher education system, and to align French institutions with the great universities throughout the world.
The main objection to regrouping France's many institutions is that it would result in huge universities. This is true, but one can imagine several solutions along the lines of those practised elsewhere and there are multiple examples: the University of London, the Complutense University of Madrid and the University of California are all enormous institutions in terms of sheer numbers. But they have managed to adapt their forms of governance. In essence, these forms of governance are based on a definition of the respective strengths of their various components and a decentralisation of central power (whether rector or president) to faculties or their equivalents, which are situated on different campuses.
A rector or president should in essence be responsible for general policy, institutional planning, global inter-university relations – with the professional world and with international partners – and long-term decision-making. They should not get involved in things, such as evaluating academic competence, that are outside their remit (except within their own academic field, of course) or research issues. That should be what the deans or heads of departments do since they are responsible for the functioning of faculties or departments.
It is vital that France find the regulatory and financial means to encourage or oblige universities at major locations to merge into large, universal and decentralised institutions. The law should reserve the title of ‘university’ (or ‘research university’ as some countries abroad term it) for institutions that bring together all the major basic disciplines in education and research in large faculties or schools. This reunification may be difficult, but it is inevitable. It could also involve the grandes écoles which call themselves ‘graduate schools’, as they benefit from what universities do. Unfortunately, the new law has completely missed this point.
Furthermore, the new law has given greater powers to presidents in areas that should not be theirs, such as the selection of teaching staff. All this law does is to replace the present system of national centralisation, with all its flaws as well as its strengths, with an internal centralisation. This risks creating a more inefficient system, which will merely lead to a reinforcement of local competition.
* Jean-Marie Boisson is professor emeritus in the economics faculty of the University of Montpellier. A longer version of this article has been published in the Journal of European Higher Education Area, March 2012, under the title “Why Do So Many French Universities Wear a Number? Some reflections on the recent (hi)story of French universities system".
Découvrez le classement 2011 des établissements "Erasmus" les plus dynamiques.
Le Palmarès des 20 universités françaises les plus performantes en termes de mobilité Erasmus Etude est défini par la mobilité d’étude sortante Erasmus rapportée à l’effectif global de l’université. C'est l'Université de Savoie qui est en tête depuis trois ans. Téléchargez le classement.
En région PACA, deux universités sont classées: l'Université de Provence et l'Université d'Avignon et des Pays de Vaucluse.
L'Université d'Avignon et des Pays de Vaucluse est 8e pour 2010-2011. Elle régresse: 3e en 2009-2010 et 5e en 2008-2009.
L'Université de Provence est 19e pour 2010-2011. Elle régresse: 14e en 2009-2010 et 13e en 2008-2009. Il faudra être attentif au résultat 2011-2012, Provence ayant fusionné au 1er janvier 2012 avec Méditerranée et Cézanne pour former Aix-Marseille Université (AMU).
Scopri le classifiche 2011 delle istituzioni "Erasmus" la più dinamica.
Le Top 20 università francesi di maggior successo in termini di studio Erasmus è definito dalla mobilità di studio Erasmus in uscita riportati nella dimensione complessiva dell'università. Questa è l'Università di Savoia, che sta conducendo per tre anni. Scarica il ranking. Più...
L'Union européenne encourage la mobilité des citoyens désireux d'étudier ou de se former dans un autre Etat membre.
Le programme d'éducation et de formation tout au long de la vie géré au sein de l'agence nationale, propose des aides financières aux étudiants, aux élèves et apprentis, aux demandeurs d'emploi mais aussi aux tuteurs, aux formateurs, aux enseignants, aux conseillers, à tous ceux qui sont concernés par la formation et l'insertion professionnelles.
Les bourses sont en général allouées directement aux institutions ou aux organismes de placement en entreprises (organismes de formation, universités, ANPE, conseils régionaux, etc.) qui reversent aux stagiaires des allocations individuelles forfaitaires.
Le portfolio Europass permet à toute personne en mobilité de faire reconnaître son parcours de formation initiale, continue et professionnelle.
Vous êtes étudiant, découvrez l’entreprise à travers un stage professionnel
Vous êtes étudiant, préparez votre insertion professionnelle et familiarisez-vous avec le monde de l’entreprise dans le cadre d'ERASMUS.
Pendant votre cursus ou en fin de cursus, vous pouvez valider un stage professionnel de 3 à 12 mois, sur le principe de la reconnaissance de la période effectuée dans l’entreprise d’accueil.
Prenez contact avec le service des relations internationales ou le service des stages de votre établissement d'enseignement supérieur.
Vous êtes demandeur d'emploi ou récemment diplômé, saisissez l'opportunité d’un stage professionnel en Europe
Vous pouvez bénéficier d'une bourse de mobilité LEONARDO DA VINCI pour effectuer un stage dans une entreprise située dans un autre pays européen.
Votre demande ne peut se faire de façon individuelle: rapprochez-vous d'un organisme basé en France qui a déposé un projet de mobilité et qui vous aidera à préparer votre départ: préparation pédagogique, linguistique et culturelle.
Si votre profil professionnel correspond aux critères de sélection de cet organisme, vous pouvez le contacter pour obtenir davantage de précisions sur les modalités d'attribution de cette bourse de mobilité Leonardo sous réserve de places disponibles.
Liste des organismes qui proposent, en France, des stages Leonardo da Vinci.
Vous êtes éducateur, formateur d'adultes
Vous souhaitez travailler avec des européens impliqués dans la formation d'adultes et l'éducation tout au long de la vie, le programme GRUNDTVIG vous propose de monter des partenariats avec des organismes de plusieurs pays en Europe et d'analyser ensemble des problématiques de votre choix. En savoir plus sur les partenariats éducatifs.
Si vous souhaitez suivre une action de formation continue pour renouveler ou enrichir vos pratiques de formation, vous pouvez solliciter une bourse de formation d’adultes. En savoir plus sur les bourses pour formateur d'adultes.
The European Union encourages the mobility of citizens wishing to study or train in another Member State.
The program of education and training throughout life managed within the national agency, offers financial aid to students, apprentices and students, job seekers but also tutors, trainers, teachers , counselors, all who are involved in training and professional insertion.
Scholarships are generally allocated directly to institutions or in mutual companies (training organizations, universities, job centers, regional councils, etc..) That pay trainees sum of individual allocations.
The Europass portfolio allows anyone on the move to recognize its course of initial training and continuous professional. More...
RECLA – Red de Educación Continua de Latinoamérica y Europa, creó el Premio como un reconocimiento a la dedicación y al compromiso de las personas o empresas del sector de LA EDUCACIÓN que han realizado una gestión destacada contribuyendo positivamente al mejoramiento económico, social y académico del sector y que por su gestión, sus resultados, iniciativa empresarial y capacidad de liderazgo coadyuvan en el desarrollo de una Educación Continua cada vez más competitiva y de mejor calidad.
Para obtener tal distinción, podrán participar las Instituciones de Educación Superior (públicas o privadas), a través de sus unidades académicas de Educación Continua, y los catedráticos que presten sus servicios en cualquier institución asociada a RECLA, que cumplan con los requisitos que se determinan a continuación en las siguientes categorías:
Primera Categoría - Investigación en Educación Continua
Segunda Categoría - Mejores Prácticas en Educación Continua
Tercera Categoría - Responsabilidad Social en Educación Continua
Galardón Especial RECLA - Vida y Obra
Primera Categoría - Investigación en Educación Continua
Premiará a los profesionales y docentes universitarios de las Universidades adscritas a RECLA que desarrollen investigaciones que contribuyan a generar conocimiento científico y se vea reflejado en contenidos de programas de Educación Continua a través del desarrollo de productos y servicios innovadores.( Ver formato de Inscripción)
Criterios de evaluación: Calidad técnica de la investigación Pertinencia con las necesidades de la Educación Continuada, Impactos y beneficios alcanzados con los resultados Creatividad e Innovación
Segunda Categoría - Mejores Prácticas en Educación Continua
Se entregará a la Institución de Educación Superior que se destaque por su compromiso y actividades en pro del desarrollo de una Educación Continuada de calidad alta y valores agregados percibidos por los públicos, en el marco del desarrollo de la sociedad
Criterios De Evaluación: Nivel académico de los profesionales que dictan los cursos Equipos tecnológicos utilizados Nivel de satisfacción de los usuarios directos (trabajadores, personal que recibe la capacitación) e indirectos (empresa, organización y/o entidad de carácter pública o privada). Valores agregados al estudiante Cumplimiento de metas y objetivos, proyecto o estrategia liderada Aspectos logísticos (salones, ayudas audiovisuales, plataformas) Resultados aplicación del proyecto de educación continua, como una buena práctica para mejorar la calidad del usuario y de su entorno
Tercera Categoría - Responsabilidad Social en Educación Continua
Se entregará a la organización que se destaque por su compromiso y actividades en pro del desarrollo de una Educación Continuada responsable que promueva un entorno viable económicamente, socialmente incluyente y ambientalmente amigable.
Criterios de Evaluación: Contribución a la solución de problemática social; Cobertura e impacto de los programas: Número de estudiantes atendidos; Solidez financiera y perdurabilidad en el tiempo; Participación y colaboración interinstitucional; Novedad metodológica e innovación; Ajuste temático y metodológico.
El ganador de cada una de las tres categorías recibirá:
1.- Una Placa y un diploma en ceremonia que se realizará en el Encuentro Internacional anual de la Red.
2.- Una pasantía de una semana en cualquiera de los Centros de Educación Continua representados por los
miembros del Comité Ejecutivo de la RECLA que escoja el ganador. El Comité Ejecutivo recibirá el
ofrecimiento explícito de cada entidad que tendrá a su cargo los gastos de Alojamiento, almuerzos y
acompañamiento al ganador, enseñándole sus mejores prácticas, brindándole facilidades académicas y
El ganador cubrirá sus gastos de tiquetes a la Universidad escogida, previa aceptación de la Institución de
Educación Superior que represente.
Nota: Una Institución no podrá acoger a más de un ganador.
3.- Participación gratuita en un curso virtual organizado y designado por RECLA
LAS IES QUE OFRECEN ESTE PREMIO INFORMARÁN AL COMITÉ EJECUTIVO SU DECISIÓN 3 MESES
ANTES DE LA FECHA DEL ENCUENTRO INTERNACIONAL PREVISTO PARA CADA AÑO. PARA 2012 LA
FECHA MÁXIMA DE CONFIRMACIÓN SERÁ EL 12 DE JULIO DE 2012.
GALARDÓN ESPECIAL - VIDA Y OBRA
A través del premio, se entregará el reconocimiento a una persona que haya dedicado sus esfuerzos y
trabajo al engrandecimiento del Área de Educación Continua a través de sus aportes, investigaciones y logros
nacionales e internacionales.
Los aspirantes deberán enviar el trabajo y los demás documentos requeridos en la presente convocatoria a la Secretaría Técnica de RECLA, a través de: Correo electrónico: email@example.com, y por correo físico incluyendo el trabajo y demás documentos, en disco compacto, dirigidos a la Secretaría General de la Red de Educación Continua de América Latina y Europa así: Alexandra Bolaño Pantoja, Secretaria General, Bloque G, Primer Piso Edif. Álvaro Jaramillo V., Centro de Educacion Continuada, Universidad del Norte, Barranquilla, Colombia. Tel: (57) (5)3509509 Ext 4222 - 4223.
Los trabajos presentados podrán ser individuales o grupales y deberán ser enviados por correo electrónico en formato de Microsoft Word. Se debe anexar en todos los casos Curriculum vitae de el o los concursantes y carta de apoyo financiero del representante legal de la institución con la que se este vinculado. Cualesquiera que sean las situaciones no previstas en esta convocatoria serán deliberadas y resueltas por el jurado calificador, quien además tendrá la facultad de declarar desierta alguna categoría o el mismo galardón especial.
SEMINARIO IBEROAMERICANO: LA FINANCIACIÓN DE LOS ESTUDIOS DE POSTGRADO Y LA FORMACIÓN PERMANENTE EN ESPAÑA Y LATINOAMÉRICA
El Comite Ejecutivo de Recla invita a participar a sus asociados en este Seminario.
Lugar: Universidad de Cádiz. Cádiz (España).
Fechas: 27 al 29 de Junio de 2012.
Organizadores: Universidad de Cádiz, Asociación Universitaria Iberoamericana de Postgrado (AUIP), Red Universitaria de Estudios de Postgrado y Educación Permanente (RUEPEP), y la Red de Educación Continua de Latinoamérica y Europa (RECLA). Con la colaboración de la Fundación CyD y la Fundación Círculo de Economía.
Objetivos: Reunir a representantes políticos, rectores, gestores universitarios, responsables de fundaciones y empresas relacionadas con la formación permanente y de postgrado y cualesquiera otras personas interesadas en la formación postgraduada, con la finalidad de intercambiar experiencias sobre las distintas vías de financiación de las enseñanzas de postgrado y la formación permanente.
Mesa Redonda: El papel de las fundaciones, las asociaciones y los gobiernos en la financiación del postgrado y la formación permanente: FUECA; Salvador Mulero Rubio. Gerente FUCYL. Pedro Tomás Nevado. Consejero Administración Pública. Junta de Extremadura. Francisco J. Martos. AUIP.
Mesa Redonda: Modelos de financiación del postgrado y la formación permanente. Coordina: Dª. Neus Pons Pena. Directora Ejecutiva de la Escuela de Postgrado de la UAB y Presidenta de RUEPEP.
Taller: Presentación de casos y buenas prácticas. Dirige: Dª Mónica López Sieben. Subdirectora del Centro de Formación Permanente de la UPV y Vicepresidenta de RECLA.
Conferencia: Los estudios de posgrado y su financiación en Brasil. Dr. Julio Cezar Durigan. Rector UNESP (Brasil).
Ver también La relación de los Estudios de Postgrado y la Formación Continua con el sector empresarial y el tejido productivo en Iberoamérica.
Comments, reactions, suggestion for how to turn the principles of the Call into actions and offers of endorsement for the Call can be sent to the IAU at: firstname.lastname@example.org with subject line stating ‘the Call’.
This document acknowledges the substantial benefits of the internationalization of higher education but also draws attention to potentially adverse unintended consequences, with a view to alerting higher education institutions to the need to act to ensure that the outcomes of internationalization are positive and of reciprocal benefit to the higher education institutions and the countries concerned.
Internationalization - An evolving concept
1. The internationalization of higher education is a dynamic process, continuously shaped and reshaped by the international context in which it occurs. As this context changes, so do the purpose, goals, meanings, and strategies of internationalization. Over the past half century, the world has changed dramatically as a result of the demise of colonial hegemonies, the end of the Cold War, the rise of new economic powers, and new regional alliances.
2. Globalisation is now the most important contextual factor shaping the internationalization of higher education. Globalisation is characterized by interdependence among nations and manifested in the economic, political, social, cultural, and knowledge spheres. Central to globalization are the increased mobility of goods, services, and people and the accelerating use of information and communication technologies to bridge time and space in unprecedented ways and at continually decreasing costs.
3. Globalization gives an international dimension to all aspects of our lives, communities, and professions. In higher education, it has led to intensified mobility of ideas, students and academic staff and to expanded possibilities for collaboration and global dissemination of knowledge. It has also introduced new aims, activities and actors engaged in internationalization.
4. Institutions, countries and regions in different parts of the world and at different times pursue a variety of goals and participate in diverse ways in the higher education internationalization process. Examples, such as Africa under colonial rule, where access to higher education meant travelling abroad to attend one of the universities of the colonial power, or more recently the Bologna Process, which is radically changing the higher education landscape in Europe through internationally coordinated reforms, illustrate how internationalization fulfils different purposes and brings different rewards and challenges.
5. The goals of internationalization are continuously evolving, ranging from educating global citizens, building capacity for research, to generating income from international student tuition fees and the quest to enhance institutional prestige. New forms of internationalization such as branch campuses abroad, distance learning programs with a global reach, international educational hubs and networks now complement traditional initiatives such as student and staff mobility, curriculum change and international institutional linkages for teaching and research. New institutional players, in particular new private sector providers, have entered the scene.
6. Although the risk of brain drain remains a serious concern in some parts of the world, some countries are using international student mobility to expand their higher education capacity and capabilities. Governments and institutions are creating formal links with academic talent with their own Diasporas to promote brain circulation. And although uneven global flows of talent will remain an issue of consequence, in the long run, some of its worst impacts can be attenuated as a wider array of nations develop capacity and opportunity at home. Higher education internationalization can play a major role in developing such capacities and opportunities broadly throughout the world.
7. In short, internationalization today is remarkably different from what it was in the first half of the 20th century, in the 1960s or 1980s. A widening of drivers of higher education internationalization has had the effect of making internationalization more of an institutional imperative. The balancing of multiple intended outcomes while preserving essential institutional core values and missions is both a challenge and an opportunity. Internationalization is taking place in a radically new, complex, differentiated, and globalized context. The resulting changes in goals, activities, and actors have led to a re-examination of terminology, conceptual frameworks and previous understandings and, more importantly, to an increased but healthy questioning of internationalization’s values, purposes, goals and means.
The changing nature of internationalization in the context of globalization
8. Irrespective of contextual differences within and between countries, nearly all higher education institutions worldwide are engaged in international activities and are seeking to expand them. Engaging with the world is now considered part of the very definition of quality in education and research.
9. The many enduring academic benefits of internationalization are widely recognized as fundamental. The most noteworthy include, among many others: Improved quality of teaching and learning as well as research. Deeper engagement with national, regional, and global issues and stakeholders. Better preparation of students as national and global citizens and as productive members of the workforce. Access for students to programs that are unavailable or scarce in their home countries. Enhanced opportunities for faculty improvement and, through mobility, decreased risk of academic ‘inbreeding’.
Possibility to participate in international networks to conduct research on pressing issues at home and abroad and benefit from the expertise and perspectives of researchers from many parts of the world. Opportunity to situate institutional performance within the context of international good practice. Improved institutional policy-making, governance, student services, outreach, and quality assurance through sharing of experiences across national borders.
10. At the same time, the new world of higher education is characterized by competition for prestige, talent and resources on both national and global scales. National and international rankings are driving some universities to prioritize policies and practices that help them rise in the rankings. At many institutions, internationalization is now part of a strategy to enhance prestige, global competitiveness and revenue. As higher education has in some respects become a global ‘industry’, so has internationalization of higher education become, in some quarters, a competition in which commercial and other interests sometimes overshadow higher education’s fundamental academic mission and values. Competition is in danger of displacing collaboration as the foundation for internationalization.
Possible adverse consequences of internationalization
11. As internationalization of higher education evolves and grows in importance, a number of potentially adverse consequences of the process have begun to appear. These include particular risks for some institutions, uneven benefits, and asymmetrical power relations. Frequently noted are the following concerns: The prevalence of English, though driven by the advantages of having a common medium of communication, has the potential to diminish the diversity of languages studied or used to deliver higher education. The widespread use of English may thus lead to cultural homogenization and finding solutions for these adverse impacts, even though recognized, is difficult. Global competition may diminish the diversity of institutional models of what constitutes quality higher education. The pursuit of a single model of excellence embodied in the notion of a “world-class university,” usually narrowly defined as excellence in research, may result in the concentration of scarce national resources in a few or a single institution to the detriment of a diverse national system of higher education institutions, fit for diverse national purposes. This risk is potentially present everywhere, but is particularly acute for developing countries. Brain drain may continue or even accelerate, undermining the capacity of developing countries and their institutions to retain the talent needed for their prosperity, cultural advancement, and social well-being. Large-scale international student recruitment, at times using questionable and even unethical practices, may cause a variety of problems, such as brain drain. Also, the presence of large numbers of international students may result in misconceptions about decreased opportunities for domestic students or inadvertently feed prejudice about foreigners. This can overshadow the highly positive intellectual and intercultural benefits that international students bring to the classroom, campus, and communities in which they study and live.
The growth of transnational programs and creation of branch campuses raises a number of questions including how these enhance the educational capacity of host nations over the long-term, and how able they are to deliver on the promise of an education comparable to that delivered by the sponsoring institution in its home country. A foreign educational presence, with its perceived prestige, has the potential to disadvantage local higher education institutions striving to respond to national needs. Some host nations experience difficulty regulating the presence, activity and quality of foreign programs. As the pursuit of institutional reputation, stimulated by rankings, gains in importance among the goals of internationalization, the selection of international partners may be driven more by the desire to gain prestige by association than by actual interest in cooperation. Such a trend carries the risk of exclusion for many important and high quality institutions from international partnerships. The asymmetry of relations between institutions, based on access to resources for the development and implementation of internationalization strategies, can lead to the pursuit of goals that advantage the better –resourced institutions and can result in unevenly shared benefits.
In noting these adverse consequences, the inherent value of internationalization of higher education is not being called into question. On the contrary, the goal of raising awareness of these potential risks among the institutions of higher education is to ensure that action is taken to avoid them.
Affirming values underpinning internationalization: A call to higher education institutions
12. The benefits of internationalization are clear. In pursuing internationalization, however, it is incumbent on institutions of higher education everywhere to make every effort to avoid or at least mitigate its potential adverse consequences.
13. The prevailing context for higher education internationalization described in this document requires all institutions to revisit and affirm internationalization’s underlying values, principles and goals, including but not limited to: intercultural learning; inter-institutional cooperation; mutual benefit; solidarity; mutual respect; and fair partnership. Internationalization also requires an active, concerted effort to ensure that institutional practices and programs successfully balance academic, financial, prestige and other goals. It requires institutions everywhere to act as responsible global citizens, committed to help shape a global system of higher education that values academic integrity, quality, equitable access, and reciprocity.
14. In designing and implementing their internationalization strategies, higher education institutions are called upon to embrace and implement the following values and principles: Commitment to promote academic freedom, institutional autonomy, and social responsibility. Pursuit of socially responsible practices locally and internationally, such as equity in access and success, and non-discrimination. Adherence to accepted standards of scientific integrity and research ethics.
Placement of academic goals such as student learning, the advancement of research, engagement with the community, and addressing global problems at the centre of their internationalization efforts. Pursuit of the internationalization of the curriculum as well as extra curricula activities so that non-mobile students, still the overwhelming majority, can also benefit from internationalization and gain the global competences they will need. Engagement in the unprecedented opportunity to create international communities of research, learning, and practice to solve pressing global problems. Affirmation of reciprocal benefit, respect, and fairness as the basis for partnership. Treatment of international students and scholars ethically and respectfully in all aspects of their relationship with the institution. Pursuit of innovative forms of collaboration that address resource differences and enhance human and institutional capacity across nations. Safeguarding and promotion of cultural and linguistic diversity and respecting local concerns and practices when working outside one’s own nation. Continuous assessment of the impacts – intended and unintended, positive and negative – of internationalization activities on other institutions. Responding to new internationalization challenges through international dialogue that combines consideration of fundamental values with the search for practical solutions to facilitate interaction between higher education institutions across borders and cultures while respecting and promoting diversity.
15. These values are neither slogans nor vague abstractions. They should be applied in very concrete ways to institutional policy and practice. As institutions develop their internationalization strategies, they should be clear and transparent about why they are undertaking a particular initiative, how it relates to their academic mission and values, and what mechanisms can be put in place to avoid possible negative consequences. Open discussion, within and across institutions and associations and with governments, should keep fundamental academic goals and principles in the foreground, in the context of rapid change, complex realities, and ever-mounting pressures of competition and limited resources.
16. This Call to Higher Education Institutions is but a first step in IAU’s engagement to collaborate with its Member Organizations and other international education associations and partners to provide institutional guidance and examples of good practice in internationalization. IAU will now turn to helping institutions translate these principles and values into everyday practice.