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The why, where, and how of internationalisation in education

The higher education sector is reaping the benefits of globalisation.

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As continued globalisation broadens horizons across the spectrum of industry, education stands out as a sector set to significantly benefit from increased levels of global knowledge sharing.

As Dr. Graham Love, Chief Executive of Ireland’s Higher Education Authority (HEA), states in his foreword to the report ‘The Internationalisation of Irish Higher Education’:

“The concept of ‘international education’ is not a new one. For over 1,500 years at least, scholars have travelled the globe in pursuit of knowledge and experience. This appetite for higher learning […] has been a feature of academic life in the estimated 25,000 higher education institutions currently in the world.”

While international education is an age-old concept, it prevails, and the rise of globalisation is making it easier and more prevalent than ever before. Higher education institutions the world over are seeking to expand their networks, create connections with international universities, and share knowledge overseas – goals which are being facilitated by global employment solutions providers.

According to the Higher Education Handbook of Theory and Research, some methods of internationalisation include “developing a global curriculum, hosting international students and scholars, promoting study abroad programs, and establishing cross-border partnerships.”

So, let’s take a look at the why, where, and how of the internationalisation of education.

Why is the internationalisation of education so important?

Over the past thirty years, internationalisation in education has boomed thanks to rapid developments in technology and transportation infrastructure.

Global knowledge sharing is crucial to developing a deeper understanding of academic practices from around the world, sharing these practices, as well as local knowledge, and expanding the minds of students. Through collaborating and forming partnerships with universities in other countries, educational institutions are bolstered and new ways of teaching, learning, discovering, and engaging are formed.

Fostering connections between colleges allows for student exchanges, which have myriad benefits. From the traditionally educational - such as encouraging understanding between cultures, the sharing of ideas, and the broadening of students’ minds - to the more general, such as allowing students to develop life skills necessary to live independently and thrive in a new place.

Learning how to move to a new country and reaping the benefits of doing so, such as learning new languages and cultural norms, also encourages young people to seek overseas opportunities later in life, by preparing them for the dynamic and competitive global workplace.

Where is benefitting most from education internationalisation?

Education internationalisation is a goal of higher education institutions worldwide.

A key example can be seen in India, where the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 set out a pathway towards internationalisation of higher education to be attained by 2030.

The country has long been a proponent of internationalising education. In an essay for the Journal of International Education and Leadership, Maria P. Cantu notes that Nobel Prize winner Rabindranath Tagore, born in Calcutta, colonial India, in 1861 was among the first pioneers of the concept.

He believed that the aim of education was “to bring a synthesis between the individual and society and to become aware of the unity between the individual and the rest of humankind.”

India, home to one of the world’s most expansive education systems, has experienced significant changes in the recent past – including growing skills shortages and inadequate funding, as well as outdated curricula.

Alliance University notes that according to a report by Deloitte, “‘64% of the educators [in India] feel that there is an absence of a fresh curriculum, and it is one of the pressing challenges for the Indian higher education system. Also, only 28% of educators believe that students are industry-ready.’”

The University highlights that the internationalisation of education will serve to generate capital, introduce up-to-date educational technology and innovation, and foster healthy competition among India’s universities.

Foreign universities establishing branches in India will allow Indian students to attain degrees associated with these universities, which will broaden their horizons in the global marketplace.

Another example of who is benefitting from education internationalisation, can be seen in the burgeoning relationship between the Republic of Ireland and African universities.

Irish universities, which rank in the top 5% globally, are currently utilising a two-year post-study working opportunity for international students, to attract students from Africa.

African students often view Ireland as an attractive option, due to its competitive fees and living costs, when compared with some other Western nations. The Pie News notes that from 2018 to 2021, the numbers of African students attending Irish universities grew by 61%, comprising 3% of the country’s 32,000 international students.

Ireland’s Department for Foreign Affairs has awarded 2,000 fellowships to partner countries over the past 46 years, the majority of which have been to African nationals. Nurturing these relationships is mutually beneficial to Ireland, the individual student, and the nation from which they hail, due to the continued sharing of knowledge and opportunities.

How is internationalisation in education being facilitated?

Global employment solutions providers play a vital role in facilitating education internationalisation. From providing employment options such as Employer of Record (EOR) services; to supporting visa and work permit application processes for academics and students going abroad; to supporting universities to offer competitive remuneration packages; to visiting academics, via salary benchmarking services, there are many ways in which these service providers can support.

Mauve Group is an established global employment solutions provider, offering comprehensive and bespoke packages to organisations the world over – from NGOs, to businesses, to universities.

We  have longstanding relationships with a broad scope of educational institutions around the world, including Ivy League establishments, universities, colleges, schools, and professional development organisations. Some of our headline clients include Colorado State University, Teach for All, and CQU Australia.

If you’re interested in learning more about how Mauve Group can support your organisation, contact our team today.