International Strategy for Higher Education Institutions

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Posted on by Vicky Lewis

EAIE pre-conference workshop

I'm co-facilitating a full-day workshop at the European Association for International Education (EAIE) Conference in Glasgow on Tuesday 15 September. The topic is Building internal support for internationalisation. Here's the blurb from the conference website:

"Why do they just not get it?" Even the most obvious internationalisation priorities seem to be ignored by colleagues in other parts of your institution. Yet you can’t hope to embed internationalisation – or even do your job effectively – without their support. This workshop will explore how different values, assumptions and behaviours within an institution can inhibit the cultivation of internal support for internationalisation. As a group, we’ll all share strategies for engaging key internal stakeholders by recognising what motivates them. You will leave with some concrete strategies for building internal advocacy for internationalisation in your own institutional setting within as little as six months."

Aims of the workshop

The workshop is designed to:

  • Explore values, assumptions and behaviours in higher education institutions
  • Learn a helpful framework for change management
  • Spot dominant value sets in your own institution
  • Identify internal stakeholders whose engagement with internationalisation is critical
  • Determine what motivates stakeholders and develop an engagement plan
  • Acquire practical strategies to achieve positive outcomes

Reflections on preparing the workshop

I've thoroughly enjoyed preparing the workshop with my colleague Fiona Hunter, a fellow consultant, researcher and trainer who is based in Italy.

We've been looking at the factors that can affect internal engagement when it comes to internationalisation.

These include the 'international maturity' of the institution. Is internationalisation at the heart of organisational strategy or a fringe activity? Has it been introduced systematically or in an ad hoc way?

They also include factors such as the dominant organisational culture. For example, it can make a difference if the culture is entrepreneurial and project-orientated or more bureacratic and committee-based.

Attitudes to change are a critical factor and we look at how to prepare the ground for change and differentiate tactics between different stakeholder groups when it comes to bringing them with you.

A further potential barrier to change is one's own personal leadership style. We consider how to develop emotional intelligence competencies so as to be able to manage relationships with others and adapt one's leadership style to the context.

Participants in the workshop will go away with their own tailored action plan for stakeholder engagement. This will help them to focus on the actions and approaches that will most effectively build support for top internationalisation priorities from key internal colleagues over the coming six months.

Further information

If you're interested in signing up for the EAIE conference and/or would like to register for the workshop, online registration is open until 26 August.

If you can't make it to the workshop but would like to arrange a meeting in Glasgow between 15 and 18 September, drop me an email on:  vickylewisconsulting[at]gmail.com


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