Managing Internationalisation


Providing students with the necessary skills in an ever-evolving world


Focus Groups | Conferences


Download: Approaches to Internationalisation and their Implications for Strategic Management and Institutional Practice – A Guide for Higher Education Institutions


This project was a study on how the increasingly global nature of higher education is changing the ways in which institutions view their role and mission, and how that affects the way they work.

This initiative on managing internationalisation was launched at a workshop held on Friday 1 April 2011 at the OECD Conference Centre and the outcomes of the work – fed, in part, by discussions in online focus groups – was discussed at three conferences and produced the IMHE Guide, Approaches to Internationalisation and Their Implications for Strategic Management and Institutional Practice.


Why Internationalisation?

More importance is being placed on having international, foreign language and inter-cultural skills to interact well in a global setting. This does not only refer to student mobility; internationalisation affects many aspects of institutional behaviour and provides new and exciting opportunities for all types of higher education institutions.

  • To what extent is internationalisation reflected in institution-wide governance and management? How is internationalisation perceived by all players within institutions – faculty, students, support staff – and how is it implemented?
  • How do internationalisation challenges influence institutional strategies, programmes, teaching-learning practices, students and faculty support and evaluation of quality?
  • What does it mean to be an international institution and what are the implications of that for national policy and local links?

IMHE’s review looked at how institutions in different settings are managing internationalisation by identifying those instruments, and approaches which they use to plan, manage, diffuse and sustain internationalisation.


Launch Workshop

On 1 April 2011, 27 IMHE members and partners met at the OECD to discuss IMHE’s new initiative on managing internationalisation.

To kick off the debate, participants were asked to respond to the question, "What impacts have globalisation and internationalisation had on your institution?" Responses were diverse and far-reaching, including, among others, differing perceptions and approaches related to individual institutional strategic objectives, country-regional-global goals, obstacles, resources and need. Participants identified a wide-range of potential activities and areas of focus for IMHE to address.

By the end of the day, an outline of the approach for this new work was in draft and on the following Monday it was presented to the IMHE Governing Board by Professor John Hearn. It was agreed that work should build on and complement existing literature and approaches. Therefore the first steps will be a review of relevant and authoritative information (research-based articles and discussion papers, etc.) examining challenges and trends; and a review of internationalisation projects and initiatives currently being carried out within and beyond OECD countries. On this basis, the team will develop an issues paper examining the various strategies adopted by higher education institutions and by governments and identifying priority issues for in-depth analysis. At the same time, groups of interested members will be set up to look into specific issues – for example, the pros and cons of offshore campuses; providing instruction in English; facilities for international students; responding to cultural diversity; reputation management; recognition and double degrees; ethics and diversity.


Online Focus Groups

Focus groups were held on:

  • International Networks As an Aid to Internationalisation (2 groups)
  • Government Policy and Internationalisation Strategies (2 groups)
  • Off shore campuses
  • Organisation of higher education institutions and student integration
  • Dual Degrees
  • Intellectual property
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Ethics and values 


Past conferences

17-19 September 2012

IMHE General Conference: Attaining and Sustaining Mass Higher Education
Paris, France



12-13 April 2012

"What Works" Conference on Internationalisation for Job Creation and Economic Growth: Increasing Coherence of Government and System Policies at a Time of Global Crisis, New York City, organised with the State University of New YorkWebsite:


15-16 December 2011

The outcomes of this work was discussed at the Conference on Strategic Management of Internationalisation held at Lund University, Lund, Sweden, on 15-16 December 2011, in conjunction with the Nordic Universities Association (NUS) and the Nordic Association of University Administrators (NUAS).


Related Documents