What Makes a University International?

Decorative: Globe with connecting lines between universities internationally

 

"What Makes a University International?" (post) outlines the "three key criteria" that Times Higher Education uses  "to determine ... what it really means to have a 'global outlook' in today’s increasingly outward-looking higher education arena":

1. "A High International Student Population"

  • "While we often think of the benefits of international exchange as they apply to the exchange students themselves, an increasing body of research indicates the invaluable degree to which these international students enrich their classmates."
  • "[P]articipation in international classrooms facilitates in students the ability to question their own beliefs and values; acquire new skills and knowledge independently; formulate creative ideas; integrate ideas and information; achieve quantitative abilities; understand the role of science and technology in society; and gain in-depth knowledge in a specific field."

2. "A Large Proportion of International Faculty"

  • "[T]eachers with a global perspective have the ability to raise international awareness by encouraging students to think outside their own narrow frames of reference."
  • "This can mean anything from using examples from a variety of cultures to countering assumptions based solely on limited student backgrounds and experience."
  • "Global faculty members also make connections with local companies, leaders and innovators, and community members, positioning them to further break down the barriers geography in order to more effectively promote cross-cultural collaboration."
  • "[T]he research itself is also made more comprehensive by the acknowledgment of the impact and influence of cultural differences. Lack of an international perspective, meanwhile, can weaken results."

3. International Collaboration Abounds

  • "Two or more scholars and researchers from varying backgrounds each with their own international outlook ... ensur[e] that innovators not only have access to the latest expertise, but also the channels through which to exchange ideas and knowledge."
  • "Improved access also applies to everything from shared facilities and equipment to foreign funding sources."
  • "[The return on investment of international research -- particularly in the areas of science and technology -- is significant within the developing world with the potential to yield both social and economic benefits."
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