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Introducing an internal internationalisation strategy that integrates a clear commitment to internationalisation in a tangible framework is a major first step towards creating a sustainable culture of internationalisation that is embedded within the higher education institution concerned.
Formulating and further developing a strategy of this kind requires the institution to look in detail at its medium- to long-term aims and the requirements and potential for internationalisation. Efficient processes of internationalisation also call for stable structures in order to implement the chosen measures as well as adequate provision of resources and a quality management system. Ideally, therefore, an internationalisation strategy will be developed with the involvement of all the members of the higher education institution. This is because the strategy can only be implemented successfully if everyone involved shares a common understanding.
Another key approach to establishing a culture of internationalisation is to introduce international and intercultural elements and course content into curricula and the teaching and learning environment in line with the holistic understanding of the internationalisation of study and teaching (“internationalisation of the curriculum”) as well as, for example, the creation of mobility windows. All measures geared towards creating an international environment at one’s own higher education institution have been grouped together under the “Internationalisation@Home” umbrella. They include offering an attractive range of courses taught in a foreign language as well as language learning courses, research fields with an international focus, getting international teachers more involved, providing high-quality interaction with foreign higher education students and fostering a welcoming culture for incoming students and teachers.
However, Internationalization@Home cannot and should not replace a mobility experience abroad. Rather, it represents an additional component of the internationalisation of study and teaching and thus makes an important contribution towards the all-encompassing approach to internationalisation.
One way for a higher education institution to strengthen its international outlook is to partner with institutions in other countries as part of a joint programme, under which two or more international higher education institutions work together to design and teach a curriculum. Joint programmes are an excellent way to foster high-quality, long-term collaboration.
The Erasmus+ initiative of the European Universities aims to create an even more efficient format for cross-border cooperation. The European Universities are an association of several higher education institutions from member states entitled to participate fully in the Erasmus+ programme. These institutions are cooperating to an unprecedented extent on teaching and research and the creation of an inter-university campus. Various models for this pioneering form of collaboration are currently being piloted.