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The following recommendations and measures have been developed on the topic of Internationalisation of studies and teaching. They are based on the >> premises, strategic anchoring (institution), contextualisation (programme), allocation of resources (personnel etc.) as well as support and connection to internationalisation measures (environment); >> guiding questions complement these.
Strategic anchoring of the internationalisation of studies and teaching as well as allocation of resources
It is recommended that, on the basis of a critical reflection of the following questions
- What do international and cultural reflective competences mean in the context of our institution and study programmes?
- Which international, global and culturally reflective competences are relevant for our future graduates?
- Which global issues influence our fields of study?
Which global issues influence our internationalisation of studies and teaching as an essential design principle and thus the promotion of international and culturally reflective competences in the university strategy for all university members?
In order to promote the commitment and identification of all university members with the desired goal, representatives of all stakeholder groups should be involved in this reflection.
Furthermore, it is suggested to ensure the necessary allocation of resources in terms of personnel, time and financial means for a quality implementation, and to take into account the resource time - for reflection, for international engagement, for further education, etc. - accordingly. - Areas of study?
- Critical reflection and stocktaking on the status quo of already existing elements of the comprehensive approach to internationalisation of studies and teaching, e.g. in a strategy workshop involving all relevant groups, in order to achieve a common understanding of the importance of internationalisation of studies and teaching and its three pillars, as well as the added value associated with it.
- Assignment of clear responsibilities with clear target agreements and monitoring of the set targets
- Participation and consideration of all stakeholders concerned as well as transparent communication on this topic, e.g. in specific analogue and digital forums of the university.
- Securing human resources by involving persons with international experience in the development of curricula, regular integration of international lecturers and consideration of international expertise and language skills both in further education measures for all university staff and in particular in the recruiting of new staff
- Creation of time resources for the implementation of the internationalisation of teaching, e.g. through teaching load reduction and provision of corresponding resources in the International Offices
- Measures in the area of infrastructure and the university environment, e.g. through the integration of partner institutions and the synergetic use of strategic partnerships for exchange, cooperation, development of joint programmes, etc., but also benchmarking
Discipline- and study-appropriate understanding and curricular integration of international and culture-reflective competences.
It is recommended to conduct an internal university discussion with the relevant committees and stakeholders in order to achieve a common understanding of the subject/programme-relevant international and culture-reflective competences. Based on this, international and culturally reflective content and learning outcomes appropriate to the discipline/programme are to be anchored in each curriculum and thus in the respective qualification profile of the graduates. In doing so, a corresponding scope for design (discipline and subject adequacy) is to be taken into account (no one-size-fits-all approach). It is also recommended to propose suitable assessment tools for the defined learning outcomes.
Various possibilities for forms of mobility, including mobility windows, which support the acquisition of international and culturally reflective competences for the respective disciplines/subjects/study programmes and the student groups represented at the higher education institution, should subsequently be critically reflected and anchored in the curriculum.
- Clear recommendations to the curricular bodies/development teams as well as advice and/or training of the persons and bodies concerned through appropriate written documents
- Involvement of persons with expertise in the internationalisation of studies and teaching as well as reference to international reports and surveys (e.g. Erasmus Impact Study, World Economic Forum Report)
- Training courses/workshops with experts on the internationalisation of curricula / formulation of corresponding learning outcomes and adequate teaching and examination formats to ensure the didactic linking of content - learning outcomes - learning outcomes
– Ensure assessment in the sense of constructive alignment. Integration of foreign language modules for all students to expand language competence and attract international students - Joint design of study programmes or modules with partner universities and/or overarching international modules in the sense of interdisciplinary extension curricula
- Critically reflect on subject-oriented mobility opportunities and survey the student groups represented at the HEI and their needs or opportunities, especially in relation to underrepresented groups
- On the basis of critical reflection, binding integration of corresponding forms of mobility (physical, long, short, virtual, etc.) into the respective curricula, creation of support possibilities and communication of the added value, especially with regard to the expansion of competences to the students
Promotion of Joint Programmes including the designation as European Universities
It is recommended that more high-quality international joint programmes, also within the framework of European Universities, be initiated at Austrian universities and secured in the long term.
The diversity and complementarity of the partners should be used for innovative and future-oriented study programmes - including the development of new professional profiles. The European Approach for Quality Assurance of Joint Programmes is recommended as a reference framework for the accreditation and quality assurance of joint programmes.
Furthermore, it is suggested that the European Approach for Quality Assurance of Joint Programmes be anchored in the recommendations of the BMBWF for the implementation of joint study programmes and that the legal and study law framework conditions be designed in such a way that access for the best-qualified applicants is ensured regardless of their origin or background.
- Improving the legal framework by adapting relevant laws on study programmes and simplifying the relevant regulations, especially with regard to uniform definitions of joint programmes and their degrees
- Targeted networking with all relevant ministries to adapt legal provisions in order to enable highly qualified applicants who have successfully completed a selection procedure for a joint programme to enter the country in time to begin their studies in the same academic year. This concerns in particular:
o Immigration regulations
o Provisions of general social security law
o Enabling supportive communication in English
- Anchoring the European Approach for Quality Assurance of Joint Programmes as a quality reference framework in the "Recommendations of the BMBWF for the Implementation of Joint Study Programmes" and examining an anchoring of the same in the laws relevant for the accreditation of such study programmes for all sectors (e.g. HS-QSG) in order to avoid the administrative effort of multiple accreditations
- Inclusion of this topic in the preparations for the negotiations of the performance agreements as a contribution to a common understanding of the added value, but also the complexity of Joint Programmes
- Incentive systems & funding opportunities for initiating joint programmes (such as the former "Austria Mundus+")
- Examination of the establishment of an Austria-wide, cross-university "Joint Programme Academy" for training and further education for the initiation and support of joint programmes as well as legal advice and coaching
- Commitment at university management level and promotion of a common understanding of the added value of joint programmes, especially when applying for a joint programme for the first time or in the initial phase of a new joint programme
- Ensuring the interaction of all organisational units involved within the universities through clear interfaces and defined processes
Qualification and professional development of university staff
It is recommended that appropriate accompanying measures be taken at staff level, whereby the promotion of so-called international engagement (e.g. teaching staff mobility or international teaching) should be defined as a task and responsibility of the institution.
Furthermore, it is suggested that care be taken to promote the international and culturally reflective competences of general university staff, e.g. through further education or mobility, in order to anchor an international and culturally reflective dimension in the university culture (across the university).
- Establishment / use of further education programmes for lecturers and general university staff to teach international and culturally reflective competences for teaching but also for dealing with international students and staff outside the lecture hall.
- International recruiting of new staff in order to attract appropriately qualified or "internationally motivated" staff to the university.
- Creation of incentive and recognition systems to strengthen motivation, as a role model and as a signal of appreciation e.g.
o by taking international activities into account in the workload of the lecturers and in their teaching load
o Reward team teaching with international colleagues or internationally experienced colleagues in full (see above, measures for recommendation 1-Strategic anchoring of the internationalisation of studies and teaching and allocation of resources)
o Awards or certificates for international/internationalised teaching and international engagement
o Recognition in career paths via the establishment of platforms for the exchange of international experience
- Enabling longer teaching stays abroad (programmes modelled on Fulbright, e.g. for 3 months or 1 semester)
- Creation of incentive systems and supportive framework conditions
Establish a university culture that supports the acquisition of international and intercultural competences
To support the comprehensive approach of internationalisation of studies and teaching, it is proposed to set relevant measures at the level of the higher education environment - also involving the general higher education staff - in order to promote the development of the international and cultural-reflexive dimension also outside the formal curriculum.
- Establishment of an internationalised infrastructure, an international campus, e.g. through
o Bilingual signage and information for students and teachers in German and English
o Translation support
o Welcome Centre for international students, teachers, researchers and general university staff
o "Spaces" for encounters and exchange through language cafés, international cafés, tandem learning, cultural events, etc.
- Access to international teaching and learning materials
- Sustainable (financial) technical and spatial equipment to support non-traditional and innovative mobilities such as virtual mobility, especially for underrepresented student groups
- Promoting regional and municipal networking as well as encounters and interactions with refugees and persons with a migration background
- Promotion and integration of an inclusive and non-discriminatory organisational culture at universities by creating their own formats (e.g. cultural model, barrier-free in the regional context, elective modules, modification of curricula with regard to students with impairments)
National framework conditions to promote the acquisition of international and culturally reflective competences
It is suggested that the responsible federal ministries support higher education institutions in the implementation of recommendations 1 to 5 with appropriate measures.
- Reference to the equivalence of study periods and internships completed abroad (cf. Music Therapy Training Ordinance Section 3 § 9) in the training ordinances of the non-medical health professions, especially with regard to the increasingly important role of international and culturally reflective competences and the mobility associated with them.
- Support the offer of adequate (short) forms of mobility that do justice to the diversity of the student body
- Maintaining or examining the creation of awards for the internationalisation of teaching at national and higher education level
- Targeted networking at European level to secure funding by anchoring teacher mobility in the relevant EU funding programmes
- Critical reflection on excessive administration and bureaucracy and targeted networking in the sense of streamlining processes and reporting at European and especially at national level
- Commitment to the internationalisation of studies and teaching, especially with regard to non-traditional and virtual mobility and for underrepresented student groups.
- Consideration of the special nature of mobile students (incoming and outgoing), especially those from underrepresented groups, in data collection and specifications for budget-relevant indicators, so as not to counteract the efforts of higher education institutions to promote student mobility and the goals of internationalisation of higher education institutions also called for by the BMBWF
As a basis for the formulation of HMIS 2030, the proposals for recommendations developed in the >> subject area groups of the >> HMS-mobility forum, together with the corresponding measures, premises and guiding questions, were thematically bundled and processed. They are documented here in this form as valuable results of this professional discussion process and reflect the views of the higher education experts represented in the thematic field groups.