Internationalisation at LUSEM
There are several reasons for higher education institutions to increase international cooperation and the international elements of education and research. The most important of these is to enhance the quality of activities. There are also political, economic and social/cultural reasons that benefit society as a whole when universities and colleges become more international in their activities.
The report on increased internationalisation of universities and colleges (U 2017:02), whose task has been to propose goals and strategy for the internationalisation of universities and colleges, left their interim and final report in 2018 (SOU 2018:3 and 2018:78). The purpose of the strategy is to improve conditions for the internationalisation of higher education institutions by indicating a direction for internationalisation initiatives at various levels.
A prioritised area
In Lund University's strategic plan for 2017–2026, internationalisation is one of six priority areas we as a university shall work with together.
The Strategic Plan states that:
- There shall be an international perspective and global engagement in the organisation, in its approach to people and in their experience of the University.
- There shall be good opportunities for international mobility for students and staff.
- The University shall be attractive to international students and staff.
- The University shall have strategically supported international partnerships and take an active part in influential international networks, such as LERU and U21.
LUSEM International Council
Dean Mats Benner has initiated an international council at LUSEM, called Rådet för internationalisering/LUSEM International Council (not to be confused with the council at the University level, Internationella rådet). This is formed of representatives from the various departments as well as the International Office and the Academic Skills Services.
The International Council has three purposes:
- To give input to Mats Benner (who represents LUSEM in Internationella rådet) in preparation for the meetings at University level.
- To discuss strategies when it comes to internationalisation and take questions and information further to our faculty management as well as to the departments.
- To discuss questions important to the International Office.
Intercultural Competence Initiative
Intercultural competence has been identified as one of the key skills that students will need in the twenty-first century. The Intercultural Competence Initiative (ICI) is led jointly by representatives from various departments, the International Office and the Academic Skills Services (ASKS). The aim of this initiative is to increase the level of intercultural awareness and competence among our staff, both academic and administrative, and our students at every level. Workshops in intercultural competence have been offered for international Bachelor students in the IBU and EoS programmes for several years now, and this has been extended to both outgoing and incoming exchange students. The ultimate aim is to offer training to all staff in this area, and provide workshops to all students at some stage in their programme.
COIL (Collaborative Online Intercultural Learning)
COIL (Collaborative Online International Learning) is a cross-border cooperation between at least two higher education institutions in two different countries, which then collaborate on a course of five to fifteen weeks. The collaboration can either be within the same discipline or interdisciplinary. The collaboration can be implemented in all study areas at all levels. The teachers develop the learning objectives together, design what the collaboration should look like, choose online tools etc. The grading is set separately per university.
The period for the funding, which can be applied for at LUSEM, has just been prolonged until autumn 2022. The management at the School is very positive about this initiative and encourages all teachers to consider this opportunity. For those interested in creating a COIL there is a AHU-course called Open Networked Learning. This is suitable for everyone who wants to develop a new course since you learn digital technologies that can support course design and extend opportunities for collaboration.