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  • Imperative, but how to get there?

    - A UNESCO based non-profit organization calls upon universities to embrace internationalization. This trend has become an “institutional imperative”. In a report, a number of guidelines are defined to maximize the upsides of internationalization, while keeping adverse affects at bay.

    A recent report by the UNESCO based International Association of Universities ( IAU) underlines the pros and cons of internationalization in higher education. While promoting global citizenship, creating prestige and new revenue streams, this trend may also hurt countries through brain drain and cultural homogenization.

    Global citizenship, improved teaching quality and research, additional income

    "The goals of internationalization are continuously evolving, ranging from educating global citizens, building capacity for research, to generating income from international student tuition fees and the quest to enhance institutional prestige." Overall internationalization has become "an institutional imperative" and offers great opportunities if handled accordingly.

    The report finishes with a number of guidelines universities should follow in order to maximize the benefits that internationalization offers. Values such as "academic freedom, institutional autonomy, and social responsibility" would of the utmost importance in this context. In addition to that, academic goals such as "student learning and the advancement of research" needed to be defined clearly.