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Thoughts: Another rationale for internationalisation

VU International News and Reviews No. 22 February 03 2014

December 2018

As internationalisation of universities is generally seen as the response – and the need to respond – to globalisation, one may argue for a much more value driven approach to this response to globalisation.
Internationalisation of universities must respond to:

  • global challenges, including challenges to environmental and social sustainability
  • global connectivity of the global network society
  • global diversity, also within our country, municipality, and campus
  • global labour markets, whether at home or abroad

These challenges require that universities provide their graduates with the competencies and attitudes necessary for a new generation of global social entrepreneurship. This entails three kinds of competencies, and these should be the key objectives of internationalisation of higher education:

  • global competencies, i.e. international awareness and intercultural competencies
  • social competencies, i.e. ethical and beyond the singular drive for profit or H impact factor
  • entrepreneurial competencies, i.e. creative, persevering, risk-taking

This would also entail a shift towards the creation of social value and the key driver of the university endeavour of education and research instead of the current focus on H impact factor and ranking.

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