From January 20th - January 22nd the Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA) organises its annual conference: What's Next? Possibilities and Probabilities in the Future of International Higher Education.
During the AIEA conference, 2019 Aurora Universities Network and the University of Minnesota hosted a presentation titled: More inclusive internationalisation with (more) equal opportunities for all students!
The presentation demonstrated one American example (University of Minnesota) and one European example (the University of East Anglia who is a member of the Aurora Universities Network) of internationalization targeting students who are less likely to gain international experience during their time at the university. During the presentation, attendees were triggered to discuss the practical steps that need be taken to remove barriers to participation. The discussion included questions like:
- Why is it important for my university to engage in inclusive internationalization?
- What are the existing effective practices for inclusive internationalization and what part could be useful at my institution?; and What are the crucial obstacles and pitfalls
- What are the yet unsolved problems on which we can try to combine our creativity and power?
The presentation was given by Helena Gillespie, Academic Director of Widening participation at the University of East Anglia, and Martha Johnson, Assistant Dean for Learning Abroad at the University of Minnesota.
The University of Minnesota has actively engaged in increasing the numbers of students participating in learning abroad for almost 20 years. Early efforts, however, did not yield diverse participation or were often problematic when they did. The Learning Abroad Center has since shifted focus from recruitment and funding to inclusion in policy, practice, and support. This shift has changed our definitions of success and allowed us to understand the barriers, both real and perceived, influencing diverse student participation.
The annual AIEA conference has over 100 sessions and roundtable discussions where international education leaders engage in peer learning on relevant and critical issues for the field.