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Newcastle University professor discusses internationalization of higher education

Sue Robson addressed theories and practices in the UK and Europe

10/05/2019 - 09h28
Sue Hobson, Photo: Bruno Todeschini

Photo: Bruno Todeschini

On Tuesday, May 7, Newcastle University professor Dr Sue Robson delivered the workshop Internationalization at Home [email protected]: Perspectives for Undergraduate Studies. The activity was promoted by the Office of the Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies (Propesq). Robson came to the University as a visiting professor under the Institutional Project of Internationalization (PUCRS-PrInt). She has been embraced by the cooperation project Knowledges and practices for a world in motion, coordinated by Professor Dr Alexandre Guilherme, and is associated with the priority area World in Motion: Individuals and Society.

At the event, Sue discussed internationalization as a strategic point for higher education and the challenges in creating an environment of internationalization on Campus, a practice which is commonly known as internationalization at home. The researcher claimed that academic mobility is a reality for just a small number of students and, because of that, she called for the need for new initiatives that prepare students for a globalized and multicultural world.

“We need to bear in mind that any changes beyond academic mobility will have a direct impact on the structure of the University”, she said. Universities need to be there not only to award a college degree on a student but also to produce global citizens by encouraging the development of international and intercultural competences.

Challenges and opportunities

How can we get all students into this international development perspective, rather than only those who have the chance to travel abroad? In her view, projects that address inclusion, impact and equity will benefit not only students but the society overall. Here are some of the challenges she presented:

  • Offer all students global perspectives in their own program of study;
  • Develop international and intercultural perspectives through international learning outcomes in formal curricula;
  • Provide support to these informal co-curriculum activities across the institution;
  • Make purposeful use of diversity in the classroom for inclusive learning, teaching and assessment.

Good practices on the lookout

The event featured Sue Robson’s workshop and a presentation by Newcastle University Professor, Dr Alina Schartner. She addressed an integrated model of adaptation and adjustment to be employed by universities in accommodating academic mobility students as well as the implications and applications of internationalization.

On the other hand,  School of Humanities professor, Dr Marilia Morosini, who is part of the PUCRS-PrInt cooperation project Sue is associated with, talked about internationalization of higher education in Brazil. The Dean of Undergraduate Studies of the Office of the Vice President of Undergraduate Studies and Continuing Education (Prograd), Dr Adriana Kampf presented the guidelines that drive internationalization at home at PUCRS, and four cases that have been put in practice it in different academic schools of the University.

Sue Robson will stay at PUCRS for two weeks as she will be working together with professor Alexandre Guilherme, who coordinates the cooperation project, and Dr Marilia Morosini. She will also deliver a second workshop for faculty and students in the Graduate programs of PUCRS.