We live in an increasingly globalised world which presents a number of opportunities along with an ever-increasing number of challenges. It is therefore vital for any University operating in the 21st century to have a strategic approach to the internationalisation of its activities.
Working across the University, with academic and professional service colleagues and with our Students’ Union, students and alumni, this Strategy seeks to develop a proactive and shared approach to internationalisation that complements and enhances our core activities of education and research. Internationalisation is not an end in itself; our aim is to embed it in everything we do.
Our strategic goals
Goal one: to raise our international profile and reputation
Deepening our partnerships and networks
We will focus our activity on deepening our existing key education and research partnerships, ensuring they are mutually beneficial, reciprocal and well-communicated. We will develop networks, both geographical and themed-based, with our key partners and their alliances. We will look to develop new institutional partnerships with universities, corporate organisations, non-academic and non-profit making activities and international funding bodies, only where they align with strategic and/or academic priorities.
Developing Transnational Higher Education (TNE)
We will explore the opportunities to develop a select number of joint programmes and to develop TNE activities aligned to our research and education priorities. TNE opportunities take many different forms from digital mobility and joint delivery of individual programmes to establishing branch campuses. We will focus on establishing collaborative international research and teaching ventures alongside our international partners, using existing physical spaces and developing blended digital collaboration. We will also place an emphasis on multilateral TNE opportunities where more than one partner is involved.
Promoting our activities
We will actively promote and communicate our international activity. We will facilitate and support both internal and external events and conferences that showcase our international activities and attract academic visitors to Bath, thereby raising our profile and reputation.
Strengthening our alumni engagement
We will continue to engage proactively with our alumni networks across the globe, enabling them to contribute to, and support, our international priorities and to act as Bath’s ambassadors across the world. We will also aim to ensure that alumni and development activity benefits our current students.
Reviewing our institutional processes
We will review our international partnership and collaboration processes to ensure they are fit-for-purpose. We will establish criteria for our strategic and key partnerships, outlining the mutual benefits and intended outcomes.
Goal two: to increase our international research power and address global challenges
Focussing international activities around our research strengths
Working with the Associate Deans (Research), we will prioritise international collaborations which focus on our strongest research areas. This will include bi-lateral partnerships between individual research centres as well as promoting multilateral research networks in particular areas of excellence. We will increase our research outputs with international collaborators and seek to maximise success rates with UK and international funding schemes.
We will seek opportunities for capacity sharing across our international networks and partnerships including support for short- or medium-term academic secondment and international residencies.
Addressing global challenges
We will build on our existing approach of engaging in research with a strong social purpose which has real world impact. Wherever possible, international activities will support and encourage responsible international engagement and ensure sustainable collaborations.
Goal three: to develop a globally aware and mobile university
Growing our portfolio of mobility opportunities for staff and students
We will build on our existing strengths in international placements, Erasmus+ and study abroad by increasing and diversifying the numbers of students at all levels who undertake a period of work, study or volunteering overseas. This will include the development of more short-term opportunities focussed on developing employability. We will increase opportunities for staff mobility, across all job families, to support professional development and strengthen our international partnerships. We will also aim to develop non-geographic mobility through digital collaboration with our international partners.
Promoting Transnational Doctoral Education
We will facilitate increased doctoral student mobility and develop a select number of joint PhD programmes with key partners. We will look to source increased funding opportunities by actively engaging with new and existing international scholarship schemes such as the Chinese Scholarship Scheme, CONACyT and BECAL in order to attract the highest calibre doctoral students from across the world.
Promoting Internationalisation at Home
Working closely with our Students’ Union, we will actively promote Internationalisation at Home to sustain a global outlook in all staff and students and ensure that the university is a welcoming intercultural environment. We will continue to prioritise attracting an internationally diverse staff and student population and, through encouraging an international perspective in staff, we will increasingly internationalise the curriculum. We will develop a programme of events to celebrate our internationally diverse campus and provide opportunities for increased intercultural awareness and understanding. We will promote staff mobility and explore the development of international summer schools, providing opportunities for intercultural exchange and raising the visibility of our taught programmes and research activity.
Developing our international campus
We will improve the communication and coordination of all international engagement activities across the university to ensure a more coherent approach. We will share mutually beneficial intelligence on international partnership and recruitment activities.
Attracting high-profile, distinguished visitors and delegations
We will continue to provide support for high-profile visitors and inbound and outbound delegations. We will continue to develop the Global Chairs programme, utilising the opportunities to develop our research strengths and our international profile and networks.
Goal four: to strengthen our European engagement
Developing key European partnerships
We will identify new partnerships and strengthen our existing partnerships with key universities, organisations and networks in Europe by building on our well-established mobility, research, corporate and industry links.
Responding flexibly to the UK’s departure from the European Union
We will pilot a physical presence in Brussels, alongside regional partners, in order to network with key stakeholders and policy makers and raise our profile in Europe. We will provide support, advice and guidance to our highly valued international staff and students as we respond to a changing external environment. We will develop an understanding of our strengths within Europe and explore opportunities to further our engagement.
How we measure success of internationalisation
Building successful international partnerships and activities is challenging and not all activity is easily quantifiable. However, whilst measuring the success of internationalisation is far from straightforward, we do need to develop reliable ways of assessing progress in order to maximise our investment and resources.
Working closely with the newly established International Advisory Group, which includes wide representation of colleagues from all Faculties and the School of Management, professional services and the Students’ Union, the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (International and Doctoral) will oversee the implementation of the Strategy. A set of indicators will be developed to measure associated activities and these may include, but not be limited to, international rankings, numbers of international joint papers and publications, staff and student mobility, student engagement and satisfaction, international student recruitment and grant capture.