UCL News


More internationalist values will be good for people - and for business

16 February 2006

British universities are depressingly short of an international dimension.

A recent survey undertaken by the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education found that only about half of 133 higher education institutions have an international strategy that they make available online. That is either because they regard their strategy as confidential or because they don't have one.

Institutions that have an international strategy tend to concentrate their energies on internationalisation abroad and recruitment of overseas students to boost coffers, says the report.

Much less emphasis is put on internationalisation at home, such as giving the curriculum more of an international flavour and making both the campus and the student experience more international.

Moreover, there is very little engagement with the Bologna process, the European Union initiative to harmonise degrees across the Continent. "It is almost as though British higher education is taking the money and running," says Professor Michael Worton, Vice-Provost (Academic & International) UCL, one of the few UK universities to have thought through the global dimensions of what it does and to have set up research partnerships in Africa.

"The real issue is how can we make a contribution internationally and how do we educate our students in issues such as global citizenship and social justice."

Lucy Hodges, 'The Independent', 16 February 2006