INTERBA: Internationalization at Home for Enhanced Higher Education Quality in the West Balkans

Tuesday 14 November 2023

Home / News / INTERBA: Internationalization at Home for Enhanced Higher Education Quality in the West Balkans

Internationalization at Home (IaH) is a growing concept in universities worldwide, particularly relevant in the post-COVID-19 pandemic era. It focuses on incorporating international and culturally diverse elements throughout the entire academic journey. This approach allows students to access diverse teaching and learning methodologies, explore global perspectives, and engage in intercultural exchanges, even without the opportunity to study abroad.

Initiatives in Internationalization at Home encompass a range of strategies, including integrating international content into curricula, promoting intercultural interactions, attracting students and staff from global backgrounds, and integrating global perspectives into academic research. Through adopting these practices, universities aim to enhance the quality of education offered and significantly contribute to society by preparing students for the global environment, improving their skills, and enhancing their job prospects.

The process of Internationalization at Home, like other aspects related to internationalization, requires that Higher Education Institutions define, implement, and evaluate it. To achieve this goal, these institutions need to invest in developing their leadership, defining institutional strategies, managing finances, and engaging stakeholders. Consequently, staff development becomes a fundamental element for the success of this approach.

The INTERBA project has just concluded, where CESIE and other Higher Education Institutions from Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom provided support and training to 6 Higher Education Institutions in the Western Balkans for the implementation of Internationalization at Home strategies.

In the 4 years of project work, the results have been significant. 5 staff members from each partner Higher Education Institute of the project received comprehensive training, subsequently training another 20-30 staff members in their institutions, enriching the knowledge and skills base of the administrative and academic staff. Furthermore, the project had a direct impact on 240-360 interns and members of the academic staff, who expanded their understanding of Internationalization at Home and related educational practices through study visits. Overall, an intra and inter-institutional network of 500 experts has been created, generating a profound cascading effect throughout the entire region, laying the groundwork for collaborative idea exchange and best practices.

The knowledge repository created serves as a reservoir of ideas and information, facilitating the dissemination of curricula and university practices designed from the perspective of Internationalization at Home. The e-learning platform ensures the sustainability of educational offerings beyond the conclusion of the project, providing continuous access to educational resources. Training courses and educational materials are freely accessible to the involved institutions, contributing to a wider dissemination of educational resources, especially the validated pedagogical model SCATE, to support the implementation of diverse initiatives for diverse target groups in the future, ensuring a broader impact.

To facilitate collaboration with the business world and the job market, universities have signed Memoranda of Understanding with local companies to create and offer future training opportunities that bridge the educational gap between the skills provided by study programs and those demanded in the job market.

The INTERBA project is an example of how the Erasmus+ program, Capacity Building in the field of higher education, can be a strategic tool for institutions in Erasmus+ Program Participating Countries to collaborate with Program Partner Countries and develop strategic initiatives at a regional level.

For further information, contact Alessia Valenti: alessia.valenti@cesie.org.

About the project

INTERBA project is an Erasmus+ Capacity Building for Higher Education Project aiming to strenghten Internalisation at Home (IaH) implementation at partner HEIs in order to enhance the quality of education and make a meaningful contribution to the society.

Partners

For further information

Read more about INTERBA, visit https://interbaproject.com/ and follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Contact Alessia Valenti: alessia.valenti@cesie.org.

Talking about sexual and gender diversity to the student population

Talking about sexual and gender diversity to the student population

CESIE together with the Institute E. Majorana of Palermo and the collaboration of Arcigay Palermo, is
organizing a training meeting with about 4 classes of students from the fifth grades of the Institute to respond to the need of the student
population to be more aware, as well as to have a greater knowledge on sexual identity issues.

CESIE