The Internationalisation Strategy provides a common purpose and direction intended to foster a culture receptive to interaction across the world and cross-cultural understanding, engaging all types of staff and students at all levels.
A detailed implementation plan seeks to infuse an international approach throughout the institution. This will use both informal and formal communication, academic processes and policies.
We recognise that internationalisation is a process that will evolve over time: the Strategy will gain focus as it matures.
We have identified a clear commitment to enhance our alignment with:
- the Bologna Process
- the European Higher Education Area
- Horizon 2020
Our commitment to Europe is exemplified in a Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence.
Our choice of strategic partners rests above all on a shared commitment to high academic standards. In choosing, a careful analysis is made of the partner's profile. We seek synergies which are likely to lead to broader and deeper relationships, developing over time. Activities and partners should be consistent with our core values and objectives.
We seek partners that have complementary profiles to our own and aim to support a significant portfolio of research-led partnerships within the context of the European framework programmes.
Our societal challenge themes - Ageing, Social Renewal and Sustainability - are also used to guide partner choice. The themes are part of our international platform to influence policy and debate, and showcase research impact.
We seek to work with partners in a number of regions of historic and likely future significance:
- the Americas
- East Asia
- South East Asia
- Africa (in the longer term)
International opportunities for staff and students
Strategic objective 5 is to develop and maintain international opportunities for staff and students.
Opportunities for staff
For staff our main target group is early career researchers whom we intend to encourage to develop an international perspective and international experiences in their work. A broader aim is to make available international opportunities for staff in administrative and teaching roles to enhance their intercultural understanding as well as their professional practice.
Opportunities for students
For students, exchange at undergraduate level works well for certain disciplines in Humanities and Social Sciences. Our aim is to make international opportunities (including work experience and volunteering) more widely available to students of all disciplines. We also aim to create more possibilities for, and a climate which encourages, exchange at postgraduate level, particularly doctoral and post-doctoral.
Through a portfolio of bursaries, scholarships and promotional activities, we have a target to widen participation to all socio-economic groups and improve participation of other less represented categories.
Placements and study abroad are an important part of our strategy to improve and enhance the curriculum and broader student experience. Our 'lnternationalisation@Home' project recognises the importance of fostering cross-cultural understanding and equipping our students with the skills to thrive in a global environment.
A University-wide language scheme has been developed as part of the NCL+ offering (Graduate Skills Framework) which seeks to provide a range of (largely) extracurricular opportunities to prepare our students for global citizenship. Our graduates will be working in increasingly international and transnational environments and it is important that our curricula develop cultural awareness and are informed by the international environment, supported by study or work abroad. This includes creating opportunities for students of different nationalities to engage on-campus in the UK, working closely with our Students' Union and the City Council's 'Newcastle International' initiative on these developments.
The development of double/multiple/joint degrees is encouraged in specific contexts. This is usually a strategic partnership arrangement, where the degree enhances exchange between the partners in particular areas of the curriculum, and supports the further internationalisation of our staff and students in which the partners each bring a particular area of strength to the collaboration.
International Cooperation Projects
Newcastle University has developed a process to ensure that international (EU and non-EU) cooperation projects in teaching and training, which are central to the University's wider strategy, receive appropriate specialised support both at proposal development and implementation stage. Our experience is that technical support is critical for the success of co operation projects.
Initial proposals are registered on a template and are required to align with key institutional strategies and objectives including policies on partnership development. An approval process which requires full backing at school, faculty and institutional level ensures that proposers have institutional support to develop the project.
A Learning and Teaching Projects Operational Group with representatives from the Finance Office, Computing Service, Research Office, Quality Assurance team, International teams, etc. provides cross-service advice and guidance in the planning stages. This joined-up support continues throughout the bidding process, contract development and subsequent management of the project.
Close alignment with relevant strategies and objectives ensures that projects are appropriately resourced and that project co-ordinators have full buy-in and support throughout the institution.
Regular workshops take place to highlight funding opportunities and communicate best practice throughout the institution. In 2008, as a specific strategic action to develop knowledge of and expertise with the different EU and international funding schemes a post was created to provide dedicated support at the pre-award stage to alert potential applicants about calls and to develop high quality applications.
A central International and Teaching and Learning Projects Team was also established in 2008 to provide support and guidance with costing, financial, and contractual issues.
Modernisation of the University
Newcastle has participated in the Erasmus Programme since its inception. We regard continued participation as an extremely important enabler of the University's modernisation and internationalisation agenda.
1. Increasing attainment levels to provide the graduates and researchers Europe needs
The University is keen to work to achieve the Europe 2020 target within the framework of national quotas. We have a clear commitment to widening the participation of under-represented groups and non-traditional learners and a considerable track record in this area. We have a good reputation for doctoral training and participate in a number of prestigious doctoral training centres.
2. Improving the quality and relevance of higher education
The University, through its Graduate Skills Framework and an award-winning Careers Service, has very good graduate employment outcomes, evidenced in employability league tables.
HR policies underline a commitment to fair practices and parity of esteem of teaching and research.
Knowledge and experience which staff and students transfer back from Erasmus projects into the academic environment will continue to be invaluable, contributing to curriculum reform and transferable skills development, prized by employers.
Erasmus enhances the University's ability to collaborate with enterprises across Europe. We supported the EUA in the development of collaborative doctoral training programmes with industry. We hope to build on our experience of doctoral level Knowledge Transfer Partnerships with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) using the Programme's support.
3. Strengthening quality through mobility and cross-border co-operation
We aspire to the EHEA principle of 20% mobility by 2020. We work to the National Qualifications Framework. This institution has benefitted greatly from shared learning around the development of joint degree programmes in the context of Erasmus Mundus. Continued participation will enable an even greater impact on the quality and accessibility of our provision.
4. Linking higher education, research and business for excellence and regional development
Entrepreneurial skills are developed in and outside the curriculum. We engage closely with our local region, investing in the development of the knowledge economy through projects such as our cultural strategy to support regeneration and the Science City Partnership with local government. Participation in the Programme is integral to these activities.
5. Improving governance and funding
Good governance is critical to the University. Ethics committees operate at University and faculty level. Significant cost efficiencies result from independent internal audit and centralised procurement.
A Research and Enterprise Service oversees the development of externally funded projects which are then managed through our central system.
We hold the HR Excellence in Research Award and the Athena Swan Award symbolising our commitment to advancement and promotion of women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in higher education.