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Developing the Framework for a Sustainable Swiss Global Competence Certificate

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This project is submitted by ZHAW on behalf of the Swiss Global Competence Lab (SGCL), a consortium of four HEIs (BFH, HES-SO, SUPSI, ZHAW) joining together to develop innovation in internationalization.

The objective of this project is to propose a conceptual framework underlying a Certificate of Global Competence for students who opt for an internationalized study track within their program of studies. A Certificate of Global Competence is understood as a supplement issued alongside the degree certificate to recognize global competence qualifications attained during studies. Global Competence, in this project, is used as an overarching concept comprising plurilingual, intercultural and global citizenship awareness and skills. While certificates of international skills and experiences are already in place in three of the four participating HEIs, there is little common ground in the approaches taken by the HEIs.

The present project seeks to bring the different approaches together in a unified framework that is grounded in scientific insight. It particularly seeks to expand the current practices by defining and proposing pathways towards including effective and virtual study options for students who need to pursue their global competence training at home. A joint framework has several advantages in that (1) it lends visibility to the topic inside the HEIs but also at the national / international level; (2) it enhances the value and recognition of international skills and experiences; (3) it enhances the quality of the programs leading to the certificate through validation by international partners; 4) it contributes to the deepening of inter-institutional collaborationon a topic of broader strategic concern to Swiss higher education.

The proposed project contributes to the following impact objectives of the International Programme. It aims to 1. strengthen successful existing Swiss partnerships across the language regions (German, French,Italian). 2. develop innovative approaches in the service of sustainable internationalization of education through new organizational structures and new forms of learning and teaching. 3. strengthen the quality and competitiveness of Swiss higher education by setting national quality standards.