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Internationalization of the Curriculum: Moving ahead together

The Swiss Global Competence Lab, in cooperation with its founding members, BFH, HES-SO, SUPSI and ZHAW, had the pleasure of sharing insights from the Movetia-funded project "High-impact measures for the comprehensive Internationalization of the Curriculum (Ioc)" during a two day symposium – Internationalization of the Curriculum: Moving ahead together from 17 to 18 November.

The aim of the symposium was to have a conversation with higher education delegates on key topics related to the internationalization of curricula looking at institutional structures and processes geared towards internationalized learning outcomes across disciplines, understanding and revising graduate profile attributes, but most importantly to establish ongoing critical engagement with curriculum as an institutional norm. Thus, the symposium promoted IoC as a construct where thinking about curricula, teaching and learning is seen more than a set of prescribed practices.

Together with invited speakers from different parts of the world, participants were able to engage in dialogue shifting the focus of internationalization away from mobility for the exclusive elite towards internationalization at home with the potential of comprehensive reach and transformation in terms of our focus on learning outcomes, assessment tasks, teaching methods and support services in a program of study.

Several important topics regarding IoC were touched on during the event, including

  • addressing curricula that prepare students for the complex world we live in by looking at the mindset, skillset and heart-set in all students, asking critical questions as to whose knowledge and which literature is being considered and why. (Betty Leask)
  • introduction of ways to engage academic faculty in developing an institutional culture which could facilitate strategic IoC. (Amit Marantz-Gal)
  • capacity building in the form of professional development of staff what IoC and Collaborative International Online Learning (COIL) programmes are concerned. Key elements and roles in creating a sustainable ecosystem for IoC and COIL were touched upon, addressing the enabling factors and possible barriers to achieving sustainable COIL practices with a multi-stakeholder approach. (Eva Haug)
  • common misconceptions encountered in Switzerland with regards to implementing English-taught programmes and ways of utilizing the change of language in the classroom as a springboard to comprehensive internationalisation. (Patrick Studer & Paul Kelly)
  • typical cultural myths in learning environments and how empathy might be a bridging strategy to engage effectively in a professional international learning context. (Jacqueline Bürki & Valerie Faminoff)
  • an overview of who is shaping the discourse in Swiss Higher Education and support services offered by Movetia, such as types of funded projects, assessment and impact of these. (Maria Stergiou)

Through this event, further awareness and visibility of Swiss IoC was created, new insights were gained, and international stakeholders had a unique opportunity to network and engage in discussions. We sincerely thank SUPSI for hosting this event, as well as the guests and speakers who participated.



Sandra McGury
 +41 (0) 58 934 66 32