"Internationalization" is one of principal features of present day higher education. It is generally agreed that "internationalization" has a positive influence on learning environment of students, research outcomes as well as an overall mission of higher education institutions.

Besides the immense personal value for participating students, the presence of greater cultural diversity on campus benefits the broader student population and academics. Not to mention the economic reasons for attracting foreign students. Therefore it is not surprising to observe a significant growth of international students. According to OECD [see Education at a Glance 2014] the number of students enrolled outside their country of citizenship has risen dramatically, from 0.8 million worldwide in 1975 to 4.5 million in 2012, a more than fivefold increase. There are indications that this trend, even if at lower pace, is going to continue in the coming years.

Primary actors and beneficiaries of "internationalization" are traditionally students, researchers and universities. It is not surprising to find out that more and more universities and other academic institutions are directly involved international relations by entering into relationship with partners in other countries [dual degrees, joint study programs, collaborative research projects, creation of branch campuses, etc.]. In addition, number of countries has included “internationalization” as part of a strategy for development of higher education. In this context, governments are seeing and supporting extension of international engagement of universities and research organizations as part of public diplomacy with long-term implications for cultural and economic relations. Consequently, “internationalization” has a multitude of forms, varied outcomes and actors – from individual student and academics to universities, scientific bodies as well as governmental and international organizations.

Presented above principal aspects of "internationalization" and its growing relevance inadvertently bring about not only opportunities but also challenges with regard to decisions to be taken in selection of study programme, research team, partner institution or a country for collaboration. There is evidence that “university ranking” is seen and used as one of source of information in such context. Neither is surprising to observe that “internationalization” has found its reflection in a prevailing number of national, regional and global university rankings. Like in other areas, methodological challenges are quite significant, it is therefore appropriate, and in line with the mission of IREG Observatory, to look at the underlying concepts, actual practices as well as present and forthcoming challenges facing “internationalization” and university rankings in the context of academic relations.

The IREG-8 conference, hosted by the Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, will look closer to above set of specific issues. Similarly to previous IREG conferences, also during this event there will be an opportunity to learn about new initiatives in rankings and related to it developments in universities and other organizations.




News from IREG Members

The worldwide ranking UI GreenMetric Workshop in Bologna

This Bologna workshop is aimed to highlight the commitment of Italian universities towards a sustainable 360° approach. UI GM Chairperson, Riri Fitri Sari, will showcase the ranking’s structure and indicators in details. Italian participants are warmly invited to ask questions and raise issues concerning the specificity of the Italian universities to fit into the UI GreenMetric ranking. The Alma Mater Studiorum assumes the role of National Network Hub for UI GM in the framework of this event that will also host experts from RUS (Rete delle Università per lo Sviluppo Sostenibile).

Ranking conference in Warsaw

Polish universities feel, they deserve a better place in international rankings. To discuss what can and should be done to improve the quality of research, rectors of best universities in the country gathered 1-2 December in Warsaw at the conference “Polish Universities in International Perspective – Rankings and Strategic Management of University” organized by Perspektywy Education Foundation jointly with the Conference of Rectors (CRASP) and Polish Accreditation Commission (PAC).

Conference on Universities’ Reputation

Spanish Universidad de Navarra organizes the International Conference BUILDING UNIVERSITIES' REPUTATION Understanding the Student Perspective – Key to a Reputation Strategy, Pamplona, Spain 30-31 March 2017. www.unav.edu/bur

Report on Activities of IREG Observatory 2015-1016

Dr. Jan Sadlak, President of IREG Observatory on Academic Ranking and Excellence at the General Assembly held in Lisbon on 6 May 2016 presented a detailed report on activities of the organization, the President and members of the Executive Committee in the period: May 2015 – May 2016.

You may ready the report HERE.

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