Posted on 8 Jun 2017 at 09:48 by Vicky Lewis
This year I’ve been involved in delivering or co-delivering a number of training courses on some aspect of international partnerships. Participants have worked in a variety of national and institutional environments.
Running these courses reinforced my view that many of us are grappling with similar challenges, whatever our work context.
Things like making sure that international partnerships contribute positively to broader institutional strategies; securing internal buy-in and commitment; working out which partnerships have the potential to be ‘strategic’; being confident that you’ve chosen the ‘right’ partner; getting the right balance between top-down and bottom-up management; communicating effectively (not just with the partner, but also internally); killing off partnerships that aren’t working well; keeping track of partnership-related activity across the institution; determining what success looks like and how to measure it. I could go on.
Of course, there’s no magic answer. And short training courses can only ever point you towards asking the right questions and provide you with resources that you can use in your own institution to help find an appropriate way forward.
While preparing the courses I’ve been involved in, I’ve been struck by some of the useful resources available to those involved in international HE partnerships – and wanted to share some of these.
There are a lot of useful reports, checklists and tools out there. For this post, I’m focusing on those produced by the American Council on Education (ACE).
ACE’s Center for Internationalization and Global Engagement (CIGE) produces guidance for institutions engaged in internationalisation, gathered together in its Internationalization in Action (http://www.acenet.edu/news-room/Pages/Internationalization-in-Action.aspx) series.
Some of the early instalments of Internationalization in Action are (understandably) US-centric, with good practice examples drawn only from US institutions. However, the latest two instalments (both on the subject of international partnerships) use examples from other countries too and have a more globally relevant feel.
These are part of a four-part series on International Partnerships, of which two have already been published and two are still to come at the time of writing this blog (June 2017).
The first instalment is entitled: Definitions and Dimensions (link to pdf) (http://www.acenet.edu/news-room/Documents/IIA-Intl-Partnerships-P1-Final.pdf), and the second: Strategic Planning (link to pdf) (http://www.acenet.edu/news-room/Documents/2017-Jan-IIA-Intl-Partnerships-Pt2.pdf). The two due to come out later this year are: Institutional Support Structures; and Individual Partnerships.
What is really useful about this series is the way each instalment breaks down the process for developing international partnerships into clear steps. Each step is described, with examples of good practice (or ‘models from the field’) highlighted and hyperlinked from the document. So, for example, there are links to good examples of partnership databases, partnership procedures and partnership policies, along with references to other useful publications that will help you to explore specific elements of the process in greater depth.
If you haven’t come across these resources before, I hope you find them useful. I’m certainly looking forward to the final two instalments.
Anyone planning to attend the European Association for International Education (EAIE) conference in Seville, Spain, from 12-15 September 2017 might be interested in a session I’m involved in: Strategic international partnerships: where cultures collide. This is scheduled for 1400 on Thursday 14 September.