National governments around the world are increasingly recognising the importance of internationalisation in higher education; there are those, including the UK, also encouraging it even at secondary school level through partnership pacts. The motives are various, and some governments have a range of reasons for stimulating and supporting internationalisation initiatives. For example, countries as different as France, India, Australia, and Kazakhstan, financially support inbound and/or outbound student mobility projects in order to make themselves better equipped to succeed in the global economy and to strengthen their diplomatic and cultural status on the world stage.
In this context, students and their families (or other sponsors) are now acutely aware that Internationalisation has become an important aspect of higher education in the context of globalisation and the rapid growth of transnational patterns in employment and in study programmes. With these concerns being so widespread, it is no surprise that internationalisation also figures increasingly as a criterion in ranking systems, both domestic and international.
A demonstrable commitment to internationalisation encompasses a range of provision and expertise that brings reassurance to potential partners, to funding agencies, and to students and their sponsors.
At present, the ASIC Internationalisation Index is designed as a set of indicators for higher education providers. If we believe there is sufficient interest from other tertiary providers and from schools, we will produce other versions.
The benefit of having the set of indicators is that every individual Higher Educational Institution has a clear idea of what internationalisation means in their various areas of performance. Not all indicators are relevant to all types of institution, for example, some may be teaching institutions with little research activity; sometimes it is not possible to have a place of worship on campus as in the case of French public universities. Institutions should identify ASIC to check on items which they consider do not apply to them. If this is agreed, the relevant number of points will be deducted from the score required for a particular diamond rating.
Some indicators lend themselves to quantitative measurement, others will require a qualitative evaluation. In the case of the latter, ASIC will engage with institutions to ensure a fair outcome.
Diamond ratings will be allocated in each section and an overall rating awarded.
ASIC will look carefully at the borderline score and consider rounding up based on the overall scoring profile.