Internationalization is an interesting concept. Leask, B in his book Internationalizing the Curriculum states that “Internationalization represents a continuous process of enhancing intercultural competencies, promoting international mobility, fostering cross-border collaborations, and preparing students and staff to thrive in a diverse, interconnected world.“. It involves putting Strathmore University and other institutions of higher learning on the global map. This is achieved through exchange programs for staff and faculty, the development of joint programs with institutions across borders, and joint research, among others.
On 11th and 12th January, 2024, the i-UMEME project, which supports the development of higher learning education in French across Africa, in collaboration with the Universite Polytechnique Hauts-De-France, held a session of reflection and sharing. This engaging event brought together the partnerships and internationalization team of Strathmore University, and representatives from various schools that handle internationalization activities.
The two partner institutions had previously held an online workshop themed “Understand” on the 23rd of November 2023 where Strathmore University and the Universite Polytechnique Hauts-De-France delved to understand each other’s internationalization processes and compared notes. A noteworthy outcome of this discussion was Strathmore University’s ability to facilitate international trips for students. This practice was identified as a valuable opportunity for students to immerse themselves in new cultures, which is an important aspect of internationalization.
Key points discussed during the workshop include:
- Kenya does not have national policies or frameworks on internationalization. These sentiments were echoed by the Attaché for Science and Higher Education at the Embassy of France who was present at the workshop. Further there was mention of ongoing discussions between Kenya and France to establish a framework for recognition of qualifications in both countries.
- Accreditations and world rankings are important metrics in the internationalization processes of higher learning institutions .
- The development of joint programmes with partner institutions is an important aspect of internationalization.
- Research is a critical element of internationalization. It is an easy route of enhancing faculty and student mobility across partner institutions.
In the efforts to promote cultural diversity, which is critical for internationalization, the team from the Universite Polytechnique Hauts-De-France enjoyed a mango salsa salad at the Burudani lounge, taking advantage of the mango season in Kenya. This provided an opportunity to share the joy of its sweetness during internationalization conversations.
With two more sessions scheduled—one online and the other physically in Valenciennes, France later in the year —we look forward to more learning experiences.
Article written by: Lynette Naisoi – Partnerships Admin
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