ISBI = Integrale Studentenbegeleiding bij Internationalisering = Integral Student Support in Internationalisation.

ISBI = Integrale Studentenbegeleiding bij Internationalisering = Integral Student Support in Internationalisation.

Published by Agnes Dillien op Friday 9 March
© 2018

The ISBI project (= Integral Student Support in Internationalisation)
- optimalises the support of students in an international context (outgoing and incoming students before, during and after the international experience, and students @ home).
- Develops and strengthens international and intercultural competencies for these students.
- Competence-based learning in internationalization is combined with PAL-techniques. Being a tutor is a unique learning opportunity, not only for international competencies but also team work, coaching etc….
36 pilot projects were started and spread over 2 years and 9 institutes. Each pilot project is documented, measured, evaluated and remediated.
Some examples of pilot projects:

- Setting up and facelifting Buddy-programmes
- Engaging local student clubs and student unions in the support of international students.
- A smartphone application for international incoming students.
- PAL language support
- In-class PAL
- PAL in placement
- PAL in English modules
- Intercultural preparation of outgoing students.
- Use of social media in internationalization.

Description

Statement:

International competence development is important, but not evident, even in international mobility. The Leuven/Louvain-la-Neuve declaration aims at 20% mobile students for 2020. The other 80% students also have to develop these competences via “internationalisation@home” experiences.

Objectives:
- Optimize the support of students in an international context.
- Develop and strengthen international and intercultural competencies for these students.
- Develop competence-based learning in internationalization, combined with Peer Assisted Learning-techniques (PAL).  Being a tutor (or buddy) is a unique learning opportunity, not only for international competencies but also to develop social competences, coaching, cognitive competences, etc…
- Adapt PAL to internationalisation.
-Involve mobility students in internationalisation@home.

Methodology

The project is based on action research: an idea is tried out in a pilot (sub)project in one or several institutions. The pilots fit in the reference frame (see below). Pilots cover the entire route guidance for one or more target student groups. The project manager inspires, supports, evaluates, organizes the project meetings and is the most important author of the final outcome of the project. However, all together more than 70 persons are actively involved.

The most important pilots are classified in the table below:


 




































 



Incoming students



Outgoing students



I@home



Sensitisation



 



Sensitisation event
Testimonies



Sensitisation event
International weeks



Preparation



Buddy system



Facebook for IPs



Buddy system



Support during exchange



Buddy system


Smartphone application


Facebook


PAL in placement


In class PAL/Tandem


PAL language support



Intercultural guidance



In class PAL


PAL in placement


Buddy system/Tandem


PAL language support



Guidance upon return





 



Scenario for “reversed culture shock” support


Return event with reflections





 



 


Table 1: pilot projects of ISBI.

Often PAL-techniques (In class PAL, reciprocal PAL, PAL language training, PAL in placement, buddy programs) come in as flexible guidance instruments. They are an important tool to make qualitative support possible. Besides that, they have also proven to stimulate the acquirement of extra competencies for tutors and buddies (coaching-facilitation skills, communication skills, team-oriented working, …). The pilot projects often make use of social media to help reach their goal. The process and result of every pilot is evaluated. Using the PDCA-technique, ameliorations are proposed and tried out in a next cycle. In project meetings pilots are presented to the other partners. They also are presented to the other members in a blog. From these pilots and literature the following products are produced:

The main project result will be a GPS-guide(Global Position of the Student in the internationalisation learning environment)  in which the project summarizes the  findings for each target student group. This guide will help students to better find their way in internationalization and to maximize their competencies gained out of the international experience (at home or during a mobility). This e-tool has the same structure as the scheme of the pilots (table 1).

Practical instruments such as train-the-trainers, road maps for implementation, exemplifying brochures,… will be centralised as side results for academic staff and lecturers, whom we consider a target group on the medium level.

A third target group on the macro level are the policy makers of the K.U.Leuven Association and other higher education institutions to whom we will formulate policy recommendations as a result of this project.

The impact of the project will be:


 



  • Modernize the institutions by developing an integral international PAL, integrated in the curriculum, as an extra guidance and a collaborative work form.

  • Have more insight in mobility learning and its obstacles.

  • Give a contribution to the realization of the European objectives.

Favourable and demonstrable effect on the quality of education

The fact of realizing together a project of integral support for students in internationalisation with 9 partners of the K.U.Leuven Association allows us to learn from each other’s experiences and each other’s pilot projects. Moreover multiplying and copying the pilot project ideas are an essential element of the entire project. The exchange of good practices and methodologies is not inhibited by shielding. There is a completely open atmosphere in the steering committee. The pilot projects in internationalization are tested and measured and their effect is being proven. At the end of the project policy advice will be formulated to the K.U.Leuven Association.  An important advice will be on how international-intercultural competencies can be taken up in each study curriculum. Also important is the win-win for internationalisation@home. Not only are the tutors/buddies involved in internationalisation@home, in the tutor/buddy training they are inspired to multiply the contacts of mobility students with other students@home. The pilots of Buddy working, Tandem, in class PAL and reciprocal PAL are clearly successful in offering internationalization@home learning opportunities.


 


 


 


In every participating institution internationalisation and I@home was stimulated by the ISBI project. The fact of realizing together a project of integral support for students in internationalisation with 9 partners of the K.U.Leuven Association allows us to learn from each other’s experiences and each other’s pilot projects. Moreover multiplying and copying the pilot project ideas are an essential element of the entire project. The exchange of good practices and methodologies is not inhibited by shielding. There is a completely open atmosphere in the steering committee. The pilot projects in internationalization are tested and measured and their effect is being proven. At the end of the project policy advice will be formulated to the K.U.Leuven Association. An important advice will be on how international-intercultural competencies can be taken up in each study curriculum. Also important is the win-win for internationalisation@home. Not only are the tutors/buddies involved in internationalisation@home, in the tutor/buddy training they are inspired to multiply the contacts of mobility students with other students@home. The pilots of Buddy working, Tandem, in class PAL and reciprocal PAL are clearly successful in offering internationalization@home learning opportunities.

In every participating institution internationalisation and I@home was stimulated by the ISBI project.

Constraints or limitations and unique features

We noticed that PAL is not evident in internationalisation contexts. The tutor training had to be adapted, the tutor roles are different, other competences are required and developed by international tutors.

A clear problem is the short scope of the OOF project (2 years). Once a pilot project is started, you should be able to continue it for a few years, but in this OOF project it all has to happen within the scope of 2 years. The participating institutions have all decided to continue the pilots in a structured way after the end of the project and dissemination will be assured.

Exchange characteristics & opportunities

One of the goals of the ISBI project is to influence the policy makers in the higher education institutions. Too often internationalisation is not fully described and implemented in the curriculum and thus is not an integral part of the course’s masterplan and learning outcomes. The pilot projects and their methodologies are tested, analysed and evaluated. Most of them can be transferred easily to other partner institutions. Practice proves this. Thus the insights and practices of ISBI could over time easily be implemented by other higher education institutions.

Links and supporting documents

Links and supporting documents

09 MAA

Specifications

Level: Bachelor
Orientation: Professional

Standard: Students
Assessment Result:

Type: The programme was NOT assessed against the NVAO framework "BKInt"

Contact information

Contact: Agnes Dillien
Contact e-mail: agnes.dillien(plaats the 'at' sign hier)khk.be
Institution: K.H.Kempen University College / Katholieke Hogeschool Kempen
Website: http://www.khk.be/english
Country: Flanders

References

The ISBI project is an OOF project, which means a project of the Fund for Educational Developments of the K.U.Leuven Association.
The project supports internationalisation in bachelor and master programmes (see above: only one level could be selected).