Internationalisation is of growing importance to higher education (HE) within the United Kingdom (UK) and across the world, driven by political, economic, educational, social and technological advances. This is evident in the diversification of academic communities and the provision on offer, as well as the content, mode, pace and place of learning. In this changing context, it is timely that the Higher Education Academy (HEA), the leading national body for learning and teaching in the UK, has developed this strategic framework with the purpose of inspiring and assisting the sector in a key aspect of internationalising HE: Preparing 21st century graduates to live in and contribute responsibly to a globally interconnected society. The framework has been developed for the UK sector, but may also have relevance for HE systems throughout the world.
From the outset, this framework has been driven by the vision of promoting a high quality, equitable and global learning experience for all students studying UK programmes, irrespective of their geographical location or background, on which the preparedness of 21st century graduates will be contingent. Its focus on the impact and contribution of learning, teaching and research on internationalising HE complements yet distinguishes this framework from other related developments. It has been developed in partnership with the UK HE sector; a collaborative venture intended to maximise relevance and future impact.
The process of internationalising HE within the context of learning, teaching and research is a sector-wide concern with far-reaching implications. The framework thus intends to stimulate reflection and debate; to be a prompt to action. It is designed for multiple audiences and beneficiaries who play a role in graduate preparedness in a global and inclusive context, including organisations across the HE sector, all those engaged in learning, teaching and research, as well as the formal and informal curriculum. Its content and style is deliberately aspirational as well as practical and concise in order to incite ownership and application within different HE contexts.