Forum on Education Abroad, NAFSA & EAIE 2012

Universitas 21: A Consortium Approach to Inspiring Global Perspectives Through Study Abroad.

The U21 Student Mobility Group presented at three international conferences in 2012, the Forum on Education Abroad, held in Denver, USA in March; NAFSA, held in Houston, USA in May and EAIE in Dublin, Ireland in September.


Chris Berry (University of Auckland), Nigel Cossar (University of Melbourne), Gail Armistead (University of Nottingham) and Marilyn Miles (University of Birmingham) shared a number of case studies which demonstrated the benefits of working as a network to create innovative opportunities for student international engagement. Referring to the Delhi Accord which outlines U21’s strategic objectives for student mobility (signed by all U21 members in 2010), the panel demonstrated the importance of strategy and planning to develop programmes which provide meaningful international experiences for students.


The first case study highlighted the key features of the Global Issues  Programne, which allows students from a number of U21 partners to study global- and internationally-focused courses in a virtual classroom with students from across the world, and the option of studying on campus at a partner institution. One of the key strengths of the programme is how it has been adapted at each partner to suit institutional requirements – at some partners it is embedded into existing degree programmes, while at others it is a stand-alone diploma.


The second case study was of an online course, Intercultural Awareness in Study Abroad, developed at the University of Nottingham, to provide a structured environment for reflection and feedback on the overseas experiences of a select group of exchange students. It provided an excellent example of a model which had been shared with U21 partners, with lessons shared and best practices adopted across the network.


The third case study was of a Masters course on Security run jointly between the universities of Delhi, Birmingham and Melbourne, held over a  five-day period in Delhi. The collaborative approach gave graduate students the chance to engage with other perspectives while working on a topic relevant to their current studies. Delivered by all three partners, the course demonstrated the willingness and commitment of network members to create opportunities for graduates, which were also credit bearing for two of the three partners.


The sessions were well attended and feedback indicated that the international fl avour of the collaboration and presentation was appreciated by the audience.