Swansea University is committed to comprehensive internationalisation, evidenced through action, to infuse international and comparative perspectives throughout the University’s teaching, research, and knowledge transfer activity. Our ambition is to be to within the top 200 universities worldwide. Continued internationalisation of our activities in a holistic way will allow us to extend our global reach to help achieve this.
Swansea University has an internationalisation strategy, which forms a key part of the University Strategic Plan 2020. The strategy has four key objectives; 1) To grow and maintain international partnerships that will enhance and support the University’s research, teaching and student recruitment ambitions; 2) To provide more international opportunities for the student body through increased work/study placements abroad, the delivery of a multi-cultural campus and curriculum and the promotion of an understanding of other cultures; 3) To attract more international students to Swansea from more countries; 4) To grow the quantity, quality and scale of the University’s partnerships with multi-national companies.
In terms of governance, the strategy and its effective implementation is overseen by a Strategic Management Group for Internationalisation which is chaired by the Pro Vice Chancellor for Internationalisation. Mechanisms have been put in place to ensure that ownership of internationalisation objectives are embedded institution-wide in order to produce effective results with beneficial reach to all areas of the University.
The first objective of the our Internationalisation strategy, which relates to the theme of partnerships, underpins the other three objectives and is a key element of the University’s approach. The University recognises that different partnerships will have different functions but is seeking to ensure that all are active, in line with the University’s strategic priorities and fit-for-purpose. In selecting partners, we look primarily for teaching and/or research synergies and complementarities, common goals and a common approach. Some partnerships will be multi-dimensional and institution-wide covering teaching, research, staff and student mobility across a range of subject areas. Others will be niche and linked to a specific academic subject or area of research or teaching. Geographically, we work with partners from a wide range of countries around the world; priority regions include Europe, the US, China, India, Latin America, the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa. We are particularly interesting in creating networks where appropriate, forming tri-lateral or multi-lateral links, thereby pooling knowledge and expertise from around the world.
We understand the great benefits afforded by time spent abroad, both in terms of the student experience and employability on the student side, and in terms of career progression on the staff side. Staff and student mobility is a crucial part of our internationalisation strategy and indeed, within it, there is a separate plan for increasing the number of outward-bound students. The plan focuses on increasing participation at undergraduate, postgraduate taught and research levels and recognises that different models for mobility are appropriate for different levels of study. As part of this, we continue the reform of our curriculum and the development of a range of programmes including joint and collaborative degrees, credit-only exchange mobility and options for year long, semester long and summer participation. Our aim is for every Swansea University student to be able to undertake a period of study or work abroad, should they wish to do so.
We recognise that collaborations of all types are most successful when regular communication and engagement between partners occur, so with this in mind, we proactively encourage staff mobility for research, teaching and administrative staff.
The development of joint and collaborative degrees has been part of our strategy for a number of years and will continue to be a priority. Then University has been successful in being awarded two Erasmus Mundus programmes and has also developed joint degrees with institutions in the US as well as in Europe (in addition to Erasmus Mundus). Opportunities are being sought to consolidate these as well as to develop activity in new geographical areas.
In summary we believe that by adopting a holistic approach to Internationalisation at Swansea we can achieve the objectives outlined in our Internationalisation Strategy and the overall aims defined in the University's Strategic plan.