Internationalising the Curriculum

Internationalisation of the Curriculum (IoC) deals with preparing students to live and work effectively and ethically in a globalised world.

What is internationalisation of the curriculum?

Internationalisation of the curriculum (IoC) has been defined as:

The incorporation of an international and intercultural dimension into the content of the curriculum as well as the teaching and learning arrangements and support services of a program of study. (Betty Leask, 2015)

IoC is a pedagogical innovation process that will enable the transformation of KI education by using curricular reform, by using a systematic and planned process and by engaging leadership. IoC will allow KI to incorporate strategically important internationalisation initiatives by utilising the experience, expertise and dedication of individual leaders in their respective fields.

Why internationalise the curriculum?

In order to move beyond an understanding of internationalisation as an ad hoc initiative (concerned mainly with international student and staff exchange) to one that intentionally “enhance[s] the quality of education and research for all students and staff, and to make a meaningful contribution to society” (de Wit et al., 2015), KI must internationalise its curriculum. Embedding internationalisation through changing institutional language, culture and attitudes into standard university practice is more likely to succeed, than if internationalisation is seen as being developed in parallel to regular university operations.

Currently, there is a clear need for Swedish universities to find ways of internationalising teaching and learning. This is why the Swedish Ministry of Education and Research are drafting new goals for a national strategy for internationalisation.

It is KI’s ambition to shift from an international research university to an international university. Such a project will provide impetus for the renewal and development of KI’s current strategy for the internationalisation of first- and second-degree cycle education and will provide evidence-based research for the overall quality of education. Additionally, many program directors (PDs) and Grundutbildningsansvariga (GUAs) have requested support for internationalisation at home (IaH) initiatives to internationalise education for all students. Finally, the recently awarded STINT Strategic Grant will allow KI to develop guidelines, best practices and experience for all KI’s programmes, as well as a strong basis for other Swedish universities to follow suit.

How will KI internationalise the curriculum?

It is critical to approach the task of internationalisation of the curriculum in a scholarly way, as an action research process. Action research is a reflective and cyclical process of problem solving. When applied to internationalisation of the curriculum the process involves the program team as a community of practice. The purpose of the action research process is one of continuous quality improvement. The figure below explores the 5 stages of the IoC process, where each stage is accompanied by a central question that will be addressed:

  1. Review and reflect: To what extent is our curriculum internationalised?
  2. Imagine: What other ways of thinking and doing are possible?
  3. Revise and plan: Given the possibilities for IoC, what changes do we want to make to our programmes?
  4. Act: How will we know if we have achieved our IoC goals?
  5. Evaluate: To what extent have we reached our internationalisation goals?

This will allow benchmarking, and foster a broadening and deepening of engagement with the process of curricular change. Throughout the process, participants will be stimulated to embrace ambiguity by challenging current assumptions, in order to stimulate new ways and imagined possibilities for student learning.

What is the timeframe for the IoC process?

The IoC process will run from Fall 2017 through to Fall 2020 for the selected programmes, while the existing support will still be provided to all programmes upon request (individual consultations, workshops, professional development courses, etc.) It is expected that all KI’s study programmes will embark on the IoC process as a result of this initial impetus.

Who is involved?

Internationalisation of the curriculum concerns all first and second cycle study programmes at KI. Currently PDs and GUAs have reported on the progress their programmes have made with the current Action Plan (2014-2017). While certain programmes have had a more favourable context for change, others have faced larger challenges, which has led to the identification of 3 different levels of readiness for IoC. Through consultations with PDs and GUAs, a number of programmes have been identified as ready to internationalise their curricula.

In order to have an exhaustive overview of KI’s needs in terms of international education, the following stakeholders will be involved:

  • University leadership: Board of Higher Education (US) and its drafting committees for internationalisation (BIF) and teaching and learning (BUL), Reference group for Internationalisation of Education
  • Educational leaders (GUAs, PDs, persons or groups of persons responsible for internationalisation of education in certain programmes)
  • Course leaders
  • Students support services (Academic Writing Support, Student Health, International Student Advisors, etc.)
  • Students representatives for each programme (Bachelor’s and Master’s levels)

Presentations from Reference group for Internationalisation of Education- May 2, 2017

Please find below the powerpoint presentations given at the meeting of the Reference group for Internationalisation of Education on May 2, 2017.

  1. IRG overview and introduction
  2. Internationalisation of alumni chapters
  3. Internationalisation of the curriculum
  4. International online collaborations:
  • For students: Intercultural perspectives on sexual reproductive health; Online Pre Departure Course
  • For teachers: Online networked learning; Two2Tango


14 Jun 2017

KI is awarded funding for internationalisation

KI has been granted funding from STINT Strategic Grant for internationalisation. The funding was awarded for internationalising the curriculum of first and second-cycle education 2017-2020. The project...

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