Communicating an internationalisation project

Communication is key! By communicating a project internally and externally in a consistent and structured way, you will strengthen knowledge of the project development but also create awareness and engagement.

Through increased awareness our experience from this project is that you will get more academics internally and externally to understand the importance of internationalising the curriculum and to make use of existing support to internationalise their teaching. If teachers know WHY they can make this clear to students.

Involve students

If the students are included as a target group, they will feel involved and much more engaged and bring lots of good thoughts to the project in forms of contribution to surveys, workshops or focus groups depending on how they are involved as stakeholders. The IoC project has worked with student in various focus groups and as participants in workshops but also targeted them with events related to the project.

Set up a plan

Through a structured presence in different channels of communication the intention for the IoC project was apart from reaching internal stakeholders also to reach higher education institutions nationally and internationally to inspire and spread knowledge. This was defined in the project and a condition from the grant awarding organization.

There might not always be need for a formal communication plan when initiating a project to internationalise your curriculum (or any other project for that), but it is good to do the following:

  • Set over-arching goals for the communication
  • Link somebody to the project who works in communication (web, social media etc)
  • Define stakeholders
  • Make an inventory of existing communications channels
  • Consider if you need to create any new or separate channels
  • Monitor and follow up on your communication activities

1. Strategic communication internally and externally to facilitate the process of the actual project
2. Increased knowledge internally and externally about Internationalisation of the Curriculum/Internationalisation at Home
3. Streamline our communication

Communication goals for the IoC project

Select your channels

The university website is the most obvious channel and a natural place to push out information in an accessible way about the IoC project. Newsletters and a blog-like page with updates from the project team was an easy way to communicate the progress and activities. Having a person with web publishing skills connected to the project of course helps reaching out faster and easier.

Whenever we could make use of KIs central social media we did. Like an Instagram campaign directed towards students to get them to answer a gapmider survey

Examples of communication channels used by the IoC project

Communicating to boards and internal stakeholders

As the project was co-financed by the Committee for Higher Education (previously known as the Board of Higher education) the progress and the results were reported on a regular basis to the committee.

The working group for internationalisation (under the Committee for Higher education) was the main body for the project to report to but also to involve in communicating and anchoring the project internally. 

Communicating externally

The project team member used many given opportunities to present the project at several conferences and in different networks. Here are some of the events when the project has been presented between 2017-2021.

  • E Hägg & K Gustafsson (2021) Seminar "Workshop i internationalsiering för administrativ personal". Digital meeting with network for HÖNSI – Network International relations for “Högskolor” throughout Sweden, 11 February
  • E Hägg & K Gustafsson (2020) Presentation. Fokus internationalisering av administrativ personal. Digital meeting with network for UNSI – Network International relations for universities throughout Sweden, 14 October
  • W Ali, N Andersson, K Båge, N Jellinek & J Valcke (2020). “Two Birds with One Stone – Linking Internationalisation to Sustainable Development Goal 4”. Roundtable at NU Conference 2020 “Sustainable Education” (Stockholm, Sweden), 7-9 October.
  • E Hägg & K Gustafsson (2020) Poster presentation "Internationalising support services" and discussion at NU Conference 2020 “Sustainable Education” (Stockholm, Sweden), 7-9 October.
  • E Hägg (2019), "Internationalisation - from action plan to integration", study visit by University of Tokyo (Stockholm Trio) 4 December.
  • K Båge, K Gustafsson, E Hägg & J Valcke (2019). “Internationalising the Curriculum”. Workshop at the Internationalisations Days of the Swedish Council for Higher Education (Gothenburg, Sweden), 5-6 November.
  • E Dafouz, U Smit, P Studer, Robert Wilkinson & J Valcke (2019). “Integrating Internationalisation and Language-in-education Policy: A Conceptual Challenge”. Colloquium at the international conference “Multilingualism and Multimodality in Higher Education” organised by the ICLHE association (Castellòn, Spain), 16-18 October.
  • M Gustafsson, J Valcke & J Walaszczyk (2019). “Stepping out of the Silos: Training teachers, training trainers”. Workshop at the international conference “Multilingualism and Multimodality in Higher Education” organised by the ICLHE association (Castellòn, Spain), 16-18 October.
  • K Haines, J Kling, J Pagèze & J Valcke (2019). “Developing internationalised curricula – Language, Culture and Learning”. Opening of Language and Culture at the EAIE 2019 Encompassing All Voices by the European Association for International Education (Helsinki, Finland), 24-27 September.
  • K Båge, L Stuart & J Valcke (2019). “How to meet SDG goals to promote global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity: Two case studies”. Session at the EAIE 2019 Encompassing All Voices by the European Association for International Education (Helsinki, Finland), 24-27 September.
  • E Koponen & J Valcke (2019). “English-Medium Instruction – Strategies for Success”. Workshop at the EAIE 2019 Encompassing All Voices by the EAIE (Helsinki, Finland), 24-27 September.
  • J Valcke (2019). “Developing intercultural competences for your students and for your teachers”. Plenary session at the Internationalisation day of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (Uppsala, Sweden), 23 August.
  • J Valcke (2019). “Getting down and dirty with intercultural competence”. Workshop at the Internationalisation day of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (Uppsala, Sweden), 23 August.
  • J Valcke (2019). “Internationalisation of the Curriculum”. Plenary session at the Internationalisation day of the University of Malmö , 17 June.
  • J Valcke (2019). “Internationalisation of the Curriculum”. Workshop at the Internationalisation day of the University of Malmö , 17 June.
  • J Valcke (2019). “English-Medium Education and internationalisation”. Podcast interview by Julie Walaczszyk, Université de Mons (Mons, Belgium), 24 May.
  • J Valcke (2019). “Le rôle des langues dans l’internationalisation des universités.” Plenary organised by ARILUF (Association of Language Centres of French-speaking Belgium) at the Université de Mons (Mons, Belgium), 23 May.
  • K Båge & J Valcke (2019). “Teaching in the international university”. Two-day workshop organised by the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Umeå (Umeå, Sweden), 28-29 March.
  • J Valcke. (2019). “Developing intercultural competence for our students and for our teachers”. Workshop organised by the University of Malmö (Malmö, Sweden), 11 March.
  • J Valcke. (2019). “Teaching in the International University”. Two-day workshop organised by Universidad Complutense Madrid (Madrid, Spain) 23-24 January.
  • J Valcke. (2019). “Leadership for internationalisation”. Lunch seminar organised by Universidad Complutense Madrid (Madrid, Spain) 23 January.
  • K Båge, K Gustafsson, E Hägg, J Valcke (2019). “Internationalising the Curriculum”. Three-day workshop organised by CLILMED at Karolinska Institutet (Stockholm, Sweden), 12-14 January. 
  • K Gustafsson & K Båge (2018). ”Internationalisering på hemmaplan– varför är det viktigt för Studentavdelningen på UU?” A two-hour workshop for the student support services at Uppsala University (Uppsala, Sweden) 11 December.
  • J Valcke. (2018)."Internationalising teaching and learning". Lunch seminar organised by the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (Uppsala, Sweden)  26 November.
  • J Valcke. (2018). "Internationalisation of the Curriculum – The case of Karolinska Institutet" Interactive session organised by the University of Uppsala in collaboration with Universitets- och högskolerådet (Uppsala, Sweden) 6-7 November.
  • E Dafouz-Milne, K Haines, P Studer, J Valcke & R Wilkinson (2018) "The future of multilingual education". Roundtable discussion at the Symposium "Plurality and singularity: Multilingual policies and specific situated academic actions" organised by Universitat  Pompeu Fabbra in collaboration with the ICLHE association (Barcelona, Spain), 18-19 October.
  • J Valcke (2018). “From English-medium instruction to internationalisation of the curriculum”. Workshop for the Jornadas de Política lingüística organised by the Spanish Association of Higher Education Institutions (CRUE) at the University of Córdoba (Córdoba, Spain), 4-5 October.
  • J Valcke (2018). “Internationalising the curriculum: Overcoming challenges, leveraging opportunities” Workshop organised by the Faculty of Medicine of the university of Umeå (Umeå, Sweden) 11 October.
  • K Haines, J Kling, J Pagèze & J Valcke, (2018) “A partnership approach to international classrooms”. Plenary for Language and Culture at the EAIE 2018 Facing outward organised by the EAIE in Geneva (Switzerland), 11-14 September.
  • J Valcke (2018). “Making sense of culture in doctoral supervision” Workshop organised by the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (Uppsala, Sweden), 5 September.
  • L Frick, Z Mkhabela, J. Nieminen, J Valcke (2018). “Intercultural doctoral supervision” Two-day workshops organised by the University of Stellenbosch (Cape Town, South Africa), 20-21 August and 23-24 August.
  • E Koponen & J Valcke (2017). “Teaching in English - From Institutional Strategy to Language Support“. Two-day workshop at the EAIE Academy organised by the EAIE (Warsaw, Poland), 15-17November.
  • J Valcke (2017). “Enseigner en anglais – enjeux et considérations” Interactive session for the Académie de recherche et d’enseignement supérieur (ARES) (Brussels, Belgium), 14 November.
  • J Valcke, E Romero Alfaro, J Walaszczyk, C Peters & F Zayas Martinez. (2017). “Training teachers to teach in English - Five universities come together". Colloquium at the international conference "Content and Language in Multilingual Universities" organised by the ICLHE association (Copenhagen, Denmark), 4-7 October.
  • R Klassen, GO Hellekjaer & J Valcke (2017). “Difficulties may be deceptive: Investigating student complaints about EMI lecturers’ English proficiency". Oral presentation at the international conference "Content and Language in Multilingual Universities" organised by the ICLHE association in Copenhagen (Denmark), 4-7 October.
  • J. Valcke (2017). “Teaching in the international classroom” Workshop for Södertörn University (Stockholm, Sweden), 21 September.
  • R O’Dowd, E Romero Alfaro & J Valcke. (2017). “Internationalising education through virtual collaboration and exchange” Opening plenary for Language and Culture at the EAIE 2016 A Mosaic of Cultures (Sevilla, Spain), 12- 15 September.
  • K. Båge & J Valcke (2017) “Internationalisation of the Curriculum – A framework for action”. Oral presentation for the Mayo KI Annual Research Meeting organised by Karolinska Institute (Stockholm, Sweden), 7 September.