Over the past 25 years, the international dimension of higher education has become more important for governments, higher education institutions and accreditation bodies. Internationalisation is perceived to be a key factor for modern knowledge- based societies; and has been steadily increasing in importance and scope.1 Higher education institutions pursue internationalisation as a pro-active strategic issue. Internationalisation of the curriculum and of the teaching and learning process has become increasingly relevant for higher education institutions and various forms of cross-border education have become widespread in Europe (e.g. joint programmes).
Following this trend, higher education institutions and programmes have been asking quality assurance (QA) agencies to include internationalisation in their assessment. A consistent, qualitative methodology was however not readily available. Internationalisation is a complex phenomenon and is strongly influenced by the context in which it takes places. As a multidimensional concept, the realisation of internationalisation widely varies in different higher education settings. This means the context and the varied ways in which it is operationalised need to be taken into account when assessing the quality of internationalisation.
Based on these observations, the members and partners of the European Consortium for Accreditation in Higher Education (ECA) have developed this methodology to assess the quality of internationalisation.
This methodology tested in twelve countries is the first to assess the quality of inter- nationalisation in compliance with current international quality assurance practices. ￼
Both are intended to provide a source of inspiration for the higher education community. The platform aims to establish knowledge sharing, to contribute to the mutual learning between programmes and institutions and to enhancing internationalisation of higher education by inspiring practice, to encourages programmes and institutions to further share their knowledge and expertise.