UC promotes a comprehensive internationalization model for the community
Within the new 2020-2025 Development Plan framework, the Adjunct Office of the Vice President for International Affairs VRAI) promotes Internationalization at Home. This model goes beyond the curricular, including students, faculty, administrative officials, and professionals.
Internationalization projects within the University are advancing promptly. The 2020-2025 Development Plan promotes a new comprehensive model that aims at a global, transversal, and inclusive UC community training—known as Internationalization at home.
According to the new development plan, through Internationalization at home, and with a view to global education, the University expects:
- attract international talent,
- promote global curriculum in undergraduate, master's, and doctoral programs,
- promote international mobility and its appreciation within the community, and
- increase intercultural exchange on all campuses.
"We want people to stop thinking that you can only have international experiences if you leave your local area. The idea is to see this from another perspective: you can experience internationalization without necessarily going abroad," explained Florencia Roncone. She is the program coordinator for "Internationalization at Home" of the Adjunct Office of the Vice President for International Affairs (VRAI Spanish acronym).
It's a new concept, so it is in this first stage, and awareness is needed, explained Roncone. The idea is to advance towards leveraging the work among the different community stakeholders, looking towards an institutional horizon.
In practice, the University wants to promote two fronts:
- one curricular: where all the activities related to courses, classes, internships, and other points are included;
- one extracurricular: which has to do with the campuses themselves and all their stakeholders, the staff, and international events.
The curricular front
The Adjunct Office of the Vice President for International Affairs (VRAI Spanish acronym), and the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs, are already working together. Both want to promote global activities that will make it possible to internationalize the curricula and graduate profiles.
As Maribel Flórez, Director of the Global Education area of the VRAI, explained: "the idea is to promote the development of UC students who:
- Can understand the complexities of global issues and international perspectives in decision-making.
- Have the skills to work with people from other cultures.
- Can appreciate cultural and global diversity."
The above is added to developing a social and public commitment and civic responsibility to contribute to the common good.
With the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs, they will develop a support program for digital interactions, using the COIL (Collaborative Online International Learning) methodology.
"This means that faculty members from our and other universities agree to teach courses units together to promote collaboration among their students to solve real problems. Students will have the opportunity to interact with peers from other countries and learn about their disciplines at the same time," explained Maribel Flórez.
The extracurricular front and the impact on staff members
University seeks to promote internationalization on campuses. It focuses on the student vision and the different community members: faculty, administrative and professional staff; developing training and promoting interculturality.
"We need to promote global management and the necessary skills to lead research, creation, and teaching projects together with international peers," said Maribel Flórez.
The 2020-2025 Development Plan endorses: "It is crucial to improve English as a second language throughout the university community. Furthermore, the Confucius Institute plays a significant role in strengthening our relationship with China. It is a channel to promote and expand university life's through its work of disseminating Chinese language and culture in our country."
Since 2020, the Office of Human Resources has coordinated with the VRAI and English UC Language Center to foster individual motivation for the English language and align it with the University's needs. English UC Language Center provided free English tests to all administrative and professional staff to evaluate skills.
"During 2021, we will enhance the opportunities that exist to promote the English language in our work", said Carmen Luz Urbina, Deputy Director of Development of the Office of Human Resources.
"We have created a Chinese program for children of university staff through the UC Confucius Institute. This activity has been helpful because we know how difficult it is to foster internationalization for some people. They feel it is not fair to have international experiences when their families do not have access to these possibilities," said Lilian Ferrer, the Vice President for International Affairs.
During the next five years, initiatives to maintain an active international life within the campuses will be expanded and systematized. The 2020-2025 Development Plan reads: making our identity and our links with the rest of the world visible.