SUCTI (Systemic University Change Towards Internationalization) was born out of the university system’s need to internationalize.
As our universities truly take on board the concept of internationalization, the resulting systemic change will make them truly international institutions, and internationalization will become second nature to them and not merely an added extra. This is a much needed change and universities have long worked towards this objective by increasing student mobility numbers, strengthening links with other institutions and carrying out joint research and publications, among other things.
Background information on the SUCTI Project
From a considerable time now, universities and the European Commission have been focusing on training global citizens by investing in student mobility. The Erasmus program has already been in existence for 25 years and millions of students have benefited from it. Universities have come to regard the internationalization of students and their international profile as a major asset to the employability of their graduates. They have also invested in internationalizing their teaching staff so they can have a greater impact on international research and publications, offer more internationalized courses and create more international programs. But what about administrative staff?
The European Commission believes that systemic change can occur through staff mobility. This is why staff mobility will receive a great deal funding in from the new program Erasmus For All. But is mobility the only way? Or even the best way?
Administrative staff who are willing to go abroad probably already have an open international mind-set, or at least one that is sufficiently open for them to take an interest in such a process. They are also likely to have an acceptable level of English and to have family circumstances (and bosses) that allow them to make the most of a mobility experience. But how can we be sure that the experience will be positive? If we enable administrative staff to go abroad for a week, are we helping them to develop the international mind-set that we want them to have? What about afterwards? What about when they get back to their work place where their new ideas may or may not be accepted? How is this potential frustration managed? Maybe it isn’t…
This project offers a solution to such problems. It is a training course provided for administrative staff in their own language and at their own institution. This means that they do not need to have a high level of English and that they can do the course regardless of their family situation. The course can therefore target those members of the administrative staff who have not yet open up to the possibilities of internationalization, and in time it will change the institutional mind-set of our universities.
The project also includes a system for analysing whether trainers are helping to bring about this change in mind-set and, if so, how they are doing it.