Internationalization of higher education more than a structure is a culture
During the virtual meeting, Rolando M. Guzmán, rector of INTEC, highlighted that internationalization improves the quality of teaching, increases research capacity and strengthens the profile of graduates.
SANTO DOMINGO. -It is necessary to focus on the need to rethink the internationalization of higher education from a structure to turn it into a transversal culture for the work of teaching, research, public service and higher education institutions in the region.
Francisco Marmolejos, Educational advisor of the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, reached this conclusion, who understood that within the erroneous interpretations of internationalization that should be eliminated is the assumption that internationalization as student mobility , think of rankings as synonymous with quality and assume that it is achieved by decree.
"The big difference between seeing internationalization as a structure or as a culture is that seeing it as a culture implies, precisely, its transversality and significance to the daily work of the entire institution," Marmolejos highlighted.
He said that, according to John Hudzik, comprehensive internationalization is the commitment, confirmed through action, to infuse international and comparative perspectives in higher education teaching, research and service activities.
Regarding the impact of the pandemic on higher education, the specialist said that more than 200 million higher education students stopped going to classrooms and approximately 70% of international students returned to their countries of origin and only 60% of teaching could be replaced by non-contact means.
During the virtual meeting "The internationalization of higher education", organized by the Instituto Tecnológico de Santo Domingo (INTEC), Marmolejos called to review the strategic internationalization plans, redefine an adequate organizational structure, reassess and revalue strategic alliances, adapt incentives and take advantage of monitoring systems.
Regarding opportunities and needs, he detailed the need to break the idea that internationalization is mobility, develop more mirror chairs with international peers, pay attention to the opportunities for innovative joint research and alliances with strategic partners, and propose the redesign of academic programs.
"It is an opportunity to think about a renewed role for higher education, that we think about the formation of global citizens, competitive, but above all committed to their local community," said Marmolejos.
The virtual activity was moderated by Luz Inmaculada Madera, PhD in Pedagogical Sciences.
Adequacy of the university curriculum
The rector of INTEC, Rolando M. Guzmán considered internationalization as an adaptation of the university curriculum to the requirements of the world. "In cultural, social and economic terms we are a global society and a curriculum obviously has to respond to this need, which in turn requires the incorporation of the international dimension to the management of the university in all areas".
Guzmán said that internationalization is the modern way of expressing humanism. A way that improves the quality of teaching, increases research capacity, strengthens the profile of graduates and limits the tendency of universities to look inward, instead of looking at the panorama to which they belong.
“Each institution has the responsibility of finding the concrete way to incorporate the international dimension into its curriculum, the emphasis may vary from one institution to another and, for the latter, the recipe for internationalization makes little sense, because it only makes sense when it is inserted in the historical logic and in the way of doing things of the institutions ”, expressed the rector of INTEC.
Regarding the indispensable enabling factors, the rector identified greater flexibility in the curriculum and study programs, greater efficiency in the processes, understanding of the concept of internationalization, development of teachers and measurement of results.
“A second enabler depends on the governing bodies that must adapt regulations to the needs of these times. In the Dominican Republic and other countries we work with schemes that are typical of other times and that will have to be reformed, revalued and rethought in light of the experiences we are having, ”said Guzmán.
Additionally, Guzmán highlighted imagination and commitment to leadership as another important enabler. "That imagination and commitment is what has to allow us to overcome the obstacles typical of universities with limited resources and universities that have been outside the central core of scientific endeavor at a global level."
You can see the full conference at the following link: https://youtu.be/981KdYTKiP8