The international activities of universities dramatically expanded in volume, scope, and complexity during the past decades. To address the integration of international, intercultural and global dimension into the purpose, function and delivery of higher education, we usually use the term 'internationalization', as it is commonly applied in this context (Knight, 2004).
Several studies (Altbach and Knight, 2007; Beerkens et al., 2010) indicated an increase in the importance of and attention granted to supporting internationalisation in the higher education sector in recent years. internationalisation over last years has moved from a reactive to a pro-active strategic issue, from added value to mainstream, and its focus, scope and content evolved substantially (de Wit, 2010). This growing interest has translated into active development of policies, programs, and infrastructure at institutional, local and national levels. As this expansion and investment in internationalisation are welcome and indeed requisite in this global era, institutions and even nations have recognized the need to assess the effectiveness and efficiency of this process as an urgent priority. Moreover, as internationalisation is perceived as a vital process for further development of higher education, differences in the intensity and scope of internationalisation, and certainly the inability to internationalize, might affect the competitiveness and even the survival of higher education institutions (Yemini, 2012). The academic debate on internationalisation assessment is including differing visions of the purposes of assessment (should it serve as an internal improvement measure, or for the purpose of comparative ranking or benchmarking); the agency responsible for the assessment (internal versus external); the frequency and means of assessment (surveys, observations, etc.); the diversity in assessment models needed for different types of institutions (research universities versus teaching-orientated academies); and the role of assessment in different countries (Europe versus US and Asia) (Beerkens et al. 2010; de Wit 2010). Ultimately, the reasons behind institutions' differences in internationalisation levels and the factors that affect the intensity and scope of internationalisation have not yet been fully revealed.
Altbach, P. J., & Knight, J. (2007). The internationalisation of Higher Education: Motivations and Realities. Boston: Boston College- Center for International Higher Education.
Beerkens, E., Branderburg, U., Evers, N., Leichsenring, H. & Zimmermann, V. (2010). Indicator Projects on internationalisation - Approaches, Methods and Findings. A report in the context of the European project "Indicators for Mapping & Profiling internationalisation” (IMPI). European Commission.
Knight, J. (2004). internationalisation Remodeled: Definition, Approaches, and Rationales. Journal of Studies in International Education, 8(1), 5-31.
Dr. Miri Yemini and Prof. Yossi Ben Artzi. 2012. Mind the Gap: Bologna Process Implementation in Israeli Higher Education System. Dapim. 55. (Hebrew).
Project number 530315-TEMPUS-1-2012-1-IL-TEMPUS-JPGR
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission.
This publication [communication] reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.