Emily Brown represented PSB at the EAIE Spring Academy

Emily Brown at the EAIE Conference

Since the fall of 2015, the Pilon School of Business has brought together a dedicated group of faculty who meet regularly as members of the PSB Internationalization Working Group. We explore, discuss and advise on the PSB and the college-wide internationalization initiative, and work within the Faculty and across Faculties and departments. Internationalization is complex, involving student and faculty mobility, international research collaborations, professional development for faculty who are teaching in a cross cultural environment, and internationalizing existing or creating new international course curricula.  As chair of the Working Group since its inception, I have gained a better understanding of the PSB’s strengths and challenges with respect to its internationalization mandate but felt I could better support the direction of the Faculty and the college by learning more about internationalization programs.

At the end of April, I attended the Spring Academy of the European Association of International Education on behalf of the Faculty, where 150 participants from around the world came together to learn about international education. I completed two courses of the twelve that participants could choose from; the Fundamentals of Building a Strategic Internationalization Plan, with nineteen participants from seventeen different countries, and Change Management in International Higher Education, with eight participants, all from different countries, both instructed by international trainers with recognized expertise in these particular aspects of international higher education.

A set of well selected readings and pre-course assignments sent prior to the Spring Academy set the theoretical framework for the courses, while the intensive class time was reserved for practical, collaborative activities, where the trainers and other participants worked together to support each other’s learning.

Figure 2 Fundamentals of Building a Strategic Internationalization Plan participants

The first course covered everything from vision and mission statements, through conducting SWOT and SOAR analyses, effectively utilizing KPIs, and full stakeholder analysis and communication plans. The class examined global trends in internationalization and how it should inform your own institution’s international strategic plan. A guest instructor walked the class through her institution’s process of creating a strategic internationalization plan after the amalgamation of three separate institutions into one.

As the perfect follow up to the first course, I attended Change Management in International Higher Education as my second course which exposed participants to current change management theories, in order to build our skills in managing, supporting and implementing change effectively.

At the end of each course, participants presented their own work, including their own strategic plan and change management plan and received feedback from other participants and the trainers.

Figure 3 Presenting final assignment in Change Management in Higher Education course

As significant as the learning was, an equally important aspect of attending the Spring Academy was meeting individuals from around the world who are involved in international programming at their institutions to share experiences and be an ambassador for Sheridan College. In the week after I returned, I was able to personally connect with over forty academy participants and trainers, as friends, colleagues and advisors.

The European Association of International Education, who provides professional learning such as the Spring Academy, and support for international education, also offers webinars on a variety of topics. I participated in a two-part webinar on International Joint Program Success in the past two weeks which was excellent.

I look forward to applying what I have learned to support the PSB and college internationalization mandate.

By: Emily Brown

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