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All-partner meeting in Ljubljana, 20-22 May

The beautiful city of Ljubljana, Slovenia, played host to the penultimate all-partner meeting for IntlUni on 20-22 May, 2015. The meeting brought together most of the 38-partner strong network to discuss and refine the culminating document of the project: the IntlUni Recommendations.

2015.06.10 | Kate Borthwick and Peter Stear

University of Ljubljana – the main building is from 1902 and it was built by the Austrian architect J. Hudec as headquarter of the Duchy. From 1919 it is the home of the University.

IntlUni Coordinator Karen M. Lauridsen and Ksenija Vidmar Horvat welcomes all IntlUni colleagues to the partner meeting

Presentation and discussion of the IntlUni draft recommendations

Work Package Leaders presenting WP 8 - Impact and exploitation

Poster session and discussion

This document will encapsulate 3 years of meetings, discussions and thinking about how we can understand and identify the quality criteria which characterise the multilingual, multicultural learning space, and also how we can ensure the sustainability of quality in this space. The diversity of the IntlUni network has been a key factor in influencing the development of project work, and the input from all the partners in Ljubljana would prove essential in shaping and finalising the IntlUni Recommendations.

Our meeting started out in the grand, panelled surroundings of the main conference room at the University of Ljubljana, where participants were welcomed by the Vice-dean for Faculty of Arts Dr. Gregor Perko and hosts, Ksenija Vidmar Horvat and Spela Šinigoj. Project Coordinator, Karen M Lauridsen, introduced the meeting with an update on project activities and timescales for the final months of the project’s life, before turning to the main business of the meeting: the IntlUni Recommendations.

IntlUni Recommendations

Emma Dafouz Milne, one of the Work Package leaders working on the Recommendations, presented the draft document and outlined its relation to the IntlUni Principles and Illustrative Samples: these documents form the foundation of the IntlUni Recommendations. The partners then devided into groups to discuss their own reactions, questions and amendments to the draft. The IntlUni network comprises individuals with a rich experience of issues around internationalisation in higher education and the discussion was energetic and wide-ranging. Feedback from this discussion will directly shape the content and structure of the final document.

It has been an interesting task to work with the diverse situations and scenarios encapsulated by the project to produce draft Recommendations. The project shows that diversity is absolutely welcome and necessary. At the same time, there is a need to reach some kind of consensus in this diversity and harmonise principles of quality in the learning space. IntlUni works in that direction, in the idea of bringing people in from very different contexts, with different understandings of the whole issue and at different stages of work in internationalisation, but nevertheless being able to work together towards a common set of recommendations. We very much look forward to presenting the results of our work in September.” – Emma Dafouz Milne, WP5

Impact of IntlUni

The network’s discussions continued in the Faculty of Arts building, which entailed a pleasant walk through Ljubljana’s old town. The old town comprises cobbled streets, ornate bridges and colourful buildings alongside the river and is overshadowed by a dramatic, medieval castle on the hill. It was with the backdrop of these inspiring surroundings that we turned to talk of the project’s impact.

Work Package leaders Don Peckham, Janina Cünnen and Andreas Kolb led a brainstorming session on understanding how the project has impacted on the members of the network as individuals within institutions and also how impact can be registered locally, regionally, nationally or at a European level.

The workshop we held at the meeting was very important in thinking about the impact of the project on each one of us and at our institutions. As a group we’ve been looking at examples from around Europe and seeing what the opportunities and problems are, and on the other hand, we’ve been meeting people who are actually involved in internationalisation - and that sharing of knowledge has been a great thing for everyone. The impact of the project has registered in different ways, and we will be collecting information and reporting on this over the next few months.” – Don Peckham, WP 8.

Work Package leader (dissemination) Peter Stear and Kate Borthwick played their own part in understanding and capturing impact by videoing meeting activities and recording interviews with project partners. Look out for these videos on the website in due course.

Final Conference

After a full and very enjoyable meeting, we left Ljubljana’s prized cheese dumplings, mythical dragon-slayers and enticing honey shops behind us to look forward to our next meeting, in Brussels, in September. The closing conference will see the launch of the IntlUni Recommendations and offer one final opportunity for the network to meet, share experiences and celebrate three years of project work.

Meeting
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Kate Borthwick and Peter Stear

Revised 04.04.2016