AUCC Report Shows That Internationalization Is A Priority, But Flow Goes One Way

Source: AUCC News Release via Academica | December 11, 2014

The Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) has released a new report on internationalization at universities. According to the report, 89% of universities surveyed said that the pace of internationalization is accelerating on campus, 96% ensure internationalization is integrated in strategic plans, and 80% identify internationalization as being among their top 5 priorities. 97% of Canadian universities offer international experience, with nearly all allowing students to complete coursework abroad, 70% sending students to foreign field schools, 67% offering service work or volunteer opportunities abroad, 67% helping students do research abroad, and 66% offering foreign work experience. 53% of institutions said the most important reason for internationalization was to “prepare internationally knowledgeable and inter-culturally competent graduates.” However, the survey also shows that internationalization remains a largely unidirectional affair: just 3.1% of full-time undergraduate students had an international experience in 2012–13, with just 2.6% participating in a for-credit experience abroad. Cost and inflexible credit transfer policies were cited as particular concerns in this area. The report also found that China is the top focus of most universities’ internationalization activities, while students’ preferred destinations are primarily English-speaking and major western European countries.