The foundation of the key features of the internationalisation process is defined in the vision and mission of KHLim.
As an internationally oriented learning organisation, the opportunities and challenges of internationalisation are embraced and embedded in our mainstream operations. Educational development, research, bottom-up quality culture, sustainable development, equity and inclusion are the vectors and challenging fields to internationalise. The internationalisation processes help underpin both institutional development and change management.
As member of the Association Katholieke Universiteit Leuven a common mission is shared with regard to the internationalisation of education and training, research, the arts, community service, quality, innovation, sustainability and creativity.
There are four priority development domains:
1. Policy & Management,
2. Structural Development,
3. Development of our Human Potential (Students, Academics, Administrators),
We are partner of regional, national, Euregional and international networks in order to cooperate in the fields of development and quality management. This induces mobility. Students, academics and administrators participate in the Erasmus programmes to further their personal and professional development, and consequently the development of the organisation. Obviously student mobility is encouraged and supported, both outgoing and incoming. Staff mobility is a key factor to achieve an institutional impact. There is a definite need to get sufficient qualitative exposure to grow and to promote international experience. Our staff is therefore required to actively participate in multilateral projects and strategic international networks to develop content, instruments and methods for the curriculum, but also to develop personal skills, attitudes and understanding.
The return is secured through the set of horizontal and vertical internal networks of thematic steering and working groups, in which the know-how gained is shared in an integrated way. The network approach guarantees sustainable development of our overt and hidden curriculum and supports the Internationalisation at Home concept and the personal and institutional international experience.
In all departments international programmes exist, which are promoted by the many academics who participate in staff exchange. In various publications for incoming and outgoing students, the opportunities are highlighted and there are special information sessions for the own students. Because of the existing inclusion programme nobody is left behind and when support is given.
The integrated structural approach, the quality guidebook, the allocation of adequate means, and the commitment by many will ensure KHLim’s further development as a dedicated cosmopolitan organisation where strategy, project structure, human potential, culture, resources will lead to lasting results.
In KHLim academic mobility activities are integrated operations that form an essential and integral part of the study programmes, curriculum development, and even community service. They are embedded in the quality management and educational development systems. They are defined and ruled by outcome and output indicators and run according to a quality procedure. We have an institution-wide structure, which in its turn is embedded in larger organisational configurations, both national and international. There is an international office supported by a decentralised departmental network. The departments act autonomously and are empowered to pursue their specific objectives. Adequate instruments, procedures, documents and financial means are supplied to ensure a sustainable, quality-conscious operation.
There is a direct and individual care for all stakeholders (students, staff). The structural implementation of IaH is encouraged, and we use the competence-based “Formation of Cosmopolitan Students” approach to prepare and counsel students and to help with the aftercare.
Academic recognition is assured for students (use of ECTS contracts). Khlim uses the ECTS system. There are general documents for incoming and outgoing mobility, and all departments supply specific, domain related information (international day/week/incoming staff/documents). International programmes are run each year involving home and guest students and staff.
Out/ingoing students are selected and counselled by departmental staff, many of which participate in monitoring or staff exchange. Participation in preparatory language courses is encouraged. Incoming students get mentors for counselling and follow-up, for help with accommodation, insurance, language, ECTS forms, etc.
Staff are actively encouraged to participate in network activities or mobility and get practical assistance and relevant academic recognition as part of the academisation and in-service training approach of our institution.
There is a long-standing tradition of student placement in Khlim, both in the country and abroad. A lot of experience was gained over many years of sending students on traineeships and development programmes abroad, in cooperation with industrial life, universities, authorities, hospitals, NGOs, etc. Many of our courses are geared to practical training, and traineeship periods are an essential and integral part of the education programmes. As such the quality of the placement has to conform to the overall quality requirements of the programme and the institution.
It also is a major issue for the accreditation of the courses. Placements always carry credits toward the degree.
We look for reliable partners, in the own country and abroad, to support, offer and mentor the trainee post. There are important preliminary activities for each placement. The host company is informed about the purposes of the placement. After negotiations they get a trilateral contract, stipulating agreements and insurance issues. Our staff will consider preparatory visits. In the contract and the accompanying literature our educational system is explained, together with the purpose of the placement and the requirements. There is an on-site mentor, who keeps in touch with the home mentor, a specialised lecturer. Monitoring is done by means of regular reports and portfolio work by the students, blogs, update reports by the company mentor, and in some cases by on-site visits. The student will be graded by the company mentor according to the negotiated instructions. In a number of cases there is an additional assessment by the home staff for the final report and presentations by the student. The “Formation of Cosmopolitan Students” competences and strategies are used to select, prepare and counsel students, in order to maximise the experience abroad. This “student experience management system” is being further developed with a digital student tracking system.