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THE PROJECT

WILLIAM is a collaborative initiative between 12 Israeli and European institutions that work to advance Internationalization at Home within Israeli higher education. As a consortium, WILLIAM is establishing measures and standards for Internationalization at Home, testing and scaling new ideas within partner institutions, and disseminating best practices across a diversity of higher education institutions.

Rationale

In today's interconnected world characterized by constant technological advancements, it is often noted that the jobs of tomorrow have yet to be invented. Yet, what can be predicted is that such jobs will require 1) strong cross-cultural skills, as global collaboration increases and 2) transversal skills, as careers are increasingly demanding a broad range of professional competences.
As institutions of higher education work to pave the way for careers of tomorrow, providing their students with study abroad opportunities has become an important strategy to develop both cross cultural skills and strong transversal skills. Studies show that an experience abroad has a positive influence on the soft skills, intercultural competences and employability of the students. According to the Erasmus Impact Study on mobility in the EU (2014): On average, Erasmus students have better employability skills after a stay abroad than 70% of all students.
Additionally, compared to students’ own qualifications before going abroad, upon their return they have increased that advantage by 42% (on average).

In light of the advantages that an international learning experience provides, many colleges and universities are increasing their efforts both to send students abroad and, at the same time, to foster a meaningful and intentional international learning environment. Central to this goal is developing the infrastructure to support incoming foreign students AND opening the doors for home students to reap the benefits of internationalization without leaving their home institution.
Considering that the majority of students do not study abroad, this is a critical step for institutions of higher education to take, in order to keep their students competitive in the ever-changing job market of today.
Strategies that help all students (not just those who are mobile) reap the benefits of higher education is known as Internationalization at Home.

Objectives

1. International learning environment for home students
2. Social integration strategies for international and home students.
3. Working to address needs of international students studying in Israel

Activities

International Experience of Home Students
  • Virtual international
    classrooms
  • Curriculum in English
  • Promotion of international campus
Social Integration
  • Develop social integration strategies and campaigns
  • Integrated academic settings
  • Joint extra-curricular activities

Supportive and welcoming environment for International Students
  • Integrated IROs fostering a supportive environment
  • Clear protocols, regulations for incoming students

  • Staff and faculty training

IMPACT - 4 Levels

National Level:

Promote a set of measures that support laH strategies and policies across IL HEls.

Institutional Level:

International student support services, through development of protocols/guidelines and social integration schemas.

Faculty/Curriculum Level:

Promoting virtual international classrooms and additional modules of internationalized learning as a means to engage faculty and students in international environments without having to go abroad.

Student Level:

International students feel safe and comfortable in their learning environment and host society.Local students are exposed to an international learning environment and gain skills that prepare them to function in an international setting.

PARTNERS

Each of the 7 Israeli partner Institutions making up the consortium were included to represent the diversity of higher education institutions in Israel by geography, type of institution - from universities with large international programs, to small colleges and teaching college just developing theirs. From private and public institution with a diversity of student body composition - from campuses with large minority populations to those with a majority religious student body.
Each EU partner was selected based on their vast institutional experience, knowledge and training of Internationalization
at Home strategies.

Deliverables

5 main concrete deliverables of WILLIAM

1. National Level: Creation Of standards for ‘Internationalization at Home’ for Israeli higher education

2. Institutions, along with a toolkit for Internationalization at Home, and a self-assessment tool – all accessible on the WILLIAM website.

3. Institutional Level: Number of new and revised social integration programs, including measures of number of participants in activities and their satisfaction with them across 7 Israeli partner HEIs.

4. Curriculum/Faculty: Number of virtual classrooms piloted and integrated into the curriculum across 7 Israeli partner HEIs (with measures of students’ international skillsets and desire for additional interaction with foreign students, as well as faculty assessment).

5. Faculty/Staff: Number of faculty and staff that are trained and competent in working with international students and addressing their needs across Israeli partner HEIs (With measures of both increase in competencies and in their overall understanding/interest in ‘Internationalization at Home’).

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