You are now reading the first WILLIAM newsletter, in which we will regularly update about the most recent activities and insights gained from the project. WILLIAM is a three-year Erasmus+ Capacity Building Initiative between 12 Israeli and European institutions and its goal is to advance Internationalization at Home within Israeli higher education. Co-funded by the EU Commission and launched in January 2019, WILLIAM works to foster an international climate for home students, alongside strategies to create an international campus with a supportive and welcoming environment for international students studying in Israel.
Currently in the first year of the WILLIAM initiative, we conducted a survey of all partner institutions in WILLIAM to identify what the gaps are between Israel and the EU (and between the different types of Israeli institutions) in implementation of Internationalization at Home. Findings revealed that one of the main areas lacking in Israel is training for administrative staff and faculty to work with international students and different cultures and promote an international climate on campus. Additional differences were found, which can be seen in the chart below. WILLIAM will work to improve these areas within Israeli institutions of higher education.
Note: Results are based on reports from 10 partner institutions: three EU partner institution; and seven Israeli institutions: three Type 1 Israeli institutions (i.e. those receiving funding for Internationalization from the CHE) and four Type 2 Israeli institutions (i.e. those not receiving funding for internationalization from the CHE).
Did you know?
What are students’ perceptions related to Internationalization at Home?
The Israeli Council of Higher Education conducted a survey of approximately 15,000 Israeli university and college students regarding their perceptions of internationalization and desire to engage with international students. See some of the results here.
In the coming months, the WILLIAM consortium will offer some additional analysis based on the council of higher education’s data set on perceptions of internationalization at home in order to help institutions be more informed as they develop their strategies to enhance international learning among home students and foster social integration between international and local students. This will be available on our website, in the Internationalization at Home toolkit currently being developed.
Virtual International Classrooms
As part of the WILLIAM initiative, each of the 7 Israeli partner institutions will be developing and piloting a virtual international course, a type of virtual mobility in which students from different countries enroll in the same course and collaborate on joint projects. The purpose of introducing this type of learning internationally is to grant students of higher education with cross-cultural experience and competency.
The pilots will be accompanied by joint trainings for instructors to better understand technopedagogy, modify their syllabus to the virtual learning environment, and pilot their course. A central outcome of the Virtual International Classroom initiative in WILLIAM will be devising best practices based on the pilots of the 7 Israeli partner Institutions.
For more information see workplan of WILLIAM for Virtual International classrooms and presentations by Sa’ar Gershon (Hebrew University) and Prof. Violeta Sugar (Juraj Dobrilla University of Pula) on things to consider when preparing a virtual course.
Erasmus Student Network – 10 day journey to Israeli higher education institutions
As our partner in WILLIAM, the Erasmus Student Network (ESN), the largest student organization representing international students), visited each of the 7 Israeli partner institutions in July, engaging with student representatives, IRO offices, and faculty to discuss social integration of international students. As part of their visit, ESN also conducted a workshop with student union representatives to brainstorm about innovative ways to promote interactions and relationships between international and local students across our campuses.
Here are some tips from ESN to promote social integration:
More tips from ESN based on their visit could be found on our website
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