Internationalisation is a multi-dimensional process with the objective to contribute to UniLaSalle's global advancement. The three target groups are students, employees and the institution.
Internationalisation must allow students to receive training specific to the global international context, an enrichment of their skills profile (including language skills) and better access to the labour market.
Internationalisation should enable employees to develop their skills, contribute to the improvement of training programmes, educational projects, research and generate innovation in their interaction with the economic sector.
Finally, the institution must benefit in terms of excellence, notoriety and visibility.
UniLaSalle has made outgoing mobility in semester 5 compulsory and promotes a second mobility at Master level (5th year), if possible, as double degree or semester mobility and for the Master thesis. The number of actual departures of students during their study stay has been multiplied by 12 between 2012/2013 (35) and 2019/2020 (439) thanks to voluntary steps and mergers in 2016 and 2018. As a next step, a significant increase is envisaged between now and 2024 in terms of international degree seeking students (reaching 7% of graduates in engineering dgrees) and outbound students with double-degrees (10%) as well as the number of students with a first job abroad after graduation (10%). The levers will include preparatory classes abroad, increasing double degree agreements and a professionalisation of the recruitment of international students in all programmes, including the i-SAFE programme (the first engineering programme in France in life sciences taught entirely in English).
In terms of incoming exchange mobility, UniLaSalle has succeeded in increasing the number of programmes and courses taught in English during the 2014-2020 period to allow for incoming mobility of one semester. The offer of courses in English is set to be further enriched in the period 20121-2027 through the finalisation of an importantacademic reform currently underway at UniLaSalle. This will make it possible to offer more options of a full semester in English, which will facilitate an increase in the number of incoming exchange students. In addition to semester stays, the short programmes will make it possible to develop partnerships with non-European partner universities in certain niches of excellence.
In order to able to carry out incoming and outgoing mobility, UniLaSalle relies on a network of 224 partners. The majority of the partners are in Europe (56%), North America (13%) and Latin America (10%). The other partners come from Africa/Middle East (6%), North Asia/CIS (6%) and South East Asia/Oceania (9%). UniLaSalle is strongly anchored in Europe and wishes to develop this focus. UniLaSalle also relies on the ICA network (Association for European Life Science Universities, https://www.ica-ls.com/) and IALU (International Association of La Salle Universities, www.ialu.org).
UniLaSalle intends to increase the mobility of its employees in the coming years, including non-teaching staff, and the mobility of incoming teacher-researchers. Still very modest at the present time, employee mobility is increasingly being adopted by UniLaSalle employees through awareness raising activities. After a stable number of departures between 2014/15 and 2018/19 (~6), an increase of more than 100% was forecast for 2019/2020 (15). Employee mobility promises a good progression in the period 2021-2027, with an annual target of 30 incoming and 30 outgoing employees by 2027.
Another focus of the internationalization of treainig at UniLaSalle is the development of student participation in international competitions, all specialisations combined, such as the Imperial Barrel Awards. This will allow students to gain skills and will contribute to increasing UniLaSalle's visibility and reputation abroad.
The COVID-19 pandemic situation has also shown that internationalisation will also take place through a greater offer of online training (or blended learning), an area that is also being studied for the start of the 2021 academic year.
The Erasmus+ programme is an integral part of UniLaSalle's internationalisation strategy because it makes it possible to activate importante levers. Over the last 6 years, the Erasmus+ programme has enabled UniLaSalle to finance a large number of academic mobility, internships and staff mobility shemes. With the help of the International Credit Mobility, Strategic Partnerships and Erasmus Mundus schemes, the geographical and social diversity of incoming international students has been diversified, new academic and pedagogical projects have been set up and programmes of excellence have been launched (e.g Erasmus Mundus Master's degree emPLANT). UniLaSalle intends to use these tools in the 2021-2027 programme in order to continue to set up projects structuring the internationalisation of UniLaSalle, such as the international campus in Rouen.
II) Structuring projects
The creation of a team of international project managers has allowed UniLaSalle to increase its expertise in this field. This will allow UniLaSalle to continue to better manage current projects and to acquire new ones. Erasmus+ projetcs such as International Credit Mobility (ICM), Strategic Partnerships (SP), Knowledge Alliances (KA) and Erasmus Mundus Masters (EM) are considered as projects structuring internationalisation at UniLaSalle.
In terms of ICM, it is envisaged to maintain a cruising speed of 5-6 projects per year in order to develop mobility with strategic partners (research, recruitment, academic) and to increase the geographical and social diversity of incoming students.
an important avenue for development in 2021-2027 will be to better exploit the potential of relations with the economic world. UnuLaSalle maintains excellent relations with companies in its specialised sectors through apprenticeship contracts, internships, services and external stakeholders. It will now be a matter of creating and transforming, potentially via knowledge alliances, promising projects for UniLaSalle, in connection with its platforms and (manufacturing) labs, into triple helix alliances and to take advantage of international collaboration at the level of corporate relations. In this sense, UniLaSalle aims to use the KA103 programme to facilitate inviting international stakeholders from the business world, which is currently not the case despite the presence of more than 500 lecturers from companies.
UniLaSalle wishes to maintain and reinforce its particiaption in SP-type projects in the fields relevant to its activities (academic and non-academic) in order to create synergies with European funding and to deepen collaborations with its partners. The objective is that some of these partnerships will incubate International Maters of excellence that could be labelled Erasmus Mundus.
UniLaSalle is deeply rooted in Europe. This is why the "European Universities" initiative has made it possible to launch a reflection on how UniLaSalle can contribute, at its level, to a European education area in order to meet societal and environmental challenges in europe and to fill the skills shortages. The 2021-2027 programme will be an opportunity to work on UniLaSalle's positioning in Europe.
In geographical terms, Africa is an important target for 2021-2027 in terms of collaborations and recruitment.
The structuring projects will have a strong impact on UniLaSalle's internationalisation at home. Not only in terms of welcoming teachers and students, but also by carrying out structuring projects for the institution with international partners.
III) Internationalisation at home
In addition to training and research programmes, UniLaSalle aims to develop its internationalisation at home on its 3 campuses in Beauvais, Rennes and Rouen. The awareness that the internationalisation of an HEI is everyone's concernis evolving but has not yet been integrated as an automatism.
For example :
- The language skills of the staff (objective : English-speaking people in each department)
- Bilingual signage on campus (FR/EN)
- Improving internal and external communication in english (communication supports, presence on social networks, etc...).
- Accessibility of IT tools to non-French speakers.
- The admission procedure for international students in degree courses
Here again, the Erasmus+ programme makes it possible to share experience and good practice and to find multi-partner solutions in order to move forward.
The quality of the reception of international students is a fundamental issue for the internationalization and attractiveness of higher education. The "Welcome to France" label is awarded by Campus France to higher education establishments wishing to demonstrate the quality of their reception services/infrastructures for international students.
UniLaSalle has just been awarded the "Welcome to France" Label level 3 (best score) for a period of 4 years. A visit by experts next year will confirm or update the level awarded.
The label evaluates in particular the quality of the following elements
- The quality and accessibility of information
- The reception facilities
- The training offer
- Support for teaching
- Quality of life on campus
- Post-graduation follow-up for international students