Bishop Grosseteste University are working to improve learning for international students as part of the HEA Internationalising the Curriculum project.

The project looks at how modules, courses and departments at university can be developed to include more on international perspectives and experiences to enhance the learning of all students. The work is being undertaken so that students in an increasingly globalised and interconnected landscape are prepared for the world of work and are able to draw on international perspectives in their learning and work environments.

As part of Bishop Grosseteste University’s new five-year plan, new subject areas and courses are being developed and introduced. Internationalising the curriculum is a key way to make sure courses are appealing to international students who can also bring their own ideas and perspectives informed by their own cultures. This will help to enhance the educational experience of all students.

In conjunction with the HEA project, Professor Chris Atkin, who is project lead, is carrying out research with students to develop a tool that will assess the degree of internationalisation of the curriculum on a particular course or program. This will be trialled at Bishop Grosseteste University and other small and specialist institutions and will be available on the HEA website.

The Students’ Union were involved in supporting the application to the HEA for this project. As part of this they have recruited a student representative to contribute to the working group. This representative has been tasked with setting up a focus group of students to explore how students believe the curriculum can be developed to look at global perspectives and ideas.

The focus group have been looking at practical opportunities for students to travel internationally and experience different cultures and ideologies first hand. The group has explored how case studies included in teaching and learning could be international in origin, as well as the international representation in reading lists on particular courses. This element of co-creation between academics and students is key to the partnership approach to student representation and student voice at Bishop Grosseteste University, with a strong emphasis on student engagement and participation.

To recognise and celebrate the international activities that the university partakes in, Bishop Grosseteste University held an international conference, BG Global. Students were involved in organising and delivering parts of the conference and were invited to attend the event and contribute their thoughts and ideas.

Bishop Grosseteste University has made great steps forward already; internationalising the curriculum and encouraging more international students to the university, which in turn creates a better, more diverse experience for all students. The university will continue to work hard on the project with students, helping to provide a broad global knowledge.

Jamie Caress

BG Students’ Union Vice President

Find out more about the HEA Internationalising the Curriculum project here.