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Trinity Shortlisted for EAIE Award

Posted on 22 May 2017

Trinity is one of only four Universities in Europe which has been shortlisted for the 2017 EAIE Institutional Award for Innovation in Internationalisation. Every year, EAIE (the European Association for International Education) seeks to recognise a European higher education institution that demonstrates institutional best practice within a European context. EAIE is the acknowledged European centre for expertise, networking and resources in the internationalisation of higher education.

The successful institution must demonstrate innovative practices in international education within the last five years, with tangible outcomes. The main aim of the award is to highlight outstanding practices that further the internationalisation of higher education.

Ahead of a final announcement in August, EAIE is assessing shortlisted Universities for evidence of:

  • Innovative academic or support programmes for internationalisation purposes
  • International partnerships and alliances to promote international higher education, share best practice and positively affect institutional development
  • Integration of internationalisation in strategic planning, infrastructure development, research, curriculum, staff development, teaching, student experience and learning outcomes or alumni relations

In addition, as this year marks the 30th anniversary of the Erasmus programme, special consideration is being given to nominees that demonstrate innovation in the area of Erasmus exchange.

In recent years, with the appointment of the first ever Vice-President for Global Relations in 2011 and the establishment of the Global Relations Office, Trinity has begun the implementation of strategic internationalisation initiatives to deliver on the objectives articulated in the Global Relations Strategy published in 2012 and now embedded in the University’s Strategic Plan 2014-2019. 

Trinity’s submission to EAIE sets out to demonstrate the contemporary level of commitment to internationalisation at the most senior levels in the University, and across all areas within the institution, which has had an international, open ethos since its foundation in 1592. The examples given are illustrative of a culture which supports innovation, in education practice and research, as well as in internationalisation. Taken together and against the backdrop of the Global Relations Strategy and the current Strategic Plan, they represent a step-change in internationalisation practice for Trinity.

Examples of the outcomes and initiatives highlighted include:

  • Increased diversity in the student body, with 26% of the student body currently international, and an increase of 74% in the student population from outside the European Union since 2011.
  • Trinity’s Understanding Ireland Programme, designed for international visiting and exchange students, which runs for three weeks before the Autumn semester granting 5 ECTS credits.
  • The inclusion of innovative mobility opportunities for Trinity students in Masters programmes including Biodiversity and Conservation, Peace Studies, Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation and Development Practice
  • Membership of CASA, the Consortium for Advanced Studies Abroad, link which adds an important European dimension to a partnership hitherto confined to US Ivy league institutions. CASA provides a framework to facilitate international student mobility, enabling our strategies around internationalisation, enhancing the student experience and broadening curricula.
  • In addition to a successful and embedded Erasmus exchange programme, Trinity is innovating in participation in Erasmus+ programmes, becoming one of the partners of INCLUTE, the first Erasmus + programme coordinated by a Chinese University, the South West University of China. The INCLUTE project aims to develop inclusive education through curriculum development and teacher education in China.
  • The innovative network of Global Officers, based in academic schools, with a mission to embed internationalisation. The Global Officers are responsible for implementing the overall global relations strategy on a micro-scale. They work within individual Schools to encourage internationalisation efforts and to help Schools create their own international strategies that reflect the strategic goals of the overall university.
  • Trinity’s Global Room, which was established in 2013 and has become a focal point for international student-focused events and activities, with over 300 internationally themed events during the current academic year. This hub also houses Trinity’s International Student Liaison Officer, as well as a 20-strong team of Global Ambassadors – students trained to provide peer advice and conduct campus tours for prospective students.
  • Creation of an online and interactive partnerships development tool which allows Trinity staff to understand and undertake the required steps to initiate international academic partnerships.
  • Expansion of the global alumni network, with over 150 events held around the world, supported by 73 regional branches. Such alumni outreach has resulted in funding to allow for the establishment of the Trinity Centre for Asian Studies. Trinity Alumni participate in the innovative International Welcome programme which partners Alumni with students on exchange in their cities across the world.

Given global political developments, this is an important time for international education and research as a connecting and enabling force. It is our ambition and intention to build on our achievements since the Global Relations Strategy was first launched to be an example of European and global best practice in international education.