The International Relations Office recently hosted a series of workshops aimed at developing an Internationalisation Plan for UKZN.

According to UKZN’s Strategic Plan, one of the key strategies of the University is to promote internationalisation. This includes exposing staff and students to global developments and trends and encouraging a vibrant exchange programme at the University.

In addition key strategic partners should be identified. Recruiting students from around the world is also considered to be of paramount importance for achieving this goal.

The workshops encouraged dialogue between role players at the University, including academics and support staff from the various Colleges, support staff from the various non-academic sectors of the institution and representatives from the Research Office and Corporate Relations Division.

Ms Tasmeera Singh, Acting Manager of International Relations, said the discussions provided a rich source of information for the collation of draft one of the plan.

The following are some of the suggestions/ideas/feedback gleaned from the discussion sessions:

-The marketing plan should look at each specific College. Trends need to be identified and each College should identify programmes that may be of particular interest to international students. This would contribute towards meeting enrollment targets, specifically for international students. Pockets of excellence at the University, eg the Food Security Programme, could be used to market the University to potential students around the world. College staff was asked to investigate the manner in which they develop partnerships at the College level;

-The Admissions practice at the University was interrogated, and ways to improve the turn-around time for dealing with applications explored;

-Training of frontline staff in understanding the broad aspects of internationalisation was identified as crucial in improving service delivery;

-Collaborations with external cultural organisations (eg French and Greek) were identified as a way of fostering stronger relationships with International students as well as the various embassies/consulates the University engages with;

-Utilising alumni based abroad to market the University to potential international students;

-Accommodation was identified as a key issue that could affect the internationalisation plan.

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