Activities and outcomes

The FRIENDS project is rooted in the notion of
internationalisation at home (IaH) that switches the focus of HEIs’
internationalisation activities from outbound mobility to systematic
institutional efforts for improving non-mobile students’ global skills
in domestic environments. In doing so, the FRIENDS project creates a
paradigm shift at the 12 Asian Partner Country (PC) HEIs involved and
introduces an egalitarian community spirit where internationalisation is
not a privilege of the few any more but an asset all students can
benefit from. Furthermore, the FRIENDS project applies a holistic
approach to IaH that is perceived as a combination of diverse but
complementary measures for intervention into HEIs formal and informal
curriculum.

The following activities and outcomes are envisaged in the 36-month long project that started on 15th November 2019:

1. Institutional IaH Action Plans adopted to
streamline PC HEIs’ initiatives for IaH and to improve PC HEIs IROs
staff and faculty’s capacities for internationalisation (Task Force
Action Plan 1).

2. Intercultural Passport virtual module designed
and embedded into PC HEIs’ elective curriculum to build students
intercultural knowledge and sensitivity to cultural diversity. The
Intercultural Passport is an innovative tool that combines virtual
mobility and methodologies for validation of prior experiential learning
evidenced through the means of digital storytelling. At least 180 PC
HEIs students will be awarded an Intercultural Passport at FRIENDS’
initial phase (Task Force Action Plan 2)

3. FRIENDS Teahouses social spaces established at
the 12 PC HEIs to function as student-friendly multicultural hubs that
welcome diversity and support the welfare of students with diverse
cultural backgrounds. In addition, the 12 FRIENDS Teahouses will
contribute to the improvement of the overall university experience of PC
HEIs’ students across campus (Task Force Action Plan 3).

4. Home away from Home Programme induced as a model
for integrated international student care and services at the 12 PC HEIs
involved. In the long run, the programme will contribute to the gradual
increase of international and inbound students at the PC HEIs (Task
Force Action Plan 3).