Soliman, Samar (2016) Internationalisation strategies in UK universities. Masters thesis, University of Huddersfield.

This study explores the development of internationalisation strategies in higher education institutions and examines the importance of the international student social experience as a strategic priority in higher education. The specific motivation for the study was to link the relatively new concepts of the internationalisation of HE and the international student social experience to the strategic management literature.

A Grounded Theory methodology was employed using four universities as case studies. Data was collected via semi-structured in-depth interviews and document review, which were analysed using the constant comparative method. This research forms a basis for understanding the nature of the internationalisation strategies in HEIs summarised in the following three main findings:

The study has helped to develop a model which illustrates the evolution of the internationalisation agenda at higher education institutions and demonstrates how the term internationalisation emerged and became a strategic objective. The three developmental phases of this model, as universities mature from operational to strategic, can be used as a roadmap by universities who have just started to establish an on-the-ground international presence so that they can drive the internationalisation process forward and give it a higher profile for an increasingly globalised and competitive future.

The findings led to the development of a framework which describes the international strategic management process in HEIs. The on-going 5-step process of: identifying vision, mission and objectives, conducting a situational analysis, formulating strategy, implementing strategy, evaluating and monitoring performance can be used as a guideline for HEIs to formulate and implement their international strategies effectively.

The study found that it is important for the international student social experience to be embedded within the international strategies of HEIs in order to ensure socio-academic integration. It suggests that a successful holistic ‘international student experience’ should achieve a balance between imparting academic knowledge and skills, providing an outstanding social life and preparing students to be global citizens. This perspective can positively impact on international strategies at HEIs which seek to provide a ‘first class’ experience to home and international students.

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