The FRIENDS project title stands for Furthering International Relations Capacities and Intercultural Engagement to Nurture Campus Diversity and to Support Internationalisation at Home. The FRIENDS project is built around the concept of Internationalisation at Home (IaH) that reframes the traditional perceptions of HE internationalisation in the five Partner Countries involved in the project, namely Bhutan, Cambodia, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand. The notion of IaH is based on the assumption that for various reasons the largest part of universities’ student body will always remain non-mobile and therefore deprived from access to global knowledge and skills.
The IaH term emerged in the early 2000s and has gained momentum in Europe ever since it was integrated into the European Higher Education in the World 2013 European policy statement. More and more EU HEIs are embracing IaH as an institutional policy for internationalisation in domains of curriculum, teaching and learning, extra-curricular activities as well as liaison with local cultural and ethnic groups.
For the purposes of consistency throughout the project, the IaH term is used and interpreted as per Beelen and Jones definition from 2015, which perceives IaH as “the purposeful integration of international and intercultural dimensions into the formal and informal curriculum for all the students within domestic learning environments” (Beelen & Jones, 2015, p. 12).
If you are committed to intercultural understanding and interested to learn about different cultures and to improve your global skills, stay tuned and follow us every step along the FRIENDS learning journey!