INTERNATIONAL STRATEGY

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1 LAHTI UNIVERSITY OF APPLIED SCIENCES INTERNATIONAL STRATEGY Appendix 2 To the Board Meeting of 18 April

2 Our strategic intent Our vision for 2017: To be an internationally recognised high quality provider of education and sustainable innovations 2

3 Internationalisation as a quality measure 1. Introduction In accordance with our strategy, the effectiveness of Lahti UAS is founded on four cornerstones: result-oriented management, acting as a prime mover in higher education pedagogy, strengthened strategic international endeavours, and a healthy economic standing. In order to strengthen our international endeavours, we engage in strategic international networks that enable our students and staff to expand their competence and allow us to enhance our international activities in education and RDI (research, development and innovation). Our competitiveness is ensured by increased international funding for RDI, an international and competent staff, quality assurance measures, multicultural pedagogy and efficient international services. The international strategic actions of Lahti University of Applied Sciences support the following strategies: Strategy for the internationalisation of higher education institutions in Finland The international strategy of the Lahti Region Educational Consortium (2010) The competitiveness and business strategy of the Lahti region The development strategy for the innovation environment of Lahti urban region The regional programme of Päijät-Häme The FUAS strategy and the associated international action plan of FUAS Strengthened strategic international endeavours 3

4 Lahti UAS must reinforce its role in promoting the region s internationalisation efforts in line with the regional strategies. To this end, the regional development task of Lahti UAS will be linked ever more closely to the global operating environment. Our success is founded on building network-based cooperation, which means collaborating with organisations in the region and developing joint operating concepts. The international strategy of Lahti UAS involves a transformation from a national into an international operator. In addition to regional strategies, the international strategy of Lahti University of Applied Sciences is designed to promote the five primary objectives determined for higher education in the national strategy for the internationalisation of higher education institutions in Finland ( ): 1) export of expertise, 2) global responsibility, 3) increasing quality and attractiveness, 4) a genuinely international higher education community, and 5) a multicultural society. The international strategy of Lahti UAS involves a transformation from a national into an international operator. European policies and development priorities (Horizon 2020), the transparency of the Bologna Process, degree structures, and the comparability of qualifications all have a bearing on our development objectives for international activities. Lahti University of Applied Sciences operates as part of FUAS, the Federation of Universities of Applied Sciences ( in the wider Helsinki metropolitan area. FUAS reinforces the international profiles of its member institutions, promotes the recruitment of international students and experts, and supports competitiveness in the global education market. The purpose of the Lahti UAS international strategy is to support our overall strategic efforts in promoting international competencies at all levels, including our focus areas (design, the environment, and the development of welfare services) and profiles (integrated pedagogy, open practice-based innovation and student entrepreneurship). At Lahti UAS, internationalisation is seen as a quality process which is managed and assessed from the point of view of education, RDI and regional impact. 4

5 2. Changes in the operating environment Changes in the external operating environment The content and objectives of the international strategy of Lahti UAS are influenced by the increasingly global employment sector and international competition in higher education. Changes in the employment sector require graduates to have the ability to operate in an international environment. Objectives set for the work-related immigration of foreign nationals and the outflow of jobs from Finland to other countries also pose challenges to higher education. In international activities, global crises must be taken into consideration more closely, and rapid changes create new challenges. On the other hand, requirements related to sustainable development at the international level also offer opportunities for Finnish higher education competence and for Lahti UAS as an institution. The role of BRIC countries has grown. International cooperation opens up new kinds of opportu- nities in addition to the existing operations which have previously mainly been focused on Europe. The operating environment is becoming increasingly demanding and competitive in our international target areas. Key changes that are taking place in the national operating environment include the structural reform of higher education, changes in the funding base of universities of applied sciences, and the increasing importance of regional cooperation in the internationalisation efforts of higher education institutions. Cooperation within FUAS is seen as a special opportunity for Lahti UAS. The educational responsibility approach will lead to increased specialisation and the establishment of spearhead consortia including international endeavours in the focus areas of both Lahti UAS and FUAS. Global Finland Work-related immigration Responsibility and sustainability Finland s reputation for education BRIC countries International cooperation 5

6 Changes in the internal operating environment During the strategy period, the quality of education will take on an even greater importance. The starting point for the profiling of higher education institutions is to improve the quality and impact of degree programmes, based on both domestic and international benchmarking, and international cross-evaluation among degree programmes. Lahti UAS new strategy and the identified focus areas, reinforcement of strategic internationalisation endeavours, and the new organisation all have a significant impact on how Lahti UAS will develop its international activities in the future. The focus areas design, the environment and the development of welfare services are strongly linked to regional development efforts related to the economy and overall well-being. The profiles describe the operating models and practices of Lahti UAS which are shared by all faculties and operators. The profiles (integrated pedagogy, open practice-based innovation, and student entrepreneurship) are manifested in the content of educational offering and RDI activities, and they steer resource allocation and the development of Lahti UAS focus areas, including our internationalisation efforts. In the development of international partnerships, one of Lahti UAS strengths is its expertise in its competence areas, education technologies and integrated pedagogy. International cooperation is supported by diverse learning environments and pedagogy. Integrated pedagogy Open practice-based innovation Student entrepreneurship Design The environment The development of welfare services The focus areas design, the environment and the development of welfare services are strongly linked to regional development efforts related to the economy and overall well-being. 6

7 3. Strategic objectives for LUAS international activities The international profile of Lahti UAS emphasises its focus areas, the identified target regions and strong strategic partnerships. During the strategy period, development efforts will be directed especially at the institution s focus areas design, the environment and the development of welfare services. Strategic objectives of internationalisation Productive international networking and strong partnerships Internationalisation of RDI activities and education Staff internationalisation Development of expertise exports Lahti University of Applied Sciences (Lahti UAS) is a well-networked university with a genuinely international outlook, attracting collaboration partners and talented individuals from both Finland and abroad. Lahti UAS is an active contributor to international research, development and innovation networks and projects. Our competence is sold profitably in the global market. All our graduates possess skills related to internationalisation and multiculturalism and are prepared to work in an international environment. 7

8 NETWORKING Lahti University of Applied Sciences actively participates in Finnish networks which promote international operations and in international development and monitoring groups in the field of higher education. As activities increasingly shift from the internal processes of universities of applied sciences towards network-based activities, the importance of strategic partnerships will increase. Network activities will also be strengthened through the FUAS alliance. The Lahti University Campus will also be an important regional partner. In international contexts, cooperation will be strengthened with selected strategic partners. Tasks will be appropriately allocated and coordinated within networks. In international activities, our key target areas will continue to be Russia and China as well as the other BRIC countries, Brazil and India. Cooperation will be increased with regional operators with regard to internationalisation efforts directed at these countries, such as in the Wuxi region in China. A GENUINELY INTERNATIONAL HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTION In order to become a genuinely international higher education community, Lahti UAS will include components that support internationalisation in all of its curricula and offer dual degrees, organise intensive thematic weeks, and engage in student exchange programmes and genuine partnerships. Measures will be developed to promote education and employment of immigrants in the region, for example, through cooperation with other organisations, such as Salpaus Further Education. NEW FORMS OF INTERNATIONALISATION By utilising international networks, one of our future focus areas will be the promotion of new forms of internationalisation especially educational exports and international RDI and project activities. RDI projects will be carried out to enhance the competence of Lahti UAS staff and to maintain the high quality of education. Expertise exports will increase our organisation s competence and improve its financial result. STAFF COMPETENCE ENHANCEMENT Recruitment and continuous staff training will ensure that students gain the competencies required in the global employment sector in all fields. As activities increasingly shift from the internal processes of universities of applied sciences towards networkbased activities, the importance of strategic partnerships will increase. 8

9 Strategic objective 1. Our learning outcomes and environments are of highest international standards. Internationalisation of RDI activities International RDI activities will be strengthened especially in our focus areas and profiles. We will work with our partners to strengthen international RDI activity through joint consortium projects, which cover the whole innovation chain. Our international RDI activities produce new, internationally competitive content and authentic learning situations in real-life settings, enhancing our staff s international competencies. Learning and RDI activities are efficiently combined, and international students and interns will be leveraged in diverse ways in RDI projects. Through RDI projects and export of expertise, Lahti UAS will acquire competence, improve the financial result, and promote the mobility of teachers and RDI personnel. Critical success factors: international RDI projects as part of the internationalisation of education, increasing international RDI competence and volume, strong international RDI partnerships, international RDI visibility and credibility, increasing international RDI competence and volume, creating strong links between learning and RDI. Key development measures increasing international RDI strengthening and expanding the RDI networks reinforcing the research infrastructure increasing the mobility of RDI personnel increasing the number of foreign-language publications 9

10 Internationalisation of education Our foreign-language educational offering fosters 1) the sourcing of international employees, 2) reciprocal student mobility, 3) the internationalisation of Finnish citizens, and 4) the export of expertise. In 2013, Lahti UAS offers five international degree programmes. New programmes (Bachelor s and Master s) are being developed, especially in the focus areas. The aim is to increase the number of international degree students and to encourage more graduates to stay in Finland. In accordance with the FUAS strategy, the focus areas of FUAS are supported through strategic, international spearhead degree programmes, especially in the case of Master s degrees. The aim is to increase the number of international degree students and to encourage more graduates to stay in Finland. Services for foreign degree students (incl. integration and employment services, health care and insurance matters, housing arrangements, advice and guidance counselling, tutoring, Finnish and Swedish language instruction, and the promotion of cultural orientation) are being developed further to meet future requirements and the objectives of internationalisation. These practices will support work placements for international students, their employment in Finland and entrepreneurship. Services, organisational cooperation and task allocation will be developed at the regional level in cooperation with the Lahti University Campus, the University of Helsinki, and FUAS. Quality assurance of international degree programmes will be carried out by increasing network-based cooperation and by participating in different follow-up surveys (e.g. the International Student Barometer). International degree programmes will continue to be developed under FUAS cooperation. Key development measures development of international, attractive degree programmes, especially in the focus areas international cooperation in curriculum development development related to work placements and employment of foreign degree students increasing regional cooperation to improve services development of a multicultural learning environment Critical success factors: new and attractive international degree programmes, increasing the number of degrees completed by foreign students, developing the standard of international degree programmes, promoting multiculturalism 10

11 Internationalisation of learning opportunities The internalisation of our educational offering is enhanced in a variety of ways. Lahti UAS has quantitative, programme-specific objectives in place for increasing our English-language educational offering. Through international initiatives and project-based learning, the learning environment will expand into a partnership network which contributes to learning. Our learning environments and practices will be developed in close cooperation with our partners. In all degree programmes, students have the opportunity to participate in activities such as courses organised with international partners. Through internationalisation at home, all students have the opportunity to achieve the international competencies expected as learning outcomes. By systematically increasing our English-language educational offering, we can attract international students to Lahti and support the opportunities of our Finnish students to study abroad. In order to secure reciprocal mobility, the number of incoming students must be increased in all fields. Feedback and partner analyses on student mobility will be utilised in order for us to focus and deepen our cooperation with active partner institutions. Increasing our foreign-language offering is essential if we are to increase the number of student and expert exchanges. In addition, our foreign-language educational offering will support our efforts in the export of expertise. Critical success factors: Improving and reforming the education and learning process, high-quality internationalisation of education contents, building a multicultural learning environment that promotes tolerance, the development of internationalisation especially in the focus areas, creating strong links between learning and RDI in international projects, incorporating student exchange programmes as part of the curriculum, strategic partnerships, programme-specific key partners Key development measures the internationalisation of educational contents increasing the number of credits earned at institutions in other countries as part of the degree programme utilisation of international partnerships in education designing and implementation of international joint degree programmes in all focus areas utilisation of teacher exchange programmes (incl. FUAS) Implementation of a summer school in cooperation with FUAS Our learning environments and practices will be developed in close cooperation with our partners. 11

12 Strategic objective 2. Our actions reduce social inequality. Supporting a multicultural society We will operate in close cooperation with the region s businesses and other actors in order to utilise the potential offered by immigrants and foreign degree students. Services will be developed for immigrants and degree students in international degree programmes. We offer innovative guidance services for the transitional stages of study for immigrants. We will utilise regional services and those offered by the FUAS alliance. We will develop a multicultural pedagogic approach and aim to reduce inequality by influencing student attitudes through different measures, for example, by creating opportunities for a multicultural learning environment in all degree programmes. Critical success factors: specific issues related to students with an immigrant background, diverse guidance and advisory services, multicultural pedagogy, supporting and promoting a multicultural society. Key development measures preparatory education for immigrants promotion of multiculturalism across all programmes development of the work placement opportunities of foreign degree students as part of the integration plan and support for work-related immigration regional cooperation to support a multicultural society 12

13 Strategic objective 3. Our management and work methods promote renewal and responsibility for the future. We will operate in networks with an active and systematic approach and work to establish international practices to promote continuous quality improvements. We will network with internal, external and international partners, to strengthen international and reciprocal cooperation in education, which helps us to diversify our educational offering with reasonable resources. We will renew our structures, operational organisation, tasks and roles to have an appropriate management system in place, and the responsibilities for international activities will be clarified in accordance with the new organisational model. We will increase the level of external performancebased funding. Productive international networking and strong partnerships Lahti UAS has extensive partner networks across Europe. International networks and organisations are an important instrument in the promotion of our international reach and profile, which facilitates the qualitative development of our cooperation activities. In network development, the main focus is on deepening our existing relationships and diversifying the forms of cooperation. We seek strategic partnerships and networks at different levels, in different degree programmes, both at the Lahti UAS level and as part of FUAS cooperation. Partnerships are assessed continuously as part of Lahti UAS quality management measures. Contacts are sought outside Europe in accordance with our strategic focus areas, primarily based on the regional strategies and in cooperation with other operators in each area. Annual objectives are identified for FUAS cooperation in international activities based on the FUAS strategy. Opportunities provided by the strategic partnership agreement concluded with KU Leuven Association are leveraged at all operational levels. Critical success factors: productive networking to generate international synergies, increase competencies, accumulate knowledge and improve quality Key development measures diversification and deepening of our cooperation with strategic partners development activities with strategic partners, especially in the focus areas systematic maintenance and development of partnerships at the international level with organisations and businesses in the region 13

14 Export of expertise Export of expertise is developed under FUAS cooperation. The objective is to create joint activities under the Global Activities concept to promote profitable sales. Cooperation is active with businesses in the Lahti region and with domestic and international partners in export development. Critical success factors: target-oriented and profitable sales, trust-based cooperation between FUAS members, long-term commitment to activities Key development measures building long-term customer relationships promotion of sales development of commercial products building a sales support organisation increasing staff competence exploiting the results of the KOVIKE project 14

15 Staff internationalisation Staff members are required to increase broader international competencies, and these competencies will be sought through mobility and projects. The mobility of teachers and other experts must be enhanced, and the number of longer exchange periods in particular should be increased in order to secure the international dimension of RDI activities. A competent and internationally fluent staff guarantees a high standard of education. Competence profiles are drawn up to describe the international competencies expected from staff members. Existing international competencies are made visible and shared through competence reviews. Competence assurance measures are designed and carried out based on competence profiles. International competence assurance is supported by developing action models for competence sharing and collective learning. Special attention is paid to international competence when recruiting new staff. The language proficiency of staff members working in foreign-language programmes is verified and maintained. Critical success factors: description of international competencies of staff, nurturing a culture that promotes renewal and innovation, proactive management, appropriate resource allocation Key development measures International competence profiles and competence reviews with staff competence assurance (competence sharing, teamwork to promote the visibility of international activities, language training, multicultural pedagogy) increasing staff mobility staff mobility as part of performance reviews internationalisation competence as part of performance reviews leveraging networks in international recruitment A competent and internationally fluent staff guarantees a high standard of education. 15

16 Financial management of international activities and the development of support services International services (mobility services, services needed by foreign degree students, services for the export of expertise, international RDI services) are developed to better support the strategic objectives. Internal synergy is promoted in order to secure sufficient resources for all activities that promote internationalisation across all degree programmes. Attention is paid to the harmonisation of resources in order to safeguard the equality of students. Support services will create a working infrastructure and practices to provide appropriate service for international degree students in particular. Support services are aimed at all stages of the studies, from enrolment to graduation and the potential of further education. Services for foreign degree students in the Lahti region are developed in cooperation with the Lahti University Campus and the University of Helsinki. Immigrant services are developed in cooperation with organisations in the region. Critical success factors: establishing a new organisational operation in international activities and reforming the operating culture, efficient and functional support services, appropriate organisation of international activities, promoting internal synergy Key development measures strengthening the focus areas and profiles reinforcement of the efficiency of processes harmonisation of the resourcing policy promotion of internal synergy 16

17 4. Implementation, monitoring and evaluation of international strategy International activities are evaluated as part of the PDCA cycle at Lahti UAS. The implementation of the international strategy is monitored annually with interim assessments, and the final assessment is carried out at the end of the strategy period based on the predefined goals and objectives. Feedback on international activities is collected as part of quality management measures, in feedback surveys (educational quality surveys, ISB) and possible reviews. The cooperation network is evaluated regularly as part of quality management. In addition, the benchmarking and harmonisation of processes in international activities at the Lahti UAS and FUAS level are an integral part of the assessment and development of operations. International activities will be evaluated as part of the audit of FUAS quality management system, which will be carried out by the Finnish Higher Education Evaluation Council in Lahti UAS will make preparations for the evaluation of the national internationalisation strategy for higher education, which will be carried out in International evaluations are utilised in the development of operations. Concrete objectives derived from the strategy are set each year as part of Lahti UAS annual planning in cooperation with different degree programmes. The implementation of the internationalisation strategy is monitored by a number of different departments. 17

18 APPENDIX 1: PROGRAMME INDICATORS STRATEGIC INDICATORS: Performance indicators for international activities, which are monitored based on the objectives set by the Ministry of Education and Culture and as part of the operational management of both the Päijät-Häme Educational Consortium and Lahti University of Applied Sciences: The percentage of degrees earned by international students Credits earned in foreign-language education, Bachelor s and Master s programmes The percentage of credits earned in studies abroad, Bachelor s and Master s programmes Student mobility (incoming/outgoing students) International mobility of lecturers and researchers (min. 5 days)/ full-time lecturers and R&D staff Sales of international education services, students from outside the EU/EEA / a trial on tuition fees LUAS 2012 TS The percentage of degrees earned by % international students The number of international degree students Qty The number of international exchange students Qty Foreign-language education (credits earned) cr. 21,610 18,000 21,000 21,000 Credits earned in studies abroad cr. 5,602 6,000 6,000 6,000 Knowledge exports Export of expertise Eur 51, , , ,000 Staff mobility (teaching and RDI staff) %

19 APPENDIX 2: DEVELOPMENT OF SUPPORT SERVICES Services for international activities will be developed to better support the objectives. Services for foreign degree students in the Lahti region are developed in cooperation with the Lahti University Campus and the University of Helsinki based on the outcomes of the UrbanEnviro project. Support services will create a working infrastructure and practices to provide appropriate services in particular for international degree students. Support services are aimed at all stages of the studies, from enrolment to graduation and possible continuing education. Service models have been researched through participation in the HERA International project (Services for international students in the wider Helsinki metropolitan area). In immigration matters, we have worked closely with Salpaus Further Education and three other universities of applied sciences as part of the HERA Competence project. The project focused on promoting higher education among the immigrant population through measures such as the development of Finnish language training, preparatory studies, language proficiency testing, and entrance examination procedures. Internal efficiency is increased with regard to mobility by seeking and identifying synergy benefits between different degree programmes. The responsibilities for international activities vary between programme levels. International coordinators are in charge of mobility; other significant international actors include the principal lecturers and student affairs secretaries of international degree programmes and RDI principal lecturers. Services for the export of expertise services are developed under FUAS cooperation as appropriate. The international coordinators of the LUAS student union and programme-specific student associations organise recreational activities and tutoring for international students and interns and participate in the development of the social aspects of study for international students. The international tutor secretary of the LUAS student union participates in the development of tutoring activities and in international development teams (the international team, UrbanEnviro). 19

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