Promoting Internationalisation in Higher Education

KUALA LUMPUR: BERJAYA University College (BERJAYA UC) is proud to be a partner of the Erasmus+ Programme (Key Action 2) Capacity Building for Higher Education (CBHE) project entitled, ‘Furthering International Relations Capacities and Inter-cultural Engagement to Nurture Campus Diversity and to Support Internationalisation at Home. (FRIENDS) This will be a three-year project involving three stages: planning, development and implementation.

The Erasmus+ Programme is funded by the European Union, and promotes modernisation, accessibility and internationalisation of higher education in partner countries across the world, including Asia. Through structured cooperation, exchange of experience, good practices and individual mobility, the FRIENDS project aims to:

  1. Improve Partner Countries’ universities’ international relations capacities through promotion of internationalization at home and through training activities in the field of internationalization of curriculum
  2. Foster the processes of internationalization across the Partner Countries’ universities involved by provision of technical support to the International Relations Office (IRO)
  3. Nurture diversity of people, cultures and ideas, and to increase the inter-cultural awareness across the Partner Countries’ universities through design and award of Inter-cultural Certificates for students
  4. To build students’ global skills and to improve mechanisms for student engagement and student leadership at the Partner Countries’ universities by transferring good practices from Europe

Members of the FRIENDS project consist of 16 institutions of higher learning from 9 countries: Bhutan, Cambodia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland and Turkey. BERJAYA UC was represented by Ronald Willie Binati and Dewi Pratomo will help to accelerate internationalisation program at the School of Hospitality as well as at the university level.

The conference held at BERJAYA UC from the 5th of March to the 8th of March was the first meeting among a series of meetings that will be held over the next three years at various partner institutions. This meeting discussed the introduction of the FRIENDS project, and how it would develop, while also exploring the development of project task force action plans.

Member institutions and students alike will benefit from this project through:

  • Intercultural module to be available online to promote understanding between different nationalities
  • Mobility program – exchange student camp in Bulgaria and for academic staff in Thailand
  • For the university – Internationalisation strategies are one of the determinants in most university rankings
  • Networking between partners in Asia and Europe to promote mobility so that students can experience a semester exchange programme

It was not all work for FRIENDS delegates. They were feted to a Malaysian themed welcome dinner featuring Gado-gado, Chicken Satay, Puri with Masala,Otak- Otak, Pai Tee, Laksa Johor, Nasi Lemak, Lemang and Chicken Serunding, Rendang Tok, Kuih Lapis and Bubur Pulut Hitam. The last day of the conference saw the delegates embarking on a tour of the city, ending with a farewell dinner with performances of Malaysian ethnic dances. Our guests were enthralled by the idea of a university campus, a shopping centre and a hotel being in one place; one was particularly impressed by this concept, noting that “the students can learn in a real environment.” BERJAYA UC looks forward to the long partnership that will ensure international success for the university and for our students.

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