Edinburgh Global

Edinburgh co-hosts International Staff Week

Starting at the University of Edinburgh and proceeding midweek to the University of Amsterdam, 37 delegates from 31 partner institutes were immersed in an interactive learning environment.

Speaker addressing colleagues

Participants had the opportunity to explore Edinburgh's unrivalled history and culture, network with like-minded mobility staff worldwide, and, most importantly, exchange best practice models to better support our students on their international mobilities.  

The dynamic world of study abroad 

The 2023 theme of the joint international staff week celebrates ‘the dynamic world of study abroad’. Global offices must adapt their support services for students to align with the changing technological, environmental, and cultural contexts. As our student communities are becoming increasingly more global and diverse, with study abroad ambitions reaching far beyond our European borders, staff and students are navigating the complex environmental impact of study abroad. Integrating technology into academic learning has provided new sustainable avenues for students to connect and learn. Understanding how students use these new technologies is essential in accommodating their need to study abroad. Workshops, seminars and panels were held around the following topics:  

  • Influence and impact of partnerships 
  • Internationalisation at home 
  • The future of student support 
  • Delivering outbound student placements 
  • Innovations in short-term mobility 
  • Capitalising on international networks and alliances 
  • Inclusive Mobility for the future 

This is a golden opportunity. The University of Amsterdam is one of our long-standing partners. We've worked with them for over 25 years on exchange, and this is something that we jointly created about six years ago, and it's an opportunity to bring our international partners from all across the world.

Isabel Majewsky Anderson, Head of Service, Study and Work Away

New student support model 

This seminar pondered how we support our students now and into the future. Mike Grieve, Deputy Head of Student Support Operations, introduced Edinburgh’s new student support model. This ecosystem embeds a holistic approach to student support across all Colleges and Schools, with provision for both inbound and outbound students. 

Inclusion and employability 

Dr Neil Spiers, Widening Participation Manager, focused on the work Edinburgh is doing to centre inclusion and employability at the heart of its academic, support and mobility offerings. He presented numerous barriers that widening participation students in Edinburgh face when considering international mobility, encouraging participants to contextualise these issues within their institutions. Groups discussed how HEIs and their mobility office staff can support more widening participation students to go abroad to develop in-demand intercultural and soft skills that are now required in today's labour market. 

Student panel 

Held by the University of Edinburgh students who gave their perspectives on the kinds of new mobility opportunities they are interested in and the changing support required to help them excel in mobility. Each student shared their experiences in recent international exchanges, short-term mobility or international work placements. 

Urban changemakers 

Underscoring the significant roles Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) have in spurring societal advancements in their cities. It delves into the robust measures adopted by HEIs to promote Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion on and off campus. The session unravelled the vast potential that materialises when institutions and communities collaborate - carving a pathway to a brighter, inclusive future. 

Overhead people speaking at round table

World café roundtable discussions 

A series of informal roundtable discussions allowed delegates to share best practices, thoughts, ideas and learn from each other. Seven topics were discussed:  

  1. Influence and impact of partnerships 
  2. Internationalisation at home 
  3. The future of student support 
  4. Delivering outbound student placements 
  5. Innovations in short-term mobility 
  6. Capitalising on international networks and alliances 
  7. Inclusive Mobility for the future.