World knowledge

January 28, 2016

Uwe Brandenburg is right to say that internationalisation is not “an end in itself” and its outcomes have to be measured (“Internationalisation is not an end itself”, 15 January).

In the decades ahead, the need to equip young people with the right skills, attitudes and qualities to operate in a globalised world will be even greater than it is today. International experience and exposure are key to this.

The British Council has undertaken research on the impact of different international experiences and activities, published in the report A World of Experience.

It shows that people who had participated in international opportunities were more likely to be involved in research and development; to have introduced new or improved goods or services to the marketplace; and to be involved in activities requiring engagement with colleagues, clients, customers or suppliers abroad.

Our research also suggests that some of the UK’s economic competitors have better provision and take-up of international opportunities than we do. The UK should consider how it can make sure that such opportunities can be taken up by any young person regardless of education, economic and social background.

Policymakers, educational institutions, employers and academics should come together to expand and share their collective knowledge. This is the only way to build and adjust programmes to achieve the greatest impact for individuals, organisations, communities, the economy and wider society.

Mona Lotten
British Council

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