University College London is investigating whether promotion criteria can be redrawn to take account of employees’ internationalisation activities.
The idea is floated in UCL’s global engagement strategy, published on 21 May, which confirms the institution’s move away from a model of branch campuses and towards a network of local partnerships.
UCL’s campus focusing on energy and mining in Adelaide will close in 2017, to be replaced by a partnership with the University of South Australia, the institution has confirmed. Meanwhile, the future of UCL’s outpost in Qatar, which specialises in heritage disciplines, remains under review. A decision is expected to be taken in the summer.
Dame Nicola Brewer, UCL’s vice-provost (international), told Times Higher Education that worldwide impact would “come from generating practical impact, not expanding our global footprint, for instance through branch campuses”.
“We believe that the successful academic institutions of the future will be those that can build the mutually beneficial collaborative networks and partnerships to answer the questions that no one institution, however prestigious, can answer alone,” Dame Nicola said.
Under the strategy, UCL will look to build institutional and academic partnerships with universities around the world, including in five to eight major cities, similar to the relationship it has maintained with Yale University since 2009.
It will seek to ensure that 30 per cent of its undergraduates study abroad or have an international experience as part of their programme by 2020, rising to 40 per cent by 2025, from a current baseline of 23 per cent.
Other plans include extending UCL’s area studies expertise into regions such as China, Latin America, Africa and India; and launching an international summer school for undergraduates next year.
Staff who help with these goals may be rewarded, the strategy says, with a new set of promotion criteria, to be agreed by September 2016.
“We want to facilitate, incentivise and recognise the international activity our staff engage in, in ways which enable us to deliver the aspirations of the strategy,” Dame Nicola said.
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