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Center for Social Impact

We Empower Agents of Social Change in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)

FRIENDS project

Furthering International Relations Capacities and Intercultural Engagement to Nurture Campus Diversity and to Support Internationalisation at Home

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The FRIENDS Project

The FRIENDS project is built around the concept of Internationalisation at Home (IaH) that reframes the traditional perceptions of higher education internationalisation in the five Partner Countries involved in the project, namely Bhutan, Cambodia, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand.

The notion of IaH is based on the assumption that for various reasons the largest part of universities’ student body will always remain non-mobile and therefore deprived from access to global knowledge and skills.

The FRIENDS project aims to create a paradigm shift at the 12 Asian Partner Country Higher Education Institutions involved and introduces an egalitarian community spirit where internationalisation is not a privilege of the few any more but an asset all students can benefit from.

Definition of Internationalisation at Home (IaH)

“The purposeful integration of international and intercultural dimensions into the formal and informal curriculum for all students within domestic learning environments”  (Beelen & Jones, 2015)

Objectives

  1. To outline PC HEIs’ internationalisation landscapes and to iden-tify levels of integration of international and intercultural di-mensions into PC HEIs’ formal and informal curriculum.
  2. To improve PC HEIs’ capabilities for internationalisation through staff trainings and by translating general awareness of the IaH concept into streamlined IaH Action Plans.
  3. To build students’ intercultural knowledge and sensitivity to cultural diversity through the introduction of intercultural Pass-port virtual module into PC HEIs’ elective formal curriculum.
  4. To transform PC HEIs’ International Relations Offices (IROs) into vibrant multicultural focal points through the establishment of FRIENDS Teahouses and the induction of Home away from Home Programme for integrated international student care.
  5. To promote virtual mobility and campus diversity across the 5 PCs as key tools for students’ global competence development.

Beneficiaries

Students across campus who will benefit first hand from the Intercultural Passport virtual module and the FRIENDS Teahouse space.

University International Relation Offices’ staff, faculty and senior management who will improve their practical knowledge on laH, as well as their overall intercultural awareness.

Students of peer HEIs outside the consortium in the five partner countries.

Employers and HEIs business partners, local communities and minorities.

FRIENDS Project Output

Institutional IaH Action Plans adopted to streamline PC HEIs’ initiatives for IaH and to improve PC HEIs IROs staff and faculty’s capacities for internationalisation

Intercultural Passport virtual module designed and embedded into PC HEIs’ elective curriculum to build students intercultural knowledge and sensitivity to cultural diversity

FRIENDS Teahouses social spaces established at the 12 PC HEIs to function as student friendly multicultural hubs that welcome diversity and support the welfare of students with diverse cultural backgrounds

Home away from Home Programme induced as a mode for integrated international student care and services at the 12 PC HEIs involved

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FRIENDS project

Erasmus+ Programme for Capacity Building in Higher Education

Project number: 598652-EPP-1-2018-1-BG-EPPKA2-CBHE-JP

Coordinator: Varna University of Management (Bulgaria)

Project Duration: 36 months – 15th October 2018–14th October 2021

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FRIENDS Project Information

Contact Details

Varna University of Management 13, Oborishte Street, 9000 Varna Bulgaria

Project Coordinator

Christina Armutlieva Director of International Cooperation  friends@vumk.eu