COVID-19 has transformed higher education across the Commonwealth, accelerating trends towards remote working, online delivery and digital collaboration.
Without the option for international travel, internationalisation professionals have also had to innovate. In particular, ACU members have experimented with virtual engagement and exchange as a means of fostering international connections and global citizenship. For some universities, this has meant building up capacity from scratch, while for others this was already a strategic priority.
In this context, the ACU is pleased to launch a new ACU-Durban University of Technology (DUT) Toolkit for Virtual Engagement for International Student Exchange. The toolkit is the first in a series of member-led resources designed to support peer to peer learning, and the development of new virtual student exchange collaborations, drawing on DUT’s longstanding experience.
Looking to the future, there is increased interest in virtual engagement as a tool for more accessible, sustainable internationalisation. While a virtual experience cannot fully replicate the experience of immersion in another culture, it offers the potential for a more diverse group of students to access the benefits of international experience, often acting as a ‘gateway’ to physical mobility, while simultaneously reducing institutions’ carbon footprints.
The ACU is committed to bringing universities together from around the world, to advance knowledge, promote understanding, broaden minds, and improve lives. Fostering mobility and exchange – during the pandemic and beyond - is an integral part of this.
Accessing the toolkit
The toolkit is available to ACU members, via the MyACU portal.
Contact us if you have any questions.