|Networking events for PhD students and academics||Social Integration & Daily Life Profesional & Academic Development Networking||PhD student/Early career researcher R2 - R4 researchers Lecturers (incl. Language Teachers)|
|Mobility data collection and management||Administrative & Legal Support Institutional Processes Institutional strategy||Administrative staff Management staff|
|Mentoring scheme for support staff||Capacity Building of Support & Management Staff||Administrative staff|
|Mental health support for international PhD students and staff||Social Integration & Daily Life Safety, Healthcare & Wellbeing||PhD student/Early career researcher R2 - R4 researchers Lecturers (incl. Language Teachers) Administrative staff|
|Local language courses for international PhDs and academics||Social Integration & Daily Life Language Support, Language Policy Family Matters Profesional & Academic Development Networking||PhD student/Early career researcher R2 - R4 researchers Lecturers (incl. Language Teachers) Internationals spouses/family members|
|Labour market preparation for spouses||Social Integration & Daily Life Language Support, Language Policy Family Matters Profesional & Academic Development||Internationals spouses/family members|
|Knowledge sharing intranet communication platform for support staff||Capacity Building of Support & Management Staff||Administrative staff|
|Knowledge sharing inter-institutional communication platform for support staff (closed group)||Administrative & Legal Support Institutional Processes||Administrative staff Management staff|
|International scientific committee||Profesional & Academic Development||R2 - R4 researchers|
|International scholar safety guide||Safety, Healthcare & Wellbeing||PhD student/Early career researcher R2 - R4 researchers Lecturers (incl. Language Teachers)|
|Interdisciplinary summer schools||Profesional & Academic Development Promotion & Visibility||PhD student/Early career researcher|
|Inter-institutional events/study visits/job shadowing for support staff||Capacity Building of Support & Management Staff||Administrative staff Management staff|
|Institutional small grants available for international PhDs/junior academics||Profesional & Academic Development Institutional strategy||PhD student/Early career researcher|
|Institutional fellowships to attract/retain international talent||Profesional & Academic Development||R2 - R4 researchers Lecturers (incl. Language Teachers)|
|Information on recognition of education for international PhDs/staff/family members||Family Matters Profesional & Academic Development Administrative & Legal Support||PhD student/Early career researcher Internationals spouses/family members|
|Induction trainíng program for new support staff||Institutional Processes Capacity Building of Support & Management Staff||Administrative staff|
|Glossary of common phrases used in welcome processes for support staff||Social Integration & Daily Life Language Support, Language Policy Profesional & Academic Development Networking Administrative & Legal Support Institutional Processes||Administrative staff|
|Free legal advice for international PhDs/academics||Administrative & Legal Support||PhD student/Early career researcher R2 - R4 researchers|
|FAQs for international PhDs/academics/family members||Social Integration & Daily Life Language Support, Language Policy Family Matters Administrative & Legal Support Accommodation Safety, Healthcare & Wellbeing Social security, Health Insurance, Taxation Visa, Residence & Work Permit||PhD student/Early career researcher R2 - R4 researchers Lecturers (incl. Language Teachers) Internationals spouses/family members|
|FAQs collection for support staff to share cases internally||Institutional Processes Capacity Building of Support & Management Staff||Administrative staff Management staff|
|Networking events for PhD students and academics||
Networking events, be it live or virtual, could help connect PhDs and academics with similar interests, and they could also help them discover different ways of approaching certain aspects of academia life. They could be organized in the form of conferences, seminars, lab meetings, various social events as well as online social networks, where social media profiles of academics can be used for a rather useful purpose. Such events bring people from different fields of academia together, creating opportunities for them to hear about other people's research, and also allowing them to discover different institutions they could visit in order to gain new knowledge.
|Mobility data collection and management||
Collecting and managing data about mobility could significantly affect the quality of the institutional process related to assisting mobile researchers and internationalization in general. It produces a body of evidence for strategic decision-making, facilitates smooth and effective communication with mobile researchers, provides a framework for a flow of activities related to assistance, and improves the efficiency and productivity of the service center.
|Mentoring scheme for support staff||
The aim of this activity is to pair employees involved in providing services to international academics in a mentoring relationship to foster professional development and career growth while building an inclusive culture and diverse networks.
|Mental health support for international PhD students and staff||
The aim of this service is to provide mental health and wellbeing support to all interested international PhD students and members of staff in order to ensure they feel psychologically safe and to enable them to focus more effectively on their professional/academic goals.
|Local language courses for international PhDs and academics||
This is a key service for effective social integration of international PhD students, academics, and researchers, especially in everyday life outside the academic context. It is an advantage if the hosting HEI can provide the service within its own resources (by Language Department/ Language Centre) with experts trained in teaching the national language as a foreign language. Moreover, the language department could also offer other foreign language courses.
If the hosting HEI does not have sufficient capacity, partnerships with other HEIs in the city could be formed or HEI should create a database of language schools in the city/region. The starting point could be the existing practice of providing language courses for incoming Erasmus+ students. A complementary option is to explore whether there are any already existing e-learning national language courses and offer them to internationals as an opportunity to get acquainted with the basics of the language even before their arrival in the host country.
|Labour market preparation for spouses||
This practice aims to establish additional services and more systematic assistance for better integration of the spouses of international researchers for medium or long-term stay.
An integral part of the preparation of the accompanying spouses for the local labour market are local language courses or foreign language courses, in general as well as voluntary activities that could help expecially at the beginning of stay.
|Knowledge sharing intranet communication platform for support staff||
An effective tool/forum platform to build up the community of experts. The support staff members can contribute their ideas in the knowledge that will be stored-archived in shared online workplace and can be referred back to at any time. Posting issues and receiving responses will create over time a network amongst colleagues that will be actively supporting each other. It could grow to become an FAQ or Wikipedia-style resource platform for support teams involved in internationalization or even for the other HEI departments/units.
|Knowledge sharing inter-institutional communication platform for support staff (closed group)||
A communication platform designed to facilitate the exchange of information among staff working in various institutions that support international academics and PhD students. Knowledge sharing involves a multi-directional exchange of information resources where each institution is both a donor and a receiver of knowledge. Therefore every institution involved should have the possibility to profit from as well as contribute to the knowledge-sharing platform. A community of experts from across different HEIs and research organisations can be created via such a platform.
|International scientific committee||
Transparency and reliability are one of the key factors of a successful scientific activity. The transparency can be achieved by establishing an international scientific committee responsible for supervision and verification of scientific work. Such committees can be established for the HEI’s projects or units. The committee’s work will improve the HEI’s scientific staff competencies and will be an opportunity for exchange of experiences and knowledge between the engaged institutions. Working with experts from various countries and institutions will be a way to improve communication and cooperation between the engaged institutions and will also increase the HEI’s visibility. The committee members can also be engaged in scientific staff selection and evaluation processes. The experts selection can be based on the HEI’s international partnerships and HEI’s staff personal networks.
However, the existence of such committee(s) shall respect the relevant institutional regulations and project funding agreement requirements. Nevertheless, although similar bodies might exist as part of the instututional structures, the practice might provide some inspiration about the mandates it can have.
|International scholar safety guide||
The higher education institution is responsible for ensuring personal safety and security of its employees and students including international ones.
International academics might not be familiar with the surroundings and lack awareness of local risks (e.g. related to accomodation, streets at night, use of transport, health safety risks).
The objective of the international scholar safety support/guide is to provide concise English-language information about off-campus and on-campus risks and guidelines on how to act in specific situations and where to seek help.
|Interdisciplinary summer schools||
Interdisciplinary summer schools are a rather efficient way of universities and their faculties to introduce international PhD students and academic staff members to the fields of study they could offer. These summer schools could also offer a great opportunity to international PhD students and academic staff members to extend their knowledge on certain topics, introduce them to new ways of teaching certain fields of study as well as to meet new colleagues, and potentially establish connections within academic circles.
|Inter-institutional events/study visits/job shadowing for support staff||
Such events are an efficient way for professionals from different HEIs to share their knowledge, exchange their experience and challenges and build contacts and trust, in other words, a community of experts. Better informed support staff, with well established professional networks, inspired by good practices of other colleagaues can provide more professional and motivated guidance.
The events may also include some training part to enhance their competencies (soft skills, intercultural, unbiased communication style), or hands-on activities how to create more internationally friendly institutional environments. The events may include several sessions where support staff participants can collaborate on small tasks and jointly innovate various services (e.g. Orientation week), and suggest new channels of communication, or define practical guidelines.
A very effective way of experiential peer learning activity through observation and exchange of knowledge is represented by study visits or job shadowing. They can typically have a cross-border character and lead to further intensification or introduction of new services at the home institution resulting in the high-level provision of assistance to mobile academics and building up professional networks.
|Institutional small grants available for international PhDs/junior academics||
Many universities already have a fund for small institutional grants to support their local PhD students and young researchers in developing various transferable skills (e.g., writing a project/project and financial management of own project), and in preparing future interdisciplinary, international, or cutting-edge projects. Such grants can be used to cover e.g. travel costs, attendance fees for conferences, extra publication, dissemination and science popularisation costs, extra fieldwork, extra lab costs/consumables, individual trainings, etc. Those grants could be offered also to international PhD students and young academics under the same conditions as their local peers. Information on grants should be available in English and easily foundable on the institutional website. The information could be part of the welcome package.
|Institutional fellowships to attract/retain international talent||
One of the most frequent obstacles is the lack of human resources to participate in different types of research projects in the country. Attracting and retaining highly skilled researchers may help to bring new expertise and skills and also to create and maintain research and business relationships. Promoting international mobility of researchers is for the host institution and inevitable part of maintaining them later in the country which may result in overcoming labour shortages and boosting entrepreneurship in knowledge-based sectors in the host country.
|Information on recognition of education for international PhDs/staff/family members||
The practice includes collecting relevant information and providing it to international researchers and PhDs in a structured and user-friendly way. It is important to envisage a regular update of the information in case of changes in the legal framework, national or organisational specifics regarding recognition of diplomas, study periods, educational outcomes, etc.
This practice will save the support staff effort and time when providing information and support in view of the above.
|Induction trainíng program for new support staff||
The main benefit of this practice is that this kind of training improves the efficiency and effectiveness of the support staff work. It also increases the levels of satisfaction of the end-users such as researchers in mobility, international PhD students and academic staff.
This training should be offered to all newcomer staff. It will enhance the procces of introduction to the newcomers and shorter the time for their integration.
As a result the newcomers will be able to engage in the process faster and deliver high-quality service, improving their capacity for the job.
|Glossary of common phrases used in welcome processes for support staff||
Preparing and circulating a Glossary of common phrases used in welcome processes for support staff and its regular update will raise support staff's awareness of the institutional processes related to welcoming incoming researchers, academics, and PhDs. It is also likely to increase the level of their confidence in dealing smoothly with the most typical needs and expectations of incoming researchers, academics, and PhD students as well as following the institutional rules at the same time.
This practice is best implemented in collaboration with the HEI management structures, the institutional legal matters office and language specialists.
It is also a good idea to consider having the Glossary multilingual rather than maintaining it in English only.
|Free legal advice for international PhDs/academics||
International students and researchers often face a broad variety of legal issues during their stay in a host country. Professional legal advice can be rather costly and therefore not accessible to all scholars, particularly for early stage ones. Free legal advice offered to international scholars can help resolve and prevent difficult situations that could require more time and resources, compormise their security or cause reputational damage to the institution.
|FAQs for international PhDs/academics/family members||
The FAQ section/page with well-structured quality content organized by relevant topics/categories and easy to navigate is a useful way to organize valuable information that incoming academics often ask. The FAQ page offers a lot of benefits, including:
|FAQs collection for support staff to share cases internally||
The FAQs platform is a practical tool for storage of practical information and good practices for processing the agenda of incoming PhD students and academics. It´s a database of standardized responses/solutions to recurring questions helping thus the support staff members efficiently navigate through administrative processes/issues they typically encounter. It is particularly useful for newcomer support staff as well as for situations occurring just sporadically. It could be part of an internal knowledge-sharing platform or any other type of intranet.
|Title||Importance||Scale of change||Setup cost||Setup time||Setup personnel||Delivery cost||Delivery time||Delivery personnel|
|Networking events for PhD students and academics||Important to have|
|Mobility data collection and management||Important to have|
|Mentoring scheme for support staff||Important to have|
|Mental health support for international PhD students and staff||Important to have|
|Local language courses for international PhDs and academics||Essential to have|
|Labour market preparation for spouses||Nice to have|
|Knowledge sharing intranet communication platform for support staff||Important to have|
|Knowledge sharing inter-institutional communication platform for support staff (closed group)||Important to have|
|International scientific committee||Important to have|
|International scholar safety guide||Important to have|
|Interdisciplinary summer schools||Important to have|
|Inter-institutional events/study visits/job shadowing for support staff||Important to have|
|Institutional small grants available for international PhDs/junior academics||Important to have|
|Institutional fellowships to attract/retain international talent||Essential to have|
|Information on recognition of education for international PhDs/staff/family members||Essential to have|
|Induction trainíng program for new support staff||Important to have|
|Glossary of common phrases used in welcome processes for support staff||Nice to have|
|Free legal advice for international PhDs/academics||Nice to have|
|FAQs for international PhDs/academics/family members||Essential to have|
|FAQs collection for support staff to share cases internally||Important to have|