|Study/networking visits for top managers||Networking Capacity Building of Support & Management Staff Promotion & Visibility Institutional strategy||Management staff|
|Collaborations facilitating social integration (e.g. administrative procedures, accommodation, language, family issues, socialising)||Social Integration & Daily Life Language Support, Language Policy Family Matters Profesional & Academic Development Networking Administrative & Legal Support Accommodation Safety, Healthcare & Wellbeing Social security, Health Insurance, Taxation Institutional Processes Promotion & Visibility Visa, Residence & Work Permit Institutional strategy||PhD student/Early career researcher R2 - R4 researchers Lecturers (incl. Language Teachers) Internationals spouses/family members|
|International scientific committee||Profesional & Academic Development||R2 - R4 researchers|
|Online mobility management App||Administrative & Legal Support||PhD student/Early career researcher R2 - R4 researchers Lecturers (incl. Language Teachers)|
|Workshop on career planning for international PhD students||Profesional & Academic Development||PhD student/Early career researcher|
|Specialised blogs and podcasts||Social Integration & Daily Life Networking Promotion & Visibility||PhD student/Early career researcher R2 - R4 researchers Lecturers (incl. Language Teachers) Internationals spouses/family members|
|Welcome package for international PhDs/scholars||Social Integration & Daily Life Language Support, Language Policy Family Matters Profesional & Academic Development Networking Social security, Health Insurance, Taxation||PhD student/Early career researcher R2 - R4 researchers Lecturers (incl. Language Teachers)|
|Volunteering programme for spouses/international partners||Social Integration & Daily Life Family Matters||Internationals spouses/family members|
|Promotion via social media in English||Networking Promotion & Visibility||PhD student/Early career researcher R2 - R4 researchers Administrative staff|
|International scholar safety guide||Safety, Healthcare & Wellbeing||PhD student/Early career researcher R2 - R4 researchers Lecturers (incl. Language Teachers)|
|Networking institutional events for support staff||Capacity Building of Support & Management Staff||Administrative staff|
|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)|
|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|
|Dictionary/glossary of common phrases used in academic and institutional life||Social Integration & Daily Life Language Support, Language Policy||PhD student/Early career researcher R2 - R4 researchers Lecturers (incl. Language Teachers)|
|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|
|FAQs collection for support staff to share cases internally||Institutional Processes Capacity Building of Support & Management Staff||Administrative staff Management staff|
|Bilingual internal documents/forms (English and local language)||Language Support, Language Policy Administrative & Legal Support Visa, Residence & Work Permit||PhD student/Early career researcher R2 - R4 researchers Lecturers (incl. Language Teachers)|
|Bilingual campus signs (English and local language)||Social Integration & Daily Life Safety, Healthcare & Wellbeing Promotion & Visibility||PhD student/Early career researcher R2 - R4 researchers Lecturers (incl. Language Teachers)|
|Comprehensive welcome well-structured webpage in English||Institutional Processes Promotion & Visibility||PhD student/Early career researcher R2 - R4 researchers Lecturers (incl. Language Teachers)|
|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|
|Study/networking visits for top managers||
Networking and study trips abroad provide an efficient tool to boost the overall visibility of a higher education institution, including various opportunities for study and work it may offer.
Participating staff members / managers act as ambassadors of their institutions abroad and also expand their own professional expertise and knowledge through the exposure to other institutions' good practice.
Prior research found that informal opportunities for learning sliding into the spaces around formal events were often responsible for unexpected and influential perspective transformations and that these opportunities for learning are often undervalued. It was also proven that international study visits where participants agree their own collective agendas and develop a trusted validating community group are more valuable than transmission models of leadership learning (Andy Cramp, University of Wolverhampton).
|Collaborations facilitating social integration (e.g. administrative procedures, accommodation, language, family issues, socialising)||
Social integration, in a narrow sense, may refer mainly to socio-cultural integration enabling the creation of personal connections/networking of international PhD students/researchers/academics, and their family members with their local and other international doctoral and academic fellows. In a broader context, it covers also other integration activities like finding a proper place for living, opportunities for career development, language learning, smooth access to the labour market and education to family members, access to health care, etc. However, also handling all the administrative issues related to relocation (residence permits, health/social insurance, tax, vehicle registration, pets, etc.) in smooth, clear procedures helps a lot for better navigation in the new setting. Being comfortable with the local environment may be substantial to the overall PhD/academics' performance.
Often international welcome centres or one-stop shops established by local/regional/national authorities or associations of several HEIs/research organisations in the city can take over many of the mentioned responsibilities, provide services in a structured manner for a critical mass of clients, promote the city/region efficiently, organise various events about life in the country/city, provide labour-market orientation and dual-career counseling services, offer domestic language courses, etc.
Here we focus on listing possible partners for collaborations to provide more advanced and higher quality services and a broader portfolio of them. Practical steps on how to establish them are also briefly drafted. Although establishing collaborations with numerous external partners might seem a laborious effort, such synergies might bring fruit in clearer/more detailed guidelines, databases, shared responsibilities, better information flow, and even saved human/financial resources.
|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.
|Online mobility management App||
A simple online mobility management app enabling an inviting person/department to enter all the parameters on incoming PhDs/academics prior to his/her stay, sending out an auto-generated welcoming email (s) with information and access to all university services (online library, pass/card, other electronic services before their coming to the receiving institution.) easing thus the whole pre-arrival process immensely.
|Workshop on career planning for international PhD students||
Short interactive workshop to familiarise PhD researchers with basic career planning methods and tools and introduce them into the job search strategies and tools for researchers (in both local and international labour market).
By the end of the workshop participants should:
|Specialised blogs and podcasts||
Both the specialised blogs and podcasts are a very effective and efficient way how to better connect with the current and potential target audience of international PhD students, academics, and researchers providing an insight into host HEI's institutional life and culture and welcoming environment. Those media allow you not only to keep the members/followers up-to-date with the latest events, but also promote vital topics and new initiatives, inspiring stories, and express opinions. Both activities should bring less formal but still valuable and entertaining content which should be complementary to the content published on the host HEI institutional website and social media. Both activities help encourage their followers/readers/listeners to become host HEI's ambassadors and raise its visibility and global presence.
The great benefit of podcast listening opportunities is their mobile nature. Podcast audio content gives listeners the ability to dive into topics without having to set aside time to read or watch a video (e.g.during commuting, jogging, cycling, cooking, etc.).
|Welcome package for international PhDs/scholars||
Well-designed, clearly structured and regularly updated bilingual PDF document that serves for orientation and support of international PhD students and staff.
It is also useful to have the Welcome Pack downloadable from the website which international PhDs/visiting scholars use to get informed about their stay and activities at your university.
The package should contain:
By providing such a pack the institution ensures that the incoming researcher/PhD student will be able to:
|Volunteering programme for spouses/international partners||
Volunteering is a great way to meet people, become familiar with the community and develop skills to include on a resume.
Volunteer opportunities offered to international partners help spouses connect and feel welcome as international students and scholars embark on a new life in another country. Such opportunities foster the level of satisfaction, social integration and wellbeing of international students and staff and their family members.
|Promotion via social media in English||
In the era of technology, it is a great idea to use social media for promotional purposes. Welcoming institutions should set up a page where they can promote the incoming academics and staff members, and do so in English so that other institutions could have access to it. It might significantly contribute to greater visibility and new possibilities for cooperation.
|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.
|Networking institutional events for support staff||
The main aim of institutional events for support staff is to strengthen the professional knowledge of support staff through different types of meetings/events but also optimize information flows and procedures. Via these events, they can share experience and ideas, develop and share contacts within and outside of the organisation and improve internal processes. External experts/partners can be invited to such events or they can be organised jointly with them to expand and deepen collaborations for the sake of a smoother incoming researcher and academic staff mobility. The practice could eventually prepare the ground or even lead towards a broader scope of further professional development activities for support staff, including various focused trainings.
|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.
|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.
|Dictionary/glossary of common phrases used in academic and institutional life||
This could be a combination of a dictionary and glossary of the most common phrases and their definitions in English used in the academic and institutional life of the host institution/country. Special attention should be paid to country/region specific terms that have no actual parallel outside the host country/region, for instance, academic ranks and their hierarchy in the region of Central and South-Eastern Europe. It could be also extended by terms related to the administrative duties that need to be done shortly before or fight after arrival to or upon departure from the host country/institution. Such a tool would be of immense help to both international as well as local PhDs and academics struggling with proper vocabulary when talking to their colleagues.
|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.
|Bilingual internal documents/forms (English and local language)||
Considering the fact that English is not the native language in countries, many international PhD students and academic staff members face problems when it comes to filling in the forms necessary for the application process or collecting documents that would confirm their mobility/study/research abroad. Therefore, it would be extremely important (and favorable for both parties involved) to create forms in both the national language of the receiving institution's country as well as in English. The aim of this practice is to produce bilingual documents that can be filled in without seeking assistance or causing confusion.
|Bilingual campus signs (English and local language)||
The use of bilingual signage at key university areas creates an internationally welcoming environment by facilitating orientation and access to main university sites and helping international students and staff navigate the campus.
|Comprehensive welcome well-structured webpage in English||
The institutional welcome website is usually the first source of information about the HEI, typically containing information on the most important aspects related to smooth preparation and actual onboarding. It is important that the information is structured in a way that reflects the logic of end-users perspective. The webpage should be easy to navigate and high-quality SEOs should be used. The information on the website has to be regularly updated including the FAQ section which typically draws the highest traffic.
|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.
|Title||Importance||Scale of change||Setup cost||Setup time||Setup personnel||Delivery cost||Delivery time||Delivery personnel|
|Study/networking visits for top managers||Essential to have|
|Collaborations facilitating social integration (e.g. administrative procedures, accommodation, language, family issues, socialising)||Important to have|
|International scientific committee||Important to have|
|Online mobility management App||Important to have|
|Workshop on career planning for international PhD students||Nice to have|
|Specialised blogs and podcasts||Nice to have|
|Welcome package for international PhDs/scholars||Essential to have|
|Volunteering programme for spouses/international partners||Nice to have|
|Promotion via social media in English||Important to have|
|International scholar safety guide||Important to have|
|Networking institutional events for support staff||Important to have|
|Networking events for PhD students and academics||Important to have|
|Local language courses for international PhDs and academics||Essential to have|
|Dictionary/glossary of common phrases used in academic and institutional life||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|
|Bilingual internal documents/forms (English and local language)||Essential to have|
|Bilingual campus signs (English and local language)||Important to have|
|Comprehensive welcome well-structured webpage in English||Essential to have|
|Glossary of common phrases used in welcome processes for support staff||Nice to have|