From bottom-up to top-down? Recent Developments and Tensions in Virtual Exchange Policies and Practices
Professor Francesca Helm, University of Padua
Tuesday, 30th August, 2022, 11.00 – 12.30
Languages Building: LC1002
Virtual exchange has traditionally been a bottom-up, educator-led activity (often foreign language educators) which has, in the last decade, begun to receive interest from administrators at Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and funders such as the European Commission and national agencies. The Covid-19 pandemic and the temporary halt to international student mobility led to a surge of interest in virtual exchange on the part of international relations offices, with more and more institutions and/or departments developing virtual exchange strategies as part of their internationalisation portfolios – with a degree of interest and engagement from educators, though this was perhaps more limited. This short talk will provide a brief overview of recent developments in Virtual Exchange at policy level – from supranational to national and institutional levels. It will then draw on findings and recommendations from the EVOLVE project Case Studies (2020) and report on recent developments in terms of virtual exchange strategy and practices at the University of Padova and – I hope – invite discussion about practices and strategy at the University of Limerick.