Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University recently became the first recipient of the IEASA /Golden Key Award for Excellence in Internationalisation at the 2012 International Education Association of South Africa (IEASA) Conference in Cape Town.
IEASA and the Golden Key International Honour Society South Africa (Golden Key SA) introduced this new award in the category for the internationalisation of higher education in South Africa.
The first of its kind, the IEASA Golden Key Award for Excellence in Internationalisation recognises both the differences, as well as the stages of development, of institutions.
The desired outcome of this exercise is an attempt to provide South African higher education with a view on the advanced levels of the internationalisation of South African higher education institutions.
“We are honoured to accept this award. The goal of comprehensive internationalisation is to graduate students that are globally ready. We are working hard to achieve this,” said Dr Nico Jooste, head of the university’s Office for International Education.
He said internationalisation of NMMU started 12 years ago and culminated in the establishment of the Office for International Education.
“From the outset the goal set was to implement comprehensive internationalisation, thus to internationalise NMMU at all levels. As a result, the university should integrate internationalisation practices at all levels,” said Dr Jooste
Application criteria for the award included: institutional commitment to comprehensive internationalisation, in terms of governance, strategic planning, general information, funding and institutional partnerships; internationalisation of the teaching and learning mission of the institution; internationalisation of research and internationalisation of non-academic processes and activities with regard to international student engagement with the local community and engagement with international alumni.
IERASA appointed a panel of international experts to oversee the selection of the award winners. After carefully reviewing of all submissions, the panel selected NMMU as the first recipient of the award for Excellence in Comprehensive Internationalisation.
“We realise this is a recognition of the engagement of the university as a whole. Comprehensive internationalisation is the function of everybody and should become an integrated activity of everybody on the campus,” said Dr Jooste.