Home > Events > ​Is internationalisation sustainable? Addressing the challenges and finding solutions

​Is internationalisation sustainable? Addressing the challenges and finding solutions

5 May 2020, 09:00 - 16:30
University of Manchester

Internationalisation has become a fundamental part of how the UK higher education sector operates and is a large factor in its success. But the climate crisis and the launch of the UN Sustainable Development Goals in 2015 has led to questions about whether so much international activity and ambition is still viable. 


19.6% of all students are international (EU and non-EU), and the launch of the government’s International Education Strategy in March 2019 brought with it a commitment to increase that number by around 30% by 2030. The reintroduction of the post-study work offer will only facilitate this commitment.  Research collaboration has become increasingly international, and through the funding provided via programmes like the Newton Fund and the Global Challenges Research Fund, address many of the world’s most intractable problems.  Transnational education has had average annual growth of 4.5% between 2013-14 and 2017-18, and the UK also has an ambitious outward student mobility target, aiming to double the number of students who spend a period of time overseas during their studies. 

But the climate crisis and the launch of the UN Sustainable Development Goals in 2015 has led to questions about whether so much international activity and ambition is still viable.  The student protesters of today are the university students of tomorrow.  What impact is internationalisation really having?  Can universities really continue to internationalise as they have been doing? And what opportunities are there for international universities to be part of the solution?

This one-day conference, in collaboration with the Association of Commonwealth Universities, will tackle these complex questions, bringing together higher education leaders, international organisations, and business and government representatives to explore and identify new collaborative strategies for collective success, as well as debate and discuss the many tensions and complexities that the scale of the challenges have made explicit.  It will also consider how the UK higher education sector as a whole can work best together to accelerate the pace of response and aim to identify some practical steps for fast action.

We expect this conference to be relevant for colleagues working in roles such as: 

  • Pro-vice-chancellor international 
  • Pro-vice-chancellor research
  • Heads of / Directors International 
  • Directors of sustainability

We have a range of sponsorship opportunities available at this event. Please contact Donna Taibe, Events and Admin Coordinator, for information. Email: donna.taibe@international.ac.uk.       

 In collaboration with:

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 Supported by:

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 Media partner:

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Donna Taibe

Donna Taibe

Admin and Events Coordinator
Universities UK International

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