IAU 2015 International Conference
Welcome Message
Dear Conference Participants,

We look forward to welcoming you to Italy, to Tuscany and above all, on behalf of the whole academic community to the University of Siena, a remarkably modern institution located in a city with a historic centre that has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Together with the International Association of Universities (IAU) we are proud to host you for the 2015 IAU International Conference.

The University of Siena has a rich history, a great tradition of learning, while being fully engaged in research and innovation.   During its eight centuries of existence, the University of Siena has produced knowledge in all areas of study, and is among Italy’s leading universities with results of the highest quality in terms of innovation for research, education and services.  Located in the centre of Europe, not far from the Mediterranean Sea, it has a strong international orientation, making it a particularly appropriate place to host the IAU 2015 International Conference with its theme: Internationalisation of Higher Education: Moving beyond mobility.

Internationalization of higher education is an important priority for many governments, for university leaders and other higher education stakeholders. It has been on the IAU agenda for many years and has led the Association to develop policy, research and related services in support of institutional efforts in internationalization. Though it is a frequent theme of national and international conferences, we hope that our programme will offer new insights into the internationalization of higher education and inspire new strategies, initiatives and projects.  

The expectations with regard to the benefits of internationalization are continuously expanding, as is the range of activities carried out in the name of internationalisation. At the same time, institutional, national and regional policies remain highly focused on only one aspect of the process – mobility. Such a singular focus can overshadow numerous other ways that internationalisation can improve the quality of the different dimensions of higher education, including curriculum, research, campus life, management, the third mission, etc. Indeed, no matter how much international student mobility flows may increase in the future, it is unlikely that they will ever include all learners in higher education. Thus it is likely that the impact with the greatest potential impact lies with the ‘other’ aspects/activities that promote internationalisation.  

This is precisely what the IAU 2015 International Conference seeks to explore.  Focusing on internationalisation beyond mobility, the conference will examine questions such as:
  • What are the alternatives to mobility when pursuing internationalisation?
  • How does internationalisation change the student experience?
  • Is internationalisation changing knowledge and know-how?  How is it improving the quality of higher education?
  • How can internationalization help overcome disparities and inequalities?
The 2015 International Conference will also mark the opening of the University of Siena’s academic year and we are honoured to invite all participants to the Inaugural Ceremony on October 28, a major event for the University. 

Please register to confirm your attendance, visit this website to read all conference updates and do not forget to bring your university gown!

Sincerely yours,

Dato Dzulkifli Abdul Razak
IAU President
Prof. Angelo Riccaboni
Rector, University of Siena

Picture: © Paolo Lazzeroni