Globalisation has had a major influence on the landscape of higher education and whilst, in some ways, universities may at one time have been pioneering in this regard the level to which ease of mobility has affected them is profound. International strategies at universities are much more than simply the numbers of international faculty and students, but these serve as strong measures of institutions with advanced strategies in this area.
International Faculty Index
The International Faculty Index is simply based on the proportion of faculty members that are international.
Universities based in locations known for attracting high proportions of expatriates perform well here such as those in Hong Kong, Switzerland and UAE.
International Students Index
Similar in nature to the International Faculty Index, the International Students Index is based on the proportion of students that are international.
This measure has attracted some comment – that perhaps it is not a valid measure of quality – and if we were looking at a much larger catchment of universities that may be accurate, there are certainly institutions beyond the scope of this study for which their international student proportion may indicate a lack of quality. However, the International Students Index, although only carrying a weighting of 5% show’s a stronger correlation (with a coefficient of 0.53) than the International Faculty Index.
International Students carries a weight of 5% in the QS World University Rankings®, 2.5% in the QS University Rankings: Asia and is also considered in the internationalization category of QS Stars. In both rankings contexts, international Students is capped at 50%.
Inbound / Outbound Exchange Students
In many countries in Asia, the principal medium of instruction is not English and as a result many universities their focus their strategies on exchange over recruiting full-time students. In the QS University Rankings: Asia, these two additional indicators have been taken based on the number of students inbound and outbound as a proportion of the student body carrying a weight of 2.5% each and facilitating a picture of internationalization in Asia that embraces a larger number of institutions.