NordPath unites specialists and academics working together towards a more internationalized Nordic higher education. The network aims at strengthening the relations between the partners and increasing the attractiveness of the Nordics as a greener option for students within and beyond Nordic countries. Furthermore, NordPath acts as an active forum for exchanging experiences and sharing best practices among the partners. It offers a platform for initializing new education development cooperation ideas to enhance students’ internationalization opportunities and a place for Nordic discussion on European and global level matters related to higher education internationalization.
NordPath unites high-profile universities from five Nordic countries: Universities of Helsinki, Bergen, Copenhagen, and Iceland and Stockholm University. Each institution has an active role in its own national context, which gives the network the possibility to discuss topics with a wide Nordic aspect.
The partnership includes benchmarking best practices and laying the ground for future collaborative activities. The first activity of the network is a curriculum development project focusing on creating a joint intercultural communicative competencies (ICC) course. When finalized, the ICC course will be offered as a virtual course jointly taught by the partners. The inter-institutional student teamwork will be the core of the course to increase students’ possibilities for international encounters, also when physical mobility is not necessarily an option.
The project has received funding from The Nordic Council of Ministers' Nordplus program in 2021, 2022, and 2023.
The Nordic collaboration in topics related to internationalization plays an important role, as we face challenges within Europe and in the global setting. The need to exchange experiences, knowledge, and sharing of information originally prompted the idea of establishing the networking group. The participants in the networking activities are administrators participating in internationalization from different viewpoints: internationalization of students, staff, project cooperation, networks, and alliances.
The activities of the Networking group so far have included partners' presentations of their best practices related to intensive and BIP courses, internationalization of staff, practices, and discussion related to lobbying and student journeys of exchange students. The introduction of the topics has been prepared in mixed teams of participants from different institutions. This has increased the exchange of ideas and brought more diverse perspectives on the topics. Network partners have given feedback that they have gained many new ideas and best practices during the networking events and improvements have taken place locally based on the lessons learned from others.
The University of Bergen joined the network for the third project period 2023-2024. This brings a valuable addition to the joint Nordic discussion highlighting the Norwegian viewpoint that has been missing so far. In 2023-2024 Networking group is planning to implement three physical networking meetings accompanied by online activities between the on-site meetings. The Networking meetings are planned to take place in Nov 2023, April 2024, and Aug 2024. All meetings will be arranged in connection to the Development project (DP) meetings in order to offer support and feedback from a wider community for the development of the ICC course.
The aim of the Development group is to co-create a Nordic course offered virtually to bachelor’s or master’s level students wishing to include intercultural communicative competencies (ICC) studies in their degree. The course material is meant to function also as a material bank from where academics of the participating universities can find material for their courses. The participants in the development activities are mostly academics from each partner university.
The focus of the ICC course is to interact across cultures and develop awareness, critical reflection, and skills. All modules will be taught during one semester and the students will be graded on a pass /fail basis.
The course consists of three different modules:
In spring 2023 the group´s focus has been on preparing for the piloting of the ICC course. Some plans have also been made to implement and market the course. The next step includes the actual launch of the course and the first implementation for wider audiences. The Development group is currently finalizing the course contents on the Digicampus platform. The third and final phase starting in 2024 will be dedicated to the planning of the spin-off of the ICC course as a training module for the university staff in order to build up their intercultural communicative competencies. Four physical meetings (Nov 2023, Feb 2024, April 2024, Aug 2024) complemented by online meetings have been planned for the upcoming project period.