Internationalisation at programme level

The key to IoC at the programme level is the development of the programme learning outcomes (or graduate attributes). What do you want a graduate from your programme to be like? In some ways they will be like any other graduate: knowledgeable in their discipline area, able to communicate well orally and in writing, computer literate and demonstrating ethical attitudes. However, you may wish to make these more explicit to you discipline/profession and there will be other dimensions that are particular to your discipline/profession. You also need to think about what an international dimension will look like in your graduates.


The University of South Australia has a set of seven University Graduate Attributes and Graduate Quality Number 7 relates directly to internationalisation. This attribute is detailed below and may assist you to think through the characteristic you wish to see in your graduates. You will then need to turn those into programme level learning outcomes.

Graduate Quality Number 7 states that a graduate of the University of South Australia will demonstrate international perspectives as a professional and as a citizen. The generic indicators of the Quality are that a graduate will:

  1. display an ability to think globally and consider issues from a variety of perspectives;
  2. demonstrate an awareness of their own culture and its perspectives and other cultures and their perspectives;
  3. appreciate the relation between their field of study locally and professional traditions elsewhere;
  4. recognise intercultural issues relevant to their professional practice;
  5. appreciate the importance of multicultural diversity to professional practice and citizenship;
  6. appreciate the complex and interacting factors that contribute to notions of culture and cultural relationships;
  7. value diversity of language and culture;
  8. appreciate and demonstrate the capacity to apply international standards and practices within the discipline or professional area; and
  9. demonstrate awareness of the implications of local decisions and actions for international communities and of international decisions and actions for local communities.

Some other suggestions from Whalley (1997) are that graduates can:

  1. identify ethical issues that may arise in their personal and professional lives in international/intercultural contexts;
  2. develop and test alternative hypotheses to explain differences in how problems are defined, analysed or communicated in intercultural settings; and
  3. identify the major limitations and problems in their personal and professional lives that rise from ethnocentrism.

See advice on writing learning outcomes

Useful references

  • Black, K. (2004). A review of factors which contribute to the internationalisation of a programme of study. Journal of Hospitality, Leisure, Sport and Tourism Education, 3 (1).
  • Edwards, R., Crosling, G., Petrovic-Lazarovic, S. and O’Neill, P. (2003). Internationalisation of business education: meaning and implementation. Higher Education Research and Development, 22 (2), 183-192. (available online)
  • Freedman, K. (1998). Chapter 2. Culture I the curriculum. Internationalising learning by design. In Mestenhauser, J.A. and Ellingboe, B.J. Reforming the higher education curriculum. Internationalizing the campus. Phoenix, Arizona, American Council on Education, Oryx Press.


The idea of a Resource Kit seems to have come originally from Whalley (1997). The content has been contributed by Brookes staff and adapted from:

  • Clifford, V. and Joseph, C. (2005). Report of the Internationalisation of the Curriculum Project, Melbourne, Higher Education Development Unit, Monash University;
  • Leeds Metropolitan University (2007). Cross-cultural capability and global perspectives. Guidelines for curriculum review.
  • University of South Australia (2002). Internationalisation of Curriculum Information Kit, Adelaide, Learning Connections, University of South Australia;
  • Whalley, T. (1997) Best practice guidelines for internationalizing the curriculum, Burnaby, British Columbia, Open Learning Agency.