Vice-Rector’s Message

BMAU: For an Internationalization Strategy


             In the era of globalization, the international context in which universities are developing, as well as the space in which their actors should evolve, is rapidly expanding and diversifying. In an increasingly international, even ‘global’ world, it is important that teaching and research institutions highlight and promote the international dimension in all their fields of competence. In other words, the international dimension has become essential, even decisive, in the development of higher education and research. It constitutes a benefit in the transfer of knowledge and know-how, contributing considerably to the enrichment of scientific collaboration.
With these changes, BMAU is called upon to formulate a new internationalization strategy, as well as an action plan for the years to come. As part of a quality approach, the results generated by BMAU self-assessment in 2018, and more specifically the results of the external relations service, reveal that many elements of this strategy are already in place, but they require renewed support and attention, followed by an evaluation of their effectiveness and their adequacy to the permanent evolution of the international situation.

           The internationalization of BMAU is not a recent phenomenon but, on the contrary, it is part of a long tradition of ties and exchanges with foreign partner universities. However, this cooperation was often dictated by ad hoc needs and was not developed by a real structuring of international relations. Today, internationalization has become an essential component in the definition of a university strategy. To do this, BMAU promotes an international approach by trying to develop a broad spectrum of activities. It is committed to developing internationally with targeted partnerships by pursuing a policy of dynamic and thoughtful international cooperation, articulated on strengthening strategic alliances. With its partners, it builds structured programs, combining research and training, from the bachelor to the doctor’s degree, by strongly developing the co-supervision of theses and encouraging the mobility of students, teaching, and administrative staff. Through student mobility, BMAU also envisages the dissemination of an ‘international culture’, the acquisition of new skills, and the promotion of interculturality for incoming student mobility (more than 600 international students from more than thirty foreign countries through intercultural festive events organized each year).

          In its strategy, BMAU should conduct an active policy aimed at supporting outgoing mobility, as well as facilitating and simplifying the reception of incoming persons. This internationalization effort mainly concerns bilateral and multilateral international cooperation (research, outgoing mobility of teacher-researchers, young researchers, doctoral students and post-doctoral researchers), associated with the policy of inviting foreign teacher-researchers. To consolidate its international integration, BMAU therefore intends to combine the various types of student, teacher-researcher, and administrative staff mobility in order to develop its international culture and contribute to the creation of a more homogeneous and efficient international higher education space. This international ambition is deployed through framework agreements with more than 47 international universities and membership in five international university cooperation networks, as well as CMEP projects and other student, teacher-researcher, and administrative staff exchanges as part of the ERASMUS + program.

          Even if one of our major objectives is to increase the visibility of BMAU by strengthening partnership and cooperation projects at the international level, partnership at the national level is also more than necessary because it constitutes one of the flagship actions on which it is important to base the future developments of the institution. Traditionally, industry and academia have tended to develop separately and to make distinct and often unrelated contributions to the economy. This has resulted in a shortage of skills in the industrial sector and an underuse of human resources in higher education. It is therefore necessary to establish ties between the two in order to better adapt the qualifications provided by education to the needs of the developing economy. Relations between universities and companies are far from having the importance they deserve despite the significant progress that has been made, particularly through the professionalization of some training courses, the university-business cooperation in research, and the continuing training of company employees. These links would benefit from being reinforced.

        Partnerships with businesses, collectivities, local, regional, and national associations, identified by research collaborations, internships for bachelor and master students, as well as doctoral theses must be strengthened. As a matter of fact, BMAU is developing relationships, and in large numbers, with external actors, but these relationships are not sufficiently exploited by research laboratories. Therefore, by promoting the opening of research laboratories to national and international scientific cooperation, BMAU takes up the challenge and aspires to excellence. The opening of the university to the socio-economic world is hence essential to the achievement of its scientific, educational, and cultural objectives.

 

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EXTERNAL RELATIONS PRESENTATION Vice-Rector’s Message