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British Council

International HE research with high-level respondents

The brief

The British Council wanted to test reaction to a set of propositions for a new set of initiatives aimed at HE institutions in MINT countries and in the UK. The proposed initiative aimed to support HEIs in these countries in developing their internationalisation approaches.

The British Council asked Shift Learning to develop and conduct research to consult with figures in leadership roles in order to investigate:

  • Key challenges and areas of focus over the next 12 months
  • The priority placed on internationalisation in their overall strategies
  • The make-up of their internationalisation strategies
  • Their reaction to the proposition
  • Background to budgets and key decision makers

Our approach and methodology

This international project took the following approach:

  • A total of 100 depth interviews, each lasting 45 minutes, were carried out with high-level respondents in each of the five countries, with 20 interviews in each country.
  • Respondents included, among others VCs, Pro-VCs, Rectors, Vice-Rectors, Principals of private institutions and Directors of International Offices.
  • Care was taken to include a mix of public and private universities from high, mid and low ranking HEIs in each country.
  • Where language was considered a barrier, interviews were carried out in local language.
  • Interviews were recorded and transcribed for analysis.

Delivering results and value to our client

Shift Learning worked closely with the British Council project team, as well as with in-country teams in each of the MINT countries, to schedule and conduct interviews with this high-level group across a culturally diverse range of countries, with interviews completed to a tight timescale.

The research resulted in a detailed report including insight into the HE landscape in each country and recommendations for next steps regarding the treatment of the proposition. A country-specific summary report was also provided for each of the MINT in-country teams.

The research helped The British Council to formulate a strategy for next steps regarding Internationalisation.