The strategy recognises from the outset that individual institutions and organisations are already operating very effectively on the world stage. It is therefore intended to help education providers respond to the challenges of globalisation and international competition through more effective co-ordination of effort and resources.
The strategy will not restrict individual enterprise, or weaken the local and national aspects of institutional missions, but enrich and strengthen our individual and collective approach.
It is intended to encompass all post-school international education activity, including related developments within other parts of Europe. Forging strong relations across international boundaries is an essential component of the Scottish Executive's approach to enhance the wellbeing of Scotland's people. Not only through its International Strategy 1, but also its economic development strategy 2 and the Fresh Talent Initiative 3. These recognise the vital importance of Scotland's relationships with overseas markets. The development agenda is also an important aspect here, as reflected in the Executive's International Development Strategy 4 and its focus on capacity building in Africa.
This document aligns with the initiatives mentioned above and with other Scottish Executive policies, such as those for stronger engagement with China 5 and the USA6; as well as the aim in the Scottish Funding Council's Corporate Plan 7 to support Scotland's international ambitions. The Education UK Scotland Strategic Framework and the UKPrime Minister's International Education Initiative ( PMI) 8 are also key elements here, along with the rapidly growing European policy agenda in relation to competitiveness and compatibility of education systems as promoted by the Lisbon 9, Bologna 10 and Bruges-Copenhagen 11 processes.
Further details on all of these and other related strategies can be found at Annex B.
- We have identified the following priorities for engagement within the context of this strategy:
Africa, China, Europe, Gulf States, India, North America and Russia.
- This is by no means intended to be an exclusive list. It does however include those which are Scottish Executive priorities, many of the countries covered by the Bologna process, and those developing countries in which capacity building work is currently focussed. We have taken all of this into account, as well as those areas of importance for the Scottish sectors as defined by the Education UK Scotland annual evaluation exercise.
This is a diverse list and as such a variety of approaches may need to be developed, taking account of local context, to engage with each area effectively.