Global Internship Conference 2015

Trials and tribulations – setting up a global internship programme.

Sue Dengate, U21 Student Experience Cluster Manager will be presenting a paper along with colleagues from around the network, entitled Trials and tribulations – setting up a global internship programme at the 2015 Internship Conference in Dublin.


Brief presentation description:
How do you go about setting up a global internship programme? Why are internships and work placements so important for universities and employers? How do we assist our students with their employment aspirations?

The workshop will explore the trials and tribulations of setting up a global internship scheme, and the process that Universitas 21 went through to implement the programme.

Outline of presentation:
Employers place a high value on the distinctive 'global competence' associated with that concept, targeting the recruitment of graduates with 'international' skills, knowledge and qualities.
In recognition of the dialogue on employability of university graduates, U21 is developing a network-wide internship programme for students. The internships will be provided by U21 partner universities for undergraduate students within the network. The conference workshop will explore the challenges faced in setting up the programme and practical solutions which may assist delegates to develop a similar scheme. The workshop will provide an ideal forum for delegates to share ideas and highlight successful internship schemes.

Eluned Jones, University of Birmingham, draws on experience from both Birmingham and U21 perspectives. Eluned leads a team of professionals skilled in the areas of Guidance, Enterprise Services, Work Experience, and Employer Relations. At the UK National Placement & Internship Awards 2013, Birmingham won ‘Best University Careers Service’. The university was praised for the breadth and depth of the work experience offering, its college-tailored approach and for its high profile Global Challenge Internships and the Alumni Leadership Mentoring Programme. Eluned and U21 colleagues have set up the U21 Careers Network, a forum to share ideas and good practice.

Sue Welland, University of Birmingham, draws on her experience and responsibility for the suite of internship, bursary and mentoring programmes available to students, including the Global Challenge Internship Programme. Sue will explore challenges that she faces including: visas to different countries; different health and safety requirements; different legal requirements (e.g. Employer Liability Insurance required in the UK but not necessarily elsewhere); students’ confidence in undertaking such internships; and gaining employer buy-in. Sue will also outline solutions including: seeking specialist advice on visas (for the US); finding in-country alumni support; preparation for students before they depart; developing relationships with internal colleagues (Insurance Manager, Alumni Office, International Office, Legal Office).

Sue Dengate, Universitas 21, provides support across the U21 network, in a wide spectrum of activities associated with undergraduate student experience and development, including development of the annual summer school, research conference, and short-term mobility opportunities. Sue will outline how the Global Citizenship Workshop at the University of Nottingham, Malaysia campus, provided a forum to look at issues of ‘global’ citizenship and competences and to discuss the importance of work experience. In Malaysia, academic staff, students and employers discussed their unique perspectives on these topics – with views of uncertainty/lack of clarity from students and opposing views from employers.

Martin Bain, a masters’ student at the University of Glasgow, worked with U21 as an intern in his summer holidays. Martin conducted a scoping project to assist with the development of the U21 internship programme. Martin will describe his internship experience – his original expectations of the internship, ups and downs, and how he developed from the internship. Martin’s brief was to collate information about the models and programmes already in place in the U21 network and which could provide an experiential basis from which to establish a network-wide internship programme.