Session highlights

"I do not think that building a regional identity counteracts building a global mindset -- in fact I think it contributes to it". Darren McDermott, Team Leader EU SHARE, British Council, Indonesia 

  • Darren McDermott introduced the EU Support to Higher Education in the ASEAN region (SHARE) programme, of which he is team leader for the British Council in Indonesia. It is a €15 millon project which aims to strengthen regional cooperation and enhance the quality, competitiveness and internationalisation of ASEAN higher education, contributing to the development of an  ASEAN mobility programme and HE space. So far, it has dispersed just under 500 scholarships, acting as a catalyst for greater cooperation between students and institutions in different countries.
  • Dr Marko Hermawan, Head of Program, BINUS University, Indonesia, underlined the importance of taking cultural differences into account when interacting virtually and on social media with contacts in different regions. However, in an in-session poll, two thirds of respondents disagreed that virtual collaboration blurs the boundaries between sub-national, national, regional international making the distinctions irrelevant.

Session summary

In this session we will explore the role of universities in supporting and enriching the intellectual life of their own region, and what that means for students. We will do this by analysing three key drivers – structures that support regionalisation, institutions/practitioners, and learners.   

Why regionalisation as a driver for internationalisation? Regional actors from South East Asia and the Americas will discuss current and future initiatives. What is driving these initiatives and the benefits for students related to graduate employability, mobility within the region for skills workers, creating global citizens?

The session will seek to explore whether such schemes really better equip young people for future roles and whether such schemes do benefit disadvantaged learners or just support already mobile individuals. How should this be delivered? 

The discussion will move on to focus on the role of universities in connecting the local with the global and will explore the potential for virtual collaboration in a post-pandemic world. The panellists are drawn from across the same regions, bringing together a diversity of perspectives on the internationalisation of higher education, including insights from their local cultures. What is the role of the learner? We contend that universities need to integrate online international collaboration more fully into their curricula for all students, rather than a selection who physically travel abroad for placements and study exchanges. This is important for two reasons: one, to reduce the overall institutional carbon footprint, and two, to prepare students for the post-pandemic world where virtual collaboration in the workplace will only increase as a core part of working across the globe.       

We will seek feedback and participation from the global audience on their perspectives and experiences.


  • Chair: Leighton Ernsberger, Director Education and English, East Asia, British Council, Singapore
  • Darren McDermott, Team Leader EU SHARE, British Council, Indonesia
  • Dr. Paulina Donoso, Director of Careers in Multimedia & Production, Universidad de las Americas (UDLA), Ecuador
  • Dr. Alastair Morrison, International Partnership Development Manager, Bournemouth University, UK
  • Dr. Marko Hermawan, Head of Program, BINUS University, Indonesia