Intellectual capital management in universities in the face of internationalisation challenges
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Managing internationalisation in higher education is a complex process. It requires engaging all intellectual capital at the university’s disposal (intellectual capital, all university’s stakeholders, material and organisational resources). The increasing number of foreign students is the main determinant behind the need for internationalisation process management. Capable management in this area becomes a must in the face of new challenges before universities go international. Today, higher education is gaining an international character. An increasing number of young people migrates in the pursuit of new educational and professional experiences outside their home country. Foreign students constitute a valuable social capital both from the perspective of the host country as well the university in which they study. Also, the country of their destination, after they graduate, benefits a lot. Foreign exchange of students is the subject of public discourse and practice. Some important issues are indicated in this area, e.g., education co-financing for foreigners, brain drain phenomenon (loss of human capital in favour of other countries) or the human capital import (Dumitru, 2012; Straubhaar, 2000; Salt, 1997; Solimano, 2006). Managing these students, who are sometimes already employed, as well as their professional competences development, are becoming a crucial element in the internationalisation process of Polish universities. The diagnosis of possessed social capital will enable real actions in various internationalisation dimensions. The purpose of the article is to draw attention to the issues of managing intellectual capital of universities against the background of internationalisation process and its requirements. In the course of the study we used the intellectual capital concept of L. Edvinsson (1997) (theoretical dimension of the work). Due to the high growth dynamics of the number of foreign students, we focused only on this particular internationalisation area. The measurement of selected indicators of social capital of this group of students can be a source of knowledge and may inspire to take actions in the field of internationalisation process management (practical dimension).
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