International Action Plan 2021-2023

Western Norway University of applied science shall take an international position and work purposefully for education and R&D activities of high international quality. Through interaction with international partners and by participating in international networks, HVL will contribute to develop new knowledge and find new solutions to the challenges in society.

Working life relevance, diversity and sustainability will characterise the international investment in HVL and cooperation in Europe will be particularly strengthened.

  • Working life relevance is about ensuring professional development and critical reflection of the knowledge base for our educations, and the international dimension is an important part of this. High international quality is a key element on the road to becoming a professional and work-oriented university.

  • Diversity is an important part of the internationalisation work. The vision of HVL is to develop knowledge that builds people and society. HVL's campuses shall be diverse meeting places that attract international students and researchers from all over the world, and through this the campuses will be an arena for the improvement of people and society.

  • Sustainability shall characterise the internationalisation work. HVL will work for stronger international cooperation around the UN's sustainability goals and facilitate environmentally friendly solutions both when it comes to travel and through a focus on the development of digital solutions and tools, and the development of internationalisation at home.
  • Europe is an important focus area for HVL, both through research and education collaboration and mobility for students and staff. HVL will prioritise the development of partnerships with selected partners in Europe, and take an active part in the new education, research and innovation programmes Horizon Europe and Erasmus +.

The action plan addresses two approaches to this work. The goal of the external work is that HVL shall take an international position, where HVL shall be a visible institution and contribute to the development of research and education. The goal of the internal work is that HVL shall contribute to diversity and educate world citizens by creating diverse campuses and strengthening the international perspective in the study programmes.

HVL shall take an international position

HVL has partners and collaboration all over the world but shall have an extra focus on strengthening cooperation with Europe in the period 2021-2023. HVL shall take an international position through four subsidiary objectives.

HVL shall participate in international networks and partnerships related to our focus areas


  • Develop the most important international networks for HVL, both professional and institutional.

  • Actively participate in processes in which international research and education policy is shaped.

  • Through cooperation with regional industry and businesses, take advantage of international networks in order to identify possibilities for collaboration in education and research.

  • Prioritise cooperation with strategically selected partners in Europe.

  • Develop digital solutions in research collaborations, for example digital research conferences.

  • Facilitate international research mobility and Erasmus staff mobility.

  • Internationalisation should be an explicit part of appraisal meetings for all scientific staff.

HVL shall increase its allocation in research, education and innovation programmes


  • Each faculty must send more strategically aligned applications within the EU's framework programmes.

  • Raise professional and administrative competence within external financing and application work.

  • Develop several good EU projects together with regional and international partners.

  • Facilitate collaboration on EU projects across faculties.

HVL shall be a visible participant in selected professional and institutional forums


  • Participate in international HE rankings

  • Increase international co-publishing

HVL shall work strategically with internationalisation in the entire organisation


  • Ensure the right competence and sufficient capacity for internationalisation in the faculties and administration and ensure a good division of labour.

HVL shall contribute to diversity and educate world citizens

HVL shall offer high quality education with a clear international dimension. The students shall be equipped with international skills that make them creative, solution-oriented and innovative world citizens who contribute to solving the challenges society is facing in a sustainable perspective. HVL shall contribute to diversity and educate world citizens through five subsidiary objectives.

In total, at least 30% of students graduating from HVL have completed an exchange abroad, half of these through the Erasmus programme


  • Promote the Erasmus programme as the preferred exchange programme.

  • All study programmes should have mobility windows, preferably of 3 months or more.

  • Promote practical exchange and link it to regional businesses and industry.

  • The leadership at the faculties and the study programmes shall facilitate exchange agreements and actively encourage students to go on exchange.

  • All study programmes should develop pre-approved course packages for exchange with selected partner institutions.

  • Further develop the environmental grants for students that go on exchange through the Erasmusprogramme.

Internationalisation shall be an integrated part of the study programmes - internationalisation at home


  • Increase international educational cooperation using guest lecturers, co-supervisors, and virtual exchange (e.g. COIL).

  • Learning outcomes and curricula must reflect international diversity.

  • All study programmes should link exchange agreements to research collaboration.

  • Offer courses in English and Norwegian as a foreign language for staff and students.


HVL shall increase the use of digital solutions and tools in the internationalisation work


  • Increase professional and administrative skills in the use of digital solutions and tools in internationalisation.

  • All study programmes must facilitate the increased use of virtual mobility and the use of digital solutions, such as collaboration on joint topics and joint guidance. 

HVL's campuses shall have an international quality and be a diverse meeting place for students and staff


  • Increase the number of international students on all campuses.

  • All study programmes must have course packages for incoming exchange students, either on their own or in collaboration with other study programmes.

  • Each faculty must offer a minimum of one full degree in English in order to recruit more international students.

HVL shall be an attractive employer within prioritised disciplines and research fields and attract researchers and lecturers who maintain a high international level


  • Develop an action plan for recruitment and reception of international employees and implement Charter & Code.

  • When recruiting for academic positions, international experience should be emphasized.

  • Work actively with integration of international employees.

How to reach the goal

Building international cooperation for quality in education and research requires holistic thinking, at the institutional level, faculty level and in the academic environment.

The subsidiary objectives and measures in the action plan will provide direction and priorities for internationalisation in HVL. At the same time, they must be translated into specified activities in the annual plans at the faculties and in the administrative departments. It is important that responsibility for the various activities and measures is clearly defined, and that reporting on goal achievement is done in connection with reporting on annual plans.