Staff Knowledge Exchange Program

Staff Knowledge Exchange Program

The INU Staff Knowledge Exchange Program aims to strengthen the links between members by providing opportunities to professional services and administrative staff to visit, study, discuss, and benchmark systems and practices across the network. Through the visits, both the sending and the hosting universities benefit from sharing best practices. The program allows staff members spend a week with one or two different INU partners to exchange experience and expertise with a colleague at the hosting universities.

The ideal knowledge exchange period is one week. This will allow time for travel, three days of business, and extra time for personal and cultural visits.

Who can apply

The Staff Knowledge Exchange is open to all professional services/ administrative staff at INU member Universities.  Some examples of areas of work are outlined below, however we’re open to applications from all administrative staff, from any sector/department:

  • Alumni Relations
  • Career Services
  • Finance Management
  • Marketing & Communications
  • International & Global Engagement
  • Student Affairs/Student Support Services
  • Community Engagement
  • Governance
  • Fundraising
  • IT Support
  • Service Learning
  • Library Services
  • Human Resources Management
  • Research Management

There are a limited number of opportunities available at INU member universities under this program.  For 2024, INU member universities are able to host/send the following number of staff.  Each member university manages their own selection process.

University Number of outbound staff Number of inbound staff
Osnabrück University 3 3
Parahyangan Catholic University 2 3
Universitat Rovira i Virgili 3 3
European University Viadrina 2 2
Hiroshima University 1 1
James Madison University 2 2
Kingston University 2 2
Stellenbosch University 5 5
Malmö University 2 2


  • Applicants must be employed at an INU member university.
  • Applicants must have a good working knowledge of English

Application process

How to apply

Prior to making an application, you will first need to look at member university websites to make an informed decision on which university would be the most appropriate host, based your particular interests.

To apply, applicants will need to complete the online application, with at least six months before the proposed travel date.

In addition to the online application, the following documents will be required:

  • A letter of support from your home institution (signed by both your line manager and the INU Council member at your University)
  • A summary of key tasks undertaken in your current job (maximum one page)
  • A supporting statement outlining your expectations for the visit (Approx. 300-500 words). This should include what you hope to learn and experience and how this might support your personal future plans and aspirations, as well as those of the department/institution.
  • A copy of your curriculum vitae

In applying for the Staff Knowledge Exchange program, I consent to the International Network of Universities collecting and storing the data from this form in line with our privacy policy

Selection Process

Applications are most likely to be supported by the INU if they address the following:

  • Clear objectives and purpose of the visit
  • Commitment to developing a long-term international collaboration (making use of the online methods to sustain a partnership)
  • A demonstrated understanding of INU and our mission and values
  • Potential impact for INU members institutions
  • Potential impact for visiting member of staff and host institution

There may be limited funding available (depending on institutional budgets) and it may not be possible to support all interested applicants.

After your application is submitted

When your application is received, the INU Coordinator will initiate contact with the host institution to explore if it is possible to accommodate the proposed visit.  If the first-choice institution is unable to do so, the INU Coordinator will approach the second-choice institution.  Unfortunately, we are not always able to give detailed feedback as to why an application is unsuccessful, however we can approach alternative institutions.

Host institutions will receive the full application and supporting documents to consider, alongside the letter of acceptance template form.

Host institutions accepting the visit will be asked to return the ‘Staff Knowledge Exchange – Letter of Acceptance form’ which needs to be signed by the department manager and INU Council member, to confirm the visit can go ahead.

The INU Coordinator will keep you informed of the status of your application.  If you have any questions, the INU Coordinator can be contacted on this email:

You can expect to hear the outcome of your application within 6-8 weeks of receipt of the application.

Arranging the visit

Upon agreement of the host institution, the INU Coordinator will introduce the visiting staff member and the host institution so they can liaise directly to make the necessary arrangements, including deciding upon mutually agreeable dates for the visit.

Funding the visit

The sending institution will be responsible for paying for:

  • Travel costs (airfare /train travel etc) for the travelling member of staff, as well as any associated costs such as visa applications, travel insurance etc.
  • Covering subsistence during the visit (meals, refreshments, local travel costs) according to their own institutional expenses policy.

The host institution will be responsible for:

  • arranging and funding accommodation (hotel or homestay) for the visiting member of staff, as well as covering the cost of ad hoc meals (i.e. when hosting a lunch/dinner for the visiting staff member for example.)

Organising the visit

The host institution should prepare a schedule for the visit, which includes meetings with relevant staff, which is shared with the visiting staff member prior to travel.  The visiting staff member can also request meetings with specific departments / staff members as per their interest.   This can be discussed during the online meetings prior to the visit, to ensure the benefit from the visit itself is maximised.

The ideal knowledge exchange period is one week. This will allow time for travel, three days of business, and extra time for personal and cultural visits.

The INU coordinator kindly requests to be kept informed of the arrangements.

Before the visit

Prior to the visit, a minimum of two online meetings should be held between the visiting staff member and the host institution, to begin the discussions around the visit and to plan the schedule.  This is to build the relationship between the two institution contacts prior to the visit, and to ensure the time spent in-country can be maximised.

It is the responsibility of the visiting member of staff to organise the necessary travel insurance for the visit (please consult with your home university and host university) and apply for a visa (if necessary).

During the visit

The visit will enable both institutions to gain an understanding of each other’s experience, expertise and initiatives and as a result, consider ways in which their departments may be able to collaborate going forward.  Future collaboration should be considered with a view to sustainable internationalisation through virtual collaboration.  This may also include inviting other INU members to be a part of the initiative.

In addition, the visit should provide a true ‘day in the life’ experience of what it is like to work in the department, whilst also sharing the wider context and future plans of the department.  The more ‘hands on’ and active, the better from both perspectives!

The visiting staff member will be asked to make a presentation to the host institution on their home institution and the work and focus of their department, including examples of best practice/ expertise where appropriate.  This should be open to as many staff as possible, to enable a broad impact across the institution and raising awareness of INU and the opportunities available also.

The host institution may provide a desk where the visiting staff member can use a laptop/computer, when needed.

Photos should be taken during the visit which can be shared with the INU Coordinator to use on the INU website, brochure and social media channels.

After the visit

Reporting on the experience

  • The applicant and host institution will be asked to complete an evaluation report on the experience and will be asked to provide photos and quotes which can be used on INU’s social media.
  • A short video will also be requested of the visiting staff member, outlining what they gained from the experience (using a smart phone in landscape mode), for use on the INU website/ social media. This can be taken during or after the visit and should be no longer than 3 minutes.   Please ensure this is filmed in landscape format, in a quiet environment without background noise and the camera is steady.  This may also be used on the INU website, promotional materials and on social media channels.

Please send photos and videos to the INU coordinator .  If the file is too large to email, please use a file sharing platform such as Google Drive or WeTransfer.

After the visit

Following up calls/meetings should be initiated by the visiting staff member in the 2 months following the visit.  The aim of these calls is to encourage an ongoing dialogue between member universities and to encourage future collaboration.

The visiting staff member /host institution might like to consider future ways of working together.  To facilitate this, there is the Seed Money Fund, which is designed to help start a project of significance which will benefit the INU network.  The Seed Money Fund aims to support creative ideas that develop internationalization and global engagement within the INU.  The fund is open to variety of activities across our INU member universities and it is open for any member of staff at an INU member institution to apply.  It would be the natural next step for the visiting staff member who might like to expand their collaboration with their host institution and broaden their reach to other INU members also.

Coronavirus considerations

Since the pandemic has resulted in different restrictions, according to individual government policies, it is important that the visiting staff member stays up to date with the latest travel guidance.

The visiting staff member is responsible for monitoring the travel restrictions in the country they are to visit, bearing in mind these can change quite quickly.  The visiting staff member also needs to ensure their travel insurance will give appropriate cover, as well as adhering to day-to-day corona virus related requirements in-country.

Stefan Els, Multimedia Producer at Stellenbosch University, South Africa shares his experience of visiting Malmo University in Sweden in March 2023, as part of INU’s Staff Knowledge Exchange Program.