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In the framework of their first SOCRATES/ERASMUS applications in 1996, institutions of higher education in Europe were asked to formulate and submit a European Policy Statement (EPS) expressing the managerial and strategic thrust of their European goals and activities for which they wanted to receive support. As this was a new exercise for many institutions, especially from countries in which mission statements are not the rule, the resulting EPSs often contained a number of inconsistencies with regard to institutional strategies and policies and with regard to the relationship between institutional and European goals and policies. The contribution discusses typical problems of the strategic management of internationalisation processes at higher education institutions by presenting results of an analysis of these EPSs. It also draws some conclusions regarding implications for future developments in the context of institutional management of change and the concept of the learning organisation.