“Global experience is an essential component of a college education in today’s hyper-connected world,” said APLU President Peter McPherson. “The University of Minnesota has spearheaded a comprehensive approach to internationalization on its campus to ensure that its students have a complete global learning experience that will better prepare them to be part of the global economy as well as engaged citizens. We applaud their exceptional work and look forward to sharing the example they have set with other public universities across the country.”
The APLU Institutional Award for Global Learning, Research, and Engagement recognizes a demonstrated commitment to and institutional evidence of a core set of criteria:
- Inclusivity — the degree to which the institution is committed to and successful in empowering all students through global learning;
- Research and Engagement of Consequence — the degree to which the scientific, scholarly, and engagement efforts of the institution are directed to addressing pressing global problems;
- Pervasiveness — the degree to which the institution has been successful in fostering a pervasive international culture across campus, including a broad range of internal and external stakeholders in the process of internationalization; and
- Leadership and Measurement — the degree to which the institution’s leadership has made internationalization a priority for the institution and is measuring progress and impact across the institution.
The University of Minnesota has a long history of prioritizing student mobility, intercultural learning, and fostering a welcoming environment to scholars from around the globe. Building on that history, the university aims to create a “global culture” and ensure all students have access to international experiences.
Among the first in the country, the University of Minnesota conducts and commissions a host of surveys and research projects to identify international student satisfaction, the educational impact of international students, and best practices for integrating international and domestic students.
Through its Curriculum Integration of Learning Abroad program, the university has nearly quadrupled the number of students studying abroad. And in 2015, it adopted a Grand Challenges curriculum that addresses global challenges through an interdisciplinary, solution-driven approach.
Institutions applying for the Institutional Award for Global Learning, Research, and Engagement underwent a rigorous application process that required documenting institutional commitment to comprehensive internationalization efforts. A review committee comprised of senior academic and international education officers examined the applications and scored them to determine finalists. The committee then determined the winner based on the finalists’ applications.
In addition to the University of Minnesota, Arizona State University, The Ohio State University, and the University of California, San Diego were named finalists for the inaugural Institutional Award for Global Learning, Research, & Engagement.