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APLU Announces Four Finalists for Inaugural Institutional Award for Global Learning, Research, & Engagement

Washington, D.C. — In recognition of their extraordinary global engagement efforts, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities today named Arizona State University; the University of California, San Diego; The Ohio State University; and the University of Minnesota as finalists for its inaugural Institutional Award for Global Learning, Research & Engagement. The award recognizes institutions at the leading edge of inclusive and comprehensive efforts to internationalize their campuses. The winner will be announced during the 2016 APLU Annual Meeting November 13-15 in Austin, Texas.

“Global experiences are a critically important component of a college education in the 21st Century,” said APLU President Peter McPherson. “Arizona State, Ohio State, the University of California, San Diego, and the University of Minnesota are exemplars in international education. They deserve to be recognized for their efforts and championed as a study in effective and innovative internationalization efforts.”

The award 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.

Background on the Finalists

Arizona State University (ASU) is working to apply the key principle of its charter – inclusiveness – to its approach to internationalization. ASU ranks as a top five institution for international students, is in the top 25 for study abroad, and boasts the most Fulbright scholars of any research institution. ASU academics are undertaking research projects in 80 countries across the globe. The university has also partnered with edX and other institutions to form the Global Freshman Academy, a first-of-its-kind online education initiative offering first-year college-level courses for academic credit. And it has joined with private foundations to help provide quality higher education to students in economically distressed communities in sub-Saharan Africa.

The Ohio State University has spearheaded a host of initiatives to bolster its internationalization. It launched the Global Option, a curriculum enhancement program that helps undergraduates acquire international knowledge through coursework that is integrated into their majors. Ohio State ranks 7th in the number of students studying abroad, and participation has increased 51 percent in the last four years alone. It has also created research networks that tackle intractable global challenges like hunger, climate change, and illnesses that harm human health. OSU is also partnering with universities in East Africa to address cervical cancer, maternal and child health, food safety, rabies prevention and control and sharing the information through innovative e-learning technology.

The University of California, San Diego (UCSD) is perched on the U.S.-Mexican border and as an institution straddling two cultures and countries, its commitment to international education is at the heart of the university’s mission. One-fifth of UCSD’s 26,000 undergraduates study abroad before completing their degree, a sixth of the study body is from outside the United States, and the university ranks sixth among institutions hosting international scholars. UCSD also hosts the Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies and partners with El Colegio de la Frontera Norte and Universidad Autonoma de Baja California to examine and identify binational competitive advantages.

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 upon this history and facing a changing student body, the university continues to strengthen its efforts to integrate domestic and international students as part of its strategy to expand access to international experiences for all of its students and create a “global culture” on campus. Among the first in the country, the University has begun to conduct and commission 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, 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.

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