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APLU Announces Four Finalists for the 2017 Institutional Award for Global Learning, Research, & Engagement

Washington, DC – In recognition of their extraordinary global engagement efforts, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) today named the University of Calgary; Michigan State University; Queen’s University; and the University of Washington finalists for its 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 2017 APLU Annual Meeting November 12-14 in Washington, DC.

“Global experience has never been more important for graduates to have in our interconnected world,” said APLU President Peter McPherson. “The University of Calgary, Michigan State, Queen’s University, and the University of Washington have all established exceptional international education efforts. We applaud their internationalization work and we look forward to spotlighting the innovative practices they pioneered so that other public universities can draw from those efforts.”

The award recognizes institutions with a demonstrated commitment to:

  • 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

The University of Calgary (UCalgary) is working to become a global intellectual hub through the international strategy it launched in 2013. Leveraging the four pillars of its international strategy: diversity, cross-cultural competencies, partnerships and international development, UCalgary has delivered tremendous results and outcomes linked to the success of its strategy. The major outcomes are: launching Global Research Initiatives and sites in China and Mexico with more than $57 million in external funding, delivering international development projects, developing collaborative degree models and increased funding commitment to enhance international learning experience. UCalgary undergraduates are studying abroad at a rate 55 percent higher than their peers, according to Universities Canada data. UCalgary researchers are also currently undertaking international engagement projects in Tanzania to improve maternal and child health (with over $12 million funding); in Bangladesh to prevent poisoning from well water contaminated by high levels of arsenic; and in Guyana to establish a cardiac intensive care unit and train nurses and physicians.

Michigan State University has long been at the forefront of efforts to advance international education, scholarship, and engagement. The university today ranks seventh in the nation for study abroad participation. Over the past five years, international student enrollment has increased by 10 percent. The university is creating a Globally Engaged Citizen Badge for students to develop and demonstrate core competencies of global citizenship. Michigan State University is investing $100 million for recruitment of 100 new faculty researchers to accelerate research aimed at tackling global grand challenges through its Global Impact Initiative. The institution’s Academy for Global Engagement fellowship program focuses on early- and mid-career research faculty who gain the knowledge and skills necessary to become the next generation of leading internationally-focused researchers.

Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario combines research excellence with outstanding student life and learning to provide Canada’s definitive university experience. Queen’s is home to the 2015 Nobel Laureate in Physics, Dr. Arthur B. McDonald, and boasts the highest graduation rate in Canada. Internationalization, one of the four pillars of Queen’s Strategic Framework, is the cornerstone of Queen’s efforts to attract the very best talent, achieve rich cross-pollination of ideas and perspectives, and create a diverse and inclusive campus environment that reflects our global world. The Queen’s University Comprehensive International Plan, launched in 2015, sets ambitious and measurable goals for international research, international mobility, international enrollment management, and campus-based international activities. Within only two years, Queen’s has exceeded its 2019 targets for international student enrollment and for student and faculty participation in intercultural training. Queen’s is also on track to exceed the 2019 target of increasing undergraduate exchange participation by 25 percent. The university was recently awarded a 10-year, $24 million grant from the Mastercard Foundation’s Scholars Program to develop Ethiopia’s first occupational therapy program in partnership with the University of Gondar.

The University of Washington embraces its mission to advance the public good through teaching, research, and engagement efforts. The institution takes a global view of that responsibility. Over 2,000 Washington students study abroad each year and the university is working to not only increase the number of students in exchange programs, but also the racial and economic diversity of study abroad participants. Since removing barriers to study abroad participation and overhauling financial aid for study abroad programs, study abroad participants now mirror the diversity of the institution itself. The University of Washington also boasts a robust international research and engagement portfolio, with nearly 2,000 internationally focused faculty research projects completed in the 2015-2016 school year. The institution’s Department of Global Health (DGH) currently has more than 130 countries with 390 faculty and 800 staff based mostly in low- and middle-income countries working to achieve sustainable, high-quality healthcare while reducing health inequities globally.

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