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APLU Names University of South Florida Winner of 2019 Institutional Award for Global Learning, Research, & Engagement; Three Others Recognized for Internationalization Efforts

San Diego, CA – In recognition of its extraordinary global learning, research, and engagement efforts, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) today named the University of South Florida the winner of the Platinum Level of its 2019 Institutional Award for Global Learning, Research & Engagement. The Platinum Level recognizes institutions at the leading edge of inclusive and comprehensive efforts to internationalize their campuses. The University of British Columbia, Pennsylvania State University, and Florida International University were all recognized for their internationalization efforts as recipients of Gold Level Awards. The Gold Level award recognizes institutions that have excelled in one of the four dimensions of internationalization.

“Global engagement is essential to student and institutional success,” said APLU President Peter McPherson. “For years, the University of South Florida has distinguished itself through its excellent global engagement work and we’re delighted to spotlight the example it has set. We applaud the University of British Columbia, Pennsylvania State University, and Florida International University for the exemplary internationalization work they’ve created and implemented.”

The overall award recognizes institutions with a demonstrated commitment to:

  • Inclusivity — the degree to which the institution is committed to and successfully empowered all students through global learning;
  • Internationalization of Research and Engagement — the degree to which the institution has successfully achieved internationalization of research and engagement;
  • Leadership and Pervasiveness — the degree to which the institution’s leadership (at the president/chancellor or provost level) has made internationalization a priority for the institution and the degree to which internationalization pervades the culture across campus; and
  • Assessment — the degree to which the institution is committed to measuring progress and impact of internationalization across the institution.

More information on the winners’ internationalization efforts are below.

The University of South Florida (USF) has embraced a holistic approach to campus internationalization. In 2014, the university launched its USF Education Abroad Inclusion Initiative to broaden participation in study abroad. The program has spurred a 34 percent increase in study abroad participation among Latino students, a 49 percent increase among multi-racial students, and a 55 percent increase among black students. The program has also aimed to engage more low-income students – with over $1 million in study abroad scholarships awarded to more than 1,000 students who would otherwise not been able to study abroad.

USF has robust international engagement through research and engagement as well. Thanks to its focus on global engagement, USF is the top producer for Fulbright Scholars in the United States. The university provides dedicated institutional funding supporting faculty research abroad and the USF Nexus Initiative creates opportunities for faculty to partner with researchers abroad as they conduct research in the U.S. In the program’s first year, it funded over 80 unique collaborations across 32 countries and 12 states.

Since 2001, the university was an emerging regional university beginning to develop a national reputation. Today, the National Science Foundation ranks USF in the top 25 public research universities in the U.S in research conducted. The university has grown its research portfolio from $185 million to more than $550 million while significantly bolstering its presence on the global stage.

Finally, USF established an extensive assessment framework to monitor the university’s global footprint. The university launched a Global Discovery Hub to deliver a comprehensive, data-driven portrait of how USF interacts with the world. The interactive software provides modules examining international partnerships, faculty expertise, inbound and outbound student mobility by country, an alumni portal for graduates living and working abroad.

In addition to its comprehensive award for internationalization, APLU recognizes other institutions for their exemplary efforts in meeting one of the four internationalization criteria outlined above. Those institutions and their work are listed below.

The Pennsylvania State University – Gold Award in Leadership and Pervasiveness
Penn State’s leadership has worked to develop and implement a Global Penn State effort to spur more pervasive internationalization. Global Penn State is woven into the university’s strategic plan. To help realize the vision across the Penn State regional campuses, the university has created 12 new staff positions located across the state to provide immigration advising and co-circular programming to undergraduate international students. In 2017, Provost Nicholas Jones formed the Provost’s Global Advisory Council to seek guidance and advice about the university’s global engagement strategies from external constituents. In 2018, a council member donated $1 million to endow an international internship and leadership program in the Office of Global Programs to provide innovative international internships for students seeking global leadership experiences.

University of British Columbia – Gold Award in Internationalization of Research and Engagement
Already a global center for research and engagement, the University of British Columbia has worked to bolster the internationalization of its work in these areas. The university has partnership agreements with more than 300 universities and research institutions in over 50 countries. Faculty are engaged in research collaborations around the world, with 57 percent of UBC’s research publications involving international partners, up eight percent from 2013. UBC researchers also study a range of issues affecting lives across the globe — from human health to food security and sustainable water supply to literacy. In partnership with universities, industries, governments and communities worldwide, UBC’s global engagement and international research collaboration is advancing new knowledge that has led to new products, treatments, and services.

Florida International University – Gold Award in Inclusivity
With a student population of more than 58,000, Florida International University has worked to ensure every student has global learning opportunities that prepare them to succeed in the 21st Century economy. In 2008, the university launched an Office of Global Learning tasked with ensuring every student has an international education. The office worked with the broader campus community to launch the university’s Global Learning for Global Citizenship, its long-term commitment to developing students’ knowledge and skills so they can solve global problems. In addition to a host of other international experiences, over 100,000 students have benefitted from the university’s global learning courses and over 900 faculty have participated in global learning professional development workshops to date.

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