Our Work

International Impact Awards

The 2023 cycle of the International Impact Awards is now closed. The 2024 cycle will open in early 2024.

About the APLU International Impact Awards

The APLU International Impact Awards recognize member universities and their leaders for driving an inclusive approach to internationalization, while measuring and demonstrating the impact and institutional commitment of those efforts.

APLU’s Commission on International Initiatives (CII) recognizes excellence in inclusive internationalization efforts at member universities through the following three International Impact Awards:

The awards recognize results in three categories across the institution:

  • Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity—how the institution empowers all stakeholders in its internationalization efforts;
  • Institutional Commitment—how the institution’s leadership (at the president/chancellor or provost level) is committed to Global Engagement, Global Research, or Global Teaching and Learning, and how they make it a priority for the institution;
  • Assessment—how the institution measures participation and impact.

The winners of each Impact Award will be celebrated at the APLU Annual Meeting.

APLU hopes every institution that is striving to comprehensively and inclusively internationalize its campus will consider applying for one or more of the APLU International Impact Awards, so that APLU can honor the institutions’ work and share it with other public universities as we continue to encourage internationalization efforts across campuses. If you have any questions, please contact Jordan Merker, International Engagement Manager, at jmerker@aplu.org.

Previous Award Winners

Due to the restructuring of the award into the International Impact Awards, no Platinum or Gold Awards were given in 2022.

2021 Platinum Winner: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has made globalizing the university one of the top priorities in its strategic plan. Under the Global Guarantee, Carolina’s promise that a global education is available to every student, the university has expanded the menu of global learning opportunities. Carolina faculty have embraced Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL), through an initiative launched by the Office of the Vice Provost for Global Affairs in summer 2020. In addition to traditional study abroad opportunities, students can also enroll in virtual study abroad to undertake research projects, internships, or courses at a partner university. UNC-Chapel Hill’s robust network of partnerships around the world produces results and substantially advances Carolina’s aspiration to be the leading global public research university.

2021 Gold Award (Leadership and Pervasiveness): University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Between 2018 and 2020, more than 400 students, faculty, and staff at UMBC participated in activities designed to help shape UMBC’s global engagement strategy. The university’s global engagement strategy includes robust opportunities for increasing access to global learning opportunities at home, including development of online intercultural training programs, expansion of Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) and innovative partnerships with Maryland-based community organizations focused on global engagement.

2020 Platinum Winner: University of California, Davis
University of California, Davis has taken a multidimensional approach to internationalizing its campus. The university’s Global Education for All initiative aims to provide every undergraduate, graduate, and professional student with global learning opportunities. Since 2015, participation in study abroad has increased 28 percent and participation in global internships has more than doubled. To promote global research and engagement, the university created global centers to better link UC Davis with researchers across the globe. The university also created a set of advisory groups tasked with advancing the university’s internationalization in education, research, and engagement.

2020 Gold Award (Global Engagement): University of Pittsburgh
The University of Pittsburgh has a host of efforts promoting global engagement. The university’s educational programs to K-12 schools and community college leaders emphasize international studies and world languages. Pitt also hosts the mid-Atlantic coordinating site for the National Consortium for Teaching about Asia.

2020 Gold Award (Global Learning): Virginia Commonwealth University
Over the past six years, Virginia Commonwealth University has prioritized increased inclusion in global learning programs. The university launched a globally oriented living-learning program that is one of the first credit-bearing courses of its kind. The university also achieved a 23 percent increase in study abroad participation since the 2014-2015 school year.

2019 Platinum Winner: University of South Florida
The University of South Florida 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. 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.

2019 Gold Award (Leadership and Pervasiveness): The Pennsylvania State University
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.

2019 Gold Award (Internationalization of Research and Engagement): University of British Columbia
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.

2019 Gold Award (Inclusivity): Florida International University
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.

2018 Platinum Winner: Florida State University
Florida State University is working to secure its place as a leader in internationalization. Offering study abroad opportunities in 60 disciplines at 20 locations across the globe, FSU ranks twelfth in the nation in study abroad participation. The university also boasts an expansive global research and engagement presence.

2018 Gold Award (Leadership and Pervasiveness): University of Alberta
Over the past two decades, the University of Alberta has transformed into an institution that comprehensively enriches its academic agenda through international experiences.

2018 Gold Award (Internationalization of Research and Engagement): Arizona State University
Arizona State University has worked to vastly expand its research productivity in recent years. The university increased investment in global research, instruction, and public service by 40 times since 2008.

2018 Gold Award (Inclusivity): University of South Carolina
The University of South Carolina has established a range of programs to ensure inclusive international learning experiences. These efforts include its Black & Abroad, LatinX Abroad, and Queer & Abroad programs, which connect students with study abroad alumni from these groups to help guide them through the study abroad process.

2017 Award Winner: University of Calgary
The University of Calgary 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 – the University of Calgary made vital strides in internationalizing its campus.

2016 Award Winner: University of Minnesota
The University of Minnesota established a wide-ranging internationalization effort that spans the entire institution – from international students and study abroad to research projects and curriculum design.

Featured Project & Initiative

The Data Literacy Institute – a partnership between APLU and the Association for Institutional Research with funding from Ascendium – brings together cross-departmental teams from 11 Powered by Publics institutions from Cluster 14 to engage in training that enhance their use of data to improve equitable student outcomes. In May 2022, Powered by Publics held […]

Featured Publication

2022 APLU Annual Report