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Institutional Award for Global Learning, Research, and Engagement

The APLU Institutional Award for Global Learning, Research, and Engagement recognizes the past six years of public universities' efforts to drive an inclusive and comprehensive approach to global engagement, research, and learning.

We are aware this past year has been particularly challenging due to the impact of COVID-19 on our campuses and to our communities. To recognize this challenge, we have extended the submission period by three weeks and encourage prior applicants to update their previous submissions.  Please note that this Award recognizes the past six years of globalization efforts and not just the last academic year.

The Selection Committee will choose one Platinum winner of the APLU Institutional Award and may award one-to-three “Gold Awards” for excellence in one or several of the four evaluation criteria for this award. The Award winner and Gold awardees will be celebrated at the 2020 APLU Annual Meeting, November 8-10, in Orlando, Florida.

About the CII Institutional Award

As an organization bringing together North America’s public research universities, APLU is committed to public service, to providing access to a high-quality global education for all students, and to tackling global problems. APLU believes every student in North America must have multiple opportunities for global learning. Global learning is an essential element of higher education in the 21st Century – helping students to imagine different futures and the role they can play in creating a fair and sustainable world.   It is also increasingly key to competitiveness in the global economy. 

The award recognizes a demonstrated commitment to and institutional evidence of:

  • Inclusivity—the degree to which the institution is committed to and successful in empowering all students through global learning;
  • Internationalization of Research and Engagement—the degree to which the institution is committed to the 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.

APLU hopes every institution that is striving to comprehensively and inclusively internationalize its campus will consider applying for the APLU Institutional Award for Global Learning, Research, and Engagement so APLU can honor your work and share it with other public universities as we continue to encourage internationalization efforts across campuses. If you have any questions, please contact Bernie Burrola, Vice President for International Programs at

Previous Award Winners

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 Winner (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 Winner (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: 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. 

2018: 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.

2017: 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: 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.