Nov. 14, 2017

University of Calgary named 2017 Institutional Award Winner for Global Learning, Research, and Engagement

Award presented by the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU)
Vice-Provost (International) Janaka Ruwanpura, APLU President Peter McPherson, and Provost and Vice-President (Academic) Dru Marshall.

Janaka Ruwanpura, APLU President Peter McPherson, and Provost and Dru Marshall.


In recognition of extraordinary global engagement efforts, the University of Calgary has been named the winner of the 2017 Institutional Award for Global Learning, Research and Engagement. The award, presented by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), recognizes institutions at the leading edge of inclusive and comprehensive efforts to internationalize their campuses.

The University of Calgary is working to become a global intellectual hub through our international strategy as well as leveraging the four pillars included in the strategy — diversity, cross-cultural competencies, partnerships and international development.

“The University of Calgary is committed to empowering our students to solve challenges locally, nationally and internationally through curricular and co-curricular experiences,” says Dru Marshall, provost and vice-president (academic). “We are striving to ensure our campus is an inclusive place, where everyone has the opportunity to experience high-quality teaching and learning and research and pursue life experience that helps them become connectors and leaders.”

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.

Award trophy.

Award trophy.

“To achieve excellence in the 21st century, universities must integrate global teaching, research, and engagement into their missions,” said APLU President Peter McPherson. “Public universities are searching for ways to increase their international presence and the University of Calgary has contributed an exceptional example of how an institution can deepen its impact at home and abroad through international work.”

“We are honoured and happy to be the first Canadian university to receive this prestigious award.” says Vice-Provost (International) Janaka Ruwanpura, who spearheads UCalgary’s internationalization efforts. “Our international strategy and relentless work has served us well and we’re pleased to see this work acknowledged.”

Just a year ago, the University of Calgary won the 2016 Award for Comprehensive Internationalization from the Canadian Bureau of International Education. The new award with its North American focus recognizes the strides made by UCalgary in internationalizing its campus, explains Ruwanpura.

“Today 26 per cent of our graduate students are international, we send more students abroad than the Canadian national average, we have forged some valuable partnerships and our international development work is strong.”

The university launched Global Research Initiatives and sites in China and Mexico with more than $57 million in external funding, delivering international development projects, creating collaborative degree models, and increasing funding commitments to enhance international learning experiences for students.

University of Calgary researchers are also currently undertaking international engagement projects in: Tanzania to improve maternal and child health (with more than $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. 

Read more about the University of Calgary’s International Strategy.

UCalgary award-winning internationalization strategy