University of Calgary

University of Calgary launches International Strategy, diversity targets

UToday HomeMarch 25, 2013

University of Calgary professor Janaka Ruwanpura was appointed Feb. 1, 2013 to lead the International Strategy. Photo by Riley BrandtUniversity of Calgary professor Janaka Ruwanpura was appointed Feb. 1, 2013 to lead the International Strategy. Photo by Riley BrandtThe University of Calgary today announced a new International Strategy, a key step forward in our ambitious Eyes High strategic direction.

A key target is increasing the number of international students on campus to 10 per cent of the undergraduate population and 25 per cent of the graduate population by 2016.

Another target of the International Strategy is creating opportunities for 50 per cent of all students to have an international experience as part of their program of studies.

“We want to differentiate the University of Calgary from its peers by achieving a distinctive vision of internationalization,” says President Elizabeth Cannon. “We are not only interested in attracting high-quality international students to the University of Calgary; we also want our students to travel internationally and have meaningful international experiences as part of their programs of study. We are pleased to be working with the Government of Alberta to ensure that our strategy is aligned with the province’s own goals for internationalization and economic prosperity.”

Cannon adds, “I’d like to recognize the leadership role played by the International Strategy Task Force, chaired by our provost, Dru Marshall, for helping us to define and chart this important new course for the university.”

“The Government of Alberta is pleased that the University of Calgary’s strategy focuses on collaborating with international partners, building new relationships abroad and strengthening others to create new opportunities, develop connections and build mutually beneficial partnerships,” says Cal Dallas, Minister of International and Intergovernmental Relations. “Collaborative relationships give Alberta a stronger and more successful presence internationally and help diversify markets to expand our economy.”

The University of Calgary’s Eyes High strategic direction, launched in 2011, aims to become one of Canada’s top five research universities by our 50th anniversary in 2016, grounded in innovative teaching and learning and fully integrated with our community. The roadmap for achieving Eyes High is articulated in the Academic and Strategic Research plans that followed in 2012. One of the seven priorities identified in the Academic Plan as a key to the university’s success is internationalization.

“Our city demands creative graduates who have a global orientation, are competitive in a global marketplace, and who can adapt to diverse cultural environments,” says Janaka Ruwanpura, vice-provost (international), who was appointed on Feb. 1, 2013 to lead the International Strategy. “We want to become a leading choice in Canada for international students, scholars and partners.”

The International Strategy commits the university to achieving higher international targets and lays out the steps necessary to attain those targets through the alignment of resources, projects and partnerships — domestically and internationally.

The International Strategy includes four key goals:

  1. Increase the diversity of our campus communities;
  2. Improve global and cross-cultural competencies within our campus communities;
  3. Enhance opportunities for international collaborations and partnerships in research and education, and;
  4. Leverage our unique areas of expertise to engage in international development.

The International Strategy identifies six “regions of emphasis” where the university maintains strong ongoing partnerships and where we will sharpen our focus to develop mutually-beneficial, sustainable initiatives. These are China, Germany, Mexico, the Middle East, Tanzania and the United States. The strategy also identifies another 13 “regions of interest” that offer promise for future academic and research plans.

Specific councils will be created to support the implementation of the International Strategy:

  • A Council of Associate Deans International will provide integration and oversight for internationalization efforts at the faculty level within the university,
  • Countries or Regions of Emphasis Councils that will develop and oversee the implementation of country and region-specific international strategies.
  • An overarching International Strategy Council, chaired by the president, that will comprise all country and regional chairs, and a select group of academic, industry and community leaders, responsible for the overarching implementation of the International Strategy, including making decisions on country/regional designation.

“This clear institutional strategy will guide decision-making about which of the many possible international opportunities or investments we should pursue,” explains Ruwanpura. “I look forward to working with the university community, government, industry and community leaders to focus our international activity so that our university becomes known as a global intellectual hub.”

Related links:

Highlights of the International Strategy

Eyes High website with videos, photos

Academic Plan

Research Plan


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