A ROAD MAP TO THE GLOBAL UNIVERSITY
WILLIAM I. BRUS TEIN
It is incumbent upon our universities that we prepare students to comprehend and
offer their perspectives, as well as design and implement solutions to the major global
challenges of the twenty-first century. Discussions of internationalization of our
campuses rarely address the process in a comprehensive and systemic fashion.
The prevalent tendency is to focus on one or another
element of internationalization like global partnerships,
recruitment of international faculty and students, or
education abroad initiatives. The benefit of a systemic
approach to internationalization is that it allows us
to comprehend how one decision, activity, custom, or
structure can either inhibit or spur significant change
in the overall process. To provide both scholars and
practitioners with a comprehensive road map for our
campuses, this paper lays out the principal constituent
components or pillars of a global university.
Internationalization is included in the strategic plans of all
departments, colleges, and schools within the university.
No one doubts the positive effects of including
internationalization in the institution’s strategic plans and
goals such as promoting a more diverse faculty and student
body, fostering a capacity for effective communication
across cultural and linguistic boundaries, and equipping
students to work effectively in international settings.
However, comprehensive internationalization is unlikely to
occur unless every unit within the institution — including
academic departments, colleges, and schools — incorporates
plans and benchmarks within its own goals for its teaching,
discovery, and engagement missions.
International aspects are integrated into all majors or all
students completing a relevant internationally focused second
major, minor, or certificate.
Global competence cannot be the preserve of only a few
students. It is incumbent upon us as international educators
to gain buy-in and participation from campus academic
units in designing undergraduate programs that will let
students earn area studies certificates or minors linked and
relevant to their disciplines, or disciplinary or international
and area studies majors where both disciplinary expertise
and area/international studies are integrated. The answer
is not area studies or disciplines — it is developing a
comprehensive and coherent curriculum that will train our
students to become globally competent critical thinkers.
Financial, curricular, and other barriers are overcome to make
education abroad accessible and affordable for all students, and
education abroad offerings are evaluated in terms of quality and
relevance to the educational and career objectives of students.
If we are to reach the Senator Paul Simon Study Abroad
Foundation Act’s goal of sending one million U.S. students
abroad by 2020, we are obliged to rethink how we finance
learning abroad opportunities. Most institutions rely
on program fees ranging from a few hundred dollars to
thousands of dollars to fund education abroad offices and