NAFSA’s 19th annual Internationalizing the Campus: Profiles of Success at Colleges and Universities reflects the continued growth in support of campus internationalization from campuses across the country since the creation of the Senator Paul Simon Award for Campus Internationalization.
Each year, the selection committee receives an increasingly competitive number of applications from universities across the United States. For the Comprehensive Award, the committee seeks institutions where internationalization has been broadly infused into all facets of campus life. NAFSA received many outstanding nominations from a cross-section of distinguished institutions. Five institutions were awarded the Comprehensive Award and are profiled in this report: Davidson-Davie Community College, Florida International University, Lehigh University, Santa Fe College, and The University of Texas at Austin.
The 2021 Comprehensive Award-winning institutions feature the following characteristics:
- The campus has been widely internationalized across schools, divisions, departments, and disciplines.
- There is evidence of genuine administrative- or board-level support for internationalization.
- The campuswide internationalization has had a demonstrable impact on students.
- The institution’s mission statement contains an explicit or implicit commitment to internationalization and/or global learning.
- The institution supports education abroad as well as its international faculty, scholars, and students.
- There are programs or initiatives that are innovative and creative in their approach to campus internationalization.
- The institution’s commitment to internationalization includes the faculty and is reflected in the curriculum.
- There is an international dimension in off-campus programs, community engagement, and successful strategic partnerships.
- There is internationalization in research and/or faculty exchange.
Three institutions received the Senator Paul Simon Spotlight Award for their outstanding accomplishments in a specific area of internationalization: Indiana University for its Global Gateway for Teachers program, Miami Dade College for its Educate Tomorrow Abroad program, and the University of North Carolina Wilmington for its First-Year Spring Admit in the United Kingdom program.
All eight institutions receive recognition at the Simon Award Presidential Panel and Awards Reception as part of International Education Week. The presidents are featured in a virtual moderated panel discussion about their institutions’ successes in campus internationalization.
The Simon Award celebrates the legacy of the late Senator Paul Simon of Illinois, a lifelong advocate for international education and exchange, by recognizing universities and programs that promote international understanding and a more just and peaceful world. NAFSA continues to support the Senator Paul Simon Study Abroad Program Act, which would create a program to incentivize institutional change to make education abroad an integral part of higher education. The Senator Paul Simon Study Abroad Program Act would advance the goals of ensuring that 1 million U.S. college students study abroad annually for credit; study abroad participants are representative of the undergraduate population in terms of gender, ethnicity, income level, and field of study; and a significantly greater proportion of education abroad occurs in nontraditional destinations.
As international education continues to face complex challenges wrought by the global pandemic, examples of excellence can inspire innovative internationalization plans. We hope that international educators across all levels of campus communities see this report as an opportunity to celebrate the value of well-planned and well-executed international education efforts and broaden the reach of best practices in internationalization. Internationalizing the Campus is also of great value for communities beyond the campus. Legislatures and government agencies may find it a helpful tool for discussing and understanding international education and exchange.
NAFSA congratulates each institution recognized in the 2021 Internationalizing the Campus report for its outstanding work. These institutions truly recognize the importance of promoting international education in the world today and building a globally competent workforce in the increasingly globalized economy.
NAFSA acknowledges and is very appreciative of the work done by the five member-leaders who constituted the committee responsible for selecting the award-winning institutions profiled in Internationalizing the Campus 2021. Each of the five committee members is from a previous Simon Award-winning school:
- Samantha Brandauer, MA (chair), Dickinson College
- William I. Brustein, PhD, West Virginia University
- Anthony L. Pinder, EdD, Emerson College
- Joanna Regulska, PhD, University of California, Davis
- Dawn Wood, MA, Kirkwood Community College
Their careful review of the nominations and thorough deliberations were outstanding. This report was researched and written by Charlotte West, a freelance writer and frequent contributor to NAFSA’s International Educator magazine. She has served as the author of Internationalizing the Campus since 2015.
We thank West for her dedication and expertise and the institutions featured in this publication for their assistance in helping her research and report their stories. We continue to be indebted to the family of Senator Paul Simon for lending the late senator’s name to the Senator Paul Simon Award for Comprehensive Internationalization and the Senator Paul Simon Spotlight Award, bestowed upon the five and three institutions, respectively, in the 2021 report.
Internationalizing the Campus reports from previous years and information about the competition can be viewed online at www.nafsa.org/itc.