UC Santa Cruz to implement strategic plan for internationalization

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Even in the midst of the pandemic, UC Santa Cruz has launched several new opportunities for worldwide engagement.
Even in the midst of the pandemic, UC Santa Cruz has launched several new opportunities for worldwide engagement.
shj@ucsc.edu (Scott Hernandez-Jason)

In support of a campus wide effort to build and strengthen worldwide relationships, UC Santa Cruz will adopt and implement a new strategic plan for internationalization.

The Strategic Plan for Internationalization (SPI) and corresponding implementation plan are living, evolving documents that are the result of the campus’s participation in the American Council on Education’s (ACE) Internationalization Laboratory.

UC Santa Cruz is advancing comprehensive internationalization to ensure that the members of the campus community — students, faculty, and staff — are prepared and encouraged to study, teach, conduct research, and work in a global context, and that institutional policies, programs, and initiatives are aligned to achieve this shared goal.

“The important issues of our day do not stop at international borders,” said Chancellor Cynthia Larive. “Communities across the globe are already deeply connected via social media, commerce, and higher education. It is important that our community of students and scholars problem-solve on a global scale, advance the well-being of people and places worldwide, and value the diversity of thought that a strong internationalization plan provides.”

Opportunities have already been launched as part of the SPI during the pandemic to expand equity and access to global learning for UCSC students as well as innovative virtual teaching opportunities for faculty.

Global Classrooms expand access

In fall 2021, four Global Classrooms were launched, which paired students in a UCSC classroom with students in classrooms in Kenya, Colombia, and China to work virtually on joint projects. The fall courses were delivered by Merrill College Provost Elizabeth Abrams, lecturer Melvin Cox, Associate Professor of Computer Science and Engineering Alvaro Cardenas, and Assistant Professor of Linguistics Jess Law.

Three additional Global Classrooms are being offered this winter quarter by Professor of Politics Matthew Sparke, Coordinator of the Right Livelihood College David Shaw, Professor of Art Beth Stevens, and Continuing Lecturer of Anthropology Annapurna Pandey. In spring, courses will be delivered by Associate Professor of Computational Media Angus Forbes, and Professor of Digital Art and New Media Jennifer Parker.

The faculty teaching the Global Classrooms received training in Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) to create successful models for class to class engagement in the virtual space. The Call for Applications is now open for the next round of Global Classrooms and faculty are encouraged to consider this opportunity to expand access to global learning through technology.

Virtual Student Exchange builds connections with Pacific Rim Universities

Through its membership with the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU) UC Santa Cruz is part of a Virtual Student Exchange (VSE), which allows students to take online courses at top universities around the Pacific Rim for UC credit as part of their full time enrollment. In exchange, students at those universities are allowed to enroll in online courses offered at UCSC.

Alan Christy’s History and Memory in the Okinawan Islands course was described by a virtual exchange student from the University of Auckland as “incredibly satisfying and fulfilling. It is not every course that you leave feeling that you truly have knowledge of the subject in question that will stay with you wherever you go next. I believe this is largely attributable to the deep, unparalleled knowledge that the instructor wielded, as well as the high-quantity, high-quality assessments and research materials that the teaching staff compiled.”

The next opportunity for students to participate in the VSE is spring 2022. Students can learn more on the Global Learning website. Faculty interested in offering their online course as part of this program in fall 2022 can look out for the next call for course submissions in the spring quarter.

Virtual Global Internships to continue in 2022

Virtual Global Internships were offered for students in summer 2021 as a pilot program and will continue into summer 2022. Interns were placed virtually with host organizations located in Canada, China, Colombia, France, Hong Kong, Japan, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, and the UK. While interning, students also enrolled in summer courses offered by Languages and Applied Linguistics, and Cowell and Rachel Carson colleges. Expansion to in-person internships abroad in summer 2022 will launch specifically for psychology students in Spain and Portugal through a collaboration between the academic department and Global Engagement. These experiential learning opportunities, both virtual and in an international setting, are helping us achieve the Beyond the Classroom priority of our Student Success Initiative.

In-person internships to bring international students to UCSC

The International Summer Research Internship (ISRP) launched virtually in summer 2021 through a collaboration with Baskin School of Engineering and Global Engagement. This summer the research internships will be in person, bringing top undergraduate students to UC Santa Cruz from partner universities abroad to work in research labs alongside students and faculty. Participants praised the practical benefits of learning how to work as part of an international team, and the value that this research experience imparts on their future academic and career plans. Faculty have the opportunity to participate in this program as UC Santa Cruz expands ISRP in summer 2023 and beyond.

“Comprehensive internationalization requires engagement and commitment from all levels of the university leadership, faculty, and staff across campus,” said Vice Provost Richard Hughey. “We urge all who are interested in this effort to visit our Internationalization website. There, you will find details about the Strategic Plan, the implementation timeline, progress made on the goals, and more.”

“We hope faculty, staff and students will take part in bringing a global perspective to our campus goals of teaching, research, and service,” said Hughey. “We cannot solve global problems such as public health, climate change, and world food shortages without international research and cooperation.”