“An internationalized curriculum must focus on more than content. To make sense of and thrive in the world, students need to develop their ability to think critically, their intercultural competence, and their problem-solving skills, as well as the ability to apply these skills and competencies in a rapidly changing, increasingly globalized and interconnected world.”
- Betty Leask, Internationalizing the Curriculum
In 2018, we should be asking “how” internationalization works instead of “why.” Students entering higher education today do so with a unique global mindset. In most cases this outlook isn’t intentional- instead it’s a byproduct of growing up a digital citizen.
This new mindset and a need to refine accompanying skills make for an incredibly diverse modern learning environment. Accelerating digital technology opens up shared skills and literacies that connect communities worldwide like never before, and vary much less today based on who you are and where in the world you live.
These are the rules of the Social Era: a level playing field provided by digital technology; the opportunity for anyone to innovate; and access to these innovation tools. And this is where internationalization comes in.
Increasingly, the skills of the Social Era are table stakes when it comes to finding work after graduation. In recent years Centennial College made it a strategic priority to establish itself as a leader in internationalization at the curricular and co-curricular level. The College actively infuses principles of global citizenship, social justice education, equity and inclusion in the learning environment.
Together these skills and principles support the enterprise of digital citizenry and ensure that students are better equipped to contribute in the workplace with learned and soft skills.
So how do we move these students along? How can we adapt existing higher education structures to accommodate economies and markets playing by a new set of rules?
At The Heart of the Push
Centennial’s Centre for Global Citizenship Education & Inclusion (GCEI) is at the heart of this push. The College’s Book of Commitments, as well as its Academic Plan, detail how the GCEI and the entire College can work collaboratively with Centennial students and staff to achieve these goals.
In 2017, faculty members were interviewed regarding their best practices in internationalizing the learning environment. The results from this data indicated that faculty members are leveraging the rich global knowledge of their students, curating course contents with global context, and proactively developing their own global experiences through various initiatives available within and outside of the College.
While faculty members are passionate in delivering the best learning experience possible for the diverse student population, we also learned that it is a challenge to effectively integrate meaningful internationalization learning strategies.
Inclusive Internationalization Summit
On June 5, 2018 the inaugural Inclusive Internationalization Summit: The Future of Transformative Learning will allow attendees to examine internationalization through the lenses of diversity, equity and inclusion. Attendees will collaborate with other higher education professionals on institutional transformation to increase student success and further enhance the concept of global citizenry.
The summit’s broad aims include:
- Advancing new theoretical frameworks, collaborative research and promising practices that contribute to efforts to move inclusive internationalization forward in post-secondary institutions;
- Promoting dialogue and critical reflection on how to further develop innovative internationalization initiatives in teaching practices, learning, and services within post-secondary institutions; and
- Asking participants to consider the contextual realities of the new global era resulting from increased student diversity, globalization, industry expectations of the ‘global graduate’, and manifestations of global systemic inequities
The Inclusive Internationalization Summit: The Future of Transformative Learning happens on June 5, 2018. To learn more about this event, or Centennial College’s SLE, please click here.