From the QUAA

Behind the numbers

Colin McLeod in front of a grey background, wearing a blue shirt and smiling at the camera.

By now, many of you will be aware that Queen’s recently launched the Global Strategic Engagement Plan 2023-2028, which called for a new perspective on the university’s core mission – to have an impact for the greater good – not only in Canada, but worldwide. As alumni, we are an important part of this opportunity and to highlight this, consider the following three numbers:


The Global Strategic Engagement Plan articulates six objectives to support the university in its goal to have global impact – enhancing global partnerships; global learning; research and knowledge mobilization; a global campus; a whole university approach; and communicating impact. These objectives are a blueprint for greater global engagement over the coming years, in order to position the life and work of the university to make a meaningful difference to society at home and abroad. Understandably, alumni are and will continue to be key contributors to this plan.


There are 17 United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which represent an urgent call for action by all countries to address some of the globe’s most pressing challenges. The SDGs challenge humanity with goals like no poverty, quality education, gender equality, and climate action, just to name a few. Recognizing that all aspects of society must push to make progress towards these goals, Queen’s has linked much of its research, teaching, outreach and stewardship activities to supporting the SDGs. This leadership was recently recognized in the Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings that assess how universities are advancing the SDGs, which ranked Queen’s third in the world and first in North America. Let’s make sure to share this fantastic news, and support Queen’s ability to further advance the SDGs. 


By the time you read this column, this number will have likely grown, but there are 170,567 Queen’s alumni located across the globe in 154 countries. When the first classes began at Queen’s in 1842, there were 13 students and two professors. The impact then was very local, but now we have an opportunity to make a difference around the world in every field of work, volunteerism, and research imaginable. Our biggest asset toward making a global impact is our students, faculty, employees, and alumni. 

The last objective of the Global Strategic Engagement Plan emphasizes the need to “demonstrate our impact by telling Queen’s story globally.” As fellow alumni, this is a call to action for you – please continue to share and celebrate your stories about how you are making an impact in Canada and abroad – we are counting on it!

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