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Moving toward a new strategy for global engagement

International Association of Universities representatives visit campus as part of collaborative process to develop Queen’s next global engagement strategy.

IAU representatives together with VP International Sandra den Otter
Sandra den Otter, Vice-Provost (International) (centre) together with visiting IAU representatives (left to right): Harvey Charles, Alessandra Scagliarini, Eva Egron-Polak, and Giorgio Marinoni.

An expert delegation from the International Association of Universities (IAU) visited Queen’s recently as part of a collaborative process for developing a new Global Engagement Strategic Plan for the university. From May 9-11, IAU representatives met with more than 100 members of the campus community to discuss Queen’s ongoing global engagement efforts and how the university can evolve its approach to be more just, equitable, and impact-oriented. 

“I want to express our deep gratitude to our IAU experts for their broad and intensive engagement with us, both in advance of this visit and in myriad consultation sessions over the past few days,” says Sandra den Otter, Vice-Provost (International). “This work has prompted essential conversations that will deepen, refine, and bolster how Queen’s engages with the world, and ultimately how we are able to work together more effectively to address the most significant and urgent challenges of our time. I am very grateful to Queen’s students, staff, and faculty who have so thoughtfully contributed to the sessions.”

Queen’s engaged the IAU to assist in building and advancing an approach to global engagement that will best support Queen’s new Strategic Framework, particularly its aim of strengthening the university’s global presence in comprehensive, equity-focused, and collaborative ways. The non-governmental organization, an associate of UNESCO, connects post-secondary institutions worldwide, and offers knowledge-sharing and advisory services to its members, including guidance on advancing global engagement. 

The IAU’s visits to main campus and the Bader International Study Centre (BISC), along with a previously submitted self-assessment report developed by working groups of faculty, students, and staff across campus, will provide them a basis upon which to develop a final report and recommendations, which are set to be delivered this summer.

“We extend our appreciation to many people who were involved in the various working groups and consultations that led to both the careful and detailed self-assessment we reviewed, as well as our productive visit this week,” said IAU representative Eva Egron-Polak, who — alongside IAU colleagues Harvey Charles, Alessandra Scagliarini, and Giorgio Marinoni — shared preliminary thoughts and recommendations with the campus community during an open discussion on May 11. “Queen’s new institutional strategy aims to redefine how Queen’s engages the world, and we’re pleased that institutional leadership has placed a high importance on a values-based approach to global engagement.”

Following delivery of the IAU’s report, the Office of the Vice-Provost (International) will create a draft of the new global engagement strategy and conduct further campus wide consultation this fall. 

“I want to offer many thanks to members of the IAU delegation for their efforts this week and over the past two years, as well as for the clear and impactful preliminary thoughts they’ve shared here today,” said Patrick Deane, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, as he concluded the open panel session. “This process has been particularly valuable because it’s been about self-learning, to such a degree that we learned alongside our IAU guests about our strengths and opportunities. This is one step in a process that is still ongoing — one that will be hugely aided by future discussions of the work of our panel.”