University of Saskatchewan

September 21, 2014   

Internationalization Mission Statement

Rationale and Obligations:
Universities are by necessity rooted in a particular place and society. Yet, they must constantly seek to forge links across cultures, to broaden knowledge, and to meet varied responsibilities to society. The University of Saskatchewan responds to these demands by connecting to diverse cultures, societies, and landscapes and meeting responsibilities inherent in serving the needs of a varied constituency that includes a significant population of Aboriginal peoples. To do this, the University must also be a global institution engaged in issues and roles that transcend borders and embrace diversity. Our students, our research, and our commitment to service need to be informed, challenged, and enthused by the links between our international and local perspectives.

Internationalization of the University of Saskatchewan implies adopting an international dimension into the key functions of our institution. It means a deliberate transformation of how we conduct research, teach our students, learn from each other, and are of service to our communities. Internationalization must be based on a commitment to work toward reducing the inequalities that exist both among and within nations, respect for cultural diversity and environmental health, and protection for diverse forms of knowledge and local resources and initiatives.

Several vital obligations will guide the process of internationalization: Education: Our students must be prepared to meet the challenges of an increasingly connected, but continually fragmented, world through exposure to the broadest possible knowledge in their areas of study. Part of that preparation must consist of an understanding of the responsibilities inherent in a more integrated world, along with the opportunities and challenges it presents. The University must prepare students to be competent in diverse settings. Competence requires that students have not only the requisite understanding of subject areas, but also a deep respect for different cultures, approaches, and forms of knowledge and ability to integrate the two. Research: Our research must be informed by knowledge from around the world. Whenever possible, our international research should be collaborative, pursued through effective partnerships, and the results shared or made available in the societies and locales in which the research was carried out. The University must adopt deliberate measures to ensure that research finds its way back to the classroom. Service: The University, like our students, must recognize the responsibilities it has to be of service in broad ways in distinct locales throughout the world. Our responsibilities to service do not end at the borders of Saskatchewan or Canada.

To meet these obligations, the University must act on different fronts:

a enhance the breadth and diversity of views, cultures, and knowledge bases in our classrooms;
b provide students with opportunities to study and engage in experiential learning outside of Canada and to bring what is learned outside of Canada to the classroom when they return;
c build effective partnerships with communities close to us and around the world;
d support research by our faculty, students, and partners around the world, and assist the application of that research in a responsible manner;
e provide opportunities for students and professionals from around the world to study and teach here and to share their knowledge to enrich our classes;
f embrace whenever possible all opportunities for promoting justice, reducing inequalities, building respect, and honouring diversity.

Goals and Objectives:
The goal of internationalization of the University of Saskatchewan is to integrate an international dimension into its education, research, and service activities in order to prepare the University community to live and work in an increasingly interdependent world. University internationalization would promote global cooperation where human survival, social justice, environmental integrity, and humanitarianism prevail, while contributing to Canada's academic, cultural, economic, scientific, and technological excellence.

Toward this end, the University of Saskatchewan must work toward fuller implementation of the following objectives:

  1. to commit senior leadership, internal funding, and organizational support to the enhancement of internationalization;
  2. to infuse curriculum in graduate and undergraduate courses with international and intercultural material, ethically refracting global diversity;
  3. to establish and maintain more opportunities for long term study and work abroad, including such initiatives as terms abroad, exchange agreements, and work practica;
  4. to encourage and value international courses and experiences for Canadian students, such as field work and research, interdisciplinary courses, study tours, and student exchanges that include a phase of knowledge-sharing upon return;
  5. to promote faculty and staff study, research, and work abroad through individual, institutional, and national programs, whereby participants contribute to University internationalization upon return, and the University honours and rewards excellence in international activities;
  6. to provide a welcoming and supportive environment for international students and other learners (researchers, interns, visiting faculty) to share their knowledge and be a resource and catalyst for internationalization during their stay;
  7. to promote foreign language study for development of functional skills and cultural appreciation;
  8. to seek international development projects, supported by external funding, that provide opportunities to cooperate with foreign counterparts, and exchange technical assistance for capacity-building of partners;
  9. to develop institutional cooperation agreements, connecting institutions for mutually beneficial academic and service purposes;
  10. to encourage research to enhance internationalization that complies with community, national, and international standards and protocols for conducting ethical research, and collaborates in effective global partnerships producing knowledge for widespread dissemination, and setting up centres of excellence with an international focus;
  11. to emphasize in course work and projects internationally relevant area and thematic studies that reflect cross-disciplinary faculty expertise and enhance international relationships;
  12. to provide cross-cultural education and training to promote a proper valuing of cultural diversity and intolerance to racism;
  13. to foster extra-curricular activities and institutional services such as various associations, events, offices that educate, support, and communicate the obligations and opportunities attending internationalization within and beyond the University;
  14. to extend a concern about international social justice to all aspects of the University's operations.