A wide-ranging exploration of the opportunities, challenges, and resources needed for enhanced global engagement at Boston College, with a blueprint outlining strategies and supporting initiatives for advancement in this area, is now available in a new report by the Global Engagement Committee, which is composed of representatives from across the University.
The document was prepared in response to the direction set forth in the University's Ever to Excel strategic plan, released in 2017, which called for an increase in Boston College's presence and impact across the world.
The product of extensive meetings with senior administrators, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends of Boston College, as well as analyses of peer universities and of global trends in higher education and beyond, the report also benefitted from consultation with Robin Helms '05, director of the American Council on Education’s Center for Internationalization and Global Engagement, who has provided guidance to the internationalization efforts of a wide range of U.S. universities.
While comprehensive, the report remains a work in progress, administrators say, and must respond to internal and external forces constantly changing the landscape of higher education. "What will remain steady," said Vice Provost for Global Engagement Alberto Godenzi, "is the commitment of Boston College, to increase its presence and impact across the world in accordance with its Jesuit, Catholic mission."
The global vision outlined for the University in the report responds to demographic changes in the United States and the strong presence of Catholics in Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa; aligns with trends in higher education, particularly the prevalence of internationalization strategies across universities; enhances teaching, scholarship, research, service, and formation; prepares students for understanding and interacting with a complex world as future global citizens; and positively affects the school's international ranking and global reputation.
Proposals to this end include the creation of alliances—such as the Strategic Alliance of Catholic Research Universities, formed in 2018—as well as of collaborative hubs in key areas around the world, and the launch of an Ibero-American collaboration; establishing global learning outcomes in all undergraduate and graduate programs; enhancing the global lens of the liberal arts curriculum; leveraging the use of foreign languages in key campus communications; facilitating the increased participation of international students and scholars; and supporting the ability of faculty to thrive in global settings, among other recommendations.
In demonstrating that members of the University community not only excel in their global settings but also experience fulfillment in their work with international partners, the report offers a compelling case for a more globally engaged Boston College, said Godenzi. "We are convinced that the heritage, mission, and academic distinction of Boston College position it to make unique contributions to the signs and challenges of our time," he said, "as a voice that contributes to the tradition and evolution of faith and culture.
"This is what the world needs Boston College to be."
University Communications | January 2019