UNC-Chapel Hill Receives Platinum Award for Global Learning, Research and Engagement
November 18, 2021
The FedEx Global Education Center on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Photo by Dan Sears/UNC-Chapel Hill
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was named the Platinum winner of the 2021 Institutional Award for Global Learning, Research & Engagement from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU). The Platinum award is APLU’s highest-level award granted to a member institution in recognition of inclusive and comprehensive efforts to internationalize its campus. UNC-Chapel Hill received the honor for excellence in all four award categories: inclusivity, internationalization of research and engagement, leadership and pervasiveness and assessment.
APLU presented the award to UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz on Nov. 17 in a virtual ceremony attended by senior leaders of APLU’s 244 member institutions during the association’s annual meeting. “Through the efforts of our exceptional faculty and staff, UNC-Chapel Hill is preparing our students to be global leaders,” said Guskiewicz. “A sustained, multiyear focus has helped us infuse the campus with a global mindset, and we are honored that APLU has recognized Carolina’s commitment to global learning, research and engagement.”
Globalizing the university is one of the top priorities in the University’s 2020 strategic plan, Carolina Next: Innovations for Public Good. The plan articulates the Global Guarantee, Carolina’s promise that a global education is available to every student, and commits the university to strengthening global partnerships and research activity across the campus.
Through an expanding menu of inclusive, barrier-free global learning opportunities, UNC-Chapel Hill has charted a course for delivering the Global Guarantee. Prior to the pandemic, 43% of undergraduate students studied abroad before graduation, supported by $1 million in annual scholarships. Last year, 1,162 students took part in global coursework through the Connecting Carolina Classrooms with the World initiative, which introduced virtual study, research and internship abroad options, as well as Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL). Dozens of faculty members have developed graduate and undergraduate COIL courses across numerous UNC-Chapel Hill schools and departments in the College of Arts & Sciences. Combined with some 600 students who major in global studies, hundreds more who study advanced-level languages or area studies and resumption of study abroad, Carolina is achieving its goal of offering all Carolina students the best possible menu of global learning opportunities.
New global education programs build on a strong and longstanding foundation of international partnerships, language and area studies and global research at Carolina.
“By partnering with universities around the world, we are able to open access to global learning, share knowledge and accelerate research gains,” said Barbara Stephenson, vice provost for global affairs. “It is so gratifying to see our work to build global partnerships and infuse the campus with a global mindset recognized by APLU with this prestigious award.”
Carolina’s strategic alliance with King’s College London, for example, now spans 20 disciplines and has enabled 1,000 students to study in the partner university. PharmAlliance, a partnership among UNC-Chapel Hill, Monash University in Australia and University College of London, fosters collaboration in pharmacy research, education and practice to transform education delivery and address major research challenges.
Carolina’s six area studies centers, five of which are Department of Education Title VI National Resource Centers—more than any university in the American Southeast—provide deep expertise of world regions for UNC-Chapel Hill faculty and students, as well as K-12 educators and students throughout North Carolina.
With a $1 billion research portfolio, UNC-Chapel Hill has research activity in or related to 150 countries including Ecuador (the only U.S. university research center in the Galápagos Islands), Malawi, Mexico, Vietnam, the United Kingdom and Zambia. The University’s Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases brings together government agencies, universities and hospitals and clinics in more than 50 countries. UNC-Chapel Hill’s robust network of partnerships around the world produces results and substantially advances Carolina’s aspiration to be the leading global public research university.
APLU is a research, policy and advocacy organization dedicated to strengthening and advancing the work of public universities in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. With a membership of 244 public research universities, land-grant institutions, state university systems and affiliated organizations, APLU’s agenda is built on the three pillars of increasing degree completion and academic success, advancing scientific research, and expanding engagement. APLU has presented the Institutional Award for Global Learning, Research, and Engagement annually since 2016.