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Educational Foundations and Leadership
Internationalizing the University of Toledo
As a result of a variety of socio-economic, political, and technological changes, more and more institutions have placed internationalization or globalization on their agendas over the last decade. The argument of economic competitiveness has emerged as the leading driving force behind efforts to internationalize higher education institutions (de Wit, 2005), trailed by cultural, educational, and political rationales. The process has also received further stimulus by the advent of the new technologies. Computer networks, satellite communications, interactive video, distance learning methodologies and other innovations have enhanced the gradual evolution of higher education co-operation which transcends the boundaries between national states. Innovative approaches to the internationalization of campuses can be found at a number of colleges and universities across the U.S.
Despite the many creative examples of internationalized campuses, however, many have asserted that American higher education, most evidently at the undergraduate level, has not responded adequately to the international environment and global economy, with "international" remaining as one of fragmentation and desegregation on U.S. campuses (Green et al, 2008; Altbach, 2006; Lambert; 1989, Lyman, 1995). As Altbach (2006) notes, “institutions with a lot of international activity on campus often lack a coherent strategic direction for these activities that would provide the connective tissue among them.” And as the most recent findings show, “Many institutions do not see internationalization as integral to their identity or strategy,” “few institutions have an internationalization strategy,” and “a gap exists between institutional rhetoric and reality” (Green et al., 2008).
Campus internationalization has been also a growing priority at the University of Toledo. The need to further internationalize our campus has been closely linked to the institution’s aspirations for national and international prominence and the efforts to channel institutional work towards the preparation of well-rounded globally aware individuals. Internationalization has marked certain aspects of the University of Toledo but efforts to bring the variety of international education programs and initiatives together, to infuse global awareness throughout the campus, and chart specific strategies for effective campus internationalization are on the rise.
The Case Study Task
As part of its commitment to promote student success through unique learning opportunities, and infuse global awareness as an integral component of UT, the Office of Academic Engagement is actively searching for effective approaches to campus internationalization. In light of this, the Director of Academic Engagement invites our class to identify and recommend useful and effective strategies that will help further internationalize the UT campus. To respond to this call, we will proceed in five phases.