What is Internationalization?
Internationalization of post-secondary education can broadly be described as:
…the process of integrating international, intercultural, and global dimensions and perspectives into the purpose, functions and delivery of education. It shapes institutional values, influences external relations and partnerships, and impacts upon the entire educational enterprise.
Additionally, internationalization aims to educate students as global citizens, including attributes of openness to and understanding of other worldviews, empathy for people with different backgrounds and experience to oneself, the capacity to value diversity, and respect for indigenous peoples and knowledge. (CBIE, 2014)
In other words, these efforts at St. Lawrence College (SLC) aim to positively impact the entire institution, including all students, staff, faculty and administration, as well as each of our campus communities.
While internationalization efforts formally began at SLC in February 2018, this has been taking place at the College for a number of years.
Internationalization is a strategic initiative for SLC and directly supports the College’s vision of being rooted in our communities while being a globally recognized college, providing innovative learning opportunities and preparing career-ready graduates.
Over recent years, SLC has been experiencing considerable growth in relation to enrolment of international students and first generation Canadians, all while remaining deeply rooted in our communities. For instance, SLC currently welcomes over 1,600 international students from over 40 countries. This not only enriches life at SLC but enhances the social and cultural fabric of our communities – all while having a positive impact on our regional economy.
While this work is currently reflected within SLC’s Strategic Plan and taking place across service and academic departments, SLC is taking intentional and focused actions to support the broad success of internationalization. This includes the design and implementation of SLC's first Internationalization Strategy.
To ensure an effective Internationalization Strategy is designed and implemented, the initiative strives to be inclusive, transparent, consultative and solutions-focused. An essential step in this process was to establish a deep understanding of the current perspectives and experiences of our students, faculty, staff and administration in relation to internationalization. For more information on our findings to date:
In addition, a series of tri-campus social hackathons was held in April 2019 aimed at developing proposals to enhance meaningful community engagement for SLC students, particularly international students. Participants included students, staff, faculty, employers and other community partners from across the region. For more information:
During the past two years, the International Education department, in conjunction with the development and launch of SLC in Five, has been actively involved in the planning and development of SLC’s first Internationalization Strategy.
The Strategy, expected to launch in Fall 2020, represents the collective input from this entire process along with supporting research and best practices.