Just before the holidays, Prof. Hillary Maddin’s discovery of the earliest fossil evidence of parental care behaviour went global – numerous news outlets in Australia, Brazil, Germany, India, Iran, Israel, U.K., U.S., Vietnam and many other countries reported on Hillary’s ground-breaking work.

Likewise, our research in energy efficiency and sustainability, particle physics, telecommunications, migration studies, international security, and so many other fields involve extensive international collaborations and has global impact.

The world also comes to Carleton! We welcome more than 4,500 international students from 150 countries to our beautiful campus, in addition to exchange students from close to 200 partner institutions around the world.

And each year, hundreds of Carleton students acquire international experience as part of student exchanges, field courses, internships and other programs. Additionally, we continue to increase the number of joint degrees and co-tutelle arrangements with international partners.

Of course, Carleton is also leveraging our location in Ottawa – our capital advantage – to partner with the diplomatic community to bring to campus an array of internationally flavoured events that give our campus a unique “international at home” environment.

And as a consequence of being a globally connected institution, events that occur all over the world impact us on campus. Examples include airline tragedies, the recent outbreak of novel coronavirus, and policy changes in other jurisdictions like the U.S. and U.K.

The Carleton International ecosystem is extensive and continues to grow (see infographic below). And as we enter a new decade, we must ask ourselves how we can intentionally and strategically expand our international reach and impact.

The world is getting smaller and is more interconnected every year. International competition is also increasingly fierce, with new players entering the field at a high level every year.

Our AVP Research and International Karen Schwartz and the Advisory Committee on Internationalization have developed a draft International Strategic Plan to map a course to our further enhanced global ambitions.

The draft is now publicly posted for comments and suggestions, and it is hoped that it will be finalized in the spring to allow harmonization with our new Strategic Integrated Plan.

Carleton is a big and impactful place that has a lot to contribute to the global world. This is being increasingly recognized with recent top tier international rankings for student employability (Top 10 in Canada and Top 200 in the world) and campus sustainability (#2 in Canada and #35 in the world).

Out of more than 25,000 universities worldwide, these are outstanding results. And as our research impact continues to grow, with a  29% jump in research funding this year, we will continue to rise in international reputation and impact.

The future is bright for Carleton, and the future is international and global.

Figure: The Carleton International Ecosystem and map of international activities currently underway at Carleton University.

Infographic depicting the Carleton International Ecosystem and map of international activities currently underway at Carleton University.

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