McMaster hosts international seminar on global engagement in higher education
Leaders from universities around the world are at McMaster this week to take part in a unique five-day seminar aimed at exploring internationalization in higher education and what it means to be a globally engaged leader.
Organized by the International Association of Universities(IAU) and hosted by McMaster’s Office of International Affairs, Leading Globally Engaged Universities (LGEU) is bringing university leaders from Ghana, South Africa, Romania, the U.K., Thailand, the U.S., Canada and Colombia together to strengthen their leadership skills, as well as to discuss opportunities, challenges and strategies related to global engagement in higher education.
“McMaster has a long-standing relationship with the IAU,” said McMaster President Patrick Deane, who gave opening remarks and also spoke about McMaster’s approach to global engagement. “This is the first time we have been privileged to host an IAU event here on our campus and I’m very pleased to welcome you all here.”
Throughout the week, attendees have been participating in leadership development exercises and peer learning, as well as looking at best practices and strategies adopted by other institutions, while sharing their own insights and institutional approaches to global engagement.
“These workshops allow us to bring together those within leadership positions to learn from each other, learn from each other’s system of higher education, and have the opportunity to learn from the host country,” says Hilligje van’t Land, Secretary-General of IAU, who is co-leading the workshops with Tom Kennie, LGEU programme director and director of Ranmore Consulting Group.
“The institutions are totally different one to the other,” she continues, “But what is interesting is how similar the challenges are, and how the peer learning that is happening during the week allows them to look at these issues from a bit further away and translate that into something they can use for their own institutions afterwards.”
Participants have heard from a range of speakers including Philip Landon, vice-president, governance and programs at Universities Canada who shared insights on the Canadian post-secondary landscape; and Ian Rowlands, the University of Waterloo’s associate vice-president, international, who spoke about UW’s international engagement efforts.
The program also features a number of McMaster speakers including Director of Community Engagement, Sheila Sammon, who talked about the link between local and global engagement; Vladimir Smakhtin, director of the United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health, hosted at McMaster; and Ni Jadon, senior project manager/international liaison officer in the Office of International Affairs who spoke about McMaster’s global engagement strategy.
Learn more about the McMaster Model for Global Engagement: A Strategy Document
This is the first time the Leading Globally Engaged Universitiesseminar has been hosted in North America. The seminar has been held in Zimbabwe, Colombia, Malaysia, and will be hosted next in Romania.
IAU is the leading global association of higher education institutions and organizationsaround the world, with 650 members inmore than 130 countries. IAU is an official partner of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, or UNESCO (Associate status).It acts as the voice of higher education to UNESCO and other international higher education organizations, and provides a global forum for leaders of institutions and associations.
McMaster is a member of IAU, and is also a signatory to The Magna Charta Universitatum.