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Ohio State Wins Senator Paul Simon Award for Comprehensive Campus Internationalization - 02/25/14

Columbus, Ohio – The Ohio State University has been selected to receive NAFSA’s Senator Paul Simon Award for Comprehensive Internationalization which recognizes institutions for overall excellence in internationalization efforts as evidenced through best practices in engagement, programming, curriculum/faculty development and outreach.

NAFSA: Association of International Educators is the world’s largest nonprofit association dedicated to international education. The Simon Award is universally considered the most prestigious award for comprehensive internationalization in the U.S.

Ohio State’s countless initiatives in internationalization reach students, faculty and alumni on campus and around the world.

Over the past five years, Ohio State has focused on six specific international goals outlined by the President’s and Provost’s Council on Strategic Internationalization: increase the percentage of international faculty and students; promote scholarship on major global issues; create international dual degree programs; promote collaboration with alumni and Ohio’s international business ventures; develop an international physical presence; and increase international experiences for undergraduate, graduate and professional students.

“It is an honor to be recognized for our efforts to integrate international experiences into our teaching and research mission,” said Ohio State Interim President Joseph A. Alutto.
“Ohio State is taking innovative steps to enhance our study abroad programs, increase our international student and scholar population and encourage the exchange of faculty conducting research abroad. We firmly believe in the promise of our global strategies to prepare our students to be internationally engaged citizens.”

The international student population at Ohio State has steadily grown since 2009 from 4,238 students to 6,039 and ranks 10th in the nation. To support the international student population, Ohio State holds pre-departure orientations in China and instituted academic and service enhancement programming to provide support and cross-cultural adaptation opportunities.

Study abroad has been lifted to new heights with the switch to semesters in 2012-13, increasing the number of students studying abroad from 1,716 in 2011-2012 to 2,426 last year. Ohio State has launched six Global May study abroad programs, which introduce first and second year students to international experiences that have made study abroad more accessible.

Ohio State’s Global Gateways give the university a physical presence in key parts of the world. The Gateways are representative offices currently in Shanghai, China and Mumbai, India, and enable the university to forge new partnerships, recruit international students, facilitate faculty research and provide new ways to partner with Ohio-based businesses and reconnect with a growing international alumni base.

“Ohio State has fostered an international framework that has gained momentum and we are honored to be recognized for our efforts across all aspects of the institution,” said William Brustein, vice provost for global strategies and international affairs. “We plan to build upon our achievements and our commitment to prepare our students to succeed in the global marketplace.”

“Through solid leadership and strategic approaches, and the expertise and efforts of our colleagues in the Office of International Affairs, the university has made enormous strides toward our aspirational goal of internationalization,” said Executive Vice President and Provost Joseph E. Steinmetz.

To internationalize the curriculum, the Global Option has been developed for undergraduate students and adopted by the Colleges of Social Work, Public Health and Engineering. The Global Option gives undergraduate students an opportunity to acquire global skills and international knowledge integrated within their majors without adding time to graduation.

In cultivating international partnerships, Ohio State is an active participant and has been awarded multiple grants to further research and collaboration around the world. The College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences manages a consortium of five U.S. universities in a $24 million USAID funded project in Tanzania; the Department of East Asian Languages and Literature received a $9.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of State to administer and implement the Critical Language Scholarship Program in East Asia; and a partnership between Ohio State and the Brazil state of São Paulo results in a $1.4 million funding source to support research and innovation.

Ohio State will receive the Senator Paul Simon Award at a reception in honor of award recipients in Washington, D.C. during International Education Week in November.