Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies moves forward on Strategic Internationalization Plan

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The Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies is moving forward with a Strategic Internationalization Plan (SIP).

Narda Razack
Narda Razack

Under the leadership of LA&PS Associate Dean Narda Razack, Global & Community Engagement, a committee will examine four major themes for the strategy: mobility, global research, international students, partnerships, pedagogy and curriculum. The committee’s goal is to produce an inclusive, innovative and comprehensive internationalization plan to recognize diverse realities.

According to Razack, SIP is laying the foundation for the future as “globalization has become an imperative to deepen our knowledge of the international dimension of education in pedagogy, research and critical practice.”

LA&PS, in cooperation with York University’s internationalization mandate, will be taking the lead in developing a global education strategy to encourage meaningful international engagement for its students. The SIP committee’s goal is to enhance students’ development of global, international and cultural knowledge by providing a comprehensive approach for global learning. SIP aims to ensure that graduates will have enhanced global perspectives and be more knowledgeable about their role as global citizens in an increasingly interconnected world. The plan will provide an integrated platform through a variety of learning experiences on and off campus.

“Student success, inclusive of our international and domestic students, remains at the core of our mission,” said Razack, “and embedding a comprehensive approach to internationalization will provide students with the knowledge they need to live and work in an interconnected world.”

Soma Chatterjee
Soma Chatterjee

Committee member and School of Social Work Professor Soma Chatterjee is reaching out to international students to share their stories. She also is asking students, staff, and faculty members who regularly teach, work with and mentor international students to share their thoughts as well by sending an email to schat@yorku.ca.

Linda Peake

Professor Linda Peake, director of the City Institute at York University, is championing global research partnerships for the faculty. Peake said the SIP model should be clearly defined. “The rationale for a systematic approach to the internationalization of research is premised upon the globalization of social, economic and political challenges, approaches to knowledge production and the globalization of social science and interconnectedness between researchers,” she added.

Adriano Solis

Study abroad will also be a major initiative within all international plans at colleges and universities. Razack said that LA&PS is striving to provide inclusive and accessible experiential learning abroad programs. Professor Adriano Solis, director of the School of Administrative Studies, is focusing on student mobility. He has already consulted with faculty and students on international engagement and study abroad initiatives. Razack said that consultations, especially on summer abroad courses, will be critical to discussions for recommendations.

The committee also plans to bring an internationalization lens to the current curriculum and pedagogy, giving students a wider global understanding of their course materials. In addition to enhancing the curriculum, students will have access to a whole host of global opportunities.

Adrian Shubert

Professor Adrian Shubert with the Department of History is focusing specifically on partnerships, curriculum and administration. “Partnerships are a key element of internationalization. Good partner institutions in other countries provide exchange destinations for undergraduate students; interesting opportunities for graduate students; and potential research collaborations for faculty. Well-chosen partners also speak to York’s place in the world,” Shubert said.

Vinitha Gengatharan
Vinitha Gengatharan

The Executive Director of York International Vinitha Gengatharan, a respected and collaborative leader in higher education administration, is a pivotal member of SIP. Although Gengatharan joined York University in 2018, she has already become entrenched in the committee in internationalizing higher education. The role of York International is critical for working as a team to ensure that LA&PS programs and initiatives are recognized, supported and co-driven. York International will be crucial in the facilitation of partnerships, mobility programs and connecting with the wider international community.

Other committee members who continue to support consultations include Harjinder Singh, international engagement coordinator, and Research Assistant Charlotte Speilman.

The SIP committee has met six times and is currently wrapping up consultations with community stakeholders. The committee invites the York community to reach out to its members with ideas or interest in engagement. Ideas should be submitted by email to harj78@yorku.ca.