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Internationalization

Orientation LeadersThe Ohio State University believes that a global university is one in which international experiences and perspectives are fully integrated into its teaching, research and engagement mission, and that if universities are to prosper, they must be global in orientation, reach and reputation in order to function in our ever-shrinking world. Ohio State is committed to becoming a preeminent global university, and accordingly preparing its students to succeed in the global marketplace as nationally and internationally informed and engaged citizens.

The President’s and Provost’s Council on Strategic Internationalization assessed the university’s globalization progress in 2009 and identified six strategic goals that would move Ohio State toward becoming a preeminent global university. The original goals were redeveloped in 2017 to expand upon Ohio State's growing global dimensions.

  • Promote scholarship on major global issues
  • Create and expand robust international partnerships
  • Recognize international accomplishments in P&T
  • Promote collaboration with and support from international alumni and internationally oriented Ohio businesses
  • Expand our international physical presence by developing additional Gateways
  • Increase the international experience for undergraduate, graduate and professional students
  • Diversify the international student body and facilitate the integration of international students into the Columbus campus community
  • Explore the possibility of enrolling and integrating international students into the regional campus communities
  • Increase international engagements and research collaborations for faculty

With approval and support from the Council of Deans and the Ohio State Board of Trustees, Ohio State is working toward achieving comprehensive internationalization across its campuses. Ohio State’s approach serves the university both internally and externally:

  • Internationalization of the academic dimensions, which focus on research enhancement and curriculum content, education abroad, international partnerships, dual degrees and a global option certificate to facilitate international experiences for students in any discipline.
  • Potential expansion of the Global Gateways which establish representative offices in strategic locations around the world that map well with Ohio State’s teaching, research and engagement mission. Currently, Ohio State has Global Gateways in Shanghai, Mumbai and São Paulo.

As both a research university and one that is committed to community engagement, Ohio State has a rich history of international connections, but its dedication to internationalizing the university was jumpstarted with the plan designed by the President’s and Provost’s Council on Strategic Internationalization and the hiring of a senior international officer in 2009.

Today, Gifty Ako-Adounvo, assistant vice provost for global strategies and international affairs, serves in this role for the university, as well as oversees all units that fall under the umbrella of the Office of International Affairs. She currently serves as a member of the senior leadership council, reporting to Provost and Executive Vice President Bruce McPheron, and is leading efforts at Ohio State to expand and enhance its global reach. Since 2009 Ohio State has witnessed a grassroots effort among its 15 colleges to take the university to the next level. No one single program stands out in the university’s efforts toward achieving internationalization rather it is the comprehensive policies, curriculum innovations, research and scholarship and outreach that are seamless in their implementation throughout a very large and complex land grant public research institution.

Ohio State a 2016 Finalist for APLU Global Learning, Research and Engagement Award

Ohio State was one of four finalists for the 2016 Association of Public and Land Grant Universities’ inaugural institutional award for Global Learning, Research and Engagement. The award recognizes institutions as innovators in their comprehensive efforts to internationalize their campuses. Arizona State University, the University of California, San Diego, and the University of Minnesota also were finalists. The award recognizes a demonstrated commitment to and institutional evidence of a core set of criteria: empowering all students through global learning; addressing global problems through scientific and scholarly efforts; fostering an international culture throughout the campus including a broad range of internal and external stakeholders; and measuring progress and assessing impact across the institution.

Ohio State Honored with 2014 Paul Simon Award for Campus Internationalization

Ohio State is a recipient of NAFSA's 2014 Senator Paul Simon Award for Campus Internationalization, which recognizes institutions for overall excellence in internationalization efforts as evidenced through best practices in engagement, programming, curriculum/faculty development and outreach. Ohio State's countless initiatives and programmatic efforts reach students, faculty and alumni on campus and around the world. 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.

Reference Publications

It Takes an Entire Institution – A Blueprint for the Global University

Report of the President and Provost’s Council on Strategic Internationalization