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International Efforts Honored

NC State was one of seven universities recognized for the strength of their international programs this week. NAFSA, the Association of International Educators, presented the 2014 Simon Award for Comprehensive Internationalization to NC State, Ohio State, Columbus State and Rutgers. Albion College, George Mason University and the University of Texas at Austin received the 2014 Senator Paul Simon Spotlight Award for a specific international program or initiative that contributes to comprehensive internationalization.

Named for the late Illinois senator, the Simon Awards recognize outstanding and innovative achievements in campus internationalization. “Comprehensive internationalization” is the planned, strategic integration of international, intercultural and global dimensions into the ethos and outcomes of higher education, the organization said. To be fully successful, it must involve active and responsible engagement of the academic community in global networks and partnerships.

In its application for the award, NC State detailed key efforts to promote global engagement, including a network of 20 strategically selected partnerships in major world regions that significantly enhance opportunities for study abroad, faculty collaboration and joint research. It also pointed to the Chancellor’s Faculty Excellence Program, an innovative effort to recruit clusters of top faculty in interdisciplinary fields, such as global environmental change and human well-being.

As a part of its strategic plan, NC State has worked to increase international enrollment. As a result, the percentage of international undergrads has risen from less than 1 percent in 2008 to 3.5 percent last year.