From the establishment of a Global Council created to drive internationalization, forming and funding interdisciplinary research teams to tackle complex challenges that can only be addressed from a global lens, and an ever-expanding list of global learning programs, Northwestern University strives to be a school of the world for the world.
In recognition of these and many other innovations that have made research and study abroad more accessible, Northwestern is one of just four institutions receiving the 2023 Senator Paul Simon Award for Comprehensive Internationalization. Given by NAFSA, the Association of International Educators, the award recognizes “overall excellence in integrating international education throughout all facets of university and college campuses.”
“With internationalization efforts taking root across Northwestern, we look forward to building on these interdisciplinary efforts as leaders in the world’s critical dialogues about pressing global challenges,” President Michael Schill said.
Named after the late Sen. Paul Simon of Illinois, the awards celebrate outstanding innovation and accomplishment in campus internationalization.
“I am thrilled that Northwestern’s dedication to preparing students to serve as active global citizens and leaders, and to building an institutional culture that incentivizes interdisciplinary efforts to address global challenges, has been recognized by NAFSA,” said Annelise Riles, executive director of the Roberta Buffett Institute for Global Studies at Northwestern University. “This award is a direct result of the collaboration and input of more than 200 faculty, staff, students and alumni who helped shape and execute the university’s global strategic plan to pursue the highest degree of research and teaching excellence by bringing together the world’s brightest minds to address critical global issues.”
Interdisciplinary connection for global collaboration
Northwestern’s internationalization efforts are driven by a broad range of faculty, students, scholars and staff that serve as the connective tissue of the University’s internationalization, Riles said.
The Roberta Buffett Institute for Global Affairs led the University’s global strategic planning process, establishing the new Global Council. Serving as Northwestern’s global governance structure, the council is a group of senior leaders from each of Northwestern’s schools.
Coordinating efforts across schools has strengthened faculty’s transnational research, yielded new Global Working Groups and made available sources of funding for global research. Incentivized by Northwestern Buffett’s annual Idea Incubation Process, Global Working Groups aim to address the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, taking on global issues that range from antibiotic resistance to the disproportionate impacts of environmental challenges.
Northwestern is now recognized as an official United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change observer organization and supports delegations of faculty and graduate students in attending the annual United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties to engage with the international climate negotiation process, share research and innovative practices, and develop new connections and partnerships.