UBC Global Engagement Strategy

The UBC Global Engagement Strategy 2020-2030, IN SERVICE is in its final stages of development, with the Vice-Provost International Office leading the process to build out an accompanying implementation plan. The strategy and implementation plan will guide UBC’s global engagement for the next decade, providing direction on how our global activities and partnerships can support UBC’s purpose to foster global citizenship and contribute to a more just and sustainable society.

Read the UBC Global Engagement Strategy

We greatly appreciate the time, effort, creativity and enthusiasm that members of our community contributed to the creation of UBC’s Global Engagement Strategy, ‘IN SERVICE’, and are excited to share where we've landed together. The strategy is available here for you to review.


Following the launch of UBC’s strategic plan: Shaping UBC’s Next Century, the Office of the Vice-Provost, International embarked on a process to develop a Global Engagement Strategy for UBC.

The UBC Strategic Plan outlines the purpose for the university as: Pursuing excellence in research, learning and engagement to foster global citizenship and advance a sustainable and just society across British Columbia, Canada and the world.

The UBC Global Engagement Strategy is key in supporting this purpose, helping UBC to articulate the role and impact of our global engagement. The strategy also provides guiding values and principles to assist in decision-making related to our global activities, and outlines action directions. An accompanying implementation plan will articulate focused actions, and resource and asset deployment.

Consultation process

The initial strategic framework was developed based on input received during a two-year consultation process that led to the creation of Shaping UBC’s Next Century. More than 8,000 community members were engaged through the Local and Global Engagement Working Group, open houses and online surveys, and over 1,100 people commented specifically on the priorities and actions under the plan’s Local and Global Engagement core area.

On March 8, 2019, President Santa Ono and Vice-Provost International Dr. Murali Chandrashekaran held a Facebook Live Event to launch the Global Engagement Strategy planning process.

A series of engagement activities, including meetings, workshops, retreats, focus groups and surveys were held to ensure broad input from multiple stakeholders across our university, local and global communities. A Working Group, consisting of faculty, students and staff from both campuses, was convened to provide advice and direction, and to help develop action directions under the emerging framework themes.

Following an additional eleven-month consultation process that further engaged more than 450 members of the UBC community and resulted in the creation of the draft strategy. The Office of the Vice-Provost, International gathered additional feedback via a survey shared with the broad UBC community in summer 2019.

After distilling your comments, the strategy was presented in the fall of 2019 to a number of stakeholders, including student leadership, UBC Executive and the Board of Governors' People, Community and International Committee for additional input.

A summary of the consultation process can be found here.

We listened to you

  • 18 faculty, student and staff representatives from both campuses and multiple units met as a working group to create action directions under the core themes and distill feedback from the workshops.
  • 250+ faculty, students, staff and alumni participated in workshops across both campuses to provide input into the developing themes and action directions.
  • 200+ members of our local and global community provided additional input through a combination of one-on-one consultations, staff retreats, team meetings and focus groups. Participants included the UBC Executive; the Provosts and Provost’s leadership teams on both campuses; Deans, Heads and Directors; Vantage College leadership, faculty and staff; the Senior Advisor to the President on Indigenous Affairs; the Senior Advisor to the Provost on Racialized Faculty; the University Librarian; members of the UBC China Council; and alumni groups in Asia and the United Kingdom.
  • 20+ countries have been engaged in discussions on partnerships and networks for impact under the developing strategy through meetings with senior leaders at institutions of higher learning, local consular representatives, and UN ambassadors.

We heard that...

  • You see UBC as a global actor with a responsibility to ensure our global engagement is anti-colonial and rooted in inclusion, humility, accountability, accessibility and collaboration for mutual benefit.
  • You want UBC to work collaboratively and to partner widely to address the most pressing global challenges in our society today – both locally and globally.
  • You believe in a UBC that embraces our full diversity – where the dichotomy of international versus domestic disappears, and all students contribute and have access to programs, projects and experiences that foster global citizenship.
  • You are excited to be part of a community where all stakeholders have a role to play in our internationalization and you want to see more meaningful opportunities for students, faculty, staff and alumni to engage globally.
  • You feel the breadth of our international activities need to be valued and supported at all levels of the institution, recognizing that service through capacity-building initiatives is key to our vision of building a better world.

Implementation planning

The consultation process resulted in four specific pathways to guide our collective action. These action directions focus on partnerships for fundamental and use-inspired research, creative endeavours, learning, and capacity development, transformative global education experiences for students, infrastructure (people, data and processes) to facilitate cross-disciplinary engagement of issues of global relevance, and strategic communication of what we do and why do it.

Four actions were developed under each of the action directions through input from Deans, Heads and Directors, staff, faculty and students during the consultation process.

A prioritization exercise was undertaken at the Vancouver campus in January 2020, using a prioritization matrix and guidelines for immediate implementation to determine the focus for the next one to two years. The action prioritization involved input from the UBC Executive, Deans, Heads and Directors and the VPI management team. Working Groups with staff, faculty and student representation met between February and May to provide recommendations for the implementation of three actions: Global Education Experiences, Internationalization on Campus, and Global Week.

Following a reprioritization exercise in light of the current global situation, an implementation plan is under development, with a focus on the following four action areas and the development of a performance measurement framework:

  • Partnership Canvas
  • Global Education Experiences I: Global Citizenship through Virtual Learning
  • Global Education Experiences II: Global Citizenship on Campus
  • Communications Strategy


Questions or comments about the UBC Global Engagement Strategy can be addressed to: international.strategy@ubc.ca.

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