Global Education for All

A Concept Paper for the Campaign Steering Committee

The Vision

In today’s interconnected world, the most urgent challenges are inherently global in scope—from responding to transnational migration, to slowing the spread of international public health epidemics, to addressing economic disparities around the world, to developing environmentally sustainable solutions for the planet’s future. At the same time, new technologies make it increasingly possible to link and tap resources across distant places.

Responding to these complex, many-layered challenges requires a multidimensional approach. We need ideas and innovations that cut across borders of all kinds—geographic, cultural and disciplinary. We need to explore these issues from many vantage points and address them through multiple channels. We need civically engaged community members with the ability to think critically and communicate strategically about resources and opportunities glocally. And we need caring, curious, globally-minded leaders who understand these issues in a cross-cultural context and work collaboratively to resolve them.

UC Davis is pursuing a multifaceted vision to prepare every student to address the global challenges and opportunities they will face as future leaders in their professions and their communities. The Global Education for All initiative will immerse all students—undergraduate, graduate and professional—in global learning and experience, abroad or at home. The goal is to facilitate UC Davis graduates’ success in a world where they will engage daily with a wide range of cultural values and world views, and where they must communicate and collaborate with individuals across diverse backgrounds and perspectives.

To realize this vision, we will create the Center for Intercultural Understanding as a vibrant hub linking the university’s global education resources, while embedding global experience as a core element of every UC Davis student’s educational program. We will leverage our comprehensive strengths to forge multiple global engagement pathways—from campus living/learning communities that connect international and domestic students across diverse cultures and life experiences, to service learning, research and study abroad opportunities that bring a globalized curriculum to life.

This initiative will raise the profile of global education at UC Davis and will serve as the nexus for the university’s many programs and activities that reflect a global orientation. It will encourage robust interaction between domestic students, many of whom themselves bring global family ties, and the more than 8,000 international students and scholars on campus—creating the rich, cross-cultural learning environment that is essential in today’s interconnected, interdependent world.

The Right Time and the Right Place

At UC Davis, we understand that respectful engagement with a broad array of cultures, perspectives and experiences profoundly enhances personal development and community building, as well as education and research in every field and every discipline. In this time of increasing global connections and challenges, we take seriously our responsibility to help ensure that all our students are inspired and prepared to thrive in a globalized world.

Providing a global education to every student requires that we move forward on many fronts simultaneously—the curriculum, the research enterprise, the campus living environment, the experiential learning landscape, our service and outreach, and our engagement with our local and global communities. As a global university in scope and reach, and an established leader in student-centered experiential education, UC Davis is ideally positioned to undertake this challenge.