A New "Big Idea" at UC Davis: Global Education for All

By Bonnie Shea, director of communications, Global Affairs

As our world becomes more interconnected, our job market becomes more global, and our knowledge crosses more boundaries—so, too, must the education of our students.

Fortunately, at UC Davis this concept is becoming a reality through the university’s “Big Ideas” initiative, which brought nearly 200 collaborators together in submitting their transformational, forward-thinking ideas. Among the 13 ideas chosen as finalists in early 2017 is “Global Education for All,” championed by Vice Provost and Associate Chancellor of Global Affairs Joanna Regulska.

Already envisioning a UC Davis community that engages, thrives, and leads in this interconnected world, Global Affairs is now building on the university’s growing international experiences to provide vital intercultural preparation and global education to all UC Davis students.

“Global Education for All aims to infuse global engagement in our campus culture and in every student’s experience, which is unique among large research universities,” explains Nancy Erbstein, faculty member in Human Ecology and director of Global Education for All.

“We are moving beyond traditional opportunities to provide beneficial experiences that are tailored to students’ interests, skills and aspirations.”

This means study abroad will increasingly incorporate internships and domestic experiences that have global footprints. Research projects will better integrate virtual international collaborations. Service and experiential learning will cross more academic and geographic boundaries, while serving both local and distant communities.

Multidimensional opportunity pathways—within curriculum, research, campus living, study abroad, on-campus programming, service learning, and co-curricular realms—are vital in enabling flexibility and, most importantly, providing access to UC Davis’ entire student community.

“For all types of students—whether undergraduate, graduate, professional, domestic or international—it will mean tapping existing skills and developing new capacities that will help them succeed in their personal, academic and professional lives,” according to Erbstein.

The benefits are twofold: students gain life-shaping experiences along with valuable critical thinking and intercultural skills that set them apart from other graduates, while simultaneously the world’s more urgent environmental, public health, and economic challenges, among others, are met with solutions.

At UC Davis, we are uniquely positioned to educate the next generation of global problem-solvers, and we are enthusiastic about doing so,” describes Regulska.

As we develop Global Education for All pathways and opportunities, we welcome feedback and partnerships throughout the UC Davis community and across our network of fantastic supporters.”

About Global Affairs at UC Davis

Global Affairs brings the world to UC Davis, welcoming more than 8,400 international students, scholars and leaders, and hosting programs that inspire global curiosity, understanding and engagement. Compelled by the valuable outcomes of thinking globally, we make transformative opportunities a reality by supporting the thousands of students and faculty studying and researching internationally-and by facilitating collaborations that tackle the world's most pressing problems through more than 150 international partnerships.

Putting our vision of a UC Davis community that engages, thrives, and leads in this interconnected world into action, Global Affairs is now in pursuit of an ambitious goal: Global Education for All.

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