Strategic Initiative 2

Intercultural Learning

 

Accountability: Vice-President Finance and Administration, Vice-President Academic and Research

University-wide Initiatives

1. Position Saint Mary’s as a national leader in international and intercultural education

Leads:

Senior Advisor Teaching & Learning, AVP & Dean of Graduate Studies, AVP External Affairs

Values:

Academic growth, intellectual curiosity, developing intercultural competence, action-oriented engagement of our alumni and community


Progress Indicators:

  • organizational structure change through Action Team

  • participation/leadership in national and international education organisations

  • number of international partnerships

  • number of new initiatives in intercultural teaching, research, scholarships and intercultural competence

  • track external reputational surveys

2. Enhance learning opportunities for Indigenous students and enhance Indigenous cultural education

Leads:

Senior Advisor Teaching & Learning, Senior Director Student Services

Values:

Academic growth, intellectual curiosity, developing intercultural competence, exercising ethical wisdom, action-oriented engagement of our alumni and community


Progress Indicators:

  • percentage of Indigenous students and analysis of recruitment, retention, and graduation rates

  • amount of financial support for Indigenous students

  • tracking progress on Aboriginal Student Task Force, and our institutional responses to AAU, TRC, and Universities Canada recommendations

3. Provide intercultural learning opportunities for faculty, staff and students to develop global empathy

Leads:

Senior Director Human Resources, Senior Advisor Teaching & Learning, Chair Action Team, Senior Director Student Services, University Librarian

Values:

Academic growth, intellectual curiosity, developing intercultural competence, action-oriented engagement of our alumni and the community


Progress Indicators:

  • percentage of students with global experience

  • percentage of faculty and staff with global experience and intercultural competence training

  • percentage of students, staff and faculty members who participate in ‘International-at-Home’ events

4. Ensure our campuses are a microcosm of a diverse world

Leads:

Intercultural Action Team, Senior Director Facilities Management, Director of Alumni Engagement, SMUSA

Values:

academic growth, intellectual curiosity, demonstrating resilience, developing intercultural competence, action-oriented engagement of our alumni and the community

Progress Indicators:

  • number of new initiatives in intercultural teaching, research, scholarships

  • percentage of our community engaged in intercultural learning

  • percentage of our community with non-English language fluency

5. Promote diversity

Leads:

Senior Advisor Teaching & Learning, Senior Director Human Resources, Director of Alumni Engagement

Values:

Developing intercultural competence, exercising ethical wisdom

Progress Indicators:

  • percentage of under-represented students – tracking recruitment, retention, graduation

  • percentage of employees in underrepresented groups

 

Saint Mary’s University has a well-established commitment to cultural diversity and encourages and supports the development of a global perspective. We are recognized as Canada’s leading international university and this is now well developed on campus in terms of diversity in the student body, the curriculum, and in teaching, research, and staff communities. There is also extensive international outreach and collaboration by way of institutional linkages with universities around the world.

The goal of the University is to support international and Canadian students in their relationships and interactions with persons and groups of other cultures and to cultivate global citizenship through practice and example. Our intercultural leadership is making a significant impact to the demographic outlook for Nova Scotia. We have the opportunity now to be more focused on intercultural learning for all members of our university community and beyond.

Saint Mary’s is known for its excellent support services for international students in Canada. Over 33 per cent of our students arrive from destinations beyond Canada, a proportion of international students not matched by any other university in this country. We are well known for international research collaborations, ranking first in Canada in 2014, with our students and professors working with colleagues from Halifax to Helsinki, Antigua to Zimbabwe.

Internationalization of our curriculum is fostered by diversity in our faculty, who draw upon global experience. Our accessibility is further emphasized in the diversity of cultures represented in our student body, drawn from both international and local communities.

The opportunity to live and study abroad is widely acknowledged as a way for students to expand their views of the world. Living in a foreign setting presents students with an opportunity to form a deep understanding and appreciation of other cultures and places. We will therefore create opportunities for further engagement between cultural groups for students, faculty, and staff.