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Global Engagement Plan 2022-2025

Global Engagement Plan 2022-2025


Shaped by changing domestic and global currents and informed by the University of Guelph’s mission to Improve Life. Our global engagement plan for 2022-2025 integrates our university’s strategic plan, sustainability plan, and other institutional plans in an effort to adapt to these evolving challenges and contribute to the global project of solving them.

Download the Print-Only Plan

Our three-year global engagement plan will focus on six key strategic priorities:

The work of developing and implementing these strategic priorities will be collaborative, collective, and coordinated. These are communal projects, which will involve students, staff, and faculty, and administrative and academic units.

Portico, University of Guelph



We will showcase the global activities of our students, staff, faculty, and alumni to build a shared understanding of our global activities, and to strengthen our reputation internationally.

We use stories to explain to ourselves and to others who we are and what we do. These stories, told in many forms, can help us enhance our global reputation, and to build a sense of community on our campuses. The stories of our global engagement reflect our many strengths and our identity as a university, as illustrated by our Top 20 Ranking in the 2022 The Global Impact Rankings. To tell these stories, we need to systematically identify the multiple ways in which our students, staff, faculty, and alumni are globally engaged.

Top 20

university in Canada and Top 500 in the world rankings (QS, 2023)

Top 100

globally in the Times Higher Education Global Impact Rankings (THE, 2023)

6th in the world

for veterinary medicine, the Ontario Veterinary College (QS, 2023)

1st Canadian-Ukrainian

twinning partnership (2022)

2022 CBIE Award of Excellence

honouring the Sweden Field School (Canadian Bureau for International Education, 2022)


Develop and maintain an overview of our global engagement.
  • Expand and develop tools that identify the global activities of our students, staff, faculty, and alumni (e.g. Interactive Global Research Map).
  • Identify our clusters of expertise in research and teaching on specific countries, areas, and global themes.
Develop branding and marketing aimed at global audiences.
  • As part of our broader marketing and branding work, develop and implement a comprehensive global branding and marketing plan.
  • Identify and develop key themes and messages about the university’s global identity.
  • Use decolonial and EDII lenses when developing and revising our global communication materials, such as our recruitment and study abroad publications and websites.
Showcase our international activities for internal and global audiences.
  • Redevelop the university’s international websites to ensure that they are current, consistent, and accessible to key internal and external audiences.
  • Promote on-campus events that celebrate our global engagement (such as those organized by CIRCLE, GIDS, and the Centre for Scottish Studies), and organize new ones where there is interest.
  • Produce an annual report on our key international activities.
  • Recognize and celebrate the achievements of faculty, staff and students for their activities in global engagement.
Students in a workshop at the University of Guelph



We will promote and expand global teaching and learning on our campuses and beyond.

The University of Guelph has a long tradition of offering intercultural learning opportunities to students, staff, and faculty. These opportunities are a cornerstone of the Guelph experience and are deeply embedded in our teaching and learning. ‘Global understanding’ is a core learning outcome in our curriculum, which is reinforced by co-curricular global learning opportunities beyond the classroom. We want to prioritize equitable access to these global learning opportunities. Simultaneously, we need to promote new forms of global learning, including those that do not necessarily require international travel.

Study Abroad Programs

650+ students studying abroad (2022-2023)

4000+ Listeners

tuned into STUDYABROADcast unpacking the study abroad experience.

Exchange Programs with 100+ Partner Universities

from 30+ countries

Global Faculty

150 full-time faculty from 40+ countries (2021-22 Fact Book)

Intercultural Competency Training

800+ students, faculty, and staff enrolled (2021-22)

$1M in Federal Funding

to increase representation in study abroad (2020-2024)

Identity and Unconscious Bias at Work

new online course with 1100+ students, faculty and staff registered

Internationally Trained Faculty

391 full-time faculty with at least one degree from a university abroad

Exchange Students

Welcoming 200+ exchange students from 25+ countries annually


Ensure global learning is a cornerstone of the Guelph experience for each student.
  • Review and update the concept of “global understanding” as a learning outcome.
  • Assess the effectiveness of our curriculum in delivering results on global understanding.
  • Assess and improve relationships with external organizations to foster global learning opportunities.
Increase student participation in global experiential learning opportunities.
  • Identify and reduce barriers that limit or prevent access to global learning opportunities, especially for Indigenous students, students with disabilities, LGBTQ2IA+, Black and First-in-the-Family students.
  • Develop and promote virtual exchanges as an accessible and equitable form of study abroad at home.
  • Continue to expand programming through the Global Skills Opportunity (GSO) funding, to support underrepresented students’ participation in global learning programs.
Promote training in intercultural competence for students, staff, and faculty.
  • Increase the percentage of students, staff, and faculty who have received training in intercultural competence, EDI, anti-oppression, and anti-discrimination. This training would include the university’s online training modules including Principles of Belonging: Anti-Oppression and Anti-Racism and the Positive Space Project.
  • Develop new micro-credentials in intercultural competence.
Student in a lab at the University of Guelph



We will connect our research with the world.

We will continue to strengthen our global research and discovery partnerships, in ways that align with the University’s commitment to excellence in research, and to Improving Life. We will develop metrics for measuring our global research engagement, and plans to communicate this engagement to larger audiences.

9654 Global Publications

with international co-authors, from 155 countries (WoS, 2019-2023)

10 New International Assistantships

International Student Undergraduate Research Assistantships (ISURAs) launched in 2021


Strengthen global research and discovery partnerships.
  • Seek and strengthen collaborations with international universities and organizations committed to excellence in Guelph’s signature research areas.
  • Promote partnerships that align with our sustainability plan, and are informed by the Sustainable Development Goals, and our commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion.
  • Ensure that these collaborations do not compromise our institutional or national security.
Develop qualitative and quantitative metrics to track and communicate our global research engagement.
  • Improve our ability to track and report on our global research and knowledge mobilization activities, including grants from international sources, co-publications with international authors, and other key metrics of global research engagement (e.g., using tools like SciVal or InCites).
  • Use this data as a benchmark to assess our future global research performance.
  • Develop a plan to communicate the global impact of the university’s research to domestic and international audiences, including a refresh of the global research website.
Provide on-campus support for knowledge mobilization, and research mobility.
  • Organize interdisciplinary on-campus events to discuss global research, focused on specific places (countries or regions), or global themes (e.g., development studies, gender, etc.).
  • Review and enhance administrative supports for inbound and outbound research mobility (e.g., visa support for visiting international scholars, and for new international U of G faculty and postdocs).
Students at the University of Guelph



We will grow a thriving and diverse community of international students in Guelph.

Our international student community enriches campus life, both inside and outside the classroom. We will continue to grow our population of international students, with a focus on promoting excellence and diversity, and contributing to the university’s financial sustainability. This growth will be based on multi-year strategic enrolment planning, strengthening our value proposition for prospective international students, and enhancing conversion and retention.


International Students

140+ countries

Students come from 140+ different countries


of students are international

90+ Agent Partners

representing U of G globally

7 Regional Representatives

located in key-markets around the world


Develop and execute a multi-year international recruitment plan for international undergraduate and graduate students.
  • Conduct a strategic review and refresh of our international recruitment and admissions infrastructure, to ensure that we have the staffing, tools, and resources to reach our goals.
  • Develop and expand new entry points into our undergraduate and graduate programs, including pathway programs, articulation and progression agreements, and international transfers.
  • Increase the diversity of our international students, both in terms of their countries of origin, and their destination campuses and academic programs.
  • Continue to promote and enhance programs with strong demand, while also expanding recruitment into programs with capacity.
Strengthen the value proposition for international students, to improve our attractiveness and global competitiveness.
  • Build or repackage academic programs with international students in mind.
  • Leverage student and alumni testimonials, formal and informal networks.
  • Review and optimize key internal scholarships for international students, including the International Entrance Scholarship, and the Vaccarino President’s Scholarship.
  • Leverage external scholarships and fellowships for international students and scholars.
Strategically enhance our recruitment and conversion practices.
  • Review institutional processes, policies, and timelines related to the recruitment and admissions cycle, to reduce or remove potential barriers to conversion and retention.
  • Expand the involvement of colleges and academic units in conversion and retention activities, such as the International Open House.
  • Develop new initiatives to support international student arrival, transition, and retention, such as the new Global Pre-Arrival Support unit.
Student graduating from the University of Guelph



We will provide the supports and services necessary for our international students to thrive.

The international student journey requires a specialized set of supports and services. We are committed to supporting every step of the international student journey from recruitment to convocation and beyond. As our international student population grows, our international students and alumni will continue to receive the tools and resources needed to succeed. A memorable and enriching student experience will help with student satisfaction, with retention, and with our reputation over the longer term.

120+ International Students

received 1:1 pre-arrival advising (2022-23)

589 Students

registered in International Student Experience programming

38 Interactive Webinars

hosted by the new Global Pre-arrival Support unit (2023)

1000+ Engagements

with international students, family members and supporters through the Global Pre-arrival Support (2023)

International Student Advising

1000 student support interactions per month

24/7 Mental Wellness Support

for international students offered through the keep.meSAFE program


Conduct an integrated strategic review of our international student services.
  • Ensure that we have the funding, infrastructure, and staffing necessary to accommodate anticipated growth in international student enrolments.
  • Seek input from across campus: central units involved in serving international students, colleges, and international students and alumni.
Develop new programming and infrastructure to enhance the international student experience.
  • Create a Global Commons, a physical gathering space for international students and others interested in global activities and programming.
  • Increase international student participation in international student transition and orientation programs.
  • Conduct an equity review of international student supports and services. Ensure they have opportunities comparable to those available to domestic students (e.g., International Student Undergraduate Research Assistantships).
Deliver an increasingly high-quality international student experience, rooted in community and belonging.
  • Encourage staff and faculty to seek intercultural competency training, including elements of anti-oppression, anti-discrimination, and EDI through the university’s online training modules.
  • Promote awareness of services and programming available for international students, amongst students, staff, and faculty.
  • Welcome and support diverse languages, cultural and religious practices and celebrations of our international communities.
Alexander Hall, University of Guelph



We must build the institutional infrastructure necessary to implement the global engagement plan, and to coordinate the university’s progress towards the plan’s strategic priorities.

The final Strategic Priority underlies all the others; it focuses on how we will operationalize the Global Engagement Plan. We will implement the strategic priorities through existing offices and committees or, where necessary, establish new committees. The university will continue to develop the capacity of the international offices to support the plan’s strategic priorities. The plan is a living document, which we will continually revisit and adapt to reflect the realities of the global landscape and our evolving institutional needs and priorities. We aim to hold ourselves accountable to the objectives set out here and to report annually on the progress made toward these strategic priorities.

Over $7 Million

in international student awards and scholarships per year

Enhanced Scholarships

Piloted renewable International Undergraduate Entrance Scholarships

Global Pre-arrival Support

Newly established unit within Student Experience (2022)

International Recruitment

Full-time undergraduate recruitment staff has doubled since 2016


Work with existing teams, or establish new teams to implement the strategic priorities and key goals and objectives within those priorities.
  • Identify core teams and scopes.
  • Develop baselines and performance targets.
  • Monitor and report progress on these strategic objectives.
Develop the capacity of the university’s international offices to provide strategic direction, coordination, and guidance for international activities across the university.
  • Develop staffing and resourcing plans that align with these activities.
  • Implement tools and systems to support global engagement activities (e.g., CRM in International Recruitment and Admissions, partnership database for OISP and CIP).
Support global initiatives and strategic priorities of the campuses and colleges.
  • Launch the campus-wide International Advisory Committee.
  • As part of the university’s emerging sustainability plan, work to reduce the climate impact of our global activities (as outlined in the CANIE COP26 Glasgow Paper).
  • Organize a coordinating committee to oversee the university’s supports for students, scholars, and institutions affected by global crises.