The University of Iowa

Vision and Strategic Themes for Internationalization

Vision and Strategic Themes for Internationalization

To be effective citizens and to excel in their chosen careers, UI students must develop cross cultural competencies, and we must provide them opportunities to learn to function successfully and with ease in global environments. The learning and discovery guided by faculty at the University of Iowa reshape our understanding of the world, improve quality of life for many, and create economic benefits in the State of Iowa and around the globe.  International relationships and partnerships, from the individual to the institutional, within and beyond our campus, add value to and expand the reach of our curricula, research, outreach, and economic development activities. We must successfully leverage these partnerships, including with our alumni living abroad. The University of Iowa must think and act as a global institution to be in a position to excel over the coming decades. 

A Shared Vision for a Global University of Iowa

In order to become a leading international institution poised to serve Iowa and the world, the University of Iowa will:

  • Become a destination school for students from Iowa and around the world seeking a global education.
  • Prepare our students to contribute to, and be successful within, a global society and economy.
  • Lead research efforts that contribute to global progress.
  • Foster a strategic network of global partners.

Student Success

The UI will become a destination university for students interested in global education. We will become known for preparing students to develop a global perspective and competencies by: 

  • Expanding Study Abroad, sending more Iowa students and faculty abroad, and articulating the value to students of graduating as global citizens.
  • Integrating curricula addressing global concepts and perspectives into majors through learning outcomes, assessment tasks, teaching methods, and support services.
  • Seeking students from a broad range of countries.
  • Ensuring the UI is welcoming to international students, faculty, and staff by involving domestic UI faculty, staff, and students in integration efforts to foster a deeper understanding of cultures.
  • Increasing employment and experiential work opportunities for international students while they are at Iowa and after graduation.
  • Building upon existing relationships between UI international faculty and their home institutions, and developing connections with international alumni, to expand collaborations, recruitment, and placement.

Creation and Discovery

We will expand and connect research and institutional partnerships across the University and beyond by:

  • Fostering UI coordination of international research and partnerships, promoting networking and collaboration, celebrating global partnerships, and building a more efficient database.
  • Developing active collaborations with international organizations with measurable outcomes; and by identifying pilot grants and other internal funding mechanisms that are optimal in facilitating external grants and contracts.
  • Leveraging disciplinary strengths to address the global dimension of “grand challenges” with internationalization of cluster hires.
  • Providing effective infrastructure to conduct international research.
  • Recognizing and rewarding globalized research for promotion and tenure.


We will have greater impact locally and globally by:

  • Enhancing student global and cultural awareness through international and social entrepreneurship and by articulating the value, need, and imperative of global competence and collaboration.
  • Engaging international alumni and families in meaningful ways through ongoing communications and activities.
  • Identifying efficient protocols and up-to-date, accessible data to promote international research, teaching, and outreach.
  • Expanding support for globally-engaged UI faculty. Areas include:
    • Scholar hosting, faculty exchange programs, visiting researcher positions, mentorship programs, and outreach activities.
    • Forums to increase the visibility of and attendance at events involving international scholars and speakers.
  • Encouraging economic development initiatives in developing countries and in countries with strong UI and Iowa ties.
  • Assessing the potential for “gateways” or multi-purpose physical presences to serve study abroad, recruitment, alumni relations, and corporate/industry connections.
  • Increasing, directing, and unifying resources for expanded internationalization efforts by faculty, staff, and students because they support a stronger University and state.


Read the Declaration on University Global Engagement, produced as a joint effort from the United Nations Institute for Training Research and the Association of Public & Land-grant Universities. The Declaration reflects our vision and strategic themes for internationalization, as well as the University of Iowa Academic Mission.