Ryerson University has identified global learning as its top priority for internationalization. Ryerson recognizes global learning as incorporating not only international travel, but engagement with other cultures and nations within Canada and elsewhere. Ryerson acknowledges the role imperialism and colonialism have played in the oppression of First Peoples both at home and abroad and in shaping knowledge, learning and education generally. Global learning at Ryerson will include recognition of other ways of knowing and being that function outside the dominant Western point of view – a framework that is not often challenged through international exchanges or travel experiences.
Building a Culture of Global Awareness
Ryerson University is committed to helping students develop the international and intercultural competencies they will require for a global career, and to providing access to the experiences and mindset required for global engagement. Moving forward, Ryerson will provide a wider range of opportunities for global learning, including opportunities on campus and in Toronto in addition to those that involve international travel. Units across campus will collaborate on a variety of curricular and co-curricular programming to ensure that students have multiple points at which they can get involved. Furthermore, the university will engage in enhanced promotional and communications activity to help students both recognize the benefit of global learning, and the pathways to engagement that are most relevant to their personal needs and interests.
As part of enhancing positive global engagement, Ryerson will enrich the resources it makes available to students, faculty and staff around planning and implementing sustainable and ethical programming. Ryerson will be an active participant in both national and international inter-institutional networks that identify and disseminate best practices around global engagement, and will incentivize the development of programming that allows our students to ‘dig deep’ into current global issues. We will prioritize initiatives that reference existing areas of academic and research capacity at Ryerson, as well as those that display a nuanced and contextual approach to complex global issues (rather than a quick-fix or feel-good solution).
Recognizing Global Engagement
Ryerson International (RI) will create a Global Engagement Recognition program – an official reflection of a student’s engagement with the kind of global awareness, knowledge, skills and competencies that will allow them to effectively identify their learning and showcase their aptitude for critical thought and problem solving to potential employers.
Indigenous Global Learning
Ryerson recognizes the importance of meaningful collaboration with Indigenous studies and perspectives on campus, in keeping with Truth and Reconciliation at Ryerson: Building a Foundation for Generations to Come. Ryerson International has set aside funding in support of Indigenous student mobility, and has engaged with the Yellowhead Institute as a starting point for creating new opportunities.
We will place a premium on the exploration of how we engage with multiple perspectives in Canada given the existence of diverse worldviews and epistemologies. This will include the adoption of a broader definition of ‘global learning’ to specifically include opportunities for meaningful intercultural engagement within Canada and with the global Indigenous community.
Access and Affordability
As part of Ryerson’s commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion, the university provides a small range of bursaries and scholarships in support of global learning activity, and commits to increasing the level of funding available to students through internal funding sources in the near term. This funding will be added to, and balanced over time, with funding to be raised by University Advancement from external parties and alumni. Ryerson will ensure that donors receive recognition for the transformative impact their support will make on the lives of our students.
Ryerson will carefully review how the current funding mechanisms are accessed by students, and which students are actually participating in global learning activity, gathering a broader range of demographic information than ever before in order to identify accessibility gaps. Ryerson International and the Office of the Vice-President, Equity and Community Inclusion will collaborate on the development of specific initiatives in pursuit of increased accessibility for underserved communities on campus. This data will allow us to create new programming and funding initiatives aimed at ensuring more equitable access to global learning opportunities.
In addition to providing financial support, a new focus on the creation of short-term programs is, in part, intended to create more affordable options for studying abroad. Ryerson will also create resources to provide as much transparency as possible around the costs of participation in international activity, so that students can make informed choices. Finally, Ryerson International and the Career & Co-op Centre will collaborate closely to provide increased access to compensated work abroad opportunities.
A focus on short-term study abroad
Ryerson will immediately invest in new supports for short-term, subsidized, faculty or staff-led programming to increase accessibility for students who cannot (or do not wish to) commit to a full term abroad for financial, personal or programmatic reasons.
Global Learning at Home
Ryerson University is among the most diverse universities in Canada, if not the world, mirroring the city around us. Ryerson’s connection to our community offers an incredible wealth of intercultural learning opportunities, which will be explored in close collaboration with partner organizations representing diaspora and Indigenous communities, cultural organizations, businesses and other stakeholders to provide opportunities to experience ‘internationalization at home’.
Finally, in moving forward on implementing global learning, Ryerson is committed to implementing measures to support faculty members in creating an internationalized curriculum. In addition to the co-curricular global learning resources indicated above, Ryerson will invest in consultations, course redesign institutes, and specialized grant programs that facilitate faculty members’ efforts to bring global learning into the classroom. Furthermore, Ryerson will leverage its technological savvy and broad range of partner institutions to provide students with opportunities to collaborate with peers in other jurisdictions on joint projects and learning outcomes.