Tech Recognized for Its Internationalization Effort

Georgia Tech given NAFSA's Paul Simon Award for internationalization of campus

Georgia Institute of Technology has been awarded the Senator Paul Simon Award in recognition of its efforts to internationalize the campus. Sponsored by the Association of International Educators (NAFSA), the award recognizes recipients that show overall excellence in internationalization efforts as evidenced in practices, structures, philosophies, and policies.

"It is unusual for a major research university to receive such an award, particularly an institution with a strong emphasis on science and technology," said Howard Rollins, associate vice provost for International Programs. "Georgia Tech has put together an incredible array of international initiatives that go well beyond the traditional areas including study abroad, overseas campuses and research centers, and the integration of international programs into all undergraduate majors and international distance learning. The receipt of the Paul Simon Internationalization Award provides national recognition for these significant efforts that are challenging for any university."

Georgia Tech, Calvin College, Elon University and the University of Oklahoma will be featured in the NAFSA report, Internationalizing the Campus 2007: Profiles of Success at Colleges and Universities, to be published this fall. The awardees will also be recognized at the NAFSA annual conference in Minneapolis in May.

"Georgia Tech is arguably among the very best of the major research universities in its successes at internationalization," said Rollins. "A primary justification for this claim is the sheer number of international programs under way."

According to Rollins, Georgia Tech has two main initiatives that stand out in their approach to internationalizing the campus. The first initiative is the International Plan designed to integrate international education into any undergraduate major whether it is engineering, science, computing, management, architecture or liberal arts.

"The International Plan is unique because of this curricular integration and because it helps students learn how their own major is impacted by cultural differences," said Rollins. "We expect graduates of this program to be ready to use their disciplinary knowledge in global collaborations here in the United States as well as anywhere else in the world."

Secondly, Georgia Tech is one of a very small number of universities conducting research and offering degrees outside the United States. Georgia Tech Lorraine in Metz, France, has been in operation for more than 15 years providing U.S. style graduate education to European students and study abroad opportunities for Atlanta-based students. More recently, Georgia Tech established The Logistics Institute Asia Pacific in Singapore, which offers a Georgia Tech master's degree to students from Asia. In addition, the Georgia Tech Research Institute recently established Georgia Tech's first international research center in Ireland.

Named for the late Senator the Paul Simon, the award recognizes innovative and creative efforts in campus internationalization. Simon was a strong advocate for international education throughout his career, diligently promoting initiatives designed to dramatically increase the number of U.S. college students studying abroad.