SDSU launches Global Strategy to kick off International Education Week
San Diego State University officially launched its Global Strategic Plan this week – a blueprint for building the university into a top-tier international institution through expanded cross-border research, international internships, study abroad programs and a globally focused curriculum.
More than three years in the making, the Global Strategic Plan was introduced during International Education Week’s (IEW) opening ceremony on Nov. 13 at Scripps Cottage.
The effort emerged from the American Council on Education’s Internationalization Lab process completed in 2022. It’s part of President Adela de la Torre’s vision to build upon SDSU’s status as a federally designated Hispanic Serving Institution, its proximity to Mexico and its existing international partnerships as a jumping-off point for broader global engagement.
IEW continues to celebrate global engagement through Nov. 17. A key event is the Faculty Global Engagement Symposium & Awards Ceremony on Monday. Faculty winners will present their research and projects in TED-talk-style presentations starting at 5 p.m. at Scripps Cottage. Additional IEW events are scheduled throughout the week.
“Given what we are seeing in terms of environmental threats, issues of economic instability, issues dealing with political instability, war, famine – anyone who doesn’t fully embrace a global perspective will fail to understand even their local issues, because all of those (global) issues affect us locally.”
The role of global education as a tool for diplomacy is a pillar of the Global Strategic Plan. Infrastructure has been built over the past few years to push it forward, including naming Cristina Alfaro as Associate Vice President of International Affairs, deepening cross-border ties with universities in Baja California, and creating an international safety and security group – the first of its kind in the California State University System -- to facilitate foreign travel for faculty and students doing research, internships, and study abroad programs.
“Many employers are multinationals,” said Alfaro.
“They have global business all over the world and in different languages. So, when we prepare our students from college to career, and they come with these skills, they are an extra-added value to any company or organization in the world.”
SDSU has a long track record of international collaborations and cross-border partnerships. They include a campus site in Oaxaca, a STEM collaboration with universities in the Republic of Georgia and an education program with a community college in the Palau Islands in Micronesia.
The Global Strategic Plan looks to expand that footprint and forge a path toward SDSU earning an R1 research university designation, which opens the door to additional funding sources to amplify the impact of research.
The strategic plan also strives to prioritize the development of students as global leaders by preparing them to compete in an increasingly global workforce.
“It is about preparing our faculty, students and staff to thrive in an interconnected world,” said William Tong, SDSU’s interim provost. “And in doing so, we elevate SDSU as a global leader in education and research.”