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Moving from International Engagement to Global Engagement in a Public University

Monday, September 14, 2015
3:30 - 4:30 p.m. | Kellogg Center, Room 62 (Garden Level)


  • Carl Amrhein picture
  • Carl Amrhein, MCIP, RPP
  • Deputy Minister, Alberta Health
  • Official Administrator, Alberta Health Services

  • Professor, Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
  • Former Provost and Vice President (Academic)
  • University of Alberta

Dr. Amrhein served as Provost and Vice-President (Academic) at the University of Alberta from 2003 to 2014. He came to the University of Alberta following 17 years at the University of Toronto where he was Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Science (1997-2003). Dr. Amrhein also served as Visiting Professor, Graduate School of Education, Peking University, Haidian, Beijing, China, during October 2012. For 2013-2015 he served as Special Executive Advisor to the Conference Board of Canada.

Dr. Amrhein holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in geography from Pennsylvania State University (1978) and a Ph.D. in geography from State University of New York at Buffalo (1984) with research interests in economic geography, labour markets, decision theory, migration, and quantitative methods.


For the past few decades, universities in the developed world have been pursuing a strategy that might be described as international engagement. In this strategy, institutions seek to recruit international students to their campuses, while at the same time encouraging their students to study abroad. In some cases institutions have established campuses (either alone or as partnerships) in other countries. While internationalization at first was pursued for important philosophical reasons, recently financial imperatives appear to be taking the lead in administrative thinking.

Globalizing an institution takes a comprehensive approach to engagement and outreach that builds on the mobility patterns of the past to create a newer level of deep engagement that involves post-secondary institutions, governments, and industry. Alumni networks (formal and informal), specialized course offerings, research partnerships, and industrial/commercial development all are part of the landscape of globalized institutions. Education institutions can be part of a broad-based national strategy of regional engagement that collaborates with industry and government. Intellectual property flows among institutions in a consortium model. Local alumni and alumni from around the world are utilized in an integrated strategy to advance the needs of home jurisdictions and partners from elsewhere.