UC Davis wants ‘Global Education for All’ students

Published 28/03/2018

The Global Affairs division at the University of California, Davis has set an ambitious goal of ensuring all students have access to a learning experience that will prepare them to succeed in an interconnected world and global job market. Currently, more than 37,000 undergraduate and graduate students attend the university.

“We want 100% of our students by the time they graduate…to have some form of global and intercultural engagement”

The ‘Global Education for All’ program, a UC Davis “Big Idea”, aims to move beyond traditional study abroad opportunities by providing students with a variety of experiences tailored to their interests, skills and aspirations.

Opportunities on offer include internships and domestic experiences that have global footprints, learning opportunities that employ virtual international collaboration and experiential learning that crosses academic and geographic boundaries.

Vice provost and associate chancellor of Global Affairs, Joanna Regulska, told The PIE News that the global learning experience can take “numerous forms”.

“We want 100% of our students by the time they graduate…to have some form of global and intercultural engagement,” said Regulska.

“It could be done through research, study abroad or home in the US. It could also be through international internships or service learning, which again could be home or abroad.”

Regulska told The PIE that students will gain life-shaping experiences and valuable critical thinking skills while simultaneously meeting urgent global environmental, public health, social and economic challenges with solutions.

However, she added that educators are not always successful at articulating the true impact and benefits of these programs to students.

“We tend to still talk about how we want students to travel and see the world – I don’t think this is the best argument,” she said.

“We need to talk more about the impact these programs have on a student’s major, the skills they gain, the better understanding [of the world] they will have.

“The political, environmental, economic and cultural contexts are changing. So it’s more important than ever that students gain knowledge, skills and experience.”

Regulska added that while it will be a challenging endeavour, the support received so far has left her feeling optimistic about the future of the program.

“I’m sure there are some naysayers, as there are always people who have a different perspective. But so far we have a lot of faculty members supporting us, and willing to work with and to engage with us. So I’m very optimistic.”

“I think it’s going to be good, but I’m sure we’re going to have challenges at different points.”

Read our full interview with Joanna Regulska here.

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