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2014 National Symposium


The Global Imperative for Higher Education

Friday, November 21 and Saturday, November 22, 2014
San Juan, Puerto Rico

The deadline for proposal submission is Friday, April 18, 2014.

Conference Topic

Globalization is the defining feature of the new millennium. Curiosity about the world beyond our national borders is not new, but the rapid pace of change across increasingly interdependent societies alerts us that global perspectives are now essential, not optional. Motivating these changes are advancing technologies, which provide not only instant access through computers, smart phones, and tablets, but connectivity across all sectors of modern life. We now share a global economy in which the financial crisis in Greece will have reverberations in the stock markets in New York and Tokyo. Social media has become a force for global change, initiating movements such as the “Arab Spring.” Scientific and health challenges, including climate change and the spread of infectious disease, are inherently global in scope. Globalization acknowledges that humanity is co-dependent as never before.

Higher education is not immune to the impact of globalization. A 2013 report from the Institute of International Education reveals the extent to which education is now a global enterprise. In 2012 – 2013, the number of international students at U.S. colleges and universities reached an all-time high of almost 820,000, with China, India, South Korea, and Saudi Arabia providing the largest student populations. The number of U.S. students studying abroad has more than tripled over the past 20 years, but the overall educational impact remains small—only 9.4% of American students study abroad during their undergraduate degree, and almost 60% of these students go abroad only for a summer or a short-term program. The vast majority of U.S. students pursue their studies in Europe, although there is a recent increase in the number of students traveling to Latin America. These data indicate a mismatch, both in terms of number and geography, in the two-way flow of students into and out of the U.S.

This symposium will examine how the “global imperative” is profoundly and pervasively influencing all aspects of higher education. For example, the large influx of international students into U.S. institutions brings a rich diversity of global experiences into our classrooms. However, it also poses challenges for faculty members to accommodate a wider range of backgrounds, cultures, and educational expectations. In what ways does the new “global classroom” provide an impetus to rethink teaching and learning in the 21st century? How can faculty incorporate global perspectives into their courses? How does the presence of international students change the type of learning that occurs? Do faculty members need to change their pedagogical practices to ensure that all students have a positive educational experience? How can institutions ensure that students’ study abroad experiences are an integral and interconnected part of their education rather than being a superficial experience of “intellectual tourism”? What strategies are U.S. colleges and universities using to establish effective partnerships with educational institutions in other countries?

Breakout Presentation and Poster Topics

We invite breakout sessions and poster submissions in all areas related to the topic of this symposium. We particularly encourage submissions that illustrate how participation in an FRN-sponsored activity (e.g. a seminar during Network Summer or Network Winter, time spent as a Scholar-in-Residence, etc.) has helped in meeting the expectations of the many types of learners on your campus.

Examples of suitable topics are listed below but other suggestions are welcome:

  • How are institutions addressing the “globalization imperative” in ways that are aligned with their identity, mission, faculty, and student population?
  • How can colleges and universities assist international students to successfully participate in their classrooms and campus culture?
  • In what ways do global student populations change the experience of teaching and learning for both students and faculty?
  • What are the academic goals and learning outcomes for globalized education? How can these goals and outcomes be effectively assessed?
  • What are effective strategies for developing, promoting, and supporting international experiences for undergraduate students?
  • How can educational technology be used to promote a more global education for students?
  • What are the experiences of faculty who have taught at international sites? How can those experiences inform the teaching of a global student population at our home institutions?
  • How do we foster the personal and intellectual development of students as “global citizens” equipped with a “cosmopolitan” perspective?
  • In what ways can institutions promote global perspectives and experiences for its faculty? Do we need to reinvent faculty development for the globalized university of the 21st Century?
  • How can institutions develop productive partnerships to promote global education?
  • How should U.S. schools and colleges constructively address questions of academic freedom in study abroad sites or partner institutions?

Guidelines For Submission of Proposals:


We request a one-page abstract (between 300 – 500 words) of the intended breakout session or poster presentation. The abstract should outline the content and structure of the session, together with its intellectual merit and educational value for the symposium participants. The abstract should include the names, institutional affiliations, and contact information for each presenter.

Please indicate clearly whether your proposal is for a breakout session or a poster presentation.

Breakout session:

Breakout sessions are scheduled for one hour. We encourage submissions by a group of 2 - 4 presenters, which emphasize collaboration and are organized around a common theme. Proposals submitted by individuals (if accepted) will be combined with other proposal topics within the breakout session.

Poster Presentation:

Poster presentations may be submitted by individuals or by groups of any size.

Proposal Submission:

The submission deadline for abstracts is Friday, April 18, 2014.

Please send your abstract and supporting documentation in one of the following ways:

  • An e-mail attachment to
  • A fax to 212.995.4101
  • A postal mailing to:
    Faculty Resource Network
    Attn: National Symposium 2014
    194 Mercer Street, 4th Floor
    New York, NY 10012

Abstracts must be submitted to the Faculty Resource Network by Friday, April 18, 2014. Presenters will be selected and notified in late June or early July.

Contact information:

Please direct inquiries to the Faculty Resource Network
( or 212-998-2090). For additional information about the Faculty Resource Network and our member institutions, please consult