Role of University International Partnerships for Research & Education: Leaders’ Critical Insights & Recommendations by William Lacy et al. CSHE 4.22 (June 2022)


International partnerships have become increasingly important for the mission and goals of universities and colleges globally.  Understanding the nature of these partnerships and the perspectives of their senior leaders is critical. Senior international officers (SIOs) at 59 US public and private universities and colleges and 4 non-US universities completed surveys regarding:  goals and criteria for developing the partnerships; number and country of their partners; types of existing partnerships; ways the university/college promotes/rewards international partnerships; challenges faced and important considerations for developing partnerships; and recommendations to enhance successful international partnerships. The SIOs’ insights and recommendations were reviewed and analyzed. The most frequently identified major goals were ‘enhancing the quality of research and scholarship’ and ‘strengthening students’ education and preparation for life in a multicultural world and global economy’. Conclusions included the recognition that successful strategic international partnerships and effective policy will likely: need to expand in scale, scope, diversity, and complexity; require strong, committed leadership; draw on the research and pedagogical knowledge worldwide; and carefully consider the wide, unique opportunities and challenges of these partnerships for practice and policy.

William B. Lacy
Jean-Yves Merilus
Xiaoguang Liu
Laura R. Lacy
Publication date: 
June 13, 2022
Publication type: 
Research and Occasional Papers Series (ROPS)