An MIT education must prepare students to lead and innovate in a world which is defined by a global economy and contemporary issues that transcend national boundaries. Therefore, a global education should include international experiences that challenge students to live and work with people from other countries and cultures. Through these experiences, students learn to understand and value multiple perspectives, and how to communicate within and adapt to a culture other than their own.
DUE plays a significant role in making a global experience an essential part of an MIT undergraduate education. There are two goals in this effort:
- creating more global educational opportunities and options for students; and
- eliminating barriers that have limited student participation, including highly structured science and engineering curricula, student interest that exceeds program capacity and personal financial limitations.
DUE is making progress towards these goals through a collaborative effort with the major MIT global education programs, as well as departments and faculty. Since this focused effort began in 2006, the number of graduating seniors who have had a global educational experience has increased from 24% to 45.1% in 2015.
Much of this progress is based on the recommendations from the 2006 Global Educational Opportunities at MIT Report (GEOMIT). The faculty-led GEOMIT Committee was charged with defining the best approach for MIT to provide global opportunities in undergraduate education.
DUE Initiatives to Advance Global Education
To further enhance global opportunities for students, DUE has:
- established the Global Education team in 2008, now a part of the Office of Global Education and Career Development (GECD). The office:
- raises student awareness and excitement about global experiences;
- advises students who are exploring the possibility of going abroad;
- coordinates and facilitates global education programs, including study abroad;
- promotes and supports safe student travel; and
- provides consultation services to faculty and departments interested in global education in the classroom or as part of a program overseas.
- launched annual Go Global Fair;
- formed the Global Education Faculty Advisory Committee to advise on expanding opportunities and integrating them with the curriculum;
- created the Global Theme Team and Global Emergency Team to brainstorm ways to expand participation across programs, and share best practices surrounding health and safety abroad, respectively;
- held Go Global panels at Campus Preview Weekend, Orientation, and Family Weekend to share international opportunities with prospective students and parents;
- collaborated with existing global programs and the faculty to expand current opportunities and develop new ones, including:
- growing the International Research Opportunities Program (IROP);
- doubling the size of D-Lab: Design through Dialogue, Design and Dissemination;
- adding University of Pretoria, Imperial College London, and ETH-Zurich as partner institutions; and
- expanding participation in MIT International Innovation and Technology Initiative (MISTI);
- developed infrastructure that benefits all global education programs, such as a participant tracking system, travel risk management, and cultural preparation;
- collected and analyzed student-reported data on obstacles to having a global experience as part of their MIT education;
- provided a focused direction to address barriers to students; and
- launched the Global Marketing Campaign (including an updated Go Global website) to promote and educate students about the wide range of global opportunities.
MIT continues to explore and evolve its global-education strategy. In September 2009, the MIT Global Council released the report Mens et Manus et Mundus: New Directions for Global Educations and Research at MIT, which encourages the Institute to “make international education a core component of an MIT education” through a stronger focus on global learning and research, both in the classroom and abroad.