Partnership with Sciences Po, International Program Development (IPD)
2016 Heiskell Award Honorable Mention: International Partnerships
Nomination submitted by: Dévora Grynspan, Vice President for International Relations
Northwestern’s partnership with Sciences Po is a model and pillar of the university’s globalization strategy: multidimensional partnerships with foreign institutions that it can expand and deepen over time. The partnership began with student exchanges and a joint study abroad program on European Union Studies, followed by Public Health, and Critical Theory programs that admit students from both partner campuses. As a next step, the universities developed a dual PhD and faculty exchanges in several disciplines, resulting in research collaborations, joint conferences, and efforts to develop joint programs in Law and Communication.
This flagship partnership contributes to internationalization in several ways. The creation of specially-designed, thematic Northwestern study abroad programs at Sciences Po created an international infrastructure for programs abroad, which allowed for the development of similar programs in Mexico, South Africa, and China. Faculty exchanges and administrator visits increased understanding of study abroad programs and created a greater degree of confidence in international partners. This led other departments to explore possibilities in their own disciplines, resulting in expanded opportunities (exchanges and specially-designed programs) in engineering, global health, medicine, economic and political development, and environmental studies. In addition, faculty exchanges resulted in research collaborations and high profile conferences, as well as greater interest on the part of the professional schools in engaging with partner institutions.
Over the last four years, Northwestern’s partner institution programs have grown dramatically overall, with the number of Northwestern students going on exchange increasing from 15 to 46, and, on specially-designed programs, from 155 to 193.
The success of these programs led to the inclusion of globalization into the strategic plan that currently guides Northwestern’s capital campaign, leading to some of the largest gifts ever to the university. This year, Northwestern created a Vice President of International Relations position. The campus has found comprehensive collaborations to be an essential part of its internationalization effort, with results that benefit the campus, its partners, and the broader research community.