Building the strategy

Collaborations are stronger by definition than solo endeavors. In Service is a community effort – a true reflection of the philosophy behind the strategy. We are grateful to everyone who helped design UBC’s global engagement strategy. 


UBC President Santa Ono and Dr. Murali Chandrashekaran, Vice-Provost International, kicked off the global engagement strategy consultation process with a Facebook Live Event on March 8, 2019.

Collaboration marked the process from the start. First, the Office of the Vice-Provost International developed an initial framework based on an extensive two-year consultation process for the university’s overall strategic plan, Shaping UBC’s Next Century. More than 8,000 community members planted the seeds of the framework by giving their feedback to the Local and Global Engagement Working Group. 

We hosted a series of meetings, workshops, retreats, focus groups and online surveys to gather broad input from multiple stakeholders across the university, as well as local and global communities. We also convened a Working Group (faculty, students and staff from both campuses) to give advice and direction, and work on action directions. Some 450 members of the UBC community spent an additional seven months offering input for the strategy. Then in summer 2019, the Office of the Vice-Provost, International gathered feedback from a UBC community survey.

After distilling feedback, we presented the strategy to stakeholders, including student leadership, the UBC Executive and the Board of Governors’ People, Community and International Committee for additional input in fall 2019. UBC deans and the executive conducted a final review in 2020.


    • 18 faculty, students and staff from both campuses and multiple units met as a working group to draft action directions under In Service’s core themes and distill workshop feedback.
    • 250+ faculty, students, staff and alumni joined workshops at both campuses to discuss developing themes and action directions.
    • 200+ members of our local and global community weighed in through one-on-one consultations, staff retreats, team meetings and focus groups, including the UBC Executive; the Provosts and Provost’s leadership teams on both campuses; deans, heads, and directors; Vantage College leadership, faculty and staff; the Senior Advisor to the President on Indigenous Affairs; the Senior Advisor to the Provost on Racialized Faculty; the University Librarian; members of the UBC China Council; and alumni groups in Asia and the United Kingdom.
    • Representatives from 20+ countries engaged in discussions on partnerships and networks for impact under the developing strategy through meetings with senior university leaders, local consular representatives and UN ambassadors.


    • UBC is a “global actor” with a responsibility to ensure UBC’s global engagement is anti-colonial and rooted in inclusion, humility, accountability, accessibility and collaboration for mutual benefit.
    • UBC should work collaboratively and partner widely to address the most pressing global challenges in our society today – both locally and globally.
    • UBC must embrace full diversity – where the dichotomy of international versus domestic disappears, and all students contribute and have access to programs, projects and experiences that foster global citizenship.
    • They are excited to be part of a global community where all stakeholders have a role to play. They want to see more meaningful opportunities for students, faculty, staff and alumni to engage globally.
    • The breadth of UBC’s global activities needs to be valued and supported at all levels of the institution, recognizing that service through capacity-building initiatives is key to our vision of building a better world.