Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

 Email  Share  Print

Making the Case for Internationalization

December 30, 1899


​This page is designed to help you create strong arguments for internationalization on your campus. In some cases, you may be looking for new arguments to make to your stakeholders; in other cases, you may be interested in strengthening existing arguments with better evidence and examples.  Some of you may want to create a separate, formal statement on the value of internationalization, which we call a case statement. Others may want to integrate these arguments into other documents and resources, such as a strategic plan.

This page is designed to help you with all of these tasks. There are four sections: 

Why a Case Statement on Internationalization? 

A strong set of arguments for internationalization can be an effective tool for building political support and for mobilizing resources. The process of developing these arguments can be a valuable end in itself. Here is a summary of the benefits of developing a case statement:

  • It energizes and focuses the team that leads internationalization on your campus
  • It serves as the basis for public statements by campus leaders, and encourages a more consistent message
  • It prepares key stakeholders for organizational change and a shift in campus priorities
  • It helps to identify stakeholders who will support and oppose internationalization
  • It serves as a catalyst for setting priorities and direction
  • It opens lines of communication with key internal and external constituencies

For many campuses, developing the case statement will be part of a strategic planning process that requires multiple stages and the creation of a number of documents. A draft case statement will be most effective after the internationalization team is formed, but before writing the strategic plan. It can be finalized after the internationalization team reaches consensus on the goals of the strategic plan. It is not a strategic plan, but it informs the strategic plan.

The ACE Case Statement for Internationalization

It may be useful to have a broad statement on the value of internationalization. This statement could be part of an introduction to a longer document, or it could be used to stimulate discussion among key stakeholders, who might be asked to adapt the wording of the document to the unique circumstances of your institution. 

“In order for the United States to have a truly world-class higher education system, colleges and universities must be globally engaged and prepare students to be citizens of a multicultural community both at home and in a globalized world. Institutions accomplish this by having a multi-dimensional, comprehensive strategy that includes internationalization at home and engagement with global issues and partners.”

Links to case statements that have been created by other institutions

Formal case statements for internationalization are relatively rare. Download an example from the University of Kentucky.

More common is including the arguments for internationalization in a strategic plan – the University of North Georgia provides an example.

We welcome suggestions for additional links to this section. Please send your recommendations to

A Guide to Writing Your Own Case Statement

Below we have identified several arguments that could serve as the basis for a case statement on internationalization. Each of the twelve arguments below stands on its own, and your own statement may include all of the points or only a few of them. Not all of these arguments will be effective for every institution, and each one should be thoroughly reviewed by the internationalization team. We have also included a resource section with links to supporting data to help frame the twelve arguments. If you would like to suggest additional links and resources, please write to us at

Local Impact
  • Institutions are more vital and attractive places when they are internationalized, and these qualities strengthen their local communities. 
  • Internationalized institutions are stronger institutions generally, and as such they are in a better position to serve their local stakeholders.
Institutional Strength
  • A global footprint is essential for any university to be recognized for its quality.  All institutions that are noted for their excellence also have a significant international presence.
  • Internationalized universities are stronger financially. 
Service to the Community
  • Universities should promote human welfare around the globe, and not just in their own country.
  • American students need to understand the influence of the United States on other parts of the world in order to be effective citizens.
  • Foreign students return to their home countries with a more accurate, nuanced understanding of the United States. 
Students and Curriculum
  • Global competence is essential for a successful career in a globalized society and economy. 
  • Every college graduate should develop the international skills and perspective that will enable them to become responsible and well-informed members of society. 
  • Complete mastery of any academic discipline requires an understanding of its international dimensions. 
  • The most urgent research questions transcend national boundaries.
  • Research increasingly involves international networks of collaborators. 


Other ACE News

  • May 26, 2015

    Today's Headlines

    HEADLINES: Today's Top Higher Education News

    In today’s headlines, Inside Higher Ed reports on a new college in Rhode Island that will help adults with incomplete degrees graduate, and The Chronicle of Higher Education explores the state of the college admissions process. In other news, ACE...

  • Innovative Practices

    May 22, 2015

    alternative credit project

    Calling All Proposals for ACE Alternative Credit Consortium

    Institutions demonstrating a strong commitment to access and attainment, particularly those serving nontraditional students, are invited to submit proposals to join the second wave of ACE’s alternative credit consortium.

  • Law and the Courts

    May 22, 2015

    Library with Colorful Books

    Access and Diversity Collaborative Issues Syllabus

    Designed to map relevant issues about campus diversity and direct institutions to important resources that can help them understand these issues, develop effective policies and mitigate legal risk.

  • Institutional Capacity

    May 20, 2015

    Register Now for ACE's Advancing to the Presidency

    Advancing to the Presidency, a two-day workshop scheduled for Oct.19-20 in Alexandria, VA, helps senior admnistrators prepare for the transition to the next level.

  • Institutional Capacity

    May 20, 2015

    It’s Not Too Early to Think About Applying for the Next Class of ACE Fellows

    As the ACE Fellows Program concludes its landmark 50th anniversary this academic year, it’s not too early to start thinking about applying to be a member of the 2016-17 class of the ACE Fellows Program.


 More CIGE


 Related Content