Cohort 19 of ACE Internationalization Lab Imagines the Future at Final Meeting
November 10, 2022

Leadership teams from the higher education institutions that compose Cohort 19 of ACE's Internationalization Lab reflected on their Lab experience and explored the future of internationalization in higher education during their final milestone meeting on Nov. 4 in Washington, DC and on Zoom. The daylong, hybrid event consisted of small- and large-group discussions, cohort bonding, and networking.

A highlight of the meeting came when institutions applied lessons learned through the Lab in a thought exercise in which they imagined the world they wanted to create. Participants brainstormed a news headline they would like to see 10 years down the road celebrating the success of internationalization on their campus.

Derrick Anderson, ACE's senior vice president of Education Futures, played the role of newspaper editor, giving feedback and pushing participants to then think even further into the future⁠—looking ahead several more decades. While the next century may seem far away, Anderson pointed out that the span between the year 2100 and today is equidistant to the gap between the present and World War II, and the higher education system and community still feels the impacts of that era, so the effects of actions taken today could very well be felt long into the future.

Building on this theme, participants also emphasized the longevity colleges and universities have as compared to other sectors and discussed how convergent issues such as the climate crisis will only require more global collaboration in years to come.

The event also included two additional small-group sessions with participants, Lab advisors, and ACE staff. The morning session allowed participants to connect with their peers and advisors on where they are at in the Lab process, and in the afternoon members of the Lab had tailored discussions on a variety of topics, such as international mobility and global-local engagement and partnerships.

Participants closed the day by reflecting on what they have learned during this journey and celebrating their successes. The next major milestone for institutions will be completing a peer review in early 2023 in which reviewers will examine each institution's internationalization vision and goals; explore internationalization strategies, initiatives, and challenges; and celebrate achievements.

ACE is also currently facilitating the Lab's landmark 20th cohort, which held its kickoff meeting in September. You can learn more about the Internationalization Lab here.