Policy Statement on International Activities
This document outlines a university-wide policy on international Activities at Wilfrid Laurier University. The purpose of this policy is to encourage the university to pursue international activities that are complementary to its academic mission. Specifically, it encourages the development and enhancement of opportunities for international and intercultural competency among students, staff and faculty.
International activities support Laurier’s academic mission "to educate engaged and aware citizens of an increasingly complex world." Involvement in international activities enables Wilfrid Laurier University to be a globally recognized institution of higher learning that can enhance understanding and make significant contributions to improving the quality of life throughout the world.
International activities at Laurier will take a variety of forms including such elements as study abroad programs, the presence of international students on the Laurier campuses, student and faculty exchanges with partner institutions, international development projects, credit and non credit instructional program delivery, and customized educational programs for international clients, delivered either in Canada or abroad.
International activities require institutional coordination and oversight to safeguard the university’s reputation and ensure the proper allocation of university resources. A university policy on international activities provides guidance in making informed judgments about the desirability of specific international agreements and activities and ensure that these endeavours support the university’s mission.
This policy applies to international activities that are undertaken in the name of the University and delivered either in Canada or abroad. It covers activities that are undertaken on the basis of a contract, contribution agreement, letter of understanding or similar document that require the approval of the President, or designate. Furthermore, where Senate or Board of Governors approval is required, such approval must also be obtained.
Among the international activities to which this policy applies are:
• cooperation agreements between institutions;
• university arrangements governing graduate and undergraduate student exchanges,
study abroad opportunities for domestic students (including field schools) and non-credit
international study tours;
• study abroad opportunities for international students coming to Laurier;
• education and training programs for international clients;
• arrangements for the delivery, sale or licensing outside Canada of the university’s credit
and non-credit courses, and degree completion programs;
• international service contracts;
• international development assistance projects;
• international development projects funded by the International Development Research
• commercial, joint-venture partnerships that use the university’s resources or that trade
on the university’s name and reputation;
• International research projects undertaken in the name of the institution. These shall
adhere to the spirit of this Policy and shall be submitted for review, or reported for
information to an institutional committee on international activities at the discretion of the
Associate Vice-President, Research.
Research and international activities undertaken by individual faculty, staff or students are not covered by this policy.
International activities undertaken in the name of the university shall:
• complement Laurier’s academic mission and meet its academic standards;
• conform to all university policies with particular attention to those policies governing
academic freedom, research, ethics and service contracts;
• respect cultural differences, while adhering to the principles of academic freedom and
supporting the equitable participation of women and other equity designated groups;
• protect the safety of university personnel on overseas assignment, and to provide
assistance and advice to non university personnel associated with the activity, when
their safety may be at risk;
• guarantee the university control over student access to its study programs;
• acknowledge university authority to select and administer its own personnel;
• conform to the legal rights and obligations enshrined in international laws;
• embody practices that advance partnership with the people most affected by the
• increase the benefits bestowed locally on individuals and communities as a consequence
of the activity.
From time to time, international activities will be proposed in countries where there may be ethical concerns about the possible denial of human rights. Individuals who live under an abusive regime should not be additionally penalized by being denied access to assistance through international cooperation. Therefore when assessing the implications of any international activities, the following will need to be taken into consideration:
• the activities to be engaged in will contribute to the dignity and well being of its foreign
• the culture of a host country should be taken into account and treated with sensitivity
when assessing the human rights implications of an international activity.
(approved by the Vice- President Academic's Advisory Committee on International Activities, April , 2007)