March 3, 2020

UCalgary takes home repeat internationalization award for innovation

Team built ratings tool to assess international partnership effectiveness
Association of International Education Administrators executives with UCalgary's Janaka Ruwanpura.
Association of International Education Administrators executives with UCalgary's Janaka Ruwanpura.

On Feb. 19, Dr. Janaka Ruwanpura, vice-provost (international), accepted the Innovation Award in Internationalization from the Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA) during its annual conference in Washington, D.C. The award was in recognition of his team’s innovative International Partnership Assessment Rating Index (IPARI).

“This is the sixth excellence award and second innovation award for the International office since 2016. This further justifies we are on the right track with our Institutional International Strategy developed under the leadership of our provost, Dr. Dru Marshall. Its successful implementation is thanks to the entire campus community, as well as support from the external community,” says Ruwanpura.

“IPARI is an innovative and effective tool. I want to thank the main contributors Andrea Lee Morrow, Savera Hayat-Dade, Colleen Packer, Scott Vu and Glynn Hunter, as well as all others who provided input and support to develop and implement it.”

  • Photo above: Association of International Education Administrators executives with UCalgary's Janaka Ruwanpura (fourth from left).

IPARI is a tool developed and used by UCalgary International to evaluate international partnerships, identify top partners in each country, develop strategic partnerships, and decide to re-engage or eliminate stalled partnerships. International connects faculty, staff and students to the world through more than 400 active education and research agreements in 55-plus countries.

Members of the winning International team

From left: Colleen Packer, Savera Hayat-Dade, Janaka Ruwanpura, Andrea Lee Morrow and Scott Vu.

Melanie Yar Khan, University of Calgary International

The IPARI methodology has been shared with numerous institutions and at professional gatherings and has been met with positive reactions and support. A number of institutions have begun to adapt the IPARI model for their local needs. The International team (photo above) is now working on IPARI 2.0, which will add qualitative components such as social, economic, and political factors to further assist in the assessment of partnership efficacy.

“It is often difficult to measure the results of internationalization because of the diversity of activities and the lack of data. IPARI is an assessment tool and system that considers all aspects of comprehensive internationalization, and allows UCalgary to collect data in a systematic way,” says AIEA President Adel El Zaïm.

The AIEA Innovation Award in Internationalization highlights exceptional programs, projects, or initiatives aimed at advancing internationalization. As colleges and universities around the world increasingly recognize the importance of pursuing internationalization as a distinct and intentional project, the need grows for successful and specific models of programming at all levels. Many international education leaders work tirelessly and creatively to realize a vision for internationalization that best meets their institution’s needs. Some of this work is not only effective, but also enlightening, worthy of emulation by others who are either new to the field or value creative approaches to their work.

AIEA brings together international education leaders into dialogue with each other, their counterparts around the world, organizations that promote international education, and organizations concerned with the shaping and management of international higher education. AIEA gives members opportunities to join forces, share institutional strategies, and provide an effective voice on matters of public policy.