Global Engagement Solutions for Higher Education


Elevating University Profiles: Strategies for IE Success

May 8, 2024


From a podcast interview with Meredith McQuaid, an International Education Consultant & Strategic Advisor with over 15 years of SIO experience.

“International education impacts everyone on the campus through experiences, conversations, confrontations, and discussions that expand the context beyond domestic.”


In this episode, Meredith McQuaid shares her insights on raising a university's profile through international education. She emphasizes the importance of garnering support from university presidents and building a coalition of stakeholders who understand the value of international education. Meredith also discusses the need for compelling storytelling and data-driven advocacy to demonstrate the impact of international education on the overall student experience. Throughout the conversation, she highlights the challenges and opportunities in promoting international education and offers practical strategies for success.

Key Takeaways

  • Create a coalition: Engage faculty, deans, and department heads to champion international education. Their unified voice can sway university presidents to prioritize global initiatives.
  • Customize the message: Tailoring advocacy for international education is crucial. Highlighting specific benefits that align with the priorities and perspectives of different stakeholders is essential.
  • Tell the story: Storytelling is pivotal in promoting global education. Personal anecdotes highlight its transformative impact on students, faculty, and university communities.
  • Data-driven advocacy: Data is crucial for international education, showcasing its benefits, such as heightened student engagement, cultural understanding, and employability, to secure resources and backing for programs.
  • Empowering frontline staff: Offer professional growth, acknowledge contributions, and foster camaraderie to build a motivated team.

Building a Coalition of Supporters

Building a coalition of supporters within the university is essential to gaining support for international education. While the university president’s endorsement is important, it is not always their highest priority. Instead, focus on gathering support from faculty, deans, and department heads who can advocate for international education as a high priority for the university.

By creating a chorus of voices recognizing the value of international education, you can demonstrate to the president that it matters to a wide range of stakeholders. This collective support will more likely capture the president’s attention and make international education a higher priority within the university.

Conveying the Importance of International Education

When advocating for international education, conveying that it changes the entire student experience is crucial. This goes beyond study abroad programs or international student enrollment. International education is an opportunity to expand the context of learning, foster cross-cultural communication, and prepare students for a globalized world.

By emphasizing the transformative impact of international education on all students, regardless of their discipline or background, you can make a compelling case for its importance. Highlighting the benefits of international education in terms of personal growth, cultural understanding, and global citizenship will resonate with a broader audience and garner support for its integration into the university experience.

The Power of Data and Storytelling

To support your advocacy efforts, it is essential to have data and storytelling capabilities. Data can provide evidence of the impact of international education on student outcomes, faculty engagement, and the overall university environment. By presenting data on study abroad participation rates, international student enrollment, and the positive effects on student success, you can make a persuasive case for the value of international education.

However, data alone may not be enough to capture the attention and support of university stakeholders. Storytelling is a powerful tool that can bring the impact of international education to life. Sharing personal stories of students who have had transformative experiences abroad or faculty members who have integrated cross-cultural communication into their classrooms can create a deeper understanding of the value of international education.

Garnering Resources and Support

To secure the necessary resources for international education, it is important to engage with university leaders and decision-makers. Tailor your message to the specific interests and priorities of each stakeholder, whether it is the president, provost, or dean. Highlight the benefits of international education regarding enrollment, student success, faculty development, and global reputation.

In addition to engaging university leaders, it is crucial to empower and recognize the efforts of the international education team and other stakeholders. Provide opportunities for professional development, acknowledge their contributions, and create a sense of camaraderie among those involved in international education. By fostering a supportive environment, you can motivate and inspire individuals to advocate for international education within their respective roles and departments.


Raising your university's profile through international education requires building a coalition of supporters, conveying the importance of international education, and garnering resources and support. By engaging stakeholders, sharing compelling stories, and utilizing data, you can make a persuasive case for the transformative impact of international education on the entire university community. By prioritizing international education, universities can prepare students for a globalized world and enhance their overall profile and reputation.

To catch the full interview with Meredith, CLICK HERE.