Shaping Sustainable Futures for Internationalization in Higher Education

Conference Dates: June 24-25, 2019

About the conference

Higher education has long been an area of international knowledge exchange, with people and ideas crossing borders for hundreds of years. In the 21st century, internationalization has become significantly more pronounced with, for example, huge increases in worldwide flows of students, new branch campuses opening in every corner of the globe, and leaps in the number of cross-national research collaborations and co-authored publications. Theories, policies and practices of internationalization are spreading and transforming new ideas and approaches around the world.

In the face of this continuing diffusion, the purpose of this conference is both to take stock of internationalization in higher education as it is currently evolving in Canada and around the world, and to consider the ways in which it could be shaped sustainably into the future.


The main themes of the conference are quality, reciprocity, and inclusivity as they relate to shaping sustainable futures for internationalization in higher education. Questions we hope to explore include – but are certainly not limited to – the following: How can access to internationalization be improved for groups that have traditionally been marginalized from internationalization activities? How do we know if internationalization is working for students? What are the drivers behind internationalization assessment and to what extent should they shape action by policy actors? In countries with high levels of immigration, just what do we mean by ‘international’ in the classroom? How can internationalization efforts engage respectfully with and incorporate Indigenous knowledges, worldviews and peoples? In what ways is internationalization playing out similarly and differently in different parts of the world?


In considering possible answers to these questions, we seek to foster conversations that can strengthen dialogue across sectors while emphasizing the integrity of the distinct roles we play in the internationalization of higher education. The conference will bring together academics, experts, policymakers, practitioners and students in a space where expertise and experience from a wide range of perspectives are valued and shared.

Delegates will actively participate in sessions over two days and will be invited to collaborate in the creation of resources that could help foster more sustainable futures for internationalization in higher education. This could include policy briefs, new ideas for practice and novel analytical frameworks. As well as the longer-term networks that the conference will nurture, we plan to share the conference outputs widely in the spirit of the theme of sustainability.

Keynote Speakers

Dr. Jane Knight

Dr. Jane Knight of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto and Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Johannesburg, focuses her research on the international dimension of higher education at the institutional, national, regional and international levels. Her work in over 70 countries with universities, governments, and UN Agencies helps to bring a comparative, development and international perspective to her research, teaching and policy work. She is the author of numerous publications and is the co-founder of the African Network for the Internationalization of Education and sits on the advisory boards of several international organizations, universities, and journals. She is the recipient of many international awards including the Outstanding Researcher Award from the European Association for Institutional Research and the Gilbert Medal from Universitas 21and two honorary doctorates for her contribution to higher education internationalization.

Professor Ka-Ho Mok

Professor Mok is Vice-President of Lingnan University in Hong Kong, where he is also Professor of Comparative Policy. He has extensive professional and academic experience of international higher education with a focus on China and East Asia. Prior to joining Lingnan University, Professor Mok held senior administrative positions at the Hong Kong Institute of Education and the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom. Professor Mok has published extensively in the fields of comparative education policy, comparative development and policy studies, and social development in contemporary China and East Asia. Professor Mok's leadership and entrepreneurial approach has also been demonstrated through presidencies of academic societies, founding editorial positions for books and journals, recognition by the Ministry of Education of the People's Republic of China, and invitations to collaborate on international research with a wide range of global partners.


Download the Call for Proposals: Shaping Sustainable Futures for Internationalization in Higher Education

We invite submissions engaging in one or more of the conference themes of quality, reciprocity, and inclusivity as they relate to shaping a sustainable future for internationalization in higher education.

We will prioritize proposals that include one or more of the following:

  1. Have a participatory format;
  2. Encourage interactions between researchers, policymakers and practitioners;
  3. Lead to the creation of shareable resources;
  4. Are for a whole session (90 minutes);
  5. Address one or more of the themes of the conference.

To submit your proposal, please go to You will need to:

  • Provide basic information about yourself
  • Select the type of proposal you are making e.g. workshop, white paper session, talking circle, roundtable, storytelling, fireside chats, pre-organized panel, paper presentation – these are suggestions and we encourage other proposals formats;
  • Type or paste in an abstract of up to 300 words explaining:
    • What you would like to share at the conference and why;
    • How this connects to one or more of the conference themes;
    • Why the format that you have selected is suitable. 
Thank you for your submissions! 

Proposal outcome notifications will be sent in early March 2019.


Registration will open in April 2019.

We hope to be able to offer travel grants to selected student presenters.

Any questions?

Any questions?

If you have any questions about the conference, would be interested in helping plan and/or run a session at the conference, or can sponsor a session, please get in touch with the conference organizing team at

The conference website is

Conference sponsors and organizing committee

This is an entirely student run conference, led by an organizing committee based at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), University of Toronto. We are: Diane Simpson, Emma Sabzalieva, Clara Kim, Nadiia Kachynska and Scott Clerk.

The conference is co-hosted with the generous support of the Centre for Canadian and International Higher Education (CIHE), OISE, University of Toronto, and Humber College, Toronto.

We are very grateful to our conference sponsors, who are listed below.




Global Champions