AUSTIN, Texas — The University of Texas at Austin is one of five recipients of the 2021 Senator Paul Simon Award for Comprehensive Internationalization, an honor given by NAFSA: Association of International Educators for overall excellence in global engagement on campus. The award recognizes UT’s internationally focused initiatives and innovative global approach to student outcomes, faculty research, institutional development and alumni engagement.
For almost 140 years, the university has been committed to supporting faculty members, scholars, students and alumni to address pressing global challenges. UT Austin’s internationalization strategy is responsive to the interests of its faculty and diverse student population. As such, Texas Global connects the campus community with international partners through innovative initiatives that include a robust global virtual exchange program, funding opportunities to support transnational research collaboration and faculty-led internships, engaging alumni programming, and global professional training that serves students across campus. During the pandemic, the university pivoted to engage partners virtually, supported limited student mobility, expanded institutional partnerships, and planned strategically for greater in-person engagement in the coming years.
“Here on the Forty Acres, we try to embody our motto – ‘what starts here changes the world.’ This award recognizes faculty, students, staff, and alumni across our 18 colleges and schools for their exemplary efforts to engage with partners around the globe.” said UT Austin President Jay Hartzell. “I thank NAFSA for this prestigious recognition. From here, we’ll continue the critical work of pursuing academic excellence and addressing global challenges collaboratively.”
Named for the late Sen. Paul Simon, a longtime proponent of international education, the Senator Paul Simon Award for Comprehensive Internationalization has been honoring outstanding achievements in campus internationalization since 2003.
“During a time of significant global upheaval, UT Austin remains committed to transnational collaborations,” said Sonia Feigenbaum, senior vice provost for global engagement and chief international officer. “I am impressed by the creativity and innovation of our faculty and staff to ensure that engagement with our international partners is bolstered. I am grateful to NAFSA for recognizing the diligent work of the UT community on campus and across the globe.”
UT Austin is ranked No. 30 in the Times Higher Education (THE) World Reputation Rankings 2020, No. 33 in CWUR’s World University Rankings 2020-21, No. 38 in THE’s World University Rankings 2020, and No. 38 in U.S. News & World Report’s Best Global Universities 2021. The university is ranked No. 3 for study abroad participation among doctorate-granting institutions (2020), No. 1 for Peace Corps volunteers in Texas (2020), No. 2 for Gilman International scholars among large institutions (2018-19), a top producer of Fulbright U.S. student/scholars (2019-20), and the No. 1 recipient of Fulbright-García Robles students from Mexico (2020).
The university will be profiled in NAFSA’s fall report, “Internationalizing the Campus: Profiles of Success at Colleges and Universities,” and will be honored at a ceremony during International Education Week in November.