"This is Global Lehigh" is our plan for comprehensive internationalization, where an international or intercultural dimension is infused in all aspects of teaching, research and service.

Globalization is the movement of people, ideas, goods, capital, services, pollution, and diseases across borders. Internationalization is higher education’s engagement with that reality.

American Council on Education

This Is Global Lehigh is closely aligned with Lehigh’s mission and vision. It centers on our longstanding strengths in interdisciplinary education and experiential learning and builds on Lehigh's already distinctive international portfolio, including signature programs like the Global Union, Iacocca Institute, Iacocca International Internship Program, the Mountaintop Initiative and the United Nations Partnership.

This plan is the result of the American Council on Education's Internationalization Laboratory. It is guided by these assumptions:

  • Interdisciplinarity is central to internationalization. Lehigh’s significant experience with interdisciplinary programs should be a key driver of the strategic approach to internationalization.
  • Experiential learning is a signature part of the Lehigh experience. Facilitating learning from theory to practice is a core Lehigh tenet, with experiential learning opportunities further developing this connection.
  • We should “learn from ourselves.” Lehigh offers numerous distinctive international programs that we can scale and use as models for similar programs.
  • Partnerships play a key role in our work. Partnerships can deepen Lehigh’s curricular and co-curricular offerings, allow us to internationalize with fewer resources and make international experiences more accessible.
  • We need to be prepared to meet the needs of a changing student body. Lehigh’s ambitious targets to grow student enrollment by 20 percent over the next seven years will require the university to compete in new markets and respond to increasing student diversity.
  • International programs should not be constrained by the academic calendar. International experiences provide an opportunity for Lehigh to create programs that can cross perceived time restrictions.
  • Staff are an underutilized resource to support Lehigh’s international goals. Staff can, should and want to be valued resources in Lehigh’s internationalization efforts.
  • Our own community presents unique opportunities for connections. The Lehigh Valley is very diverse, and our international programs help Lehigh be an anchor institution. We can foster innovation, prepare the future workforce, and contribute to community development.

The plan includes the following six areas of focus.

Position: Strengthen the visibility of Lehigh as a globally influential university.

(Student) Population: Leverage international programs to ensure that Lehigh is a destination of choice for the best students in the world.

Programs: Invest in curricular and co-curricular programs that prepare graduates to engage with the world and live lives of meaning.

Partners: Strategically partner with institutions, organizations, and industry to advance teaching, research, and service in new directions.

People: Expand campus resources, services, and infrastructure to support Lehigh’s goals to recruit and retain world class faculty and staff.

Places: Develop multifaceted engagement in regions that strategically align with Lehigh’s teaching, research, and service goals.

Read the full internationalization strategic plan (pdf).