Press Release

New Action Agenda to Support International Students Rising to Solve Global Challenges

Kelley KarnesIssued: 02-06-24

CGS Contact: Kelley Karnes
602-791-8278 /
PDF version of press release

Strategic Leaders Global Summit met to address issues of internationalization in graduate education.

Washington, DC – Facing increasing challenges on a global scale, graduate education leaders from 15 countries released a new framework for ethical internationalization in graduate education at the Council of Graduate Schools’ (CGS) annual Strategic Leaders Global Summit.

The summit, which convened last October, was co-hosted with the Australian Council of Graduate Research (ACGR) at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) University with financial support from ETS.

The summit participants discussed how to create a student-centered approach to increasing the flows of knowledge, people, and resources between nations. In doing so, they aim to improve knowledge production and increase transnational understanding. The ability for countries to be better collaborators in scholarly research will be crucial to helping solve global grand challenges like poverty and climate change.

The participants developed principles and an action agenda to help education leaders move toward a holistic approach to internationalization:

  • Decenter international graduate student recruitment and place greater value on the role of international graduate students as knowledge producers.
  • Embrace a global university approach that works with students and scholars from groups and regions historically underrepresented or marginalized from international graduate research.
  • Foster support for student mobility and work to create a network-of-networks approach to connect graduate education communities.

Suzanne Ortega, president of CGS, said that addressing these goals and utilizing the action agenda will help provide holistic support for global students and research and ensure a prepared international workforce.

“To solve global issues, we will need graduate students to become the scientists, engineers, and scholars who understand the social, economic and cultural contexts in which their proposed technological, policy or other solutions will be used,” Ortega said. “Applying these new approaches now will prepare our international graduate students to be the global citizens we need.”

“The 2023 Strategic Leaders Global Summit brought together leading experts to build consensus around core principles of ethical internationalization in graduate education. What will endure are those agreed principles, and actions that will ensure future graduate education leaders are equipped with the knowledge and resources to support international student success and encourage our domestic students to see themselves as global citizens,” said Imelda Whelehan, 2023 ACGR president and dean of the Graduate Research School, the University of Western Australia.

The 2024 Strategic Leaders Global Summit will be held October 6-8 at the University of Guadalajara in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Hosted by CGS and international partners since 2007, the summit seeks to identify differences and commonalities among leaders in graduate education globally and to develop best practices around shared priorities.


About CGS

The Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) is an organization of approximately 500 institutions of higher education in the United States and Canada engaged in graduate education, research, and the preparation of candidates for advanced degrees. The organization’s mission is to improve and advance graduate education, which it accomplishes through advocacy in the federal policy arena, research, and the development and dissemination of best practices.