Global Learning in Higher Education: An analysis of global learning in practice
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This study examined global learning program development in a purposive sample of higher education institutions. The research was designed to provide a descriptive analysis of global learning in practice. There was particular focus on leadership decisions related to global learning and their impact on developing sustainable and integrated global learning programs. The sample was selected from participants in the Association of American Colleges and Universities’ Shared Futures global learning and curriculum development initiative. This was a mixed methods analysis that combined survey data with data collected from personal interviews. The mixed methods approach was selected to provide a comprehensive description of global learning at the institutional level. Support from senior leadership was found to have an observable connection both to the scale and level of integration of global learning programs on campus. In most cases, educators that reported having support from senior leadership combined with some inclusion of global learning in the strategic goals of the institution were more likely to feel supported in adding staff, providing faculty development, and developing resources for global learning on campus. Educators without support from senior leadership were more likely to report challenges with funding and resources in implementing global learning programs. When global learning was initiated at the senior leadership level, it was reported to be more comprehensive and integrated throughout the campus. When global learning was initiated at the faculty level, it was reported to be more organic and fluid, and less integrated throughout the campus.