Site helps you span the globe with Western

Do you want to know what Western is up to in Brazil or Chile? How about Denmark, Kenya or Madagascar? With Western Worldwide, a new database tool that track’s Western’s international activity, you can check on student exchanges, research or another type of international agreement or activity the university has on the go.

“Western International wants to highlight the many excellent international activities that are underway and this is one way to do so,” said Julie McMullin, Vice-Provost (International), adding while Western has many more international projects on the go, the database is specific to formalized partnerships – one that have required signed agreements.

“We also wanted our community to be able to access information about who we partner with. If someone is interested in pursuing a partnership they can look at the dashboard to determine whether we already have an agreement in place. Or, if someone wants to launch a project in a particular country, they could look to see if our current partners are a good fit.”

The university’s international agreements and activities have always been initiated and maintained at the faculty and department level, in the research office, within Western International and many other places. This central, shared resource now makes it easier to understand the scope of global engagement.

Found on the Western International homepage, international.uwo.ca, the interactive tool not only creates awareness, but could potentially foster opportunities for interdisciplinary projects and collaboration, McMullin said.

“You could imagine a faculty member having a look at the database and noticing there is an agreement in place at a university where our faculty member has research connections, but not a formal partnership,” she said. “They could then contact Western International to get more details about who is collaborating with whom at that particular university, and one never knows what could then transpire.”

Along with student exchange and international research collaboration information, the site showcases Western’s study abroad partnerships, faculty exchange, dual degrees and other types of cooperation agreements.

Western Worldwide was developed in partnership with Western International, Western Information Systems Group, the University Secretariat and Research Western. Western International, the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and the research office will maintain information within Western Worldwide, with the help of faculties and departments.

McMullin said future plans for Western Worldwide include adding international student data, student international learning (mobility) data, international publications, and information about international alumni, faculty and staff.