The Bicentennial Strategic Plan set as an action item that IU would focus its international engagement efforts on its 32 priority countries and their leading institutions, establishing partnership agreements with leading or complementary institutions in all of these countries. Partnerships between IU and universities around the world establish the framework for a variety of international activities: they provide a path for international students to study at IU, create study abroad opportunities for IU students, and open channels of communication that facilitate joint research and teaching. Since 2015 IU has entered into 11 new agreements for university-wide partnerships and renewed 33 additional agreements. All of the new agreements and all but five of the renewed agreements are with universities located in priority countries. Since 2015 three new strategic partnerships have been established—with the Australian National University, the National Autonomous University of Mexico, and Sorbonne University. These partnerships involve multiple units at IU and, in the case of the latter two, units on both the IU Bloomington and IUPUI campuses. Since 2015 IU has signed 49 new sub-agreements with 29 different partner universities. All but one of these sub-agreements were with a partner university in a priority country. Also since 2015, IU has renewed 44 sub-agreements, 39 of which were with partner universities in priority countries. Over the five-year period, OVPIA sponsored and organized 41 joint workshops and 16 joint lectures with university-wide partner universities. It also hosted 17 delegations from partner universities and 59 visiting research scholars through exchange programs with partner universities.
Since 2015, IU’s Global Gateway Network has expanded from two—China and India—to five, with new offices established in Europe (Berlin) in 2015, Mexico (Mexico City) in 2018, and the ASEAN region (Bangkok) in 2019. An Africa Gateway is scheduled to open in 2020 in Cape Town, South Africa. As entry points to key regions of the world, the Gateways expand the cultural and research opportunities for faculty and students and provide high-quality, IU-branded space for study abroad programs, workshops, meetings, student recruitment events, and alumni activities. Usage of the Gateways has been robust, with more than 340 events involving some 11,500 participants in the past five years. The breadth of use throughout the IU system has been impressive as well. Nineteen units at IU Bloomington, 13 at IUPUI, two at IU East, and six university-wide units have hosted events.
IU has experienced an increase of 55% in IU students studying abroad between AY 2012–13 and AY 2017–18. IU Bloomington has seen a nearly 51% increase over this period, with 3,350 students in AY 2017–18 studying abroad. According to the annual Open Doors Report of the Institute for International Education, this ranks Bloomington exceptionally highly among over 1,200 campuses for which the institute collects data (#6 in 2016–17, and #3 for semester programs). In addition, 1,847 of the 7,592 students in the graduating class of AY 2017–18 studied abroad. At nearly one-third of the graduating class for that year, this is a remarkable accomplishment for one of the country’s largest public university campuses. IU’s study abroad programs are highly regarded for their quality and their attention to student welfare. Of the 217 new study abroad proposals approved by the Overseas Study Advisory Council from AY 2015–16 to AY 2018–19, 53% were in underrepresented regions (Asia, Latin America, and Africa), with the percentage of students in Europe decreasing from 58% to 53%. In addition, underrepresented students going abroad from IU Bloomington increased over these past five years due to additional scholarship funding as well as special programming. The percentage went from 18% of the total in AY 2013–14 (402 students) to 21% in AY 2017–18 (631 students).