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Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

For the past 40 years, Thompson Rivers University (TRU) has been a leader in international education. We've evolved from a faculty development project in 1983 to a hub that welcomes over 4,000 international students from over 100 countries and regions to our campuses each year and fosters global connections for students, staff, faculty, and the local community through international activities such as IDays, the International Training Centre, study abroad and a network of transnational partnerships.

In looking to the future, we are now taking the time to reflect on our international excellence and innovation, through the development of a Strategic Internationalization Plan (SIP). The plan will be developed from a broad engagement process in the coming months and will guide the next ten years of international education, mobility, partnership and development across all disciplines and departments in alignment with TRU’s mission. The plan will be driven by TRU's commitment to its learners, creating an inclusive environment, and its vision of being "community-minded with a global conscience."


Your input is crucial in enhancing TRU’s Strategic Internationalization Plan. We invite your ongoing feedback on all aspects of the planning process. From thoughtful reflections to innovative ideas, your insights drive our progress.

How you can get involved:

Your contribution is integral to shaping the future of global connections at TRU.

Frequently asked questions

What is internationalization and how does it differ from international education?

Internationalization is an overarching strategy that aims to make the entire educational institution more globally engaged, whereas international education is a narrower term focusing on the movement of students and educational activities across international boundaries.

Internationalization integrates global perspectives into an institution's core functions. It includes incorporating global views into curriculum development, fostering cross-cultural experiences, engaging in global research, and establishing worldwide partnerships, aiming for a more interconnected and globally aware learning environment.

International education addresses global educational experiences, including student mobility, study abroad programs, and academic exchanges.

What is the purpose of the internationalization plan, and why is it important for TRU

This will be the first time TRU creates an internationalization plan that encompasses and builds on the perspectives of the entire institution. The purpose of the plan is to embed TRU's internationalization initiatives into university operations, aligning with TRU’s vision statement and fostering a culture of integrated planning. This initiative aims to enhance the university's commitment to learners, student empowerment, inclusivity and global engagement.

The development of such a plan also reflects provincial government direction, emphasizing the importance of international education in cultivating global consciousness, fostering empathy, and preparing individuals as 21st-century citizens. Ultimately, the plan is crucial for shaping TRU's future by propelling positive change locally and globally, fostering cross-functional relationships, and addressing pressing issues like internationalization, Indigenization and climate change.

What benefits will the strategic internationalization plan bring to TRU?

Until the engagement and discussions have occurred and the plan is complete, it’s too early to speak to specific benefits. It’s possible we may see expanded academic opportunities, increased cultural diversity on campus, collaborative research initiatives and a globally enriched learning curriculum. Ultimately, the plan will reinforce TRU's commitment to excellence, innovation and global citizenship.

How can stakeholders, including students, staff and faculty contribute to the internationalization planning process?

Share your perspectives, insights, and ideas to help shape the internationalization plan. Your engagement ensures the plan reflects the diverse needs and aspirations of the TRU community. You can share your feedback, ideas, reflections and interest by email at

How was the Strategic Internationalization Planning Advisory Committee (SIPAC) structure determined?

In the fall of 2022, the Senate Intercultural Understanding Subcommittee (SIAC) formed a working group charged with drafting a proposal for the development of TRU’s inaugural internationalization plan. Comprising of a diverse mix of academic and administrative members from the TRU community, the working group created a proposal that included the structure of an advisory committee, potential planning processes/models, identified contributors and discussion areas, as well as detailed timeline and the various phases of the process. After additional discussions with SIAC and the integration of additional feedback into the proposal, the final document was approved in August 2023.

What does each phase of the planning process involve?

Phase 1, the planning and design phase, involves establishing and onboarding the Strategic Internationalization Planning Advisory Committee, assessing institutional context, creating a communication plan, designing and planning the consultation process, developing supporting materials for engagement and discussion, and onboarding facilitators.

Phase 2, the engagement and discussion phase, is where the engagements occur with students, staff, faculty and community, and where feedback is gathered and key themes are identified. Engagement with audience is ongoing throughout phase 2 and well into phase 3 as the consultation is set to persist during the drafting phase.

Phase 3, the final round of consultations and plan approval phase, Consultations are conducted regarding the draft plan, with adjustments being made based on the feedback received. Following these engagements and discussions, the drafted plan is presented for formal approval.

Phase 4, After the plan approval, indicators of success inform the ongoing monitoring and evaluation of the plan’s progress and includes the improvement and adaptation of the plan as needed.

If my area is not represented on the Strategic Internationalization Planning Advisory Committee (SIPAC), how can my voice be heard?

As the planning process evolves, members of our community will have multiple opportunities to contribute at various stages of the process, ensuring a robust and inclusive approach to planning. We aim to provide opportunities for feedback from every school, faculty, and unit on campus. Keep an eye out for additional details on how you can get involved in the near future.


Project timeline

A proposal began for the Strategic Internationalization Planning Process

Celebration of 40 years of international education at TRU

The launch of the Strategic Internationalization Planning Process

Phase 1- Planning & Design
Phase 2- Engagements & Discussion
  • Faculty Engagement

  • Student Engagement

  • Staff Engagement

  • Community & External Stakeholders – April 2024

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Phase 3- Ongoing Engagment, Plan Draft, Finalization & Approval
Phase 4- Implement, Monitor & Evaluate

Tell us what you think!

In any order, select one or multiple portions of this survey, choosing those which are aligned with your interests in internationalization.

Each question focuses on a different aspect of internationalization.

Here are the focus areas where we welcome your thoughtful insights and feedback to help shape our global initiatives:

Going forward, we want our internationalization efforts to be grounded in our Vision and Values and informed by the input of our university community and the communities we serve. We will embark on a broad engagement process in 2024 that will culminate with a strategic plan to guide our international education, partnerships, and development for the next ten years.Brett Fairbairn
President, Thompson Rivers University

Thompson Rivers University campuses are on the traditional lands of the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc (Kamloops campus) and the T’exelc (Williams Lake campus) within Secwepemcúl’ecw, the traditional and unceded territory of the Secwépemc. The region TRU serves also extends into the territories of the St’át’imc, Nlaka’pamux, Nuxalk, Tŝilhqot'in, Dakelh, and Syilx peoples.

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