The Diether H. Haenicke Institute for Global Education, established by the Board of Trustees in 1998, promotes and supports efforts towards globalization and internationalization of the academic environment of Western Michigan University. The institute is comprised of more than 80 professional staff and faculty led by an associate provost who reports directly to the University provost. Institute staff work closely with the International Education Council of the WMU Faculty Senate, as well as with international education committees and projects within and across colleges.
WMU has a long history of international involvement, dating back to 1911, when the University granted its first degree to an international student. The University’s first study abroad program was launched in 1945 and the establishment of exchange relationships with international institutions began in 1961. WMU opened its first transnational education—or twinning—program in 1987.
- The institute, in collaboration with the WMU College of Arts and Sciences, coordinates a family of interdisciplinary programs and courses devoted to the study of global and international issues, including an undergraduate major and minor program in global and international studies. University degree programs include an international general education requirement. WMU was the first American university to require all students to include study of the non-Western world.
- The institute administers more than 100 official partnerships between WMU and educational institutions around the world, and assists university faculty and staff in maintaining and developing partnerships for research, faculty and student exchange, and other types of collaboration.
- More than 10,000 international students (as of June 2011) representing 110 countries have studied at WMU since 1911. The Institute hosted recent alumni events in Malaysia, Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong.
- WMU currently enrolls more than 1,500 international students (fall 2012) representing about 94 countries each academic year. The top-five countries typically sending international students to WMU are: India, Saudi Arabia, Dominican Republic, the People’s Republic of China and Japan.
- The institute is responsible for international student recruitment and retention, marketing, and international student admissions for all undergraduate and graduate programs in collaboration with academic departments. The institute provides support services for international students, including immigration services, counseling and orientation programs.
- The institute offers comprehensive immigration counseling and services to visiting students, scholars, foreign-national faculty and staff, and their WMU hosting or sponsoring departments through a professionally staffed immigration services office. The immigration officer recommends international travel policy and procedures for WMU faculty and students. Immigration staff conduct optional practical training and employment regulation information sessions throughout the academic year. Potential health and security issues for WMU students, faculty and staff traveling abroad are reviewed, as needed, by the WMU Study Abroad Security and Health Review Council chaired by the institute associate provost.
- WMU runs one of the largest and oldest transnational education programs (formerly called ‘twinning’) in the U.S. From WMU’s collaboration with Sunway University College, which began in 1987 to develop their educational programs in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, transnational education at the University has grown to six programs. In 2006, the institute launched the first U.S.-based transnational education program in sub-Saharan Africa with Egerton University in Nakuru, Kenya. WMU undergraduate transnational education programs currently exist at Sunway University College in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Christ University in Bangalore, India; RASET—Rajagiri Institute in Cochin, India; Jakarta International College in Indonesia; and Egerton University in Nakuru Town, Kenya. A graduate transnational education MBA program is available at RISER—Rajagiri Institute, in Cochin, India.
- Currently, more than 500 students participate each academic year in WMU study abroad programs through the institute to more than 30 countries. Programs are available for undergraduates and graduates in a broad spectrum of disciplines for academic year, one semester, or summer terms. More than 11 percent of WMU undergraduate students study abroad annually before graduation according to Open Doors, a report on international student mobility. Language-intensive study abroad programs are offered in Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, French, German, Russian and Spanish. Additionally, the institute provides students with opportunities to undertake international internships, conduct international field study, perform international service, and study abroad for academic credit.
- The Center for English Language and Culture for International Students prepares international students in intensive English as a Second Language instruction for admission to undergraduate and graduate programs. CELCIS was founded in 1975 and is fully accredited. Its 14 faculty specialists and master faculty specialists hold advanced training in ESL and applied linguistics. CELCIS is one of two Michigan-based ESL programs accredited by the Commission on English Language Program Accreditation and is a member of the American Association of Intensive English Programs and University and College Intensive English Programs. CELCIS enrolls more than 200 students per term.
- The institute, in collaboration with the student-run International Programs Council, facilitates regular and ongoing international activities on campus, such as an annual study abroad fair, an international festival, which draws about 3,000 campus and community members, and a weeklong celebration of International Education Week in November. It works with 16 registered international student organizations. A complete orientation program for international students is organized at the start of the fall and spring semester.
- The institute works with the International Education Council of the WMU Faculty Senate towards the internationalization of the WMU learning experience. The institute and the IEC work with the Internationalization Collaborative of the American Council on Education and the National Association of Land Grant Universities and Colleges. In addition, the institute works closely with internationalization committees in the following colleges: Haworth College of Business, College of Fine Arts, College of Education and Human Development, College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, College of Health and Human Services and the College of Arts and Sciences.
- The WMU faculty includes more than 200 scholars with academic or research experience outside the United States, who engage actively in collaborative inquiry with scholars, professionals and specialists spanning the globe.
- With joint funding from the provost’s office, the institute administers the International Education Faculty Development Fund, which supports international travel for faculty to conduct research, undertake creative activities, or present at international conferences.
- The institute is the beneficiary of $7.5 million in endowments used to advance the internationalization of the University mainly through student scholarships. The institute actively seeks funding for international programming and is the recipient of private, federal, and state funding for international education. It also provides funding to support full-time faculty in leading study abroad programs, teaching at institutions abroad, participating in international conferences, conducting research abroad, and to internationalize their courses. Many WMU faculty have been recipients of Fulbright research grants.
- The institute is a member of the Association of International Educators, Association of International Education Administrators, European Association of International Educators, American Association of Intensive English Programs, University and College Intensive English Programs, American Council on Education Internationalization Collaborative, Council on International Educational Exchange, Institute of International Education, America-Mideast Educational and Training Services, and Council of International Schools and the Forum on Education Abroad.
- As a partner in the WMU Committee for Developing Leadership in Diversity, Social Justice, and Inclusion, the institute works to enhance the efforts of the council as an integral part of its own efforts to achieve a truly global university.
- The institute is intended to become a resource and information center on globalization and internationalization for schools, public agencies, and citizen groups, a partner with public and private sector organizations with global involvement seeking collaboration with the University, and a focus for inter-institutional partnerships in global and international academic initiatives.
Research centers and institutes within the Haenicke Institute
- Established July 7, 2009, the Confucius Institute at Western Michigan University was created through a partnership between WMU and Beijing Language and Culture University. It is the fourth such institution to be implemented in Michigan, and the 61st to be founded in the United States. The Confucius Institute at WMU is a non-profit organization created to provide Chinese language and culture studies options for WMU students and faculty and to dramatically expand international opportunities for regional K-12 schools and local businesses.
- Established in fall 2010, the Timothy Light Center for Chinese Studies was created to enhance the work of faculty and graduate researchers at Western Michigan University who have expertise in some field of Sinology and their continuing pedagogical and research interests in China.
- The Michitoshi Soga Japan Center was founded in 2006 and is dedicated to promoting research to advance knowledge about Japan for students, scholars, government and community and corporate leaders, and the general public. The Soga Center works with an extensive alumni network in Japan and benefits from the Japan Friends of WMU endowment.
- The Center for African Development Policy Research is an interdisciplinary academic program established at WMU in October 2000 intended to foster collaborative research activities with relevant WMU academic departments and units. CADPR has organized a series of conferences on Ethiopian studies in Kalamazoo and Addis Ababa.