UBC Reports | Vol. 48 | No. 13 | Nov.
Seven Questions for Michael Goldberg
By Kate Jobling
One of UBCs overall goals is to participate as an active
member of the 21st century by educating future citizens to
think globally and by advancing international scholarship
Tangible results of this initiative include the opening of
the Liu Institute for Global Issues, the Centre for International
Health and the Institute for European Studies. In addition,
UBC and the University of Washington have established a joint
Canadian-American Studies Program and UBCs office in
Hong Kong has opened. An even more recent tangible result
was the Global Citizenship Conference held on campus Sept.
4 to a standing-room audience of 876 people.
Michael Goldberg, associate vice-president, has been guiding
UBCs International program since January of this year.
One of your departments strategies is to internationalize
the campus by increasing the numbers of international students
and by encouraging more Canadian students to enroll in study-abroad
programs. In 1999, international undergraduate enrollment
increased to 1,192. By 2000, it reached 1,343. What is it
Were at 1,958 or 6.1 percent of the student body. So,
while were not where we want to be, we can take a certain
amount of pride that we are continuing to move the needle.
Are international exchanges still on the increase?
This year we sent 426 students to 150 partner universities
in more than 40 countries. Thats an increase of 37 percent
over last year.
UBC has concentrated its international, academic and research
initiatives in three major areas: Asia Pacific, the Americas
and Europe. Has the Hong Kong office been as effective as
The Hong Kong Office has been a very important symbol of
our activity internationally. It has also helped us sustain
the strong international relationships developed by UBC students,
faculty, staff and external partners to strengthen long-term
support for UBC.
Besides Hong Kong, do we have a physical presence in any
Not at the moment but we are looking to open offices in other
locations in Asia and possibly even somewhere in Europe.
Another international goal has been developing international
initiatives by promoting the contributions of research universities.
What progress has been made?
What I have discovered since taking on this position is that
we cant possibly do everything we want to do. So, weve
focused on two major organizations - Universitas 21 (U2I)
and the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU). With
U21, we have made considerable progress on several projects
including student exchanges, a teaching and learning resources
catalogue (UNSW) and a commitment that our deans will meet
jointly on an annual basis.
Moving forward, we are looking at several new opportunities
including an international comparative policy/research consortium,
international co-ops, internships and placements, staff and
faculty exchange programs and best practices benchmarking,
and information exchanges.
What else are we doing to reach the goals outlined in
Trek 2000 document?
Since taking over responsibility for the international area,
I have established a campus-wide forum for discussing international
issues. Struck this past spring, the 20-person committee,
called the Campus Advisory on International Activities (CAIA),
is made up of a variety of people from various faculties and
departments and meets once a month to share updates and information
from an international perspective.
Its a great mechanism because so many of us are on
the road a lot and it allows us to identify synergies and
What sets us apart from other universities doing this?
We are not alone. A number of universities are expanding
their international component. But UBC is definitely at the
We are unique in several ways. First, as a university, we
are committed to the program of internationalization. It is
one of our five vision areas. Second, we have a strongly international
faculty and staff. And finally, given the diverse social,
cultural and economic interests of our British Columbia community,
UBC will continue to co-operate with other educational institutions,
industry, governments, agencies and our communities to advance
internationalization and share the benefits.
Michael A. Goldberg is the H.R. Fullerton Professor of
Urban Land Policy in the Faculty of Commerce and Business
Administration at UBC. He is a native of Brooklyn, N.Y. He
graduated from Brooklyn College with a BA (cum Laude) in Economics.
He did his MA and PhD in Economics at the University of California
at Berkeley. He came to UBC Commerce in 1968 and was Dean
of the Commerce faculty from 1991 to 1997.