Sustainable on the Go Conference

International Virtual Conference

Sustainable and Inclusive Internationalization: Reimagining Approaches in Higher Education in an Era of Global Uncertainties

20 - 22 January 2021

York University is hosting the Sustainable and Inclusive Internationalization Virtual Conference, co-organized by York International, the UNESCO Chair in Reorienting Education Towards Sustainability and international partners, from January 20th to 22nd, 2021. The Conference will bring together scholars, international mobility professionals and practitioners, policymakers, sustainability experts and other stakeholders to discuss the evolving status of international mobility in higher education in Canada and globally, critically reflect on where we are now, and to collectively build a future vision of international mobility that is inclusive, innovative and responsive to the global sustainability challenges of our times.

Learn more about the conference

Main Themes

Call For Proposals

York University invites you to submit proposals on the following themes:

International mobility in practice: institutional, national, and regional responses

What are successful examples for mobility programs for students and academics and what are potentially replicable aspects? How can such programs enhance the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)?  What are policies and frameworks that foster a more sustainable approach to mobility and where are the current gaps? What are the drivers and barriers for students and academics in participating in and benefitting from international education? What has changed through COVID-19? What lessons can be learned from diverse international mobility models and experiences?

Greening student and scholar exchange: Concrete ideas and practices.

The international education community has been critiqued for its lack of recognition and action in relation to the environmental carbon footprint of its mobility programs. What are some current and/or future frameworks and practices that address this concern? How do exchange and internationalization activities align with the pursuit towards sustainability? What are the unspoken of (mental, emotional, and psychological) burdens that need to be addressed?

Leveraging technology and digital learning: Can we experience “abroad online”?

What are the opportunities and limitations of the online experience? What are the implications in terms of quality, standards, and professional development? How can we create online experiences that further identification and connecting beyond one´s own community?

Mobility programs beyond academics: global and community engagement

How can mobility programs contribute to the higher education institutions third mission, community service? Do we have a responsibility to bring back knowledge, innovative practices, and international contacts to our own and host communities? Is there a threshold between post-colonialization and global community service?

Inclusive student exchanges and experiences

To what extent is internationalization of higher education in sync with or in competition with calls for indigeneity, anti-coloniality, anti-racism and anti- imperiality? Expanding the circle of participation, how do we ensure more inclusive exchange experiences for student groups who have been less represented in these international mobility programs such as, but not limited to, students with disability, students from lower socio-economic backgrounds, and mature students?

Assessment of intercultural development in mobility programs

Can we assess the short and long-term intercultural learning and development stemming from mobility programs? How do we design learning outcomes and assessment tools that are credible and fit within the mission and vision of the postsecondary education institutions?


Conference proposals can be submitted as:

  • Academic papers*
  • Practitioners’ reports
  • Think (envision) pieces
  • Presentations
  • Creative arts**

*Select papers will be part of an edited conference publication on inclusive and sustainable internationalization.**Poster presentations and representations of creative arts will be featured in the conference site and – where possible – in the conference publication. Learn more here.


  • Call for Proposals: 05 October 2020
  • Submission deadline: 15 November 2020
  • Proposals Review: 15-29 November 2020
  • Acceptances communicated: 30 November 2020


Helen Balderama
York International
Associate Director, International Partnerships and Programs

Katrin Kohl
Executive Coordinator to the UNESCO Chair in
Reorienting Education Towards Sustainability