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25 Feb Centralizing Data without Centralizing the International Office

At the University of Saskatchewan, data on international agreements, mobility, research, and activities might come from any one of 18 colleges and schools or numerous centres, institutes, and offices. To further complicate data gathering, the units responsible for international agreements, agreement-based mobility, non-agreement-based mobility, and research relationships are independent. Thankfully, the flexibility of the MoveON platform has allowed us to increasingly centralize our international data without creating redundancies.

Beyond Mobility – Capturing Data on International Agreements and Research Projects with MoveON

The University of Saskatchewan has used MoveON to facilitate mobility and manage international relationships from the start. This choice effectively merged the data of the foremost international offices on campus – the International Student and Study Abroad Centre (ISSAC) and the International Research and Partnerships Office (IRPO). Using MoveON for relationship management was a no-brainer because it allowed us to store our agreement data in a more methodical, searchable, and report-friendly manner than our existing database, providing us with the tools needed to stay on top of renewals and evaluate our international reach.

Recently, we have begun moving toward capturing the University of Saskatchewan’s international research project activity in MoveON and have worked collaboratively with the university’s research unit, which supports both domestic and international research, in doing so. With the addition of a few minor data fields to the research unit’s project initiation templates and the launch of a simple monthly report on projects flagged as international, we have begun to add this essential data to MoveON and link it with existing relationships, greatly enriching the dataset.

Finding Gaps and Closing Them – Integrating MoveON with Existing Workflows and Onboarding Units outside of the International Offices

As we have embarked on new international data and reporting initiatives, leveraging MoveON as our international information repository, we have found opportunities to close gaps in the dataset by expanding our user population. For example, training new or existing staff members on how to use MoveON for a specific purpose often presents the opportunity to evaluate how it can ‘click’ with existing tangential workflows to centralize information without adding any additional work, sometimes even streamlining a burdensome process. The flexibility of the platform has allowed us to extend its reach enormously and begin to capture graduate and non-agreement mobility more comprehensively as well as information on narrowly-focused legacy agreements signed by individual academic units.

Enhancing the International Office’s Campus Presence – Creating a Pattern of Engagement

As we expand our international dataset and connect with colleagues across campus, we raise awareness of the supportive services the international offices provide to the campus community in the areas of partnership development, delegation support, mobility services, research support, and more. In this way, centralizing our data has created a snowball effect of engagement that bolsters the University of Saskatchewan’s ambitious international strategy.

Article written by Megan Fulmes, International Information Specialist, International Research and Partnerships Office, University of Saskatchewan

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University of Saskatchewan is one of the top research-intensive, medical doctoral universities in Canada, and is home to world-leading research in areas of global importance, like water and food security. Study and discovery is enhanced by their outstanding facilities.

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