skip to content

Strategic Partnerships Office


Towards an International Strategy for the University of Cambridge

'Towards an International Strategy’ is the document that will anchor Cambridge’s international strategy. It articulates principles, high level goals, the opportunities and challenges associated with these goals, and the enablers for the University’s international engagement.

It is not intended to tell us where, how, or with whom we should be working: engagement across the University’s activities is often spearheaded by researchers in an organic, bottom-up manner. Instead, it strikes a balance between enabling this bottom-up activity to continue to flourish while allowing strategic choices and a more directive approach to be taken where there are opportunities for greater coordination or a more pro-active approach would bring more value. It identifies the tools to help prioritize activity and ensure that resources are being used effectively to support the academic interests of the University. The final version of the strategy document can be accessed here [1]

The strategic planning of the University’s international engagement does not begin and end with this document. Instead, it is a process. For the second stage of this process, the document proposes a series of potential next steps towards establishing priorities and making the necessary strategic choices. New activity may be needed in some areas but the overarching purpose of the strategy is to ensure that this engagement is supported effectively, coordinated where appropriate and aligned with wider University goals.

Please note that the international section of this website will be redesigned in the coming months to share our plans for future international engagement, as well as some of the exciting research being undertaken with partners around the world.



The Council requested that the Vice-Chancellor develop an international strategy for the University. The development and implementation of the strategy is being overseen by the International Strategy Committee (ISC) and facilitated by the Strategic Partnerships Office.

The initial phase of strategy development included a series of workshops and related meetings involving the Vice-Chancellor, Pro-Vice-Chancellors, Heads of School, Members of the International Strategy Committee and other senior University leaders. The first draft of ‘Towards an International Strategy’ was a synthesis of the outputs of these workshops and meetings.

A university-wide consultation was then held in early 2020 to ensure that, in its final version, the document properly represented the breadth of knowledge, experience and activity at Cambridge. In particular, we solicited feedback on the proposed actions, how they should be prioritised and how they align with existing or planned activity. We are grateful to the many University members who took the time to comment on the draft strategy, and for the consideration of the Council and General Board. 

[1] Since the proposed next steps are the subject of ongoing internal discussion and consultation, the appendix setting them out has, for the moment, been removed from the online version of the document. The SPO is happy to provide a full version upon request to any member of the University.