Academic Initiatives

Western has a number of long-standing international development and outreach initiatives. In addition to these major projects, many faculty and staff both lead and participate in various global development and research activities each year. The Western community is proud to engage in these collaborative international relationships and to learn together with our local partners.

Alternative Spring Break

Impact Experience

Since 2002, Western students have been a part of Community Engaged Learning projects that impact communities in Canada and abroad. Impact Experience (formerly known as Alternative Spring Break) offers all students at Western and Brescia, Huron and King's, access to unique co-curricular opportunities to support community projects around the world. Learn more


Western Heads East Western Heads East  

Western Heads East is a collaboration between Western staff, students, faculty and African partners using probiotic food to contribute to health and sustainable development. The project has worked with local partners to engage in knowledge translation through social enterprises in Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda with community kitchens using collaborative research with Western researchers and local university and community partners. Learn more

Health Equity in Context: Local Solutions for Global Problems

In partnership with the University of Rwanda and the University of Global Health Equity, this initiative seeks to: 1) develop cross-national education and research opportunities specific to local and global health equity, and pre- and post-migration trauma and health; and 2) global/local knowledge mobilization pathways to ensure that best practices in addressing health inequities are shared bilaterally

Maternal Newborn and Child Health in Rwanda (MNCHR)

This is a three-year partnership project between the University of Rwanda and Western University. The three main objectives of the project include strengthening Midwifery and Pediatric Nursing through pre-service training and education, development of continuing professional development (CPD) capacity for in-service health professionals, and policy development in maternal, newborn and child health.

Global Health Systems

Global Health Systems at Western is comprised of two streams of enrollment, offering a 12-month Master of Management of Applied Science (MMASc) in Global Health Systems, and a Collaborative Graduate Program option for Masters and PhD Students enrolled in a thesis or course based program with one of  nine partnering departments across campus.

Master of Public Health Program

The Master of Public Health Program is a 12-month, case-based learning program. During the Program, you will learn from faculty from a wide-variety of disciplines, participate in seminars and workshops, experience a 12-week practicum in Canada or around the world, and develop the skills you need to become a public health leader.

Global MINDS

Global MINDS focuses on low/middle income countries by specifically working with local communities facing marginalization especially in mental health inequities. The program looks at the global burden of mental and substance use disorders and related issues. The program includes two streams of learning and development opportunities which are the Graduate Seminar Course and the Fellowship Program. Global MINDS focuses on the need for integration and intersection between different sectors in order to better address issues of mental health and substance abuse.

Rwanda: Culture, Society, and Reconstruction

An interdisciplinary, International Community Engaged Learning Course in Rwanda taught by Professor Henri Boyi from Western’s Department of French Studies, whose research interest lies in French language teaching and learning in a multicultural and multilingual environment. This course extends Western’s ongoing partnership with University of Rwanda and several local NGOs. This provides students with a unique opportunity to learn about Rwandan society and about themselves by serving in an international social and cultural setting. Professor Boyi’s academic work and passion for helping others has inspired students in what he calls, “the values of our shared humanity.”

Ubuntu Management Education Initiative

"Ubuntu" stands for a spirit of interconnectedness, humanness and mutuality. The meaning centers around "I am what I am because of who we are." The initiative is an international development effort by Ivey students and faculty to build capacity for quality case-based business education at partner business schools in Africa. This goal is accomplished through the use of workshops and collaborative learning between Ivey and African business students. Ivey partners work with African universities to develop case-based materials, learning opportunities and faculty development to support goals for the academic institutions. Ivey students also gain knowledge about business in Africa while collaborating with African business students through case-based teaching and learning. To date, Ivey has worked with business schools in Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Ghana.