UNIVERSITY POLICY ON INTERNATIONAL ACTIVITIES (GP 23)
September 22, 1992
January 27, 2022
January 27, 2027
Policy Authority: President
Associated Procedure(s): Appendix A - Illustrative List of International Activities to which Policy GP 23 Applies
This policy establishes the principles and guidelines that apply when assessing and approving international activities that are undertaken in the name of Simon Fraser University and delivered either in Canada or abroad. SFU’s Senate will assesses the activity and makes a recommendation to the President. All international activities undertaken by contract, contribution agreement, letter of understanding or similar document require approval by the President, regardless of the delegated signing authority. Where approval of the Board of Governors or Senate is required, the President is responsible for obtaining that approval.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
3.0 SCOPE AND JURISDICTION
5.0 ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
6.0 RELATED LEGAL, POLICY AUTHORITIES AND AGREEMENTS
7.0 ACCESS TO INFORMATION AND PROTECTION OF PRIVACY
8.0 RETENTION AND DISPOSAL OF RECORDS
9.0 POLICY REVIEW
10.0 POLICY AUTHORITY
12.0 PROCEDURES AND OTHER ASSOCIATED DOCUMENTS
1.1 International activities at Simon Fraser University (“the University”) include: study-abroad programs for domestic students; an international student presence on campus; student and faculty exchanges with foreign institutions; credit and non-credit instructional program delivery; and customized education programs for international clients, delivered either in Canada or abroad. The University also engages in projects that contribute to an improved quality of life in host countries, complement the University's academic mission and support the University's role as a responsible and responsive international centre of higher learning.
1.2 These activities impose on the University and its members the responsibility to ensure that international activities are consistent with institutional values and practices, especially when the policies and practices of a host government overseas may be subject to criticism.
2.1 Where international activities require approval by the institution, policy guidance is required to:
2.1.1 safeguard the University's reputation;
2.1.2 ensure the proper disposition of University resources;
2.1.3 assist in making informed judgements about the desirability of specific international agreements; and
2.1.4 ensure that these activities support the University's mission.
2.2 This policy provides conditions, assessment principles and procedures to guide decisions affecting University participation in cases where the institution's name or resources are associated with an international activity.
3.1 This policy applies to international activities that are undertaken in the name of the University and delivered either in Canada or abroad.
3.2 Appendix A provides an illustrative list of international activities to which this policy applies.
3.3 All international activities undertaken by the University by contract, contribution agreement, letter of understanding or similar document require the approval of the President, regardless of the delegated signing authority. Where Senate or the Board of Governors approval is required, such approval must also be obtained.
3.4 Research and international activities undertaken by individual faculty, staff, or students on their own behalf are not covered by this policy.
Assessment Guidelines Reflecting the University’s Values and Principles
4.1 The following conditions shall be taken into account when assessing the desirability of entering into an international agreement:
4.1.1 SFU’s Mission, Academic Standards and Practices
a. The activity complements the University’s academic mission and meets its academic standards;
b. The activity conforms to all current University policies with particular attention to those policies governing academic freedom, research, ethics and service contracts;
c. The activity, while respecting cultural differences, adheres to the principles of academic freedom;
d. The activity supports the equitable participation of women and other equity designated groups;
e. The activity is designed to protect the safety of University personnel on overseas assignment, and to provide assistance and advice to non-SFU personnel associated with the activity, when their safety may be at risk;
f. The activity guarantees University control over student access to its study programs; and
g. The activity acknowledges University authority to select and administer its own personnel.
4.1.2 Human Rights and Legal Requirements
a. The activity conforms to the legal rights and obligations enshrined in international laws, covenants and declarations to which Canada is a signatory;
b. The activity mitigates rather than abets the violation of human rights.
4.1.3 Interface with the Community
a. The activity has either a neutral or a beneficial effect on the environment;
b. The activity, in both its planning and its implementation, embodies practices that advance partnership with the people most affected by the undertaking;
c. The desirability of University involvement in an international activity should increase in proportion to the benefits bestowed locally on individuals and communities as a consequence of the activity.
4.2 Human Rights Considerations
4.2.1 From time to time, international activities will be proposed in countries where there may be ethical concerns about the possible denial of human rights. It is the University's responsibility to determine to the best of its ability that the activities it engages in contribute to the dignity and well-being of its foreign partners and do not act as instruments of abuse.
4.2.2 When assessing the human rights implications of any international activity, the following principles shall apply:
a. An international activity taking place within a country governed by an abusive political regime should be assessed on its own merits;
b. The closer the connection between an international activity and a foreign agency that is known to abuse human rights, or the closer the connection to the offending practices themselves, the less acceptable the University's participation;
c. Individuals who live under an abusive regime should not be additionally penalized by being denied access to assistance through international cooperation;
d. Without abrogating the University's academic values, the culture of a host country should be taken into account and treated with sensitivity when assessing the human rights implications of an international activity;
e. International activities should assist local recipients of assistance to make informed judgements about human rights.
4.3 Broad consultation is required prior to final approval of any proposal covered by this policy for which human rights considerations are likely to be a concern.
5.1 The Senate, through the Senate Committee on International Activities or such other committee as Senate establishes for the purpose (the “Committee”) is responsible for:
5.1.1 Ensuring that a proposal for international activities meets the conditions and criteria established by this policy and by the University Policy on Service Contracts;
5.1.2 Ensuring that the broad consultation required by section 4.3 of this policy occurs;
5.1.3 Advising the President with respect to the desirability of entering into international activities that are proposed to be undertaken by the University on the basis of a contract, contribution agreement, letter of understanding, or similar document;
5.1.4 Recommending to the President the acceptance, modification, or rejection of a proposal for international activities; and
5.1.5 Reporting to the President any international activities using the University’s name or resources that are not in compliance with this policy.
5.2 The President is responsible for approving all international activities undertaken by the University by contract, contribution agreement, letter of understanding or similar document, regardless of the delegated signing authority.
5.3 Where approval of the Board of Governors or Senate is required, the President is responsible for informing the appropriate body of the Committee’s recommendation.
6.1 The legal and other University Policy authorities and agreements that may bear on the administration of this policy and may be consulted as needed include but are not limited to:
6.1.1 University Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 468
6.1.2 Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 165
6.1.3 Service Contracts (AD 3.13)
7.1 The information and records made and received to administer this policy are subject to the access to information and protection of privacy provisions of British Columbia’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and the University’s Information Policy series.
8.1 Information and records made and received to administer this policy are evidence of the University’s actions to consider and approve international activities undertaken by the University. Information and records must be retained and disposed of in accordance with a records retention schedule approved by the University Archivist.
9.1 This policy must be reviewed every five years and may always be reviewed as needed.
10.1 This policy is administered under the authority of the President.
11.1 Questions of interpretation or application of this policy or its procedures shall be referred to the President whose decision shall be final.