Special Advisor to the Dean of Graduate Studies on EDI

Arif Abu is a student affairs professional in the field of international education. In the ten years that span his career so far, he has worked on various internationalisation efforts, including those that address international student support and mobility. He also took the opportunity to work with the government at the regional, provincial, and federal levels, in order to advance the international education agenda of my employers. In November 2020, he was appointed Special Advisor to the AVP (Academic) and Dean of Graduate Studies at Memorial University on matters related to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. At the same time, he serves as an International Student Advisor (Immigration and Special Projects) at Memorial University’s Internationalization Office.

He has drafted numerous co-curricular curricula, and is particularly proud of his participation in the development of Ryerson University’s award-winning Glocal Links programme (intercultural learning framework using both global and local dimensions). At Memorial University, he has drafted curriculum for immigration regulation workshops using an integrative learning strategy, and co-designed the Sharing Circle, a proposed programme connecting Indigenous and international students, using Indigenous teachings of respect, responsibility, and reciprocity.

His work in higher education has given him the chance to build strong teams and communities, to manage complex projects, and to launch and sustain strategies that connect people locally and globally. He is the founder of International Network of Tomorrow Leader (INTL), a professional learning community of Canadian Bureau of International Education (CBIE) and the co-founder of the Internationalization of Student Affairs: a Community of Practitioners, at CACUSS. He served as a member of the Advisory Board for the OSPE-MCIIT Workplace Communication and Culture Curriculum Project.

He has a Master’s degree in Political Science, and a Bachelor’s degree with honours in International Relations and Development Studies from the University of Windsor. He is a recipient of CBIE’s North Star Award for Emerging Leader in International Education.

His academic background, lived experience, and work in the field of international education and social justice have influenced him to examine critically the concepts of western epistemological racism, the decolonisation of existing knowledge acquisition and dissemination structures, the experience of international students, and the concept of fourth-wave student development spaces within student affairs.

If you would like to discuss any matters related to equity, diversity and inclusion as it relates to the school of graduate studies then please get in touch with Arif via email at aabu@mun.ca.


School of Graduate Studies

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000