A primary purpose of the University of Hawaiʻi is to serve the people of Hawaiʻi by preparing its students to be internationally engaged citizens, by enriching the educational experience of students and faculty, and by connecting the citizens of Hawaiʻi with ideas, talent, and economic opportunity from the vibrant cultures and economies of the Asia-Pacific region and beyond. Across its ten campuses, the University of Hawaiʻi is committed to being a preeminent international center of learning, discovery, application, and service in Oceania, the Asia-Pacific region, and beyond. It also fosters among students and faculty global perspectives and attitudes, and adaptability to a rapidly changing environment.
—President M.R.C. Greenwood, January 2011
“Ma luna aʻe o na lahui a pau ke ola o ke kanaka—Above all nations is humanity”
These words, inscribed on the Founders’ Gate at our oldest campus, reflect the native Hawaiian spirit of aloha and values that foster openness, respect, and collaboration, as well as the ethnic diversity of the population of Hawai‘i and the University community. Hawai‘i is perhaps the most isolated land on earth, yet it has long been the crucible of international interaction—from the arrival of the first Polynesian voyagers through subsequent migrations that were part and parcel of the Islands’ integration into a global economy. The result is Hawaiʻi’s amazingly diverse people who honor their Polynesian roots, recognize the unique responsibilities and challenges of an island society, and still retain a strong cosmopolitan outlook.
These circumstances are the backdrop to the many significant international initiatives that University of Hawaiʻi students, faculty, researchers, staff, and administrators conduct each year. The University’s campuses, schools, and departments have thriving partnerships with sister institutions throughout the Asia-Pacific region and beyond. Especially important are our long-standing ties with Japan, Korea and China. The Hawaiian archipelago’s unique geography—high volcanic islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean—has attracted scholars from around the world and made the University a foremost center for astronomy and oceanography. The University of Hawaiʻi is also a leader in the revitalization of indigenous languages and culture and preeminent in the study of Hawaiian language and culture. These achievements and partnerships in international education and research complement other University of Hawaiʻi programs and shall be preserved and encouraged.