Strategic international partnerships are a hot topic in higher education right now. Collectively, we seem to be moving away from an initial philosophy of “let’s sign as many MOUs with foreign institutions as we can,” to an approach that emphasizes careful planning, deliberate action, and attention to quality, depth, and sustainability.
Now that we’re headed down this path, however, the nuances of what we mean by “strategic” are increasingly important. At ACE, we’re having conversations with our members and program participants about this topic on a regular basis—these have helped us begin to unpack the term “strategic” and better understand its manifestations in relation to global engagement.
The following blog entry is the second in a series of partnership-focused pieces related to IIE’s recent publication, Global Perspectives on Strategic International Partnerships: A Guide to Building Sustainable Academic Linkages. This series provides the book’s authors the opportunity to expand upon their chapter, react to another chapter in the book, or address a whole new partnership topic entirely.
One of the reasons I chose to join the Coggin College of Business International Business Flagship Program at the University of North Florida (Jacksonville, FL) in 2007 was due to the growing study abroad programs available. Little did I know that, just a few years later, I would be helping lead our team in deepening the college’s international strategic relationships. One such relationship is with KEDGE Business School, formerly Euromed Management, located in Marseille, France.
Over coffee in Havana, a young Cuban professional asked me, “What are your intentions in Cuba? Why are U.S. universities interested in creating partnerships with Cuban universities?” While these questions initially caught me off guard, they helped me reflect on the current realities of U.S.-Cuba partnerships and what the near future might hold for these relationships.
IIE-SRF’s recently announced partnership with Finland’s Centre for International Mobility (CIMO) is the beginning of a trans-Atlantic cooperation that will better serve scholars from Iraq and Syria displaced from their homes by war and violence. To mark this unique partnership, IIE interviewed CIMO’s Director General, Samu Seitsalo and CIMO’s Head of Unit, Higher Education Cooperation, Maija Airas about their mission, the importance of supporting higher education in emergencies, and what attracted them to the IIE-SRF model.
With over 150 attendees, this year’s Colloquium on International Engineering Education attracted the largest number of participants ever, as well as many first-time attendees and veterans in the field of engineering education. The two day Colloquium organized by IIE and DAAD in New York City brought together representatives of more than 100 universities, including over 25 foreign institutions, that are currently training the next generation of global engineers, as well as NGO and government leaders to examine topics related to engineering education and preparing students for the engineering workforce.
They are lovingly restored and each endowed with a female name. One of the "new" ones being built, in fact, will be called "Meg" after the Columbia University professor who helped advise us on our International Academic Partnership Program (IAPP) delegation that traveled throughout Cuba to Camagüey, Ciego de Ávila, Havana, and Santa Clara from October 24 to 31.
The Institute of International Education (IIE) recently hosted a special meeting on “Alumni Engagement: Methods and Strategies for Engaging Returning Students,” as part of its regular series of Global Education Diplomatic Network meetings, which brings together education attaches of embassies and consulates and related organizations.
When IIE was founded nearly 100 years ago, one of the first actions founding Director Stephen Duggan took in establishing the new organization was to survey 250 colleges and universities in the United States to determine their capacity and interest in exchanging students and professors with foreign countries. With results of this survey in hand, Duggan visited Great Britain, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, and Yugoslavia in the summer of 1919. He personally delivered hand written letters of introduction to authorities and university officials, prominent journalists, and distinguished scholars across Europe, paving the way for educational partnerships and exchanges between universities in the United States and Europe.
When we first traveled to Myanmar two years ago, there was little to no Wi-Fi, few mobile phones (SIM cards could only be obtained by lottery and cost around $1,500 each, making it unaffordable for most), no ATM machines or credit card usage, and frequent electricity outages. Fast forward just two years: consistent access to Wi-Fi, excellent 3G, and little need to bring stacks of cash anymore (credit cards are now accepted at most hotels). The arrival of telecom providers TeleNor and Oredoo has reduced the price of SIM cards to $1.50 resulting in a reported 30%+ market penetration of cell phones. Electricity outages are still common, and traffic in Yangon is worse than ever, but major change is palpable everywhere, and ATMs and 3G are just the more visible manifestations of this extraordinary transition.