Earlier this month, Universities UK held their International Unit's annual summit. We work closely with this organization, which will become a Generation Study Abroad commitment partner, and their newsletter is an excellent window into the issues, concerns, and developments shaping the international exchange field in Europe. For several years Universities UK has asked me to speak at one of the sessions, but I was unable to do so. As it turns out, that was fortunate. Elections are big in the UK this year.
A good friend from school gave me a book 10 years ago that he used for the orientation course he taught for visiting international scholars—J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye. It wasn't until the recent New Year's holidays that I finally committed myself to reading this classic 1950's novel and it unexpectedly sparked my reflection upon higher education and some larger dynamics at work in the world today.
International exchange opportunities foster leadership, innovation, curiosity and compassion. Participants return from abroad with a commitment to positively transform society through peaceful global connections and a determination to solve some of the world's most pressing issues through innovation and collaboration. Read about five distinguished alumni of scholarships managed or administered by IIE whose international experiences gave them the courage and knowledge to forge new discoveries and change the world.
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.
#humility. #empathy. Two quiet yet powerful words that I heard frequently at the inaugural IIE Summit on Generation Study Abroad that took place in Washington, DC, last week.
As the European Union copes with a continuing financial crisis and growing pessimism over European integration, the Erasmus Programme has proven surprisingly resilient. Since its inception, it has expanded to more than 4000 participating education institutions in 33 countries offering mobility opportunities for more than 4 million people. Xavier Prats Monné, director-general for Health and for Food Safety of the European Commission, previously served as director general for Education and Culture of the European Commission, where he was responsible for EU policies in the field of education and for the EU education programs for the 2014–2020 period, including Erasmus+ and Marie Sklodowska Curie.
Mine actually began last week in Munich. Thanks to our Global E3 program, which promotes exchanges in engineering fields, and which IIE’s Peggy Blumenthal and Sabeen Altaf have expanded to include 70 members. The Global Alliance of Technological Universities invited me to speak at their annual forum for presidents and high-level officers to examine issues of science and technology education and research. The topic was “Internationalization of Higher Education in the Globalized Economy: Motivation, Strategies and Sharing of Best Practices,” and this year's host was the Technical University of Munich.
International experience used to be a “nice-to-have” criterion in a graduate’s resume. Today, it has become one of the most important components of a 21st century education. Many new studies show a direct impact of study abroad on creativity, cognitive ability, and student success. In addition, studies show that study abroad plays an important role in developing a global mindset and skills necessary to succeed in the workforce. Below are studies showing the value employers place on international experience and whether a graduate’s career prospects actually improve as a result of this experience.
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.