IIE/Ethiopia, the Institute of International Education’s flagship office in Sub-Saharan Africa, hosted an invitation-only conference, titled "Building Sustainable U.S.-Ethiopian University Partnerships," for representatives of U.S. and Ethiopian higher education institutions, from December 10–11, 2010. The event was organized jointly by IIE/Ethiopia, the IIE Center for International Partnerships in Higher Education, and the Public Affairs office of the U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia, in the belief that developing such partnerships benefit educational institutions in both countries.
The first day of the conference featured a panel showcasing established U.S.-Ethiopian higher education partnerships. Oklahoma State University discussed its ongoing partnership with Haramaya University, which it helped to found in the 1950s. Graduates of a much newer partnership between Cornell University and Bahir Dar University discussed how the program enabled them to earn a Master of Professional Studies in International Agriculture and Rural Development. Brown University researcher David Lindstrom, whose work in Ethiopia focuses on public health among the country’s youth, particularly with regard to fertility and HIV/AIDS, discussed his research partnerships with several Ethiopian universities.
The focus of the second day of the conference was to examine international partnerships in a wider international context. Expert presenters included Susan Buck Sutton of Indiana University, Wendy Belcher of Princeton University, and Kimberly Koch, formerly of the American Council on Education. Cheryl Francisconi, IIE’s country representative in Ethiopia, and Daniel Obst, deputy vice president for international partnerships at IIE’s New York headquarters, discussed ways to develop mutually beneficial exchange programs in the context of international partnerships.
Day One: Friday, December 10, 2010
Registration and Lunch
Ambassador Donald Booth, U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia
Ato Demeke Mekonnen, Minister of Education
Dr. Allan Goodman, President, Institute of International Education
Opening Panel Showcasing Successful Partnership Models in Ethiopia
Professor Susan Buck Sutton, Indiana Purdue University
Professor Belay Kassa, President of Haramaya University and Representative from Oklahoma State University to showcase their long-time partnership
Student graduate from Bahir Dar University and Cornell University Partnership on Water Resources
Professor David Lindstrom from Brown University to showcase the successful research partnerships between Brown University and Jimma, Haramaya and Addis Ababa Universities.
World Cafe Session – Participatory Discussions and Networking Exercise
“What does my university offer that would be beneficial to an international
Adjournment and departure to US Embassy
Dinner at U.S. Embassy hosted by Ambassador Donald Booth
Day Two: Saturday, December 11, 2010
Concurrent workshop sessions will be delivered twice – once in the morning and once in the afternoon – so that workshop participants will be able to attend two sessions which are most relevant to their institutional experience. Workshops are meant to be hands on sessions so that participants come away with practical tools for building and sustaining partnership.
Developing a Strategy for Partnerships including how to situate the partnership in your institutional context, developing a culture for international partnerships within your university; how to develop an administrative structure.
Workshop Facilitator: Prof. Susan Buck Sutton, Indiana University
Steps to Designing a Research Collaboration including how to select the right partner, identifying possible topics, negotiating research agreements, getting research published.
Workshop Facilitator: Prof. Wendy Belcher, Princeton University
Effective Management of Partnerships including building ongoing learning into improving the partnership, financing of partnerships, how to manage potential conflicts, dealing with differences; quality assurance, evaluation.
Workshop Facilitator, Kimberly Koch, Formerly of American Council on Education
Managing Mutually Beneficial Exchange Programs, including addressing various models of exchange programs, tools for starting successful study abroad programs, and addressing important concerns from this context related to the high rate of non-return in the Ethiopian context.
Workshop Facilitators: Daniel Obst, Deputy Vice President, and Cheryl Francisconi, Country Representative-Ethiopia, Institute of International Education
Concurrent Sessions (Repeated)
Closing Plenary: The Way Forward