Granada, Spain: a recent symposium in Granada Spain, attended by academic personnel from several university international programs explored the need for more institutional collaboration in higher education. Dr. Hurlong presented the successful model of partnerships represented by IOU Foundation’s collaboration with Universidad Azteca(UA) and Central University of Nicaragua(UCN.)
Dr. Hurlong highlighted the key reasons for forming partnerships:
- Such consortium often leads to increased exposure to practices and organizational systems prevalent around the world.
- Provides international study opportunities for learners at the doctoral level through virtual and distance educational exchange and experience.
- Exposure to different educational settings and practices helps learners better understand the socio, cultural, political, and economic components of the society in which they will work.
- Of greatest importance is learning from each other. Learning will occur at various levels (e.g., administration, faculty, learners) and in numerous areas (e.g., differences in culture and context, research, education).
The challenge for IOUF in higher education partnerships was finding academic partners that were sensitive to the needs of learners while still supporting high standards of academic excellence and the imperatives of social change work. IOUF is most appreciative of the connection to the Universidad Azteca and the Universidad Central de Nicaragua as a result. What made the connection to these two fine universities even more exciting was the fact that they both have an international outlook that integrates well into the global perspective inherent in IOUF’s teaching philosophy and administrative practices.
International consortiums are exceedingly valuable and represent the future of higher Education.