2008 Heiskell Award Winner: International Exchange Partnerships

University of Georgia

The UGA Tunisia Educational Partnership

Nomination submitted by: Takoi K. Hamrita, Associate Professor and Director for the UGA Tunisia Educational Partnership

Program Overview
Identifying the need for educational reform in Tunisia, partnering with the Tunisian Ministry of Education to address it, and mobilizing university and community resources to collaborate with the Arab-Muslim world amidst the current social and political climate, the UGA Tunisia Educational Partnership serves as a unique model for international collaboration.

Established in 2002 by Professor Hamrita, a UGA Engineering Faculty member originally from Tunisia, the project aims to contribute to Tunisian educational reform efforts by building a sustainable e-learning environment to increase access to education; implementing international standards; promoting civic engagement among elementary, secondary and university students; and by strengthening the connections between higher education and K-12.

Community building and cultural understanding are integral parts of this partnership, and numerous events have been held at UGA to promote international understanding, including lectures on U.S./Arab relations by the Tunisian Ambassador. UGA project participants receive intensive Arabic language training and Tunisian participants receive training in English. UGA has also created a service learning course to enable UGA students to contribute to the projects. Arnett C. Mace Jr., senior vice president for academic affairs and provost at UGA says, “The program dovetails precisely with UGA core missions off teaching, research and public service and supports UGA’s strategic direction toward competing in a global economy.” Now in its sixth year, the program seeks to collaborate with other Arab countries and U.S. institutions to extend its efforts.

Program Implementation
Read the winning nomination, including details on how the program achieves its objectives

Selection Panel Members 2008

The members of the selection panel for this year’s awards include the following leaders in international education:

Stephen Dunnett
Vice Provost for International Education, State University of New York at Buffalo

Uliana Gabara
President, Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA) and Dean of International Education, University of Richmond

Ulrich Grothus
Director, German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) New York

Brian Whalen
President, The Forum on Education Abroad