Global Academic Initiatives
2008 Heiskill Award Honorable Mention: International Exchange Partnerships
Nomination submitted by: Rosina Chia, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Global Academic Initiatives; Elmer Poe, Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Outreach; Jami Leibowitz, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology and Lean Faculty, Global Understanding
East Carolina University (ECU) has engaged a consortium of over 20 universities in 17 countries to participate in distance learning programs that broaden the reach and impact of international education throughout the campus.
Since its inception in 2003, ECU has seen its relationship with its partners grow into several specific programs involving both students and faculty. In the Global Understanding course, for example, 15 students work with three international universities for 4-5 weeks each. In the International Lecture Exchange Program, ECU uses its contacts with its international partners to connect faculty willing to give lectures with appropriate classes/audiences at ECU and vice-versa.
This innovative partnership effectively removes financial barriers associated with partnerships, as most universities already have the technological capacity necessary for participation. Moreover, the variety of partner institutions exposes students to a range of different cultures and perspectives.