VU/UTEP Global Engagement & Learning Program
2012 Heiskell Award Honorable Mention: International Exchange Partnerships
Nomination submitted by: Susan Young, Executive Dean, Victoria University
Victoria University, Australia (VU) and University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) share a commitment to providing an excellent and accessible educational experience for the new student populations of the 21st century. Their students are from culturally diverse and educationally disrupted backgrounds, who are often the first in their families to gain a degree. The VU/UTEP Global Engagement and Learning Program links students, faculty, and staff in both institutions and has led to major innovations in the way both universities operate.
The partnership has three key components that have achieved a notable maturity and success since 2007, when it was initiated:
- Global Learning Community: Students of both universities study joint subjects, learn about each other's countries, and link up via video conferencing and social networking.
- Student exchanges: Because the students are from low-income families, they need to work to support their studies. Therefore, the partnership has developed a program that enables students to trade positions with their peers at the other university. Teleconferences, video conferences, and social media communications are then held between VU Student Leadership Council and UTEP student leaders to explore differences and commonalities in student leadership roles at the two universities.
- Library collaboration: Since 2008 the libraries at VU and UTEP have developed a strong relationship of cooperation and shared projects. They have many areas of common interest, in particular the desire to improve the model of integrated educational services at both locations.