Home > Global Education, Higher Education > Globe-Spanning Group of University Presidents Meets to Discuss Ways of Bridging Divides

Globe-Spanning Group of University Presidents Meets to Discuss Ways of Bridging Divides

By Aisha Labi

University leaders from more than 80 countries gathered here over the weekend for a conference of the International Association of University Presidents, an organization described by its new president as “one of the few worldwide organizations for higher education with a global reach.”

J. Michael Adams, president of Fairleigh Dickinson University, will lead the association until its next triennial, scheduled for 2014 in Japan. The scope of the organization’s membership, which spans some 350 countries, gives it a unique role, he says. “Educators love organizations and associations, but they’re mostly regional. It’s rare that there’s an organization that spans the world, and that in and of itself has value.”

This year’s conference, which ends Monday, was devoted to the theme of building bridges through higher education, as is Mr. Adams’s agenda for the organization’s next few years. Several of the sessions explored ways in which institutions and scholars in different parts of the world can forge closer ties, despite geographic and cultural separations.

At a panel on creating partnerships, for example, presenters gave examples of international higher-education alliances, including the establishment of a master’s degree program in conflict management jointly offered by a relatively young provincial institution in Canada and several higher-education institutions in Thailand. Another presenter, the rector of Colombia’s Universidad del Meta, described how international partnerships have helped to transform his private institution from one with just 87 students in 1985 to one that now enrolls 3,500 students.

Continued at: http://chronicle.com/article/University-Presidents-Meet-to/127955/

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