California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) is one of 14 U.S. colleges and universities that have been selected by the Institute of International Education (IIE) to participate in the 2013 Brazil initiative of the IIE’s International Academic Partnership.
As such, members of the university will take part in a year-long series of training activities to help CSULB implement and sustain partnerships with institutions in Brazil, culminating with a study tour to Brazil in spring 2013 to meet with potential partner campuses.
“Cal State Long Beach has long been committed to international education, and creating global learning opportunities for our students is an integral part of the university education,” said Jeet Joshee, CSULB’s associate vice president and dean for international, continuing and professional education. “The institution’s mission, vision, and envisioned future all address the need to remain globally engaged in order to provide our students with the global perspectives, competencies, and understanding they need in an increasingly competitive world.
“By participating in the IAPP Brazil 2013 initiative, we hope that the activities in the program will pave way for us to achieve some of our strategic goals,” he continued. “Currently, our programs and presence is heavy in Asia, and we want to increase our efforts in South America - and Brazil in particular. We believe that the core IAPP services will benefit our faculty, staff and students.”
Joshee will lead the university’s involvement in this academic partnership, facilitating the activities of the initiative. This will include participating in a series of webinars offered by IIE, creating linkages with institutions in Brazil and coordinating the delegation that will represent CSULB in the spring IIE visit to Brazil. He anticipates up to three participants (faculty and administration) in that delegation to South America.
Recently, Joshee noted, CSULB completed it own Comprehensive Strategic Plan for International Education. One of the major focus areas of the plan is to create lasting, meaningful and outcome-oriented partnerships with institutions abroad.
“These partnerships will create new learning opportunities for our students, promote faculty exchange, conduct joint research and develop cultural competencies through curricular enhancements,” Joshee explained. “Additionally, the strategic plan calls for an international student recruitment plan with a balanced approach to reflect the diversity representing the various regions and countries of the world. We have identified Brazil as one of the priority countries from South America for student recruitment and institutional partnerships.”
CSULB is already participating in a separate but related IIE program with Brazil. Called the Science Without Borders (SwB) scholarship program and also known as the Brazil Science Mobility Program (BSMP), it was launched in July 2011 and is sponsored by the Brazilian government. The aim of the program is to send more than 100,000 Brazilian students to study abroad in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics by 2015. It also seeks to strengthen and expand the initiatives of science and technology, innovation and competitiveness through international mobility of undergraduate and graduate students and researchers.
Currently, there are 15 Brazilian students studying at CSULB through the SwB program. University officials hope to increase that number in the coming years, and Joshee believes the campus’ selection and involvement in the IIE IAPP Brazil Initiative will enhance that opportunity.
Other U.S. campuses participating in the initiative are Arizona State University, Ball State University, Central College, Fort Hays State University, Indian Hills Community College, Morgan State University, Parsons The New School for Design, Savannah State University, SUNY Plattsburgh, The University of Tulsa, Washington and Jefferson College, Webster University, and Western Michigan University.
IIE's Center for International Partnerships in Higher Education will guide the campus representatives through a strategic planning process in the current academic year, to prepare for forming partnerships with institutions in Brazil. The group will also benefit from the experiences of a previous delegation of high-level officials representing 18 U.S. higher education institutions that IIE led to Brazil in April to meet with potential partner campuses and learn about Brazilian higher education.
“At a time when Brazil’s economy is expanding rapidly, and Brazil and the United States are forging unprecedented ties in trade, energy and scientific development, we look to higher education as another area where our two countries should seek much stronger cooperation,” said IIE President and CEO Allan E. Goodman in announcing the 2013 Brazil cohort.
The IIE partnership programs offer timely resources for campuses in both countries to explore areas of academic cooperation, including exchanging students and scholars and collaborating on research projects and degree programs.
Brazil has become increasingly important to U.S. higher education with the creation of the Brazil Science Mobility Program (BSMP) by the Brazilian government a year ago. This multiyear initiative will send 75,000 fully funded Brazilian students abroad for training in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields with an additional 25,000 scholarships to be funded by the private sector. IIE has placed nearly 2,000 undergraduate students from Brazil at U.S. campuses in the first year of this program, and an additional 2,500 per year are expected to come to the United States over the five years of the program.
IIE launched the International Academic Partnership Program in 2009 to help colleges to develop the partnership aspects of their strategic plans for internationalization, and IIE has led delegations to China and India in the past few years. Recent research and reports issued by IIE’s Center for International Partnerships in Higher Education have highlighted the increasing importance of strategic international partnerships to building the capacity of the institutions and providing a global environment for students and faculty.