Lexington, Ky. (Oct. 8, 2018) — The Fulbright International Education Administrators (IEA) seminars are designed to help U.S. international education professionals and senior higher education officials create empowering connections with the societal, cultural and higher education systems of other countries. Grantees have the opportunity to learn about the host country’s education system as well as establish networks of U.S. and international colleagues over the course of an intensive two-week study visit to the host countries.
This year, three UK administrators were selected to participate in this prestigious program:
- Nancy Johnson, associate dean for international affairs in the Gatton College of Business and Economics, completed the Fulbright IEA seminar to India in March 2018.
- Tim Barnes, executive director of International Partnerships and Research, will participate in the Fulbright IEA Seminar to France in October 2018.
- Jason Hope, director of International Health Safety and Security, will participate in the Fulbright IEA Seminar to Germany, also in October 2018.
Jointly funded by the U.S. Department of State and by partnering Fulbright Commissions in one of seven host countries around the world, the Fulbright IEA seminars feature an intensive schedule of visits with universities of various types, government agencies, non-governmental organizations and leading educational experts at public and private institutions, as well as tours of historical and cultural sites.
The Fulbright Program, together with partnering Fulbright Commissions abroad, currently supports IEA seminars in France, Germany, India, Japan, Korea, Russia and Taiwan.
Johnson joined the Fulbright-Nehru program that the United States – India Educational Foundation (USIEF) administers in India. During her program, Johnson learned about the Indian higher education system – its structure, curriculum design, expectations and more. She met with high-ranking university administrators and public sector officials who play key roles in the planning and administration of higher education in India.
“The Fulbright program was instrumental for me to gain a fundamental understanding of the multi-faceted and complex structure of the Indian higher education system,” Johnson said. “It also provided a network of Indian and U.S. contacts to draw upon as resources in the future. I have returned to India since the Fulbright and was able to use these connections as a starting point for building lasting partnerships.”
Barnes will join 11 other senior international administrative officials from across the U.S. for the 2018 Fulbright International Education Administrators Seminar in France this month. The cohort will visit universities in Montpelier and Paris, as well as research foundations, including the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The group will then travel to Brussels, Belgium, to join with 2018 Fulbright IEA Germany seminar participants. While in Brussels, the two groups will compare their respective experiences in France and Germany, and discuss issues related to higher education and research within the broader context of the European Union.
Barnes is a past recipient of a Fulbright award, having participated in the Fulbright IEA Seminar to Korea in 2011, and is looking forward to representing the University of Kentucky in France next month. “These IEA seminars are really useful for gaining a better understanding of the current higher education and research landscapes in the host countries, and for exploring potential partnerships with universities and research agencies abroad.”
It is also a valuable experience traveling with international education administrators from other U.S. universities, and participants learn as much from one another as they do from the universities.
“The 2018 IEA France cohort includes two university presidents, several deans, senior research administrators and senior international officers," Barnes continued. “Each will bring unique and valuable perspectives on the current challenges and opportunities for campus internationalization, and I’m sure that we’ll stay connected long after the trip itself concludes.”
Hope will be one of 15 international educators participating in the IEA program in Germany this month. His group will start in Berlin, where they will meet with colleagues at Humboldt University, the Technical University of Berlin, and the Berlin School of Economics and Law. They will also participate in seminars sponsored by groups such as the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the German-American Exchange Service. To conclude the experience, they will go to Belgium to meet the IEA France seminar participants.
Hope’s work at UK focuses both on the health and safety and regulatory aspects of Education Abroad. “Many laws and policies that affect international education are tied to U.S. cultural and legal norms, which our international partners often don’t have firsthand experience with,” Hope said. Through his participation in the seminar, he said he hopes to gain perspective on the U.S. approach to international education risk management, and to understand more about the ways that UK’s European partners operate within their own legal and regulatory contexts.
“We often confront cultural differences and ambiguity when we work across borders,” Hope said. “Any opportunity to engage with colleagues from other cultures and to learn from them directly is valuable in helping us to grow in our field.”
For more information about Fulbright opportunities and resources, please visit their website.
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