UNCP increases pace of international visits


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(L to R) Dr. Kania, Elena Fedotova, Dr. Chen, Tomsk State Pedagogical University Rector Valery Obukov, Chancellor Meadors, and Anatoly Kopytov. Elena visited Pembroke fall 2002 as part of the Partners in Education Program.

A whirlwind summer of international travel found UNC Pembroke faculty and administrators in Siberia, Marseilles, Bavaria and Scandinavia.

UNCP is continuing to internationalize itself through a variety of agreements for student, staff and faculty exchanges, as well as importing and exporting academic programs.

Chancellor Allen C. Meadors, Dr. Alex Chen, Associate Vice Chancellor for International Programs, and Dr. Richard Kania, Chair of UCNP's Department of Sociology, Social Work and Criminal Justice, traveled to Tomsk State Pedagogical University in July to meet with some old friends and to build new relationships.

"Drs. Kania, Chen and I had a very productive trip to Russia," Chancellor Meadors said "Tomsk State Pedagogical University prepares its students to become K-12 teachers and have many common areas with our School of Education. We look forward to developing a partnership with Tomsk State as we have with dozens of other schools around the world in the last three years."

Dr. Kania remained in Siberia for a week to negotiate similar exchange programs with universities and institutes in Yurga, Novosibirsk, Barnaul and Bijsk.

UNCP and Tomsk University are already partners in a State Department-sponsored teacher exchange program called Partners in Education. The Russian university, which specializes in teacher training, is interested in exchanges of many types, said Dr. Alex Chen, Associate Vice Chancellor for International Programs.

"Besides exchanges of students and faculty, Tomsk is interested in building a relationship with our American Indian Studies program that would include studies of Siberia's native populations," Dr. Chen said. "They are also interested in Sister City programs as well as co-editing an international education journal and discussing joint economic development programs. We believe this is a great opportunity."

Other travels included:

  • France's EUROMED MARSEILLE School of Management and UNCP are exploring the possibility of a joint language program and an International MBA (Master's of Business Administration) exchange program. With a student exchange agreement already in place, EUROMED will send two exchange students to UNCP this fall.
  • Regensburg University, in the Bavarian region near Munich, Germany, was the site of discussions to finalize student exchange agreements that will bring four students to UNCP this year. Regensburg is a modern, comprehensive university that is looking for international business partners. Chancellor Meadors also met with Regensburg's mayor to discuss a visit to UNCP later this year.
  • Ludwigsburg Pedagogical University, near Stuttgart, Germany, hosted several delegations from UNCP including Chancellor Meadors, who met with UNCP and German exchange students and signed student exchange agreements that will bring six German students to UNCP this year. A science education exchange was also discussed. Dr. Warren Baker, Dean of the UNCP School of Education, traveled with two students to visit special education programs at the German teacher college. Also visiting Ludwigsburg on an executive exchange program was Dr. William Gash, Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.
  • The University of Umea (Sweeden) is interested in exporting its highly regarded Sports Medicine program and is seeking student exchange partners to give its athletes international exposure. Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Roger Brown traveled with Swedish-born Women's Soccer Coach Lars Andersson. He signed student and faculty exchange agreements. Physical Education Chair Tommy Thompson, Dr. Chen and Associate Vice Chancellor for Information Resources Maurice Mitchell will visit Umea this fall.
  • Vaxjo University, also in Sweeden, is one of UNCP's oldest international partners having exchanged several groups of students. Vaxjo possesses advanced information technology programs, and they are looking for business student and administrator exchanges, Dr. Chen said.

"We have made considerable progress on a wide variety of international opportunities for the University," Dr. Chen said. "Through extensive visits between our schools, we have nurtured these partnerships. We expect these to be long-term and fruitful relationships."

"We also want to see these international initiatives enhance our academic programs, enrich our faculty and students and assist local economic development efforts," Dr. Chen said.

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(L to R) Chancellor Meadors with EUROMET MARSEILLE International Program Directors, Desi Schmitt and Richard Bower Chancellor Meadors talks with former UNCP exchange students at Ludwigsburg Pedagogical University