WMU one of 14 U.S. schools selected for Brazilian initiative

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KALAMAZOO—Western Michigan University is one of 14 United States colleges and universities recently selected to participate in the Institute of International Education 2013 Brazil initiative of IIE’s International Academic Partnership Program.

Representatives from each institution will participate in a yearlong series of training activities to help implement and sustain partnerships with institutions in Brazil, culminating with a study tour to Brazil in spring 2013 to meet with potential partner campuses. WMU’s efforts will be coordinated by Dr. Michelle Metro-Roland, director of faculty and global program development at the Haenicke Institute for Global Education, and a campuswide steering committee drawn from faculty and administration.

WMU has made an initial foray into Brazilian higher education though its participation in the Brazilian Scientific Mobility Undergraduate program, which brought 29 STEM—science, technology, engineering and mathematics—students to campus. Efforts are underway to establish a partnership with one university in Brazil to create opportunities for WMU students to study abroad in Latin America, and several WMU professors have research interests in Brazil. Participation in the IIE program will build on these early efforts and help position WMU to take advantage of the important role that Brazil is playing on the global stage.

"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," says IIE's President and CEO Allan E. Goodman.

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.  This 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 2012 to meet with potential partner campuses and to learn about Brazilian higher education.

The 14 participating U.S. campuses in the new initiative are: Arizona State University, Ball State University, California State University-Long Beach, Central College, Fort Hays State University, Indian Hills Community College, Morgan State University, Parsons The New School for Design, Savannah State University, State University of New York-Plattsburgh, the University of Tulsa, Washington and Jefferson College, Webster University and Western Michigan University.

For more information, contact Michelle Metro-Roland at (269) 387-3908 or michelle.metro-roland@wmich.edu. Information about the initiative can be found online.