Boston seminar helps participants to set internationalization prioritiesJune 23, 2016
On 17 June, the two-week seminar for Project 5-100 universities entitled “Internationalization of Higher Education in the 21st Century: US University Experience” ended in Boston. During the second week in Massachusetts, Russian specialists visited MIT and Boston University. At MIT they met with Bruce Tidor – director of the initiative MIT-ScholTech, Maren Kattonar –deputy director of the center for technological innovation, Berndt Widdig – director for international activities at MIT and Ekaterina Zabrovskaya – project manager at the center for scientific and technological initiatives. Willis Wang (director for global programs) received the delegation at Boston University.
The tour of the campuses and meetings with university employees helped the Russian delegation understand how the very environment of a university can become an internationalization tool.
“Our visits to the universities gave us a great opportunity to analyze the various approaches to the organization of education and to compare them with methods used in our universities,” commented Tatiana Kovalenko, Head of enrollment and travel at the department of international cooperation and manager of international programs for additional professional education at the Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University.
The program for the second week of the seminar consisted of lectures delivered by experts from Boston College and various team tasks. “We didn’t plan this, but during this visit the Russian participants consolidated into a sort of a creative lab for internationalization of higher education in Russia,” said Olga Andreeva (Director of the department of international academic and educational cooperation at the Russian People’s Friendship University).
In addition to team exercises, each participant in the seminar worked on an individual project to develop one of the aspects of university internationalization. These projects will be presented and defended in February 2017.
What is important is that experience sharing during the seminar was not limited to presentations by Boston experts – rather, everyone was involved, and the sessions were truly interactive. Ilya Kudriavtsev (Director of the Institute of Electronics and Instrument Engineering) provided this comment: “Thanks to getting to know the experience of US universities, gaining insights into the theory and practice of internationalization of higher education, and sharing experience with colleagues from other Project 5-100 universities, our initial vision has undergone significant changes.”
Valery Rukavishnikov (Assistant Professor and Project Manager at the Institute of Natural Resources at TPU) offered: “Thanks to the seminar, I now have a better understanding of how to approach complex internationalization of higher education, strategically”.
The European stage of the seminar lies ahead. It will introduce Russian specialists to more information in addition to the facts and theories learned in the USA. According to the participants in the American stage of the seminar, this session dramatically sharpened their vision of internationalization and the role of international services in the structure of their universities and also helped them adjust their current projects.
According to Elena Limanova (deputy dean of the department of economics at NSU): “The seminar in Boston helped us develop a “to-do list” and set priorities. We had an opportunity to gain in-depth understanding of global educational trends and current approaches to internationalization.”