International Partnership Development Today: Insights and Best Practices from Case Studies - by Saroj Siegler Quinn - HAW Hamburg

International Partnership Development Today: Insights and Best Practices from Case Studies - by Saroj Siegler Quinn - HAW Hamburg

 International Partnership
   Development Today:
Insights and Best Practices
     from Case Studies
                                                         by Saroj Siegler Quinn

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About the Author
 Saroj Siegler Quinn is the director of international language and professional
 programs for the College of Extended Learning at San Francisco State
 University. Quinn has more than a decade of experience managing
 international higher education programs and developing global partnerships.
 She has developed strategies for internationalization, international enrollment
 management, partnership development, recruitment, marketing, and branding.
 Quinn has worked with U.S. and international universities, governmental and
 nongovernmental organizations, associations, and foundations globally. She
 earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Princeton University and a
 master’s degree in higher education administration with a concentration in
 international education from The George Washington University.


Table of Contents
About the Author. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Introduction. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Strategic Partnerships . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6
Quality Versus Quantity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Diversity of Partnerships. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Partnerships in New and Emerging Markets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
References and Additional Resources. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
Appendix. Case Studies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
    Case Study 1. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
      Miami Dade College (MDC), Florida, USA
      Lorenzo de’ Medyici Institute (LdM), Florence, Rome, and Tuscany, Italy
    Case Study 2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
      California State University-Long Beach (CSULB), California, USA
      Hamburg University of the Applied Sciences (HAW), Hamburg, Germany
    Case Study 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
      City University of Hong Kong (CityU), Hong Kong SAR
      Columbia University, New York, USA
    Case Study 4. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  23
      College of Staten Island (CSI), City University of New York, New York, USA
      Instituto Superior Pedagogico Enrique Jose Varona (UCPEJV), Havana, Cuba
    Case Study 5. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  25
      California State University-Fullerton (CSUF), California, USA
      Universidade Federal Fluminense (UFF), Niterói, Brazil
      Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP), São Paulo, Brazil
      Universidade São Paulo–Instituto de Ciências Matemáticas e de Computação (USP-ICMC),
         São Carlos, Brazil
    Case Study 6. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  27
      The George Washington University School of Business (GW), Washington, DC, USA
      Copenhagen Business School (CBS), Copenhagen, Denmark
    Case Study 7. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  29
      Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, Massachusetts, USA
      Monteverde Institute (MVI), Monteverde, Costa Rica
      Goucher College, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
    Case Study 8. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
      Tennessee State University (TSU), Nashville, Tennessee, USA
      Centro Colombo Americano, Bogotá, Colombia
      EAFIT University (EAFIT), Medellin, Colombia
    Case Study 9. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  33
      Grand Valley State University (GVSU), Allendale, Michigan, USA
      Universidad del Bío Bío (UBB), Concepción, Chile


Introduction                                                    Institutions should define the goals of the
                                                                partnership and identify an appropriate
In the past decade, the scope of partnership                    partner to achieve these goals. The success
development has expanded and evolved as                         of a partnership is measured against the goals
universities have developed robust internation-                 of that partnership; thus, clear and attainable
alization strategies. These strategies have been                goals must be identified by the institution from
                                                                the beginning. Once the goals have been de-
influenced by the rise of new technologies,
                                                                fined, it is easier to determine and communicate
increased diversity in partnership types and
                                                                the attributes that an institution seeks from an
domains, and institutional goals of creating                    appropriate partner. Tatiana Mackliff and Carol
programs that are responsive to changing demo-                  Reyes from Miami Dade College (MDC) stress
graphics. Together, these internationalization                  that partnering institutions’ “values, mission,
strategies have led to a notable shift from ad hoc              areas of academic strength, and academic calen-
to strategic international partnerships.                        dar” should align (Case Study 1). For example,
                                                                when creating a collaborative degree program,
This publication focuses on the ways in which
                                                                it is best to identify a partner with a similar aca-
institutions have become increasingly strategic                 demic caliber and compatible majors and gradu-
in their internationalization efforts and the                   ation requirements. If the goal is to establish a
key shifts and factors influencing institutions’                joint research program, it may be necessary that
approaches to partnership development. This                     both institutions have appropriate lab facilities,
publication aims to provide international educa-                resources, and faculty interest. In a productive
tors with insight into higher education partner-                partnership, each partnering institution must
ship development today. Different partnership                   leverage its individual strengths to contribute to
types and trends will be discussed and real-life                the other, as well as the dynamic as a whole.
case studies will be presented. The case stud-             ■■   Both institutions should establish a mutual,
ies illustrate the challenges of establishing,                  equitable, and fair commitment of time and
implementing, and sustaining partnerships in the                resources. This does not necessarily mean that
context of the contemporary and rapidly chang-                  one partner might not take the lead in a particu-
ing landscape of global collaboration.                          lar area, but partnerships flourish when both
                                                                partners are invested. For example, California
What Makes a Partnership Successful?                            State University-Long Beach (CSULB) and
For many years, international partnerships were                 Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (HAW)
comprised of mostly student exchange agree-                     have been able to develop a thriving partner-
ments. Although student exchange agreements                     ship due to a mutual agreement to provide
are still prevalent, partnerships now take on a                 “the resources required to nurture and grow
                                                                [their] strategic partnership” (Case Study 2).
greater variety of forms. Moreover, partnerships
                                                                While the CSULB-HAW partnership began with
can begin in one form and evolve over time.
                                                                a single international business workshop, it
There are countless factors that can lead to part-              has gradually evolved to include a number of
nership success or failure and these factors can                faculty-led initiatives (for more information, see
vary based on partnership type, length, goals,                  Case Study 2). HAW committed resources for
etc. (see Tillman 2007; Kinser and Green 2009;                  travel stipends, marketing, and partner visits,
Van de Water, Green, and Koch 2008 for more                     while CSULB focused its efforts on develop-
detailed discussions of success factors). To help               ing more faculty-led programs. Although the
set the stage for a productive and viable partner-              institutions are committing different resources,
ship, institutions should consider the following                both institutions have deemed the allocation to
best practices.                                                 be equitable.


     The level of investment that each institution                 CSI’s leadership, appropriate funding was
     offers will vary depending on the complexity of               provided to keep the program planning stages
     the partnership. Some partnerships, such as a                 moving forward. Program success is heavily
     student exchange agreement, may require only                  dependent on a sustained commitment from
     a minimal commitment of resources annually,                   campus leadership.
     whereas a collaborative degree program is                The role and scope of international partnerships
     likely to require a greater sustained administra-        continue to change to meet the developing needs
     tive commitment. Regardless of what type of              of the students, faculty, and institutions. Some
     partnership is involved, it is best practice to          of the trending factors affecting the development
     establish an understanding and clear guidelines          of international higher education partnerships
     delineating what is expected of both partners.           today include:
     For example, the Joint Bachelor's Degree
                                                              ■■   Strategic Partnerships: the shift from ad hoc
     Program between City University of Hong Kong
                                                                   friendship agreements to agreements that are
     (CityU) and Columbia University has been pro-
                                                                   considerably more strategic in nature;
     ductive in large part because both institutions
     “have invested heavily in the administration of          ■■   Quality Versus Quantity: increased selectivity as
     the program, from development of the program                  institutions establish partnerships that contrib-
     website and joint promotional events to the se-               ute to their internationalization portfolios;
     lection and interviews of the candidates to the          ■■   Diversity of Partnerships: the rise of short-term,
     academic advising and counseling of program                   collaborative degree, and research- or industry-
     participants from both schools” (Case Study 3).               focused programs; and
     It is only through mutual efforts and resources
                                                              ■■   Partnerships in New and Emerging Markets:
     that CityU and Columbia have been able to
                                                                   a commitment to the introduction of partner-
     maintain the program and keep the channels of                 ships in nontraditional destinations.
     communication open.
                                                              The implications of these trends on partnership
■■   Institutions should secure support from
                                                              formation, development, and sustainability will
     the appropriate players on campus.
                                                              be explored throughout this publication.
     Memorandums of understanding, or agree-
     ments, can develop at a variety of levels
     within institutions; they can be approved by a
     faculty member, department chair, college dean,
     president, or provost. Consequently, faculty
                                                              Strategic Partnerships
     and leadership members must share the same               One of the most notable changes seen in the
     institutional vision when it comes to partner-           evolution of partnership development is the
     ship discussions and negotiations. Dedicated             growing emphasis on strategic partnerships that
     administrative and faculty support is crucial to         align with and support internationalization goals.
     ensuring that there is a sufficient, and usually         Institutions have begun to cultivate partner-
     ongoing, allocation of the resources needed              ships that have the potential to grow beyond a
     for the partnership to succeed. The College of           single activity, such as a student exchange or
     Staten Island’s (CSI) experience in launching a          faculty-led program, to ones that cross numer-
     new program in Cuba (Case Study 4) demon-                ous disciplines and activities and lead to robust,
     strates that the initial investment can require          multifaceted collaborations.
     more resources than anticipated, especially in
     a nontraditional market. However, through the            Institutions engage in careful and deliberate com-
     support and perseverance of key players within           munication and action in order to build strategic


partnerships that in some way enhance their                   In the example of California State University-
campus or position in the global arena. When                  Fullerton (CSUF), administrators made a
approached by a new partner or approaching a                  conscious decision to establish partnerships that
possible new partner, institutions often use more             featured multiple capacity-building activities in
formal procedures to determine if the partner-                line with the university’s mission and strategic
ship will truly benefit the institution; these                goals. As a Hispanic-serving institution, CSUF
measures often include applications, checklists,              chose to engage in partnerships that would
and structured conversations. The responses to                expand its collaborations in Latin America and
these exploratory exercises may be presented                  “emphasize participation of first-generation and
and vetted by a committee comprised of both                   culturally diverse students” (Case Study 5).
faculty and staff to ensure that the proposed                 Additionally, CSUF was awarded a 100,000 Strong
partner adds value to the international profile.              in the Americas Innovation Fund grant to partner
Some institutions will require a formal vote for              with Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP)
an institutional-level partnership to be signed. In           in Brazil on an experiential STEM-focused
other cases, committees may present their recom-              mobility program designed to support engineer-
mendations but ultimately leave the decision in               ing students, thereby reaching students in the
the hands of the institution’s senior international           underrepresented STEM fields. CSUF’s collabora-
officer, provost, or president. Throughout these              tions demonstrate how the university’s strategic
deliberations, most institutions aim to balance               goals have helped to shape its international
their portfolios so that partnerships do not com-             partnerships.
pete with existing initiatives, which can then lead
                                                              This case study also introduces the idea of
to inadequate participation.
                                                              “creative reciprocity,” a strategy that can be
                                                              implemented in a variety of ways. Institutions
Strategic Goals
                                                              may agree on a formula for reciprocity that devi-
Strategic approaches to partnership development
                                                              ates from the traditional one-to-one exchange.
consider factors such as the region, academic
                                                              For example, four U.S. students might attend a
discipline, degree level, program duration, and
                                                              short summer program at an Indian institution
more, alongside the institution’s internationaliza-
                                                              in exchange for one Indian student attending a
tion goals. Strategic goals vary by institution, but
                                                              semester-long program at the partnering U.S.
might include:
                                                              institution. Creative reciprocity can also apply to
■■   Diversifying study abroad program types                  the multi-institutional exchanges commonly used
     and duration;                                            in consortia, such as the Institute of International
■■   Reaching a specific target percentage of ­students       Education’s (IIE) Global E3 program. In this con-
     studying abroad;                                         sortium program, member institutions agree to
                                                              accept engineering students from any of the other
■■   Identifying international internship
                                                              member institutions. For instance, a student from
                                                              Hong Kong might go to a university in the United
■■   Developing joint research collaborations;                States, while a student from the United States
■■   Expanding opportunities for study or research            goes to a university in France or any of the more
     for students from underrepresented majors; and           than 70 member institutions that reside in the 40
                                                              participating countries. This type of reciprocity
■■   Launching opportunities in nontraditional                can offer students more flexibility in options
     ­markets.                                                and can help institutions to maintain balance.
                                                              Creative reciprocity is becoming increasingly


common and can provide the framework for a                  (GW) School of Business, along with the busi-
greater variety of strategic goal-oriented partner-         ness schools at The University of North Carolina
ships to thrive.                                            at Chapel Hill (UNC) and Duke University
                                                            (Duke), collaborated on an innovative program
Complex Partnerships                                        model with Copenhagen Business School (CBS)
In addition to an increased emphasis on partner-            in Denmark (for more information, see Case
ships that reinforce an institution’s strategic goals       Study 6). Students from CBS attend GW for a
for internationalization, there is a move toward            traditional semester-long program. While GW,
more complex partnerships. They can span                    UNC, and Duke students can attend CBS for a
disciplines, have multiple objectives, and may              semester-long program or one-week intensive
not fit neatly into a box. These partnerships often         program centered on sustainability and social
begin as a simple departmental arrangement or               responsibility, a theme that is featured in all of
student exchange agreement but evolve over time             their respective institutional missions. Bryan
to become more inclusive.                                   Andriano, the executive director of the busi-
                                                            ness school at GW, notes that “Having multiple
California State University-Long Beach (CSULB)
                                                            institutions collaborate on a single program is
offers a prime example of how a small depart-
                                                            inherently more complicated than a bilateral
mental partnership grew into a prospering,
                                                            design, but it has allowed for some flexibility in
multilayered institutional partnership (for more
                                                            years where demand has fluctuated among the
information, see Case Study 2). CSULB and
                                                            U.S. institutions; should one institution not meet
Hamburg University of the Applied Sciences
                                                            its quota, it may offer available spaces to other
(HAW) started on a small scale in 1993 with a
                                                            institutions” (Case Study 6). This multilateral
joint international business workshop that was
                                                            partnership implements a mixed program model
met with success. However, students outside
                                                            that appeals to more diverse student interests
of the business schools were not aware of the
                                                            and needs by including short and semester-
partnership and the opportunities it presented.
                                                            long options. Given the multitude of goals and
Thus, in 2008, both partners decided that the
                                                            requirements involved in the partnership, there
partnership was a priority and the agreement
                                                            is a greater need for ongoing oversight and com-
was expanded to the institutional level through
                                                            munication between all four institutions.
a well-defined, multitiered strategy that included
semester exchange, short-term programs, faculty             It is important to note that these partnerships can
collaboration, and joint workshops. The case                be challenging and labor intensive because of
of CSULB demonstrates a shift from purely                   their growing complexities. Nevertheless, these
transactional partnerships to transformational              and other partnerships are essential elements of
relationships that can lay the foundation for               campus internationalization efforts and missions.
substantial academic engagement, expanded                   Given the overwhelming prospects that partner-
curricular offerings, and internationalization for          ships can entail, institutions must be increasingly
both institutions.                                          strategic when cultivating their partnerships.
Partnerships can also grow from national initia-
tives or consortia and may include corporate or
nonprofit partners. Multi-institution partnerships          Quality Versus Quantity
can increase the sustainability of programs by              Institutions have become more selective as they
adding mechanisms to maintain balance. For                  focus on establishing partnerships that contribute
example, The George Washington University                   to their internationalization strategies. The days


of measuring successful internationalization               For example, Mount Holyoke College, a small lib-
efforts by the number of partners and signed               eral arts college for women, prioritized its invest-
memorandums of understanding (MoUs) are in                 ment in high-potential partnerships that advance
the past. Now, institutions often only sign MoUs           and support university curricular goals (for more
when there is a clear plan in place to augment             information, see Case Study 7). Mount Holyoke
the MoU with an engagement and implementa-                 reviewed its current international activities and
tion strategy. Some institutions have taken this           then retired agreements that were dormant. The
a step further by reviewing all of their current           school made the decision that “new collabora-
agreements and retiring those that have never led          tions with institutions abroad had to be strategic,
to specific activities or have become dormant in           meeting multiple student and faculty interests
recent years.                                              and needs” (Case Study 7). One such institu-
                                                           tion that met those terms was the Monteverde
One factor that can contribute to the delinea-
                                                           Institute (MVI), a nonprofit research center in
tion between a partnership of quantity from
                                                           Costa Rica. According to Kirk Lange, Eva Paus,
one of quality is the language used. Gatewood
                                                           and Joanne Picard from Mount Holyoke:
and Sutton (2017) categorize agreements as
“agreements of intentionality” or “agreements of                MVI’s mission to blend classroom
implementation.” Agreements of intentionality                   learning, applied research, and com-
are more ambiguous and often take the form of                   munity engagement in support of a
MoUs. They demonstrate an interest or desire to                 sustainable future fit well with Mount
explore the possibility of working together, but                Holyoke’s strategic focus on environ-
generally do not lay out a clear plan, strategy,                mental sustainability and place-based
or measurable goals. In contrast, agreements of                 learning. We had several faculty from
implementation are considerably more specific                   different disciplines, whose research
and can take many forms, such as a student                      interests connected both with Costa
exchange agreement, research partnership, or                    Rica and Mount Holyoke’s institutional
joint degree program. They are generally written                priorities, providing a strong base
for a specific period of time and must be renewed               for developing an interdisciplinary
or retired after that period. Agreements of imple-              ­program. (Case Study 7)
mentation are seen by many as more meaningful
                                                           However, Mount Holyoke identified early on
and of value because they include clear, measur-
                                                           that due to its relatively small student body, the
able activities and outcomes.
                                                           program would not generate sufficient enrollment
In addition to focusing on partnerships that are           numbers among Mount Holyoke students alone.
implementable and have defined goals, many                 Partnering with another U.S. university, in this
institutions are trying to assess the potential            case Goucher College, which shared its values
long-term sustainability of programs early on and          and goals allowed Mount Holyoke to build a sus-
are creating frameworks to enhance the potential           tainable program and viable pool of participants.
success of the partnership. Institutions that seek         Mount Holyoke’s partnership with MVI and
to launch a new program or partnership but have            Goucher illustrates the importance of assessing
doubts that their institution alone can sustain            potential student demand and regularly review-
the program may consider partnering with a peer            ing resource needs in order to maintain high-
institution, nonprofit corporation, or government          quality programs. Furthermore, finding a partner
agency to create a dynamic, sound program.                 that fits an institution’s needs and objectives is
                                                           fundamental to an active partnership agreement.


An emphasis on the quality over the quantity of                looking for internship opportunities and training
partnerships often leads to institutions retiring              that can be applied to their future careers.
duplicative agreements and choosing instead to
invest in new partnerships that diversify and add              Short-Term Programs
value to their international portfolios.                       The rise of short-term programs is not a new phe-
                                                               nomenon. According to IIE's Open Doors report,
                                                               as of 2014/2015, 63 percent of students studying

Diversity of Partnerships                                      abroad chose short-term academic year pro-
                                                               grams, summer term, or January term programs,
Partnerships come in many shapes and sizes                     whereas only 37 percent participated in programs
and vary in duration and scope. They include                   lasting one quarter or longer (IIE 2016).
student and faculty exchanges, collaborative
degree programs, research projects, internships,               The growth of short-term programs is demon-
branch campuses, and more. Partnerships have                   strated qualitatively through the case studies
traditionally focused on in-person interaction and             highlighted in this publication. All of the case
residency programs; however, this is no longer an              studies, with the exception of the joint degree
essential element. With the rise of video confer-              program in Case Study 3, include a short-term
encing, smart classrooms, and other technologies,              component. These partnerships may not be lim-
students and faculty can engage in joint teaching              ited to short-term programs, but they emphasize
and research from a distance. Partnerships may                 the role that short-term programming has had in
be all in person, all virtual, or a hybrid delivery            increasing student participation rates, engaging a
method. Moreover, virtual collaborations may be                more diverse student population, and achieving
synchronous or asynchronous.                                   strategic institutional goals.

Three developments that have become increas-                   For example, Case Study 1 describes how Miami
ingly popular and have become a centerpiece                    Dade College (MDC) began its collaboration with
of many institutions’ internationalization                     Lorenzo de’ Medici Institute (LdM) as a semester-
strategies include:                                            long program through the College Consortium for
                                                               International Studies (CCIS). In 2016, however,
■■   Short-term programs;                                      MDC shifted its model to a direct partnership
■■   Collaborative degrees (joint, dual, or double             with LdM, which allowed students to primarily
     degrees); and                                             engage in the faculty-led summer program. MDC
                                                               made the decision to shift its program model
■■   Programs with a research, internship, or
                                                               because 92 percent of MDC students participate
     ­practicum component.
                                                               in short-term, mainly faculty-led, programs
Institutions have seen a rise in partnerships                  (Carol Reyes, pers. comm.). The demographics of
that fall on opposite ends of the time spectrum,               the MDC student body help to explain this prefer-
including short-term programs that last a week                 ence for short-term programming. Many MDC
or two and collaborative degree programs that                  students are first-generation, low-income minor-
generally comprise two years at each institution.              ity students or nontraditional students who don’t
Some students are looking to truly distinguish                 have the financial means or liberty to participate
themselves from their peers and are eager to                   in long-term study abroad. Additionally, many
participate in programs that lead to an additional             students are focused on completing their studies
degree or a jointly issued degree. Others are                  in order to enter the workforce and are drawn to
                                                               the appeal of a shorter time frame. Shifting the


program from a semester-long to a faculty-led               short-term programs, collaborative degrees are
short-term program significantly increased par-             also growing in popularity. Whether referred
ticipation among MDC students.                              to as "joint degree programs" or "dual degree
                                                            programs," students complete a considerable
MDC is not the only institution that has revised
                                                            portion of their studies at two different institu-
its partnership development strategies to focus
                                                            tions and ultimately earn a single jointly issued
heavily on short-term programs. The emphasis
                                                            credential, two degrees, or even multiple degrees.
on short-term programs is seen across different
                                                            Jane Knight states that collaborative degrees
institutional types; however, it is especially popu-
                                                            may include “double, multiple, tri-national, joint,
lar at minority-serving institutions with a large
                                                            integrated, collaborative, international, consecu-
percentage of first-generation college students.
                                                            tive, concurrent, co-tutelle, overlapping, conjoint,
Tennessee State University (TSU), a histori-                parallel, simultaneous, and common degrees”
cally black college and university (HBCU) with              (2011, 299).
a history of low study abroad participation,
                                                            Collaborative degree programs are on the rise and
launched short-term exchanges and more than
                                                            are attractive to students for many reasons. The
tripled its study abroad participation in just three
                                                            programs provide students with an immersive
years (for more information, see Case Study 8).
                                                            experience that usually spans one to two years
Through Tennessee State University’s partnership
                                                            and gives them the chance to hone their foreign
with Centro Colombo Americano and EAFIT
                                                            language skills. Participants may potentially
University (EAFIT) in Colombia, the 10-day
                                                            achieve a working proficiency or even fluency in
intensive research projects in a foreign country
                                                            another language. Collaborative degree programs
offer an alternative model that has the potential
                                                            also provide more opportunities for cocurricular
to provide a significant intercultural experience
                                                            practical experience than is possible on short-
to students who have limited financial resources.
                                                            term or exchange programs. Students are likely
This short-term program has greatly expanded
                                                            to participate in internships or research programs
inbound and outbound mobility.
                                                            during university breaks or the academic term.
To ensure that short-term programs add educa-               These students are often eligible for a period of
tional value and engage students in substantive             postgraduate employment because they have
cross-cultural learning, institutions are imple-            earned a local degree. With near native language
menting strategies to utilize technology and other          skills, local internship or research experience,
resources to supplement the overseas programs.              and eligibility for postgraduate employment,
Moreover, partnerships are often ­re-envisioned             collaborative degree students have a competitive
to include both pre- and post-program content               advantage when applying for roles at multina-
and engagement. Thus, the discussion is shifting            tional companies. These programs may also
away from the merits of short-term program-                 appeal to students interested in pursuing a career
ming and moving toward the structure itself.                outside of their home country.
Institutions are increasingly faced with the ques-
                                                            For example, students in the Joint Bachelor’s
tion of how to create quality partnerships that
                                                            Degree Program between City University of Hong
ensure that short-term programs are transforma-
                                                            Kong and Columbia University complete all of
tional, educational experiences.
                                                            the requirements for an equivalent major at both
                                                            institutions and earn two bachelor’s degrees in
Collaborative Degrees
                                                            the same discipline (for more information, see
Although some of the increase in study abroad
                                                            Case Study 3). After some lengthy discussions
participation numbers have been represented in


between the partners, “joint degree program”                Research and Professional
was deemed to be the most appropriate title                 Experience Programs
for this program. All courses are matched and               As institutions aim to offer programs with a
articulated and the administrators felt that the            greater curricular or professional impact, many
term “joint degree” reflected their vision of one           are cultivating partnerships that include a
consistent program where credits are transferred            research, internship, or practicum component.
in both directions to fulfill each institution’s            These field-based programs come in a variety
major, core, and elective requirements. This joint          of formats and durations, ranging from a few
degree program offers students an immersion                 site visits woven into a short-term program
experience in two very distinct learning environ-           to a semester-long internship or research
ments. Graduates of this program are gaining                experience. These programs support institu-
traditional and applied knowledge, along with a             tional strategic goals of expanding applied
cross-cultural experience, that prepares them to            learning opportunities.
excel in a globalized world.
                                                            For example, Mount Holyoke recently decided
The numerous institutional benefits and par-                to capitalize on its momentum and expand the
ticipant success stories of collaborative degree            impact of the Monteverde partnership by leverag-
programs have many institutions racing to                   ing Mount Holyoke’s flagship Lynk program. The
establish new programs. Faculty and administra-             Lynk program “integrates curricular and applied
tors are excited about the potential effects that           learning and provides funding for a summer
these partnerships have in internationalizing their         internship or research project” (for more informa-
campuses, attracting higher quality students,               tion, see Case Study 7). Utilizing this program
increasing mobility, and building on existing or            model, Mount Holyoke aims to further advance
establishing new relationships. As a result, how-           the community-based learning component by
ever, many institutions are haphazardly pursuing            providing students with the support to conduct
these partnerships without first considering the            an applied summer project in Costa Rica.
administrative burden, level of student demand,
                                                            The process of setting up such a program was
and curricular alignment involved. Collaborative
                                                            made easier given the existing relationships
degree programs are considerably more challeng-
                                                            that Mount Holyoke already has in Monteverde;
ing to launch and sustain than short-term or tra-
                                                            however, it still required extensive planning and
ditional semester-long exchanges. Collaborative
                                                            communication for the summer project program
degree programs take extensive cooperation and
                                                            to come to fruition. Some of the common chal-
faculty and administrator time because a uni-
                                                            lenges of expanding research, internship, or
fied degree-granting program must be mapped
                                                            practicum experiences abroad include: student
out and articulation agreements negotiated to
                                                            visa policies, local faculty support, and access to
comply with legal and accreditation standards.
                                                            the in-country industry. Stringent visa policies
Additionally, collaborative degree programs are
                                                            make obtaining authorization for students to
selective, can be prohibitively expensive, and
                                                            work, even for unpaid opportunities, a cumber-
are more time intensive than many students
                                                            some process. Furthermore, host country faculty
are interested in or expect. Thus, collaborative
                                                            are sometimes reluctant to offer visiting students
degrees are likely to continue to make up a small
                                                            research opportunities in their labs due to con-
percentage of overseas experiences compared
                                                            cerns about the training time, language barriers,
with short-term and semester-long programs.
                                                            and students’ commitment to the work. Faculty
                                                            may prefer to reserve research opportunities


for local students who may commit to a longer                landscape in which these programs function are
placement and whose background can be readily                changing. Case Study 4 on The College of Staten
assessed. Finally, building the necessary industry           Island (CSI) illustrates the processes and factors
connections to identify internships, practicum,              that go into establishing a short-term program
and opportunities for site visits can be time                for students to “study the history and pedagogy
consuming for both partners. Institutions are                of Cuban education with observation in a K–12
often hesitant to secure placements for visiting             Cuban classroom setting.” The proposed pro-
students because these opportunities are limited             gram will enable students to not only complete
in number and can be highly competitive.                     their coursework, but they will also have the
                                                             opportunity to observe and participate in Cuban
Despite the challenges, many institutions have
                                                             K–12 classrooms, a domain that has traditionally
been able to develop partnerships with research,
                                                             been off-limits to Americans. During the program
internship, and practicum components. Some
                                                             development process, CSI and the Instituto
of the more successful models include courses
                                                             Superior Pedagogico Enrique Jose Varona
centered on practical experience where faculty
                                                             (UCPEJV) have encountered certain political,
advise students in securing an internship and
                                                             economic, and administrative hurdles, including
then award credit for the experience. Another
                                                             the need to re-establish political pathways when
common partnership model is a course where the
                                                             oversight of UCPEJV shifted from one ministry to
research experience is integrated into the curricu-
                                                             another, limited financial resources, and changing
lum. When pursuing this avenue, it is important
                                                             institutional rules and regulations (for more infor-
to note that host institutions are often more likely
                                                             mation, see Case Study 4). In order to overcome
to consider internships, research, and practicums
                                                             these challenges, CSI and UCPEJV relied on the
when they are part of a longer-term study pro-
                                                             commitment of the upper administration at both
gram and a mutually beneficial partnership.
                                                             schools to invest the needed time and resources
                                                             into the negotiations and program development.

Partnerships in New and                                      In another case study, Grand Valley State
                                                             University (GVSU) began a partnership with
Emerging Markets                                             the Universidad del Bio Bio (UBB) in Chile, a
                                                             dynamic and emerging market (for more infor-
As part of their strategic approach to partnership
                                                             mation, see Case Study 9). This relationship grew
development, many institutions are working
                                                             beyond the initial student exchange in 2011 and
toward diversifying their partners by looking at
                                                             has evolved each year to respond to student and
different world regions. These partnership oppor-
                                                             faculty needs. New partnership initiatives include
tunities may require new considerations and
                                                             faculty immersion programs, faculty training
added levels of preparation and communication
                                                             workshops, study tours, and the launch of a dual
to ensure that they are successful. It is important
                                                             degree. The viability of the programs was chal-
to research and take into account the national
                                                             lenged a few years ago when “UBB shut down
contexts and institutional infrastructures of differ-
                                                             for a period of time in 2015, causing uncertainty
ent countries when considering partnerships.
                                                             among GVSU exchange students there. But the
One market that is currently receiving increased             department where most GVSU students took
attention from U.S. institutions is Cuba. Although           courses held classes anyway, so student progress
some U.S. universities have had educational                  was not delayed” (Case Study 9). With faculty
programs in Cuba for years, the structure and                and administrators dedicating the time and
                                                             resources to cultivating meaningful relationships


and understanding the needs of each institution,            some institutions are strategically focusing their
the GVSU-UBB partnership has grown into an                  partnerships, diversifying their program scopes
active and diverse set of programs.                         and durations, and employing alternative and
                                                            complex models.
Building a partnership with an institution
in a new or emerging market may require a                   These shifts in partnership development thrive
greater financial and administrative commit-                with appropriate faculty and administrator over-
ment up front and may progress more slowly                  sight, reflection, and intervention on both sides.
than expected. As a result, it is important that            In addition to gathering information about part-
universities looking to establish partnerships              nership activities, faculty and administrators need
in new destinations have the needed faculty,                to track whether the partnership is meeting the
administrative, and financial support to see the            goals of both institutions. If there are concerns,
process through to the end, as well as patience             partnership modification or a larger evolution
and realistic expectations. These partnerships              may be needed to ensure long-term sustainability.
are more likely to succeed if they are in line
                                                            The availability of new and low cost technology
with strategic goals and have widespread insti-
                                                            has helped to facilitate global communication,
tutional support. It is important that faculty and
                                                            thus changing the nature in which institutions
administrators consider the potential quality and
                                                            cultivate and transform partnerships. According
sustainability of the partnership and the benefits
                                                            to Mandy Reinig, director of Study Away at
to both institutions.
                                                            Virginia Wesleyan College, “Institutions can take
                                                            advantage of video conferencing and voice over
                                                            internet protocol (VOIP) options. These can be
Conclusion                                                  utilized to cut down on the cost of travel, connect
The scope of partnerships has broadened and                 faculty to each other, review documents, and
the international portfolios of higher educa-               assist in eliminating confusion or miscommunica-
tion institutions are more diverse than ever. As            tion that can sometimes be created via email
multifaceted partnerships emerge that align with            or written communication” (pers. comm.). The
universities’ strategic goals, existing partnerships        work that would traditionally take significant
need to evolve to remain relevant and sustain-              periods of time and financial resources to secure
able. Partnerships must be responsive to the ever-          can potentially be accomplished to a large
changing needs of the students, administrators,             extent via the latest, most secure electronic tools
and faculty.                                                and services.

Critical to the success of any productive long-             Technology and social media have transformed
term partnership is a shared commitment by                  how institutions promote programs, recruit par-
both institutions. The negotiation and signing of           ticipants, and sustain partnerships. For example,
an agreement provides the legal framework and               one of the key elements of the enhanced market-
objectives for a relationship, but that should not          ing strategy for the CSULB-HAW partnership
be the end goal. Many institutions focus more of            discussed in Case Study 2 was the use of social
their time on cultivating new relationships than            media to connect prospective students with
on managing and fostering the strategic direction           peers who had previously studied in Germany.
of existing relationships. This can lead to pro-            Students often rely on social media to select
grams that fail to launch, dormant agreements,              their programs, engage with the curricula and
or ones with only short-term results. In response,          culture, and provide feedback on their programs.
                                                            Institutions can use these communication


channels to take the pulse of a program more                students-mobile-learning-practices-in-higher-
frequently and work with their partners to ensure           education-a-multiyear-study.
that the program develops to meet institutional
                                                            Gatewood, Jane, and Susan Buck Sutton. 2017.
and students’ needs.
                                                            Internationalization in Action: International
Mobile technology has changed how people view               Partnerships. Part One: Definitions and
communication and their expectations surround-              Dimensions. Washington, DC: American Council
ing communication. Partnership agreements can               on Education.
be negotiated faster because the challenges of
                                                            Helms, Robin Matross. 2014. Mapping
working across time zones are less problematic
                                                            International Joint and Dual Degrees: U.S.
and a student crisis can be resolved from any-
                                                            Program Profiles and Perspectives. Washington,
where. However, administrators must be strategic
                                                            DC: American Council on Education.
in their approaches to their communication with
both the students and partnering institutions.              Helms, Robin Matross. 2015. International
Clear and ongoing dialogue is needed to develop             Higher Education Partnerships: A Global Review
and support responsive partnerships.                        of Standards and Practices. Washington, DC:
                                                            American Council on Education.
Historically, the scope of partnership develop-
ment has been influenced by external political,             Institute of International Education (IIE). 2016.
economic, and ideological factors. For many                 “Duration of U.S. Study Abroad, 2004/05-
years, the trend toward globalization has                   2014/15.” Open Doors Report on International
increased political, economic, and social inter-            Educational Exchange.
connectedness and has transformed the realm                 opendoors.
of higher education. When faced with ever-
                                                            Kinser, Kevin, and Madeleine F. Green. 2009.
changing world events, international educators
                                                            The Power of Partnerships: A Transatlantic
will take on new challenges to partnership devel-
                                                            Dialogue. Washington, DC: American Council on
opment and need to be strategic and deliberate in
their thinking to ensure that diverse international
partnerships continue to thrive.                            Knight, Jane. 2011. “Doubts and Dilemmas With
                                                            Double Degree Programs.” International Journal
                                                            of Educational Technology in Higher Education 8,
References and                                              2:297–312.

Additional Resources                                        Kuder, Mattias, Nina Lemmens, and Daniel Obst,
                                                            eds. 2014. Global Perspectives on International
Banks, Claire, Birgit Siebe-Herbig, and Karin               Joint and Double Degree Programs. Washington,
Norton, eds. 2016. Global Perspectives on Strategic         DC: Institute of International Education.
International Partnerships: A Guide to Building
                                                            Pew Research Center. 2017. “Mobile Fact Sheet.”
Sustainable Academic Linkages. Washington, DC:
                                                            Washington, DC: Pew Research Center.
Institute of International Education.
Chen, Baiyun, Ryan Seilhamer, Luke Bennett,
                                                            Sandström, Anna-Malin, and Leasa Weimer.
and Sue Bauer. 2015. “Students’ Mobile Learning
                                                            2016. The EAIE Barometer International Strategic
Practices in Higher Education: A Multi-Year
                                                            Partnerships. Amsterdam, The Netherlands:
Study.” EDUCAUSE Review. June 22, 2015,
                                                            European Association for International
                                                            Education (EAIE).


Smith, D. Frank. 2015. “Report: How Millennials
Use Mobile Devices at College.” EdTech. August              Appendix. Case Studies
26, 2015,                    The nine case studies that follow illustrate some
higher/article/2015/08/report-how-millennials-              of the rationales, challenges, and best practices
use-mobile-devices-college.                                 that these U.S. institutions have seen during their
                                                            partnership development processes. The featured
Sutton, Susan Buck. 2010. “Transforming
                                                            partnerships include:
Internationalization Through Partnerships.”
International Educator XIX, 1:60–63.                        ■■   Miami Dade College with Lorenzo de’ Medici
Sutton, Susan Buck, and Daniel Obst. 2011.
The Changing Landscape of International                     ■■   California State University-Long Beach with
Partnerships. Washington, DC: Institute of                       Hamburg University of the Applied Sciences
International Education.                                    ■■   City University of Hong Kong with Columbia
TapShield. n.d. “Data Sheet: College
Demographic Smartphone Ownership & Usage.”                  ■■   College of Staten Island with Instituto Superior
Clearwater, FL: TapShield.                 Pedagogico Enrique Jose Varona
data-sheet-college-demographic-smartphone-                  ■■   California State University-Fullerton with
ownership-usage.                                                 Universidade Federal Fluminense, Universidade
Tillman, Martin J., ed. 2007. Cooperating With                   Estadual Paulista, and Universidade São
a University in the United States: NAFSA’s Guide                 Paulo–Instituto de Ciências Matemáticas e de
to Interuniversity Linkages, Revised Edition.
Washington, DC: NAFSA: Association of                       ■■   The George Washington University School of
International Educators.                                         Business with Copenhagen Business School

Tobenkin, David. 2016. “Latin America                       ■■   Mount Holyoke College with Monteverde
Partnerships Cross Borders.” International                       Institute and Goucher College
Educator XXV, 2:24–35.                                      ■■   Tennessee State University with Centro
Van de Water, Jack, Madeleine F. Green, and                      Colombo Americano and EAFIT University
Kimberly Koch. 2008. International Partnerships:            ■■   Grand Valley State University with Universidad
Guidelines for Colleges and Universities.                        del Bío Bío
Washington, DC: American Council on
                                                            All of the case studies highlight the importance
                                                            of developing partnerships that speak strategi-
West, Charlotte. 2015. “Degrees Without                     cally to institutional contexts and priorities. The
Borders.” International Educator XXIV, 4:21–32.             case studies provide international education
                                                            professionals with solid models to consider
                                                            and insights that may apply to their own
                                                            internationalization initiatives.
                                                            The author would like to thank all of the
                                                            case study contributors for sharing valuable
                                                            insights from their institutions’ experiences
                                                            developing partnerships.


Case Study 1

Miami Dade College (MDC), Florida, USA
Lorenzo de’ Medyici Institute (LdM), Florence, Rome, and
  Tuscany, Italy
—Tatiana Mackliff, Executive Director of International Education, MDC, and Carol Reyes, Director of Global Student
Initiatives, MDC

BACKGROUND                                                     laboratory work, which was complemented by
Miami Dade College (MDC) offers programs in                    customized visits to local hospitals and health
more than 100 cities in Asia, the Middle East,                 care facilities. These visits gave students access
Latin America, and Europe via a wide range of                  to the local community and enabled MDC to
consortium, direct exchange, and other partner-                build ties within the Italian medical community.
ships. Despite MDC’s geographic proximity and                  The course will be repeated in summer 2017 and,
cultural affinity to the Latin American region,                due to the success of the program, MDC and LdM
recent activity and survey results have dem-                   are now exploring avenues for faculty exchange
onstrated that MDC students have a particular                  and development.
interest in western Europe as a study abroad des-
tination, which led to MDC’s historic cooperation              CHALLENGES
with Lorenzo de’ Medici Institute (LdM).                       Study abroad programs at state-supported post-
                                                               secondary institutions such as MDC are limited
PARTNERSHIP EVOLUTION                                          primarily by financial constraints—those of the
MDC joined the College Consortium for                          students, who are primarily low income, and the
International Studies (CCIS) in 1979 to engage                 institutions themselves, which strive to serve
students in affordable international options                   economically disadvantaged students by keeping
within a renowned consortium. Since then,                      tuition low. Therefore, the cost of study abroad
MDC’s collaboration with LdM, one of CCIS’s                    can present an issue for sustaining the programs.
member institutions, has evolved into a direct
                                                               Another challenge is managing the amount and
partnership that provides a platform for summer,
                                                               level of communication needed to sustain a suc-
semester, and yearlong study abroad for MDC
                                                               cessful partnership, especially while navigating
students; more than 33 MDC students have stud-
                                                               differences in time zones and when one institu-
ied at LdM since 2007.
                                                               tion is relatively understaffed. If the partnership
Leveraging the strong partnership that developed               includes a faculty-led component, professors
through the consortium, MDC proposed and                       must be willing to work beyond regular working
successfully executed its first faculty-led study              hours to make the program a success because it
abroad program to LdM (outside of the CCIS rela-               will require constant coordination with the part-
tionship) in summer 2016. During the program,                  ner as well as regular support and advisement to
14 MDC students and one MDC faculty member                     students before and during the program.
were hosted by LdM for a month-long human
                                                               Other challenges include understanding work
anatomy and physiology II course. The course
                                                               cultures and communication styles and making
consisted of in-classroom instruction as well as


an effort to bridge possible misunderstandings              partners to support each other in recruitment and
with constant communication. Lastly, failure to             outreach efforts, provide funding and scholar-
set realistic goals for how the partnership will            ships when available, and build programs based
work and what projects will be feasible can lead            upon common values.
to a lack of trust between partners.
                                                            LESSONS LEARNED
STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESS                                      MDC and LdM value experiential learning as a
It is important to know an institution’s strengths          way of providing students with tangible skills
and the students’ needs to ensure that the part-            that they can apply upon entering their profes-
ner’s values, mission, areas of academic strength,          sional fields, a means of embracing diversity of
and academic calendar align. Equally important              all kinds, and a channel for designing programs
is the need to clarify the goals of the partnership         that encourage community engagement and
and the roles and responsibilities of each partner,         create opportunities for meaningful interaction
respect social and academic cultures, provide               between students and the communities in which
support to faculty and students (especially if              they study. The partnership has also enabled
they have limited international experience), and            both institutions to meet their respective strategic
measure outcomes and results via student sur-               priorities around student access and success,
veys and constant feedback between partners. If             educational quality, and institutional agility.
possible, partners should plan to meet in person            These common values and goals have guided
regularly or conduct Skype meetings in order to             the historic relationship and are at the center of
build a relationship of trust and commitment.               the partnership.
In more practical terms, it is important for the

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