UCU International Connections
Originally posted at: https://www.ugandapartners.org/2019/02/ucu-international-connections/
By Twesiime Jordan McGurran
and colleges around the world are seeking to form partnerships, collaborations,
and connections with other educational institutions, governments, civil society
organizations, churches, and various types of organizations. These partnerships
are designed to enhance the work within the universities – in their molding of
students, research potential, service to the larger society, financial or
technological growth, and the building of goodwill among communities from
different regions of the world.
Christian University (UCU) has been working on building such connections since
the University’s formal inception in 1997.
The longest in existence and widest impacting in terms of student numbers outside the continent of Africa is the Uganda Studies Program (USP), a study abroad program of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU). This USA-based Christian higher education consortium is composed of more than 180 institutions around the world, including UCU. Twice a year – in the Advent (September) and Easter (January) semesters – the UCU community welcomes about 25-30 students from North America. Mark Bartels, Uganda Christian University Partners executive director, and his wife, Abby, started USP about 15 years ago. In that time, USP has skillfully hosted over 800 students at UCU.
While there are several clusters of international students who come from other parts of Africa, including the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Sudan and Kenya, USP is the largest contingent of students who come to UCU from outside the African continent.
USP, UCU also has several current and ongoing international collaborations
between UCU and other schools, governments, or civil society organizations. These include but are not limited to:
- The Faculty of Journalism, Media, and Mass Communications,between 2014 and 2018, in partnership with the Norwegian Teacher Academy (NLA) and the University of Kwazulu-Natal of South Africa under the Norwegian Programme for Capacity Development in Higher Education and Research (NORHED),has provided faculty opportunities for postgraduate studies, including MA and PhD studies, in communication-related courses in Norway. Additionally, in the past, occasionally NLA undergraduates have come to study at UCU.
- The child-focused international NGO, Compassion International, regularly has a contingent of students at UCU who are have been supported through their university studies by their Compassion sponsors. They have their own association and fellowship on campus.
- The Law Faculty maintains several relationships with law schools outside of the country. Among these are: 1) partnership with the University of Cincinnati (Ohio) College of Law, where a few UCU graduates have gone for postgraduate studies and from which some Cincinnati visits have occurred at UCU: and 2) Regent University (Virginia)’s Law School collaboration with UCU for over five years in various capacities that include hosting some short-term study trips and internships for Regent students in Uganda.
- UCU’s Social Work and Social Administration Department has collaborated for several years with the Social Work department at Radford University in Virginia related to social work educational experiences and research in Uganda.
- Trinity International University, Illinois, has sent students (usually during May) for “Global Experience” trips to see Uganda and engage with UCU students.
- Internationale Hochschule Liebenzell, a German theological college, is a new partnership with students coming from Germany to study at UCU for at least a semester.(Later this week, UCU Partners will post a separate story on one of these students.)
- Bethel University (Minnesota) has a 14-year (since 2005), bilateral partnership with the Nursing Department that has borne much fruit for UCU – including a degree completion and masters program in nursing. There have been eight groups of UCU students who have spent 6-10 weeks at Bethel, while some students from Bethel also have come to learn at UCU.
- Recently, UCU has been in talks with Tsinghua University, a well-ranked post-secondary institution in Beijing, China, to formalize a partnership related to research, educational exchange, and technological development.
Beyond these international connections, UCU students can be found pursuing further studies, completing internships, or employed in places such as the UK, Belgium, India, China, and the United States.
COMING THURSDAY (February 28, 2019)…The UCU Partners blog will publish an interview with one of its international students.
For more information about how you can support Uganda Christian University to continue to form these international partnerships and/or to become a partner, please contact Mark Bartels, UCU Partners executive director, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.