Thursday, May 31, 2007

Global Module Partner - Zayed University

I thought this would be a good forum to talk about some of our partners in the growing Global Module network. One of my goals in the next few months is to solidify our working relationship with a core group of international universities. One of the institutions that has been most enthusiastic in its support is Zayed University in the United Arab Emirates.

I'll share a little information about Zayed from their website:

"Zayed University was established in 1998 by the federal government of the United Arab Emirates to educate U.A.E. National women. It has campuses in Abu Dhabi and Dubai led by a single administration, and offers similar programs on both campuses. Zayed University currently enrolls approximately 3200 National women.

Zayed University is based on an international model of higher education. It is organized academically into five colleges - Arts and Sciences, Business Sciences, Communication and Media Sciences, Education, and Information Technology - and the primary language of instruction is English. The University expects its graduates to be fully bilingual in English and Arabic, proficient in the use of computing technology, and strong in quantitative and research skills. It expects them to achieve significant intellectual and social development. It also expects its graduates to be well-prepared professionals ready to become leaders in government, business, civil society, and family life. The graduates of Zayed University will help shape the future of the United Arab Emirates."

I was fortunate enough to spend a few days at Zayed in April, and I was extraordinarily impressed by the students, faculty and administrators there. The meeting was arranged by Leila DeVriese and she did a great job setting up two full days of meetings. I was able to meet with two different classes and the students were wonderful. They all wore the traditional black abaya (although they also had much nicer cell phones than I'll ever own), but were very worldly and tremendously interested in greater contact with the rest of the world. I threw the floor open for discussion and asked them what topics they would choose for Global Modules and they had really interesting ideas. To me they were a microcosm of the whole experience in the U.A.E. - right on the boundary between the traditional and globalizing worlds. For this reason (one out of many) they are wonderful partners for the Global Module network.

Since then Leila (and her husband Todd, who also taught there) have gone back to the U.S., but I've been in constant contact with folks like Habibul Haque Khondker, Matthew Maclean, James Piecowye, Daphne Selbert, Rebekah Carlson, Lena Jayyusi, Ron Hawker, Yunsun Chung-Shin, Peyman Pejman and Rafael Reyes-Ruiz. We're in the process of planning Global Modules for the upcoming fall semester.

Please let me know if you're interested in getting involved.


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