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Building partnerships worldwide

UC helps rebuild Iraqi university curriculum

The University of Cincinnati's global engagement also encompasses institutional partnerships, such as the U.S. Linkages Partnership with Iraq, in which UC is helping Iraq rebuild its educational system and economy.

UC was one of only five American universities selected for the program that paired each school with an Iraqi university to develop curriculum and professional opportunities. UC's partner is Salahaddin University-Hawler in a Kurdish region in northern Iraq. Because 30 years of political turmoil left Iraq isolated, its faculty have struggled to remain current on research and knowledge. Funded by Iraq, the initiative is designed to rebuild educational opportunities for Iraqi youth by strengthening faculty expertise, fortifying online education, building international exchange opportunities, establishing a community career center and increasing fluency in English.

UC faculty from the College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services (CECH), as well as the Carl Lindner College of Business, have been writing courses for its partner university's curriculum and working with Salahaddin faculty members to create more student-centered practices.

"We benefit from this as well," says School of Education director Holly Johnson, "because it makes us look at how we teach, how we evaluate. Looking at our content and our knowledge base helps us to review where we are, too."

Countries join innovative UC consortium

Countries from around the world are steadily joining an innovative consortium UC founded with State University of New York (SUNY) to offer a database that helps institutions keep track of their international endeavors.

In 2006, Mitch Leventhal, then UC vice provost, and software engineer Dan Ludwig, CCM '00, M (Bus) '08, developed UCosmic to track significant international activities at UC, such as research, corporate partners, study- abroad destinations, faculty nationalities and feeder institutions for international students. At that time, most universities were ramping up global efforts without any strategy, central oversight or means to catalog activities, which left disjointed results,Leventhal noted.

UCosmic was so effective that UC and SUNY formed a global consortium in 2011 to bring an open source version of the software to the world. Consortium members since then have included university representatives from Australia, Antigua, China, Dubai, Egypt, India, Malaysia, Nepal, Peru and Scotland.

         -- D. Rieselman

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