SAU and Augie presidents heading to summit in Mexico

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Late this month, the presidents from both Augustana College and St. Ambrose University will participate in the first Higher Education Summit of the United States and Mexico, which will take place in Guadalajara, Mexico.

A U.S. delegation of 24 independent college and university presidents and five cabinet-level officers from U.S. institutions will meet with their Mexican counterparts at the summit, which is named “Reaffirming the North American Spirit of Collaboration in Higher Education: Creating Bridges of Communications.”

Participants aim to provide enhanced exchange opportunities for students and faculty members in both countries, provide students with increased access to internships in Mexico and the United States, and allow faculty members and students to collaborate on research projects and development programs.

“I am honored to be a part of this delegation and eager to help enhance partnerships between U.S. and Mexican colleges and universities,” said Sister Joan Lescinski, CSJ, Ph.D., president of St. Ambrose.

“Because a global perspective is an essential piece of any 21st-century education, St. Ambrose has worked intentionally to expand the opportunities for our domestic students to study abroad and also to increase the presence of international students studying on our campus. As a result, our international student population has doubled over the past decade and the number of students studying abroad has experienced equally significant growth,” she said.

About 55% of Augustana students study abroad. “We at Augustana continue to seek out opportunities for building bridges with colleges and universities around the world so that our students can increase their intercultural competency and understanding of our diverse world,” said Steve Bahls, president of Augustana.

“I am hopeful that after our visit the Quad Cities will become a known community for these universities, and that we might see greater cooperation between our higher education institutions and communities in the future,” he added.
The U.S. college presidents and their Mexican colleagues will visit and meet with campus leaders from three Mexican higher education institutions: Instituto Tecnológico de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, Universidad Panamericana and Universidad del Valle de Atemajac. Participants will also meet with the U.S. Consul General in Guadalajara, Tanya C. Anderson, and with local, state and national Mexican officials, as well as additional university rectors. The U.S. delegation and Mexican university rectors will discuss student and faculty exchange programs, articulation agreements, global leadership, visa issues, and undocumented students.

The meeting is organized by the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) and the Mexican Federation of Private Higher Education Institutions (FIMPES), and generously supported by Santander Universidades and Universia.

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