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Global engagement


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POSTED: Sunday, September 27, 2009

A new draft plan for international education at the University of Hawaii at Manoa calls for reviewing graduation requirements to add a course that could be satisfied with a semester abroad or international research.

The recommendation is one of 65 proposed by a task force charged with developing the International Strategic Plan for UH Manoa.

“;The world has changed and we need to train and educate globally engaged students,”; said Jay Maddock, an assistant professor of public health and the co-chairman of the task force.

The recommendations are aimed at creating more international opportunities for students, building awareness about research, and creating more strategic partnerships with overseas universities and UH Manoa alumni. The recommendations also call for increased interaction with Pacific Rim and other countries and recruiting more international students.

But money for travel was among the first things affected as UH Manoa deals with a $48.8 million budget cut this year.

The task force began meeting last year, before the budget crisis. The draft plan is being reviewed by the Faculty Senate and UH Manoa Chancellor Virginia Hinshaw before being finalized.

Some of the recommendations “;are just not going to happen (this year),”; Maddock said. “;Everything we're looking at is going to be free or low cost.”;

Jenny Samaan, the interim assistant vice chancellor for international and exchange programs, said the three-year plan is being stretched to 10 years because of the budget cuts.

Maddock said it is still important for the university to adopt a strategic plan and set goals for internationalization.

“;This is the first time UH has had a plan for global engagement,”; he said. “;We want to try and build that momentum.

“;We have lots of international strengths and expertise,”; Samaan said, pointing to programs and language expertise in Japan, China, Southeast Asia and the Pacific.

Samaan said UH researchers are also engaged internationally with visiting scholars, partnerships and grant money from other countries.

“;Our whole research capacity is very international. I don't know that many people know that,”; she said.

One of the goals of the plan is to better coordinate international efforts at the university, which tend to be separated in different departments, Samaan said.

Another goal is to increase the number of international students and their interaction with U.S. students.

Samaan said one idea is to have researchers who travel abroad make contact with potential students to encourage them to come to Manoa.

And while UH Manoa has large numbers of students from Japan and Korea, more marketing needs to be done in places like India, the country that sends the most students to the United States.

The recommendations also call for increased contacts with UH Manoa alumni living overseas.

Starting the process to review graduation requirements won't require funding, Maddock noted.

REVIEWING INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION GUIDELINES

Some of the recommendations in the University of Hawaii draft of a strategic plan for international education:» Review general education requirements to split the Hawaiian, Asian and Pacific Issues requirement into two courses—one focusing on Hawaii and the other encompassing Asia and the Pacific Islands.

» Consider adding an international education requirement for majors that could be satisfied through study abroad or international research, internships or service learning.
» Eliminate the 30 percent enrollment cap at UH Manoa for out-of-state students or exempt international students from the cap.
» Double the number of students who participate in semester abroad programs to 6 percent from 3 percent of the student body.
» Resume the practice of allowing students from U.S. commonwealth Pacific Island nations to pay resident tuition rates.
» Raise the priority for international students in housing.
» Recruit and provide scholarships for more international students especially from developing countries like India, Indonesia, China and Vietnam.
» Consolidate services for international students and overseas programs.
» Increase interaction between international and U.S. students and faculty.
» Increase resources for faculty and student research, study and internships abroad by 10 percent over the next two years.
» Strengthen the relationship between the East West Center and UH Manoa.
» Provide support for international grant-writing.
» Increase international alumni participation by 20 percent.