Magazine article Diverse Issues in Higher Education

Afro-Columbian and Historically Black Land-Grant Universities Form Partnership

Magazine article Diverse Issues in Higher Education

Afro-Columbian and Historically Black Land-Grant Universities Form Partnership

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON -- The Association of Public Land-grant Universities (APLU), the Asociacion Columbiana de Universidades (ASCUN) and Phelps Stokes have established a collaborative partnership to promote educational and cultural exchange programs between AfroColumbian serving universities and historically Black land-grant universities in the United States. The presidents of each organization signed a memorandum of understanding late last month during a special ceremony at APLU headquarters in Washington, D.C.

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The purpose of the agreement is to promote and expand student- and faculty-exchange programs, joint research activities, and community and leadership development among students, faculty and administrators, said Dr. Lorenzo Esters, vice president of APLU's Office for Access and the Advancement of Public Black Universities. It also aims to position members of APLU's Council of 1890 Universities to take a leadership role in preparing minority students to develop what Esters described as "the global critical thinking essential to contributing as citizens of the world and competing in the international marketplace."

Although racial and ethnic minority students made up 31.5 percent of the U.S. student population in 2006-07, only 18.1 percent of those students participated in a study abroad program. These kinds of statistics, the education leaders at the signing ceremony argued, threaten the nation's standing as a leader on the world stage and its national security.

Citing a quote on the Phelps Stokes website, Kathie Olsen, vice president of international programs at APLU, said the study abroad experience is essential to cultivating world leaders. …

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