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US: Hispanic faculty exchange program launched

The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities in the US has revealed the launch of the Global Faculty Exchange program, which aims to link institutions with faculty and administrators for short-term international teaching or research positions.

Professors and administrators will have "invaluable opportunities" to network and learn from other cultures and institutions under the new initiative. Photo: iStock

Hispanic-Serving Institutions are classified as degree-granting organisations with a minimum of 25% full-time Hispanic undergraduate students

The announcement coincides with the one-year anniversary of the implementation of HACU’s ProTalento Job Board.

HACU president Antonio Flores asserted that the inspiration for the program was derived from members “seeking such collaborations with faculty and administrators interested in working abroad or away from their home institutions for a limited time”.

Additionally, international faculty and host institutions can “mutually benefit” from new opportunities for collaboration, such as visiting professorships, administrator exchanges, joint research, and others that can be offered in-person or virtually, he added.

Exchanges may appeal to retired faculty or those on sabbatical or summer hiatus, and that host institutions will benefit from the global talent pool, he said.

“The Faculty Exchange provides professors and administrators with invaluable opportunities to network and learn from other cultures and institutions to advance their career development or use their expertise in new settings,” Flores said.

Established in 1986 with 18 charter members, HACU now represents over 500 institutions dedicated to advocating for Hispanic achievement in higher education.

The Hispanic population is the youngest and fastest-growing population in the US, with an expected 4.4 million Hispanic students expected to be enrolled in higher education by 2025.

The number of Hispanic-Serving Institutions, classified as degree-granting organisations with a minimum of 25% full-time Hispanic undergraduate students, have doubled in the past decade.

With over 32,000 Hispanic students, Florida International University is home to the largest population of Hispanic learners in the US.

Top-ranked for awarding bachelor’s and master’s degrees to Hispanic students by Hispanic Outlook on Education Magazine, the institution was also one of 35 HSIs that the US Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs recently determined had “demonstrated noteworthy engagement with the Fulbright Program during the 2019-2021 academic years and have promoted Fulbright Program opportunities on campus”.

“The HACU Global Faculty Exchange is opening up a new pathway for people and their ideas to connect”

Stephanie Doscher, director of the Office of Collaborative Online International Learning at FIU, spoke with The PIE News about the effect the HACU initiative may have on FIU students, faculty, and the community.

“Internationalisation is about connecting higher education institutions and the people within them to the world’s knowledge exchange and production network. The HACU Global Faculty Exchange is opening up a new pathway for people and their ideas to connect.”

Doscher spoke about the educational impact of thinking creatively about exchange programs, telling The PIE, “I’ve seen it over and over during the pandemic – giving people low-cost opportunities to connect their passions and perspectives leads to high impact, high value teaching and learning”.

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