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IIE announces 2016 Heiskell awards winners

The Institute of International Education has announced the winners of its annual Andrew Heiskell Awards for Innovation in International Education, which include for the first time an award for Internationalising the Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

TSU students from Saudi Arabia participate in an international festival of culture. Photo: TSU.

“We wanted to recognise these efforts so they can serve as models and inspiration for other institutions of all types and particularly those that serve minority student populations”

Tennessee State University won the inaugural accolade, recognising the achievements of institutions established pre-1964 to serve black students, for its Diversity and International Affairs initiative, which has seen its international student population grow from just 79 to 900 in the last three years.

“IIE places special emphasis on expanding diversity and inclusion in international education”

In the same period, the university has entered into MOUs with 26 universities abroad, signed a Generation Study Abroad pledge to expand exchange programmes through these agreements and more than tripled the number of students it sent abroad annually to 121.

“The Office of Diversity and International Affairs has done an outstanding job cultivating the international student experience into campus life at TSU,” commented TSU president Glenda Glover. “Just as important, the staff has strategically implemented international exchange programs with our academic units to ensure students are prepared to succeed in the global market.”

Speaking about the new award, Daniel Obst, deputy VP at IIE, commented: “IIE places special emphasis on expanding diversity and inclusion in international education.” He said that IIE has seen “many exciting initiatives” taking place on HBCU campuses since launching its Generation Study Abroad project

“We wanted to recognise these efforts so they can serve as models and inspiration for other institutions of all types and particularly those that serve minority student populations.”

Meanwhile, the University of Iowa won the Study Abroad award for its Winterim International Development programme, a three-week, field-based course linking students with social entrepreneurs in India whose intake has grown nearly eightfold in the last decade.

Two institutions were selected for the Internationalizing the Campus award: Florida International University, for its Global Learning for Global Citizenship initiative; and Case Western Reserve University in Ohio, for its comprehensive international plan.

In the International Partnerships category, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign was recognised for its Illinois-Sweden Program for Educational and Research Exchange (INSPIRE), a multidisciplinary alliance with three public research universities in Sweden.

As well as the main awards, four institutions received special mentions: Northwestern University in Illinois, for its partnership with Science Po in France; Sacred Heart University, for its College of Nursing study abroad portfolio in Jamaica, Guatemala, and the Dominican Republic; SUNY Oswego, for its “I, Too, Am Study Abroad” campaign; and Temple University in Philadelphia, for its International Educators Academy, a training programme for faculty keen to contribute to campus internationalisation.

IE will present the awards at its annual Best Practices in Internationalization Conference in California of March 11.

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