Sustainable Cooperation: Building a Partnership Network through Niche Academic Programs

Abstract

Over the last several years at the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW), the Office of International Programs, in cooperation with the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) has developed a global network of partner universities that share the specialization of Marine Science and/or Coastal Studies, which has facilitated both inbound and outbound international mobility.  Outbound mobility in the discipline was traditionally very limited as in the case of many STEM disciplines, but once the network developed and faculty buy-in was facilitated, students became confident that they could study abroad and take equivalent upper division courses in their discipline, and the numbers have increased exponentially.  The presentation will demonstrate how any niche academic program may be leveraged to increase outbound activity, and reinforce the importance of cooperation between the international office and the academic college or department.