University takes next step in borderless education initiative

Jessica Klymchuk, News Editor Ω

TRU president Alan Shaver and president of the International University Network Christian Werner sign documents formalizing International Strategic Network partnership. Jessica Klymchuk/The Omega

TRU president Alan Shaver and president of the International University Network Christian Werner sign documents formalizing the International Strategic Network partnership. Jessica Klymchuk/The Omega

TRU has formalized a new partnership with the International University Network (IUN) that will see four new TRU programs offered in Europe this summer.

The International Strategic Network (ISN) was formalized on Jan. 14 with the signing of a memorandum of understanding by Christian Werner, president and CEO of the IUN alongside TRU president Alan Shaver.

The IUN includes three universities with campuses in Germany and Austria: the University of Applied Management, the University of Health and Sport and the University Seeburg Castle. Shaver said partnerships such as this allow students to pursue careers that require international competency and experience. According to Werner, they work towards implementing structures that help realize the idea of borderless high education.

“This is really about how we can help our students to develop the ability to become global players,” said provost and VP academic Ulrich Scheck.

Shaver said that the network will eventually grow to include partners on every continent.

Werner called the ISN a network of young universities and said its interest in TRU was enthused by the university’s dynamic nature and open learning program. He called TRU a “truly international university” in both the way it reaches out globally and attracts a global student body.

“I also believe that in the future, in the globalized world, there will not be any academic program without an international component, and we have to work on that,” Werner said.

In 2008 TRU signed a similar memorandum with the University of Applied Management, one of the IUN’s member universities. The new partnership comes after five years of collaborations between TRU and partners at UAM’s Berlin and Unna campuses. Four certificate programs will be the first to commence on June 2 in Unna.

Available are certificates in tourism, social media, global competency and environmental sustainability. The summer 2014 programs run from June 2 to Aug. 1 and cost $5,900, which includes nine weeks accommodation and some meals. The application deadline is March 15. For more information and program descriptions visit http://www.tru.ca/studygermany.html.

The TRU-ISN partnership also offers a master of arts in international adventure sport management at UAM, with study terms in Canada and Germany, and is ready for intake, according to a TRU press release. It also indicates that TRU is also in the process of developing a tourism master’s program in experience studies with similar study terms in both countries. Collaborative research is also underway by the respective psychology departments of the IUN and TRU on individual sustainability values.

“This partnership fosters the goal of international mobility for education and for students,” board chair Brian Cross said. “This is a necessary characteristic in the modern world and the modern university.”