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Lehigh selected for new U.S.-Indonesia partnership

Mohamed S. El-Aasser, vice president for international affairs

Lehigh University is one of six colleges and universities chosen by the Institute of International Education's (IIE) Center for International Partnerships in Higher Education to launch a program to help advance Indonesia’s capacity to provide high-quality study abroad for U.S. undergraduates.

The U.S. Indonesia Partnership Program for Study Abroad Capacity (USIPP) is a two-year initiative sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). It will bring together the six selected U.S. institutions with six Indonesian institutions to develop new, innovative study abroad opportunities for U.S. undergraduates in Indonesia and ultimately help Indonesian universities better prepare to host American students.

Lehigh joins Chatham University, Miami Dade College, Texas A&M University, the University of Michigan, and the University of Washington as the first partners in the new program. Each of these institutions will receive funding to work with Indonesian counterparts to create new programs over the next two years that can serve as models for future student exchanges with a goal of increasing the number of U.S. undergraduate students studying abroad for credit in Indonesia.

"Lehigh is very pleased to be a member of the international consortium of fine institutions of higher learning in this program under the leadership of the IIE,” says Mohamed S. El-Aasser, Lehigh’s vice president for international affairs.

“In addition to building capacity in Indonesia for U. S. undergraduate students to gain international experience, this program will also allow Indonesian and American faculty members to build bridges between their respective institutions leading to broader areas of collaboration," El-Aasser says. "It also is expected that our affiliation with USIPP will help increase Lehigh’s international footprint as well as make a contribution to enhancing the relationship between the United States and Indonesia." 

Over the course of the two-year program, the USIPP will work to develop and pilot six new study abroad programs for students from the United States. The initiative will interview the participating students and university administrators for feedback to identify lessons learned and next steps, so that institutions can provide high-quality study abroad programs and prepare to host more international students in Indonesia. A final written report will serve as a hands-on tool for international education practitioners.

For more information, please visit the IIE Web site.

Story by Linda Harbrecht

Posted on Tuesday, September 28, 2010

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