During a time of upheaval, opportunities for reflection, introspection and creativity frequently present themselves. Or, as Sir Winston Churchill once stated, “Never let a good crisis go to waste.”
Both the achievements and shortcomings of student mobility have only been emphasized in 2020 and as higher education faces an intense period of reconstruction, so, too, can international academic mobility that conforms to new generations and aligns with some of the most critical issues of our time - climate change, social justice, globalization and educational access. Bound International will help colleges and universities achieve capacity in these endeavors while institutions work diligently to stay afloat.
Current college students and entrants are more likely than previous generations to think humans have a large role in climate change. They are digital natives, seek strong social connections and are more conscious of the value they get for their money. They also feel strongly about affecting positive social change, prioritizing issues overs institutions and placing a lot of value on collective action and networks.
While Collaborative Online International Learning has existed for more than a decade, it has not been ubiquitous. At a time of intense shifts from in-person learning to online learning, when many IT offices and university administrators seek to build capacity, high customization and the ability to execute high impact COIL courses may be a struggle. Bound International will assist with critical capacity in introducing and expanding COIL opportunities as well as faculty training, assessment data and international partnership cultivation. We just need interested faculty.
Universities are increasingly competitive, vying for top students, scholars and staff while able to cultivate critical research. Frequently, this means addressing society’s most critical issues and advancing solutions. International outlook (staff, students and research) and a commitment to sustainability (via research, outreach and stewardship) are measured and ranked by various outlets to guide students and stakeholders in finding the right institution of higher education for them.
Opportunity exists for U.S. colleges and universities to expand their sustainability measures and maintain their international outlooks. This can be done by analyzing international academic activity, expanding creative online international learning, directly investing in sustainable projects and communities abroad, increasing sustainability education and promoting Climate Action and Climate Justice activities at home and abroad.
“The [Sustainable Development Goals] are an agenda to balance human prosperity with protecting the planet.” - United Nations