by Joyce M. Randolph
As the world changes rapidly and becomes increasingly complex, and as technological advances create both new opportunities and new challenges with dizzying speed, international education and research continue to be a high priority at the University of Pennsylvania. In accord with its International Mission Statement, the University of Pennsylvania "seeks three main goals: the prep-aration of its students and faculty to be members of a more cohesive world; the generation of knowledge on a more global orientation; and provision of its academic resources, to the extent feasible, to nations and to institutions involved in international activities."
Provost Chodorow has launched a participatory process to advance Penn's agenda in this regard, by bringing together key people on campus to talk and learn from one another and to create synergies. The First Annual Provost's Conference on International Education and Research was built around two main objectives:
-- internationalizing undergraduate education; and
-- setting priorities and increasing campus-wide cooperation in international research and institutional linkages abroad.
Approximately eighty faculty members, deans, directors of centers and institutes, and a few students attended the day-long event in April 1995. Featured speakers included members of the Penn community and guests from Stanford University, Wesleyan University, St. Olaf College and the Consortium for Language Teaching and Learning at New Haven, Connecticut. Prior to the conference, participants received summaries of international initiatives from centers, institutes and schools across the University--providing background information about Penn's current programs and short term goals. It was clear that the University has considerable international strengths, but the efforts appear to be somewhat disjointed. The Provost's Conference was intended to raise key issues and begin to mesh agendas while acknowledging individual needs and interests. The morning sessions concentrated on undergraduate education, the afternoon panels on research activities and linkages with institutions overseas.
In the following summary, issues and suggestions to be explored further are numbered sequentially and appear in italics.
A central goal at Penn is to make international education the norm for every undergraduate. This encompasses integrating languages, study abroad, course work and advising at all levels. Clearly, the institution should proceed intentionally rather than accidentally, to seek to produce what Richard Lambert calls the "globally competent" graduate. This agenda involves the various components of general education, distribution requirements, majors and minors--all of which must harmonize. In this effort, departments must take the lead. Furthermore, Penn should consider two kinds of institutional strategies, the carrot and the stick:
-- influence students to want to have an international experience (in other words, address students' expectations and attitudes);
-- establish requirements that force students to have an international experience.
Suggestions warranting further exploration include the following:
1) Add "certificates" in global or cross-cultural or area studies fields (with language requirements in "content" courses). This is a way of validating and "credentialling" international experience.
2) Use maps or model curricula as advising tools. This should begin in freshman advising. One electronic method used successfully at Wesleyan is "Wesmap," whereby each academic department lists information on the campus computer network concerning not only major and minor requirements but also internationally oriented courses, recommended study abroad programs in that subject, and international certificate requirements.
3) Bring internationalization into the margins of every discipline. Learning takes place at the margins in any case. Have departments take the lead in developing strategies to produce "globally competent" students. They should examine who is teaching, what is being taught, what teaching techniques can assist with this agenda, etc.
4) The recruitment and admission process is crucial: broadcast Penn's intent to produce "globally competent" graduates.
Roger Allen, Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Penn
Peter Patrikis, Consortium for Language Teaching and Learning
Monolingualism, prevalent in the United States, is a moral and physical barrier for our alumni. Foreign Languages Across the Curriculum (FLAC) courses help students to think differently. Some colleges and universities have introduced these initiatives, with partial support from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education (FIPSE). For example:
Brown University began introducing FLAC seven years ago, and the opportunities for Brown undergraduates are already quite extensive; Princeton is promoting language use by moving languages into preceptorials; Stanford does this; and Harvard is introducing foreign language use into freshman courses: for instance, you can take Government 112 either in Spanish or in English.
5) Introduce Foreign Languages Across the Curriculum (FLAC) in Penn's undergraduate curriculum:
a) Work with students in the admission process. Train freshman advisors to guide people to FLAC courses. Create incentives, including internships. Validate the experience; determine ways to recognize and reward the effort.
b) Rethink the curriculum. FLAC should be at all levels. Do not let textbooks get in the way of implementing a FLAC course. Create avenues for returning study abroad participants to take FLAC courses in the third and fourth years, including in their major fields.
c) Faculty development is an issue, for FLAC tends to create anxiety and tensions in departments. There must be real commitment for FLAC to succeed, and this is shown in the hiring process.
d) The new Program in International Studies and Business (ISB), with its joint degree between SAS and Wharton and its emphasis on language and area studies, could develop a pilot FLAC program at Penn.
6) Consider instituting a language use requirement for graduating in specific majors. A student could demonstrate language use through residence in a language house, study abroad in a language immersion setting, enrollment in FLAC content courses, community service with foreign language groups in Philadelphia, etc.
7) An even more radical notion is the establishment of a foreign language proficiency prerequisite for admission to Penn.
Mary Naylor, Associate Dean of Nursing, Penn
Karen Jenkins, St. Olaf College
S. Corbin Smith, Stanford University
Comparing Penn's study abroad approach to the experience of two other institutions (St. Olaf College and Stanford University) uncovered issues surrounding academic standards, faculty involvement, number of programmatic options and sites, and the number of student participants. Whereas approximately 20% of each graduating class at Penn has studied abroad for Penn credit, the percentage at St. Olaf is much higher (65%) and at Stanford the representation is slightly higher (25% in Stanford programs; additional students in non-Stanford programs). The St. Olaf model puts faculty at the center and results in programs with built-in sustainability, as well as significant internationalization of on-campus teaching.
8) There is a need for more active faculty engagement in study abroad at Penn. One strategy would be to get students more involved in faculty members' research overseas.
9) Think about study abroad as an integral part of majors (not as part of students' general education). We should create versions of majors that are international in nature.
Peter Patton, Vice Provost for Information Systems and Computing,
Paul Mosher, Vice Provost and Director of Libraries, Penn
Gregory Farrington, Dean, SEAS, Penn
Sandra Barnes, Director of African Studies, Penn
Examples of current use of the new information technologies underscored their enormous potential as well as the challenges facing higher education institutions:
* information sharing and brokering (for U.S. and international audiences, for the public and private sectors);
* interactive classrooms; distance learning;
* electronic conferencing;
* community outreach;
* teacher training.
* need for staff support in order to maintain data integrity, respond to inquiries, stay abreast of technological developments;
* issue of ownership; charging for access to information.
10) It behooves Penn to "publish" on the World Wide Web in fields for which we are well noted. An example is the African Studies Home Page, which had over 100,000 users in March 1995, including governments, businesses (here and abroad), school teachers, colleges and universities.
11) The communication possibilities offered by the Internet (and PennNet) are creating a revolution in teaching and advising. Examples are highlighted in the recently produced videotape of teaching innovations in departments at Penn such as English, art history and classics.
S. Corbin Smith, Stanford University;
Bruce Kogut, Emerging Economics Program, Penn
Mary Naylor, Penn Nursing and Leonard Davis Institute
The planning process at Penn could be facilitated by answers to four basic questions:
a) How can faculty members stay abreast of the myriad collaborative research activities of their colleagues across the campus?
b) How can cooperation among internationally engaged faculty members be increased and encouraged across the campus?
c) Should Penn have formal University-wide linkage agreements with universities in other countries? If so, what criteria do we apply in identifying potential partner institutions? In Penn's decentralized environment, many school-to-school and department-to-department linkages already exist: Are there advantages to centralizing some of these linkages administratively?
d) What is Penn's role with respect to developing countries?
Stanford University centralized certain aspects of its internationalization efforts by creating the Institute of International Studies (IIS), reporting to the vice president for research, and funded largely by external sources. The IIS concentrates on selected inter- school, interdisciplinary international programs, and looks primarily at contemporary policy issues. The current foci are the global environment, international security and international political economy.
12) With respect to Penn, strong support was expressed for increased collaboration and cooperation across schools; a key might be establishing a central clearing house for information on collaborative opportunities, as well rethinking the role of the vice provost for research in promoting international collaborative research. However, it was not clear that a centralized institute for international studies would be recommended.
Four questions were considered in this discussion:
a) Is the geographical organization of the programs a good idea?
b) Historically, area studies developed as a post-World War II/Cold War phenomenon. How should area studies adjust to the new world map and new international climate?
c) Until recently, area studies programs have focused primarily on graduate and postdoctoral training, and on faculty research. How can area studies transform themselves into active agents in interdisciplinary undergraduate programs?
d) The Department of Education Title VI budgets (which provide major funding to area studies centers) are under attack as never before. What will happen to area studies if Title VI funds disappear? Will their missions change?
Responses to these challenging questions included the following points:
* Western scholars are now challenged by indigenous scholars. Without the insights gained from a "deep knowledge" of another culture, western scholars risk losing their rights. There exists a "zone of tension" between the "global knowledge or comparative knowledge" gleaned by an elite stratum of the world's population, and the "deep knowledge" acquired only through intensive local experience. Therefore, rethinking area studies may also include realizing that graduate students need this deep knowledge early in their academic careers, in order to move on to comparative or global knowledge later.
* Area studies cannot be a free-floating entity. It must be integrated within the University's schools and disciplines, and it must be an integral part of the curriculum.
* There may be a need for a larger coordinating structure at Penn, and area studies would be a part of this.
13) The challenge facing Penn is: how to retain the area studies' depth of study and also work towards integration (extending area studies across the curriculum and throughout the schools), without creating a formal institute or other institutional structure that becomes a burden.
Stanley Chodorow, Provost, Penn
14) This conference and the follow-up steps to the conference are part of Penn's overall planning efforts:
* defining the 21st Century undergraduate experience;
* reviewing the role of graduate instruction and research;
* developing the next stage of Penn's plan to fulfill its international mission.
Specific follow-up steps include:
* publication of Conference materials, electronically and in hard copy;
* small workshops in 1995-96 on key issues raised in the Conference;
* implementation of selected recommendations;
* plans for the Second Annual Provost's Conference on International Education and Research.
An International Programs SamplerSome--but by no means all--of the internationally-focused programs at Penn are:
* Four international and area studies centers designated National Resource Centers (see the Lauder Institute, African Studies, Middle East Center and South Asia Regional Studies Center on the back page of this issue). In addition, Penn is building strength in East Asian studies, Latin American cultures, and West European studies.
* A new SAS-Wharton joint undergraduate Program in International Studies and Business, whose students enter Penn with considerable foreign language proficiency and quantitative skills.
* The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, preeminent in illumination of the world's cultures.
* The satellite downlink of the Annenberg School for Communication, which brings foreign language programming to 32 campus buildings. This Academic Video Network includes SCOLA, a channel broadcasing live and delayed foreign language news from around the world, 24 hours a day.
* The School of Dental Medicine's international externships for its senior students, at selected dental schools outside the United States.
* The Graduate School of Education's Six-Country Comparative Education research project, involving the ministries of education of China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Germany and Switzerland.
* The Minority International Research Training Program--an international training program in biomedical research for underrepresented minorities, supported by the National Institutes of Health. A collaborative effort involving Penn, Lincoln and Howard Universities, the program is matching 18 students with internships established by the University in laboratories around the world, including sites in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
* The Wharton School's dramatic strides in globalizing its programs, curricula and student body, including the recently introduced Global Immersion Program, in which MBA students are offered an opportunity to participate in four-week study tours at the end of their first year, to China, Europe, South East Asia or South America. (Approximately 160 students enroll each summer in this non-credit option.)
* Research on international subjects, in centers and institutes such as:
-- Center for the Advanced Study of India
-- Center for Cultural Studies
-- Center for Health Sciences and Policy Research
-- School of Nursing Center for Low Birthweight Research, Prevention and Care (with the Kamuzu College of Nursing, University of Malawi)
-- Center for the Study of Black Literature and Culture
-- Emerging Economies Program
-- French Institute for Culture and Technology
-- Huntsman Center for Global Competition and Leadership
-- Institute for Environmental Studies
-- International Literacy Institute (jointly sponsored by UNESCO)
-- Population Studies Center
-- U.S.-Japan Management Studies Center
-- Weiss Center for International Financial Research
-- Wurster Center for International Management Studies
Research PartnershipsCollaborative research is a hallmark of Penn, and nowhere is it more evident than in international projects such as these:
* The Emerging Economies Program, founded at Wharton to assist in the growth of both transitional and emerging economies. Research initiatives have included: analysis of the Russian Federation's transition to a market economy (conducted with the Institute of Economics, Russian Academy of Sciences); and research on World Bank corporate governance and privatization in Russia and Eastern Europe.
* Electrical engineers at Penn have a research/educational connection with institutions in Argentina, Brazil and Chile, under the aegis of a National Science Foundation-sponsored Western Hemisphere Collaboration in Microstructures and Sensors (WHECOMS).
* School of Social Work Dean Ira Schwartz has initiated a comparative study of the impact of immigrants from Russia in Germany, Israel and the United States. The project's multinational collaborators are located at Penn, the University of Tčbingen, Haifa University and Tomsk State University.
* The Youth Policy Studies Center (in the School of Social Work) has initiated a comparative study of social welfare policy development in the United States, Germany (University of Bielefeld) and Israel (Haifa University).
* Social Work professors at Penn and Tčbingen have developed a framework for comparing delinquency and juvenile incarceration trends in Germany and the United States. The study will be expanded to include colleagues from Bielefeld University.
* The Economics Research Unit at Penn has been collaborating for six years with the International Centre for the Study of East Asian Development (Kitakyushu, Japan), studying many dimensions of East Asian economic development, e.g.: foreign direct investment, econometric modeling of the East Asian countries and the relations between them, studies of the development ladder in East Asia, CGE models linking the various economies and studying the development process between them, studies of total factor productivity in the Asian countries, studies of East Asian industrial policy.
* There are considerable research and educational activities underway in the economics department on micro issues within an international context, primarily with respect to developing economies. Topics include: what determines investments in schooling, health and nutrition; the impact of health, nutrition and schooling on economic productivity; the impact of health, nutrition and schooling on child development; intra-household allocations, including gender and birth order differences; the determinants of human fertility, mortality and migration. Research links are particularly strong within Penn with the Population Studies Center and the Center for the Advanced Study of India. Support has been provided by entities such as the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank and various United Nations organizations, as well as by NIH and NSF.